The Case for poizon: The Forgotten Superstar

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As the off-season shuffle comes to a close, RBM’s writers are highlighting the best, and their favorite, available players. In this article, Connor Gill shines a spotlight onto 23-year-old Bulgarian AWPer Valentin ‘poizon’ Vasilev.

As Natus Vincere continues to dominate world Counter-Strike, many teams are using the current player break as an opportunity to make changes in order to catch and be a challenge to them in 2022. With that said, the current free agent list is possibly the most stacked it has ever been, with multiple orgs pulling out of the game for various reasons. This leaves great individual players out for the taking for free, but there is one AWPer in particular who stands out above the pack. 

poizon was a monumental piece when it came to the success of Complexity’s juggernaut at the beginning of 2020. With one of the best underdog performances at an event in the history of Counter-Strike, we take a look at the early stages of his career and how he rose to become one of the most exciting AWPers in the game.


poizon’s career first began in early 2017 with the Bulgarian squad Bpro where he competed in Season 24 of the European Mountain Dew League finishing in 11th. In regards to individual performance, it was very up and down towards the beginning of the season but gradually became more consistent as Bpro ended with a 9-7 record.  Unfortunately, the following season did not go particularly well as the team placed in a disappointing 22nd finish which then eventually lead to Poizon being benched in October 2018. 

With the announcement of poizon’s benching, there was vast interest from fellow Bulgarian team, Windigo, who were looking to upgrade their firepower within the squad. 2018 was the year in which many people started to pay attention to poizon as he finished the year with an average rating of 1.29 and played a part in Bpro winning ESL Southeast Europe Championship Season 6 just a month before being benched.


Being signed to Windigo was hugely beneficial towards poizon as he got the chance to play against some of the best teams in Europe regularly since the team was competing in ESL Pro League Season 8. The hype behind poizon continued with high impactful performances that guided Windigo to an 8th place finish, just narrowly missing out on a spot at the Season 8 LAN event.

After missing out on the opportunity to compete at the Major, the Bulgarian lineup had to adjust their focus to WESG. The level of competition might not have been the highest due to the tournament of each team having to represent one nation, the prize pool was life-changing especially for a team like Windigo. The WESG prize pool was one of the main factors which attracted the bigger teams with $890,000 up for grabs, it seemed like easy money for these established rosters attending the event. 

The opening playoff match was pretty comfortable as they took down the Argentian side of Furious 2-0. However, the tournament got anything but easy afterward. Windigo found themselves narrowly winning over the legendary Brazilian squad of MIBR before taking down G2 to set up a final against unlikely finalist AGO. For poizon to travel across the world for the first time, perform to a high level, and win the event showed that he was the real deal and a player that teams should be looking at in the future. 

Windigo carried the momentum from WESG by rocketing up to 15th on HLTV, finishing 1st place at Moche XL Esports beating the likes of Virtus Pro, Gamerslegion, and Heretics in a BO5 to qualify for ESL Pro League Season 10. Things were looking up for poizon and his peers. However, all good things must come to an end. The benching of Viktor ‘⁠v1c7oR⁠’ Dyankov, Yanko ‘⁠blocker⁠’ Panov, and Georgi ‘⁠SHiPZ⁠’ Grigorov being transfer listed meant revamping the roster including the org announcing that they’re gonna be looking towards international players within a trial format. Windigo kept this promise by bringing in Buğra ‘Calyx’ Arkın, Ali ‘hAdji’ Haïnouss, and Sabit ‘Mirbit’ Coktasar to fill in for the entire pro league season with results not holding up too well.

Not a single map was won during their last season in Pro League, marking the final nail in the coffin for not only the team but with the org as a whole with Windigo announcing that they’re closing operations days after the rumor came out of poizon signing for Complexity as well as having issues with transferring prize pool money to players.


On November 6th, it was announced that Poizon would be joining the North American organization alongside star player Kristian ‘⁠k0nfig⁠’ Wienecke. There was a huge amount of hype around the team’s potential with Complexity signing upcoming in-game leader Benjamin ‘blameF’ Bremer days prior and org owner Jason Lake dropping the infamous “juggernaut” tweet.

Problems were already arising for Complexity as failing to qualify for IEM Katowice 2020 and the closed qualifier for the EU minor made many people start to question if Jason Lake had started a failed Counter-Strike project. This current perception of the team changed once they went to their first LAN event at BLAST Premier Spring 2020 Europe finals where they had arguably the hardest group in the tournament. Against all odds, they took a 2-0 victory over the two-time major winning lineup of Astralis shocking world of counter-strike with Poizon having a 1.22 rating. The Bulgarian AWPer would continue this good form as he would go to defeat Vitality and finish the event as one of the highest-rated performers. These results helped give people faith in the lineup again and boost the confidence of the players heading into the rest of 2020.

Former teammate Owen ‘oBo’ Schlatter gave an interview with HLTV, showing high praise for poizon as an individual player and a teammate.

“poizon honestly is so good, he impressed me more than any other player I’ve ever seen. I think he absolutely can be the best AWPer in the world if he’s not already. He has a really calm attitude, he gives good communication, and he’s just an all-around good player, in my opinion.”

2020 saw the entire Counter-Strike circuit moved to Online play as a result of Covid-19 and for Complexity this meant going back to a playing environment where they struggled in the past and will continue to do so due to several different circumstances. The first change was oBo flying back to the United States the same day as the beginning of their Dreamhack Open Fall qualifier, resulting in both coach Jamie ‘keita’ Hall and Danish player Niels Christian ‘NaToSaphiX’ Sillassen coming in as stand-ins for the qualifier and further events.

Eventually, the organization brought in Australian superstar Justin ‘jks’ Savage to help the team get back to top form however, underwhelming results continued, and more bad news was to come out of the Complexity camp. Poizon was forced to step away due to needing emergency surgery at the end of 2020 and wouldn’t return to the roster till February 2021.

Events were still based online for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic and results were still up and down for poizon and his squad. The lack of consistent improvement eventually led to his benching and release with Complexity in October of 2021. 

Poizon currently has a 1.15 HLTV rating and is one of the best free agents currently available. Attention was brought to poizon quite early in his career after having impressive statistics online and being featured in HLTV “one for the future” series in 2018. When it comes to being a dedicated AWPer, poizon fits this criteria with 9876 kills with the sniper, with the second most used weapon being the AK47 at 3578. Perhaps the most surprising fact is Poizon efficiency in CT pistol rounds and second-round purchases with his third-highest kill weapon being the USP at 1134 kills and Scout at 901, more than both the M4 guns.


As shown from the timeline, poizon is one of the most experienced and consistent free agents available in the long list of free agent players within Counter-Strike.There have been many high and low points in his career but poizon has experienced it all and is the ideal player for any team looking for an impactful presence with the AWP.

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