iNation has ceased operations due to the cancellation of open qualifications for the latest CS2 major

The Serbian esports organization iNation has announced that they will be ceasing all of their competitive operations, citing Valve’s recent changes to the Major and Regional Major Rankings (RMR) qualifications as the primary reason behind this decision. In a candid social media post, the team’s management mentioned “the recent update from Valve regarding Major and RMR” as the driving factor that led them to conclude they could no longer justify the continued investment required to field a competitive Counter-Strike team.

The organization had maintained a presence in the CS2 scene for several years, fielding rosters that competed in both regional and international tournaments. However, the new RMR system implemented by Valve, which determines qualification for the prestigious CS2 Majors, appears to have made it extremely challenging for smaller, independent organizations like iNation to earn a spot. With the path to the Majors now effectively closed off, the iNation leadership determined that continuing to sponsor a CS2 team was no longer a viable business proposition. As a result, the organization has made the difficult decision to shut down its esports operations entirely. The members of iNation’s active CS2 roster are now free agents, open to exploring new opportunities with other organizations.

The Departure of iNation: A Bittersweet Farewell to a Counter-Strike Trailblazer

In a heartfelt statement released across their social media channels, the leadership of the Serbian esports organization iNation expressed their deep regret at having to announce the cessation of all competitive operations. The primary driver behind this difficult decision, they explained, was a recent update from Valve regarding the qualification system for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s prestigious Major tournaments. “It is with great sadness that we must inform our fans and the wider CS2 community that iNation will be shutting down our competitive project,” the statement began. “This was not a decision that was made lightly, but ultimately we found ourselves in a position where we were simply unable to continue with the project due to a recent update from Valve that significantly impacted our key objectives and reduced our chances of achieving our goals.” The organization went on to elaborate that Valve’s changes to the Regional Major Rankings (RMR) system, which determines qualification for the Majors, had rendered it all but impossible for smaller, independent teams like iNation to earn a spot. “The new RMR structure has created an environment that makes it extremely challenging for organizations like ours to consistently field competitive rosters capable of earning a direct invite to the Majors,” the statement read. “Without that path to the pinnacle events, it became increasingly difficult for us to justify the ongoing investment required to maintain a top-tier CS2 team.” However, the iNation leadership left the door open for a potential future return, noting that they “hope this is a temporary pause and not a final goodbye.” The statement concluded by thanking the organization’s loyal fans, as well as the many players, coaches, and other talents who had represented the iNation banner over the years.

And indeed, iNation has been a fixture in the Counter-Strike scene since 2013, with a storied history of fielding rosters that have included some of the game’s greatest names. Alumni of the organization include luminaries like Nikola “NiKo” Kovač, Nemanja “huNter” Kovač, Nemanja “nexa” Isaković, Janko “YNk” Paunović, and Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović – all of whom have gone on to achieve tremendous success elsewhere in the CS2 ecosystem. NiKo, in particular, is regarded as one of the finest players Counter-Strike has ever seen. During his time with iNation’s predecessor organization, the legendary FPS squad MTS, NiKo established himself as a true phenom, showcasing otherworldly mechanical skill and game sense that would ultimately lead to him joining the elite international roster of FaZe Clan. The Kovač brothers, Nemanja “huNter” and Nemanja “nexa,” also rose to prominence under the iNation banner before moving on to greater heights with G2 Esports. Beyond the players, iNation has also been home to some of Counter-Strike’s most respected coaches and analysts. Janko “YNk” Paunović, for instance, served as the organization’s head coach for a time, helping to guide the team’s competitive efforts before later transitioning into a successful career as a broadcast talent. Aleksandar “kassad” Trifunović, meanwhile, was iNation’s longtime strategist and in-game leader, renowned for his tactical acumen and innovative approaches to the game. The departure of iNation represents a significant loss for the Counter-Strike community. As a pioneering Serbian organization that helped nurture some of the game’s greatest talents, their influence and legacy will be sorely missed. However, the team’s parting message of hope for a potential future return suggests that this may not be the end of the iNation story just yet. “We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to all of our fans who have supported us throughout the years,” the statement concluded. “While this is a difficult moment, we remain hopeful that one day we may be able to return to the competitive Counter-Strike scene and continue our journey. For now, we bid you farewell, but we do so with the belief that this is merely a temporary pause, and not a final goodbye.”

What was the primary reason cited by iNation for having to shut down their competitive Counter-Strike project?
Valve's changes to the Regional Major Ranking (RMR) system made it extremely challenging for smaller organizations like iNation to consistently field teams capable of earning direct invites to the Majors.
The organization was facing financial difficulties and could no longer justify the ongoing investment required to maintain a top-tier CS2 team.
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