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DeVitalized: Vitalize roster disbands

Back to square one for the once-Smiley Boys.

by Tom Coles

The Vitalize Esports roster has disbanded as announced in a series of tweets by the former players. This follows a mixed performance at EPIC.38, where the team’s lower bracket run was curtailed by eMasters, but UKCSGO understands there were already internal conflicts in the team before the event. 

The team was formed as The Smiley Boys last November, when Earl “Earl Stephenson and Seth “Xeth” Jackson decided to create a UK project after the winding-up of LowLandLions. They teamed up with eMasters coach, Rhys “Rhys Stumbles, i69 winner with Temperate, Reegan “ReegaN” Ward, and former Endpoint Academy AWPer, Benjamin “Klay” Hurst, to complete the lineup. This team marked a return to the UK scene after Earl and Xeth had previously competed with a Benelux roster, including at the ESL Benelux Championship finals. When they signed to Vitalize the team proudly proclaimed themselves “The Kings of the UK”.

Preparations for the Vitalize lineup were not ideal, however. In-game leader Earl was unable to touch the game for a month in the run-up to EPIC.38, as he was moving house, forcing the team to use Matthew “meffewGodsell as a stand-in in their ESEA fixtures. The team would also use a stand-in for EPIC, due to Klay not attending the event, using dripmen’s Frazer “frazehh” Sollom in his place. They were able to defeat fellow dripmen ArkadiuszifanDabkowski and Josh “JAUSTERE” Philpott’s 3 Friends 2 Foreigners, but lost in the lower quarter-finals to EPIC.37 runners-up eMasters, going home in 5th-6th place.

UKCSGO understands that the team will play out the ESEA season with meffew before going their separate ways. Xeth announced his intent to retire from “hardcore team-based CS” and hinted at a reunion of Ross Kemp Bald with Arctic Raptors streamer Alex “Edeninho” Holder. Earl has announced he will build a new team with Klay and former Havik Esports rifler Oskar “oskvr” Myszka. It is expected ReegaN and Rhys will also stick together, while it is not known what will become of the team’s former coach Stanoski. The team currently holds a 6-4 record in ESEA Main.

Update 3/03: ReegaN has joined dripmen as a stand-in following the exit of Matas “Extinct” Strumila to Viperio, while Rhys has announced plans to team up with ex-dripmen rifler Richard “Zulu” Wood and Isaac “isaac” Patto, formerly of Feenix Ryzing.

Disclaimer: Matthew “meffew” Godsell, who is mentioned in this article, is a also Writer for UKCSGO.

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