Virtus.pro has benched Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas and will utilize Michał "MICHU" Müller as a temporary stand-in for IEM Katowice and StarSeries season four, the organization announced Tuesday.
The move marks the end of an era in CS:GO. The roster, which was previously known as the Golden Five and has played with the same five players for over four years, will no longer feature TaZ as a starting player. The organization's release noted that TaZ is allowed to negotiate with other teams.
Over the past year, the team has put up inconsistent performances that have seen them drop out of a number of high-profile events in the group stage. While there were some highs, like a victory at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas in February 2017, the inconsistency wore on throughout the year. Roman Dvoryankin, VP's general manager, said that the move is part of a strategy to fix the team's recent woes.
"We have promised our fans back in Atlanta that VP will only become stronger in the future," he said. "This is a first step. It’s a small, but important one."
MICHU has acted as the team's stand-in at a number of points in the past. The Polish player, who is a contracted member of Team Kinguin, helped the team during Gfinity Spring Masters 1, IEM San Jose and Game Show League Season 1. While the team has not yet named a permanent replacement for TaZ, Dvoryankin said that the team would make roster announcements in March.
He also thanked TaZ for his dedication to the team.
"I would also like to thank Wiktor for his commitment throughout the years of his time in Virtus.pro. He’s the main reason Golden 5 joined VP, kept playing for VP and kept playing together."
Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.