ENCE was once known for the IEM Katowice Major, where they had the hero run of the decade. Despite losing in the finals to Astralis, the Counter-Strike community expected great things from them. Instead of sticking to the roster that earned the team second in the biggest tournament of 2019, ENCE benched Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen to start the roster’s downfall. But, two years after the fact, their latest roster again shows signs of promise.
With the departure of Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen to Valorant and Miikka “suNny” Kemppi’s departure to create a team, ENCE’s AWPer Aleksi “Allu” Jalli was the only player left. Many expected ENCE to be a dead team. For one, star player, Jamppi, could not play in any Valve sponsored tournaments per his VAC ban on his childhood account. For some time, the team substituted in Sami “xseveN” Laasanen for RMR events, but he signed to HAVU and left ENCE’s PGL Stockholm dreams in the dust. More controversy came over Allu’s HLTV confirmed interview where he insulted his teammates on live broadcast. This prompted the departure of suNny and Jere “Sergej” Salo. Even with only one player left on their roster, ENCE wasn’t about to give up.
The New ENCE
The roster acquired Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer and Lotan “Spinx” Giladi from c0ntact and signed Joonas “doto” Forss and Paweł “dycha” Dycha for a mixed roster. Although some doubted the roster’s future, it had the potential that all rosters do: a young player in Spinx, an experienced veteran in Snappi and a great AWPer in Allu. In their debut match against HAVU before Pro League, ENCE took home the win and ended HAVU’s 16 match winning streak.
ENCE is playing in Group B of ESL Pro League, which features high-profile teams such as G2, Vitality and FaZe. So far, ENCE has beat G2, the top team in the group, and Mousesports. In terms of kills, Spinx is on top with 65 in the series against G2, outfragging the number four player in the world of 2020: Nikola “NiKo” Kovač. On Thursday, the Finnish roster will take on FaZe and, if they keep up their current form, ENCE could once again become a top team contender. It would not be a surprise if they beat FaZe or Vitality.
Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.