The Kansas City Pioneers have signed Gnaske, Max Strafe and Sir Del from GMT esports. The trio are one of the best teams in the EMEA region. Despite significant disruption to their season thanks to the Ukraine war, they still performed incredibly strongly.
The Kansas City Pioneers have entered Apex Legends and bought out the GMT esports roster.
The trio of SirDel, Gnaske and MaxStrafe are one of Apex's most successful combinations. However, the roster has been heavily impacted by the Ukraine war, with MaxStrafe being from Ukraine.
They attracted attention having finished 5th in the ALGS Championship, despite having a sub.
Kansas City Pioneers make statement of intent
For the Kansas City Pioneers this acquisition is a statement of intent. Founded in 2019 and based in Kansas, the Pioneers have never had an Apex roster before. You might have expected a North American org to enter their local scene. Especially with the disparity between regions outside of ALGS tournaments.
GMT Celebrate at LAN (Photo: Joe Brady/EA)
However, they have chosen not only to enter the EMEA scene, but to purchase one of the best rosters in the region. Despite all the disruption that this roster has faced due to the Ukraine war, they have still been successful. MaxStrafe played Pro League from Ukraine - and the roster has achieved at two LAN's with two different subs. This will reassure the Kansas City Pioneers, who must've considered the disruption that this roster could still face in the near future.
This particularly speaks to the ability of IGL Gnaske, who is one of the top minds in Apex. With minimal practice he is able to deliver different rosters to top results on the world stage. Even when they had to substitute their sub, standards never dropped.
The replacement sub at the ALGS Championship Rambeau told esports.gg
that Gnaske "puts more time into the team than anyone [he] knows".
Gnaske (near) and SirDel (far) (Image: esports.gg)
He went on to say "He really knows where teams are gonna be out on rotates, how to play certain zones, how to win certain zones. It just makes it so much easier for me you know when he screams “yo Rambeau go one clip this guy”
In Gnaske, the Kansas City Pioneers really have a top Apex talent on their hands.
A combination with a winning pedigree
Despite still performing strongly, obviously it has been frustrating for the ex-GMT roster to not be at full strength at LAN. Despite this, the signs are there that this roster could achieve at any of the three planned LAN events in ALGS year 3
. Something that the Kansas City Pioneers will be hoping for, to help put their relatively young org on the map.
Gnaske, Max Strafe and Del broke into the Apex scene in the summer of 2020, winning ALGS Online #6, the ALGS Summer Circuit #2 and then rounding out the season with a win in the ALGS Summer Circuit playoffs
. They took the match point format finals in just 5 games - one of the quickest wins ever in this format.
The result of this success was the orgless roster breaking apart, with Cooler and NAVI both taking players. It was GMT esports who reunited the team
last year. They consistently performed in the biggest events.
Big event success
- 5th - ALGS Split 1 Pro League
- 9th - ALGS Split 1 Playoffs (online)
- 4th - ALGS Split 2 Pro League
- 12th - ALGS Split 2 Playoffs
- 5th - ALGS 2022 Championship
In a battle royale game, consistency is hard to find, yet despite all the difficult circumstances encountered by this roster they have maintained a high standard across the major events. Something the Kansas City Pioneers will have been very attracted towards.
Gnaske: "The Kansas City Pioneers offer was too good to pass on"
All of the trio took to twitter to thank GMT for their time at the org. Gnaske told esports.gg that the offer was simply too good for them to refuse, despite their great experience at GMT.
Commenting, he said: "Excited about the move, the Kansas City Pioneers are very professional. GMT was an absolute pleasure, awesome organization! GMT was great and all but the offer was too good to pass on."
They will now be focused on preparing for the ALGS Pro League to return in November. The new Kansas City Pioneers roster are one of the 22 invited teams in EMEA.