In March 2023, Arctic Raptors made a series of changes which included bring on Bulgarian AWPer, Slaven “AwaykeN” Lyubenov, to replace their previous star, William “wfn” Maskrey. The move came after their relegation from ESEA Advanced to ESEA Main. The team felt that something had to change for them to reach new heights and since that move they have found success, making the playoffs of ESL Premiership Spring 2023 and going 11-2 in ESEA Main.
Now, only two months after joining the team, AwaykeN has announced that he will be departing the squad at the end of the season in order to return to the Bulgarian Counter-Strike scene. The AWPer will continue out the rest of the season with Arctic Raptors, including their first ESEA Main playoffs match against Nemiga and their ESL Premiership quarter final matchup against Into the Breach. It is currently unknown if he has a team lined up in Bulgaria for next season.
As previously mentioned, AwaykeN was not the only change that Arctic Raptors made coming into this season, as they announced that Reegan “ReegaN” Ward would join alongside him and recently brought on Marco “MMS” Salomone to finish out the season. Despite the changes their form has not faltered as they begin to close the gap between themselves and the “top three” of UK CS; Into the Breach, Viperio, and Coalesce. It will be interesting to see which AWPer they will bring on to help them close that gap even further.
Arctic Raptors have told UKCSGO that they will be looking to trial players for a short period of time, but will continue to use AwaykeN for all officials until the end of the season. UKCSGO is also aware that Arctic Raptors have not currently got a long term replacement AWPer lined up.
After this season Arctic Raptors will be:
Mohamad “Ducky” Nourelden
Rasmus “zodi” Frølich
Reegan “ReegaN” Ward
Marco “MMS” Salomone
Daniel “papp” Hart (Coach)