Stewie2K to make tier one CS2 debut as a stand-in at IEM Dallas

Counter-Strike‘s Smoke Criminal is back. North American player Stewie2K will make his CS2 LAN debut next week at IEM Dallas after receiving a call-up from G2, with captain HooXi ruled out due to personal commitments.

His addition to G2 on a one-off basis has been hinted at for weeks now but it was finally confirmed after the team’s roster was revealed for the ESL CS2 event on May 17. G2 later made the announcement official on X (formerly Twitter), adding that HooXi was ruled out due to a clash with his sister’s wedding. “I wish I could be in two places at once!” HooXi said, adding that he will be chipping in from home throughout the event where possible.

G2's CS:GO captain celebrates after they won a match at IEM Cologne in 2023. HooXi is with his arms wide open staring at the cameras.
HooXi will sit out Dallas due to a clash with his sister’s wedding. Photo by Adela Sznajder via ESL Gaming

For Stewie, it’s a long-awaited return to LAN competition in the esport after entering free agency back in March 2023. Before that, the 26-year-old enjoyed a stint in VALORANT both as a player and content creator following his high-profile exit from Evil Geniuses. He was dabbling in NA CS2 tournaments with the likes of Mythic before getting a call-up with PGL Copenhagen attendees Legacy.

“Thanks G2 for the chance to compete and to potentially play in front of a home crowd,” Stewie said on May 18, adding he’s looking forward to playing alongside the likes of Niko and m0NESY and above all having fun playing CS2 in his first LAN since the PGL Antwerp Major qualifiers way back in 2022.

His work will be cut out for him, with G2 looking to bounce back from a topsy-turvy patch of form over the past couple of months. The European superteam has made the playoffs of every tournament so far in 2024 but the squad is still yet to claim a trophy in CS2, with their last final appearance coming at IEM Cologne back in CS:GO.

Stewie and G2 open their IEM Dallas campaign against Falcons on May 27.

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