The Bad News Bears, High Coast Esports, Extra Salt, and more.

19:00, 21 Feb 2021

While most people expected quarantine to be the downfall of North America’s amateur scene, so far, it’s actually increased the number of roster changes. Players can finally commit to teams without the expectation of travelling during either work or school.

Now players can discuss their contracts with a simple text message and proceed to dominate with their new teams. Currently, there are three main organisations within North America that have seen positive results since going into lockdown. 

The Bad News Bears have won back to back cash cups, High Coast Esports won their first event this year, and Extra Salt took home their very own trophy. The amateur scene has become a real treat to watch during time indoors. 

There’s nothing better than watching someone who has the potential of going pro. While everyone was busy worrying about North American teams, up and coming orgs were busy preparing for 2021. 


The Bad News Bears are finally back in their natural habitat along with their team captain Peter "ptr" Gurney. Originally known as the Test Takers, the Bad News Bears formed back in 2018 as a pickup team. 


They’re currently busy dominating with a brand new lineup throughout multiple events hosted by ESEA. Besides their captain ptr, the Bad News Bears is full of well known talented players. Their lead fragger is an ex-Chaos Esports Club player known as Jonathan "Jonji" Carey. 

On top of that, Michael "Swisher" Schmid joined the team after having a great run with Yeah Gaming. He won four events with them last year and was a leading figure throughout the C-Tier scene. RIfler and ex-Triumph player Gabe "Spongey" Greiner has been a great asset so far as he continues to impress the fans rooting for his team. 


After a few weeks of practice, the Bad News Bears, being an independent team, casually signed all five players. On January 24, everyone officially met up to compete during the third ESEA Cash Cup of 2021. 


They faced off against fifteen different teams, including high seed invitees, High Coast Esports and Rebirth. One of their biggest threats was Triumph, who were in the midst of making a revival roster.  

The five stars regrouped and went on to win a total of five sets in a row. A week later, they attended another ESEA Cash Cup which included Mythic, RBG Esports, and the runner-up team known as Secret Club. After rolling over Big Chillen with ease, the Bad News Bears found themselves on a winning streak.  

They made it all the way to the finals and beat High Coast Esports 2-0. Their back to back earnings came to a total of eighteen thousand dollars. The Bad News Bears are currently in second-place within the Premium Division of ESEA Season 36. 


Next up is a team based in Europe that made a drastic change for 2021. They signed the ex-New England Whalers roster and switched to competing in North America. This is one of the main examples of how quarantine is having a positive effect on North America’s amateur scene. 


The team formed back in January of this year after acquiring Brandon "bew" Roberts on loan from Yeah Gaming. Team captain Ben "ben1337" Smith has been a great IGL so far and is partially responsible for their recent success story. 

Josh "PwnAlone" Pigue has put up the best stats and has helped High Coast Esports become a threat within the NA scene. It was definitely a risky decision to venture into North America, but it's definitely paid off.

They made their first introduction at the Mythic Winter Cup this year by competing against seven different teams. High Coast Esports were invited to the event, which was a great idea from the staff at Mythic League. Their entrance was a great chance to show off a new team while keeping North American players in the competitive scene. 


They went up against the Russian Canadians and completely massacred them. After beating Secret Club 16-4 on Overpass, High Coast Esports followed up with a win against Triumph in the finals. They won both matches and destroyed a dominant team from last year. 


The final team is Extra Salt and how they started off strong at their very own ESEA Cash Cup. Not only did they act as a virtual wrecking crew, but it was great to see such determined and talented players. 


After seeing some new faces at the most recent Cash Cup, everyone knew that the competition was increasing. Besides a close series of matches with Triumph, the tournament was a breeze for Extra Salt. 

That day they went home with $9000, and time to prepare for their next event. So far, they’ve made a great impact within the competitive scene, and it looks like they’ll become dominant figures in North America.



Images via Bad News Bears | High Coast Esports | Extra Salt 

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