Nivera Joins Team Vitality as Sixth Player
Team Vitality is the latest organization to expand its CS:GO team to six players with the addition of Nivera
Team Vitality has just announced the addition of Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster, with the young Belgian joining the French team as a sixth player. The French organization's move follows the new trend of expanding CS:GO rosters beyond the usual 5 players, usually in the hopes of combatting burnout.
Nivera, otherwise known as Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom's younger brother, is one of the fastest emerging talents within the Francophone scene. While he may be siblings with one of the most legendary players to have touched Counter-Strike, Nivera has been making a name of his own within the community, and it's unlikely that he will be living in his brother's shadow for long.
You're gonna go far, kid
Though Nivera has been known by many in the French community for a while, his team experience is still somewhat limited, as his first official matches were recorded only in 2019. As a player, Nivera gained a lot of experience in WonderKids, a project directed by Boris "flex0r" Latry aiming to develop young talents within the French scene. While the team played under a few different monikers, such as WonderKids and Legends, Nivera got to play with many of his scene's future stars, including Kévin "misutaaa" Rabier, Jordan "Python" Munck-Foehrle, and Jayson "Kyojin" Nguyen Van. While the team wasn't together for very long, investment into the lower echelons of French CS has been very limited. So far, the WonderKids project has had a very good return in terms of the quality of players produced, with 2 out of 4 already joining notable teams.
Le projet Wonderkids que tout le monde a snob lorsque j'ai fait les démarches envers les structures début janvier.— flex0r (@flex0rCSGO) October 12, 2020
Raison : On ne peut pas mettre 100k pour des joueurs inconnus🤡
Bravo @misutaaaCSGO @Nivera__ en attendant dans la foulée @Pyth0nCSGO et j'espère aussi @KyojiinN pic.twitter.com/1CatfXH9Co
Might as well be heresy
Following his time with WonderKids, Nivera got the opportunity to join Team Heretics and play alongside some seasoned French veterans. He would become the team's most consistent and promising player, averaging an impressive 1.12 rating in his 7-month tenure with Heretics, and became a crucial component in that team's success. He notably helped his team win the ESL Championnat National Summer 2020, only dropping one map in the whole event, as well as the subsequent ESL European Championship Spring 2020, winning the Grand Final in 3-1 fashion over Sprout. While ScreaM is known for his very aggressive headshot-oriented rifling style, Nivera couldn't be any more different; while he's a very talented rifler, Nivera excels on the AWP. However, considering Bryan "Maka" Canda held the primary AWPing duties in Heretics, Nivera transitioned into more of a hybrid role, thus showcasing his abilities with the AWP, rifles, and pistols.
A new life
Coming into Vitality, Nivera will be taking the next step in his career as he will be facing tier 1 teams much more consistently than with Heretics. While the French organization has yet officially to comment precisely on what role Nivera will have in the team, the move likely comes as a result of wanting to create a more stable roster. Vitality suffered the loss of its captain Alex "ALEX" McMeekin at the start of the year, with the British IGL feeling burned out due to the oversaturated schedule in 2019. Vitality then signed Nivera's former WonderKids teammate misutaaa and has managed to find good levels of success this year, even holding the #1 spot on HLTV's world ranking for 4 weeks. Bringing in Nivera will be great for both parties, as it'll give the French team a bit more breathing room: players can be rotated depending on health, form, and even strategy.
Furthermore, Nivera's addition spells exciting things for the future of Francophone Counter-Strike, with the move further cementing Vitality's implication in the scene. Nivera is the third young star to join Vitality as the organization already has misutaaa and world-class superstar Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut on its books. While it's a little disappointing that Nivera isn't part of the starting five, as it's a much more efficient way to develop a player, joining a team like Vitality is still a fantastic opportunity. He will be able to learn so much from his experienced teammates and coach, compete at the top level, and have access to all the resources an organization like Vitality has to offer.
Continuing the cycle
The young Belgian's replacement in Team Heretics is yet to be announced, but his former WonderKids teammate Python was recently seen standing in for the team. It would be great to see Heretics another change on a youngster. Bringing in a rifler would also allow Maka to continue AWPing, with Lucas "Lucky" Chastang picking up the secondary AWP on CT sides. The French scene was historically notorious for shuffling the same players in the early days of Global Offensive. Still, it's lovely to see that this lousy habit is slowly but surely dying as the scene can develop new talents, sustain itself, and flourish.