Team Liquid have announced the addition of former Vitality CSGO star Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom to their Valorant roster. The 20-year-old Belgian is the latest talent to transition from CSGO to Valorant and joins his brother Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom at Liquid. Making way for Nivera will be James “Kryptix” Affleck, who has been granted a temporary leave to address some personal issues.
Kryptix donned the role of a Sentinel for Liquid, often dabbling in Viper as and when needed. The 26-year-old has been a part of Liquid since the organization decided to pick up the fish123 stack along with ScreaM. It will be intriguing to see how the team dynamics change and whether there are role swaps needed to adjust Nivera into the active roster.
All of 20, Nivera was part of the Vitality team that dominated 2020, with the Belgian winning Blast Premier Fall 2020 Finals as well as the European part of the IEM Beijing-Haidian 2020 during a pandemic-affected phase. However, Vitality struggled in the online phase thereafter, failing to find the consistency that they had championed prior to the pandemic.
Despite placing top four in the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters in Iceland, Liquid were looking for improvements. However, they were handed a harsh reality check in the EMEA Challengers Playoffs for the Berlin Masters. Liquid lost their initial match against Natus Vincere before ultimately finishing 5th-6th after losing to Gambit Esports, who then went on to win the Berlin Masters in a dominating fashion. Gambit’s win in Berlin also secured a place in the VCT 2021 Champions for fellow EMEA teams Fnatic and Acend, dealing another blow to Liquid.
Team Liquid though, have one more chance of making it to Valorant Champions in Berlin. The EMEA Last Chance Qualifiers will be Nivera’s professional Valorant debut as Liquid attempt to grab the qualifying slot for Valorant Champions. The EMEA LCQ is packed with the likes of SuperMassive Blaze, Guild Esports, and G2 Esports among other top teams from the region.