For two years, ENCE was on a steady climb to fame after beating some of the best teams in the world, but now the struggle bus has come for them.
From finishing second at a Major to facing multiple roster changes with zero results, ENCE is struggling to hold on to their fame. The team was founded in 2013 but only received attention starting mid-2018. ENCE has spent the past seven years by rebuilding the scene in their homeland of Finland. They’ve partnered with local businesses along with a plan to become the best in Europe. After facing some internal issues in their debut year, ENCE hired a well-seasoned staff, including a new CEO, GM, and multiple partners. For two years ENCE was on a steady climb to fame after beating some of the best teams in the world. They had so much faith in their team that they even signed Aleksi “allu” Jalli for a two-year contract. That passion only lasted so long, after ENCE couldn’t keep up after their historic run at the IEM Katowice Major in 2019.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2018, ENCE hired Mika “miqaqu” Kuusisto to play the role as CEO. Someone who could look over the team and make snap decisions in the orgs favour. Petri “Procyon'' Hämälä joined ENCE the same day as miqaqu under the role of player development. His goal was to rebuild the team that once played with Mikko “DaddyO” Sohlman. With a brand new roster, ENCE moved onto compete at StartSeries/i-League Season 6. The tournament had a three hundred thousand dollar prize pool consisting of teams such as Vega Squadron, OpTic Gaming, and NRG Esports. ENCE went undefeated earning their first official S-Tier title along with six figures to their name. They also finished the year off placing first at the DreamHack Winter Open.
ENCE went into 2019 with a legendary up and coming roster. Their first tournament of the year was the Minor Championship in Katowice, once again ENCE went undefeated beating out North in the finals. Then came the Assembly Winter, which was a B-Tier event; an easy cleanup for the team and a chance to win just under ten thousand dollars. They went undefeated and boosted their confidence for the IEM Katowice Major. ENCE was under the Minor Challenger category; a group made up of rookie teams that didn’t have a chance compared to the legends. ENCE went 3-1 before making it to the playoffs where they would face Team Liquid. They beat the North Americans 2-0 and later won their set against NAVI. Despite losing to Astralis in the finals, the Finnish rookies still made history along with peak earnings.
MODERN DAY ENCE
After their best year yet, ENCE didn’t expect to be a sellout team by 2020. Three months later, with multiple upsets, a new player by the name of Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen made his way onto the team. At the time, he was only eighteen years old, but was capable of wielding any weapon that came his way. Jamppi helped his new team place second at BLAST Premier Spring along with a 1.30 player rating in the finals. The following four events brought ENCE back to square one due to their lack of consistency.
RECENTLY BANNED COACH
If their tournament results weren’t enough to scare away investors, ENCE’s head coach Slaava “Twista” Räsänen received a fifteen-month ban from all ESIC member events. Twista spent two years with iGame where he was caught taking advantage of an in-game bug. Because of this, ENCE chose to make Twista an analyst rather than removing him from the company. From 2018 to 2020, Twista was apart of ENCE during their run at the Major. ENCE decided to hire Eetu “sAw” Saha as a replacement for their coach of two years. After playing with multiple teams for a period of seven months, sAw only moved on to coaching full time in 2020.
As a player, sAw earned well over one hundred thousand dollars and spent his wonder years with HAVU Gaming. At Flashpoint Season 1 he dropped his position as a part-time coach and went back to playing. Because of this decision, he helped his team place third after winning six out of eight sets. While he had a high earning career as a player, his achievements as a coach didn't do him justice. With HAVU Gaming, sAw coached a total of five events ranging from C to B-Tier tournaments. HAVU Gaming placed between seventh and dead last at four events with sAw as the head coach. At the Assembly Winter, sAw led his team to a second-place finish after losing to ENCE. Perhaps sAw can prove his coaching skills by helping ENCE bounce back from their year-long drought.
Another recent pickup from HAVU Gaming was Joonas “doto” Forss. He also happened to play with sAw during the prime of his career. Since doto only joined the team on November 5th, he has yet to show off his skills alongside ENCE. With that being said, doto has a 1.0 overall player rating and has a lot of work ahead of him.
Images via ENCE | ESL