Max Strafe steps down from KCP roster cover image

Max Strafe steps down from KCP roster


Zaine has joined the Kansas City Pioneers. He will replace Max Strafe, who drops to a substitute role.

Max Strafe has stepped down from the Kansas City Pioneers Apex Legends roster. He has been replaced by breakout star Zaine, but will remain as a substitute on the roster.

Zaine was a top performer at the ALGS Split One Playoffs in London, and attracted worldwide attention with his display at LAN.

Max Strafe was not able to attend that LAN due to not receiving permission from the Ukrainian Government to leave the war-torn country. That is the third LAN that Max had to miss. Clearly it has been decided that it is not sustainable to play all LAN events with substitute players.

Max Strafe unable to leave Ukraine

Posting on Twitter, Max Strafe explained that this roster change is only because of his international travel circumstances.

The Pioneers had performed fairly well throughout the EMEA Pro League. They finished 7th, comfortably qualifying for London. But, they struggled at LAN in London. Due to Max Strafes absence, they competed with Pandxrz of FURIA. Pandxrz is a very capable player, but you cannot replace the chemistry and understanding that is gained by competing together over a season of Pro League.

Zaine at ALGS in London (Photo: EA/Joe Brady)
Zaine at ALGS in London (Photo: EA/Joe Brady)

It is unclear if Max Strafe will return to the roster in the future. Or, if he is free to explore other opportunities when he is able. Regardless, it is a sad day to see one of Apex's longest running competitors be forced to step aside due to factors far outside of his control.

Zaine will add flair to the Pioneers

With the signing of Zaine, The Pioneers are no longer one of the very few all Mouse and Keyboard teams left in competitive Apex. Zaine was a relative unknown before the recent Pro League. He had never regularly competed until the summer of 2022.

Yet, at LAN Zaine made a huge impact. As a solo rat, he took out two entire rosters in the group stage.

He will bring a flair and an energy to the Pioneers roster. Like Gnaske, Zaine is heavy on the comms and will provide a CO-IGL aspect to the team. Of course, he also has top tier controller mechanics.

Gnaske at ALGS London (Photo: EA/Joe Brady)
Gnaske at ALGS London (Photo: EA/Joe Brady)

With Max Strafe, the Pioneers were already a strong fighting team. They averaged 3.81 kills per game across the Pro League, the 6th best in the region. Landing Mill for this split, the Pioneers will have strong loot and will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming second split of the Pro League.

The Pro League returns next weekend, March 12th.

Stay tuned to for more esports news and ALGS coverage.

Tom Bull
Tom Bull
Editor | Twitter @TAG_tom_apex
From the UK, Tom is an experienced semi-professional Apex Legends player having competed in the ALGS Challenger Circuit over multiple seasons. He is a specialist in the competitive scene, with deep knowledge of ALGS. He has worked on several notable tournament broadcasts, as both an observer and caster.