As 2018 is nearing its end, it is time to reflect on what the year has brought us and also look at what’s ahead as we move forward.
I wrote a similar post last summer, where I went through the first part of the year from a sports and partnerships point of view. A lot has happened ever since and we have truly established our position as a professional organization. From a competitive perspective, 2018 has been phenomenal.
Serral has won everything! There aren’t enough words to describe his year and I can’t think of a similar performance in all of esports history from anyone, being able to dominate his game throughout the whole season. I don’t think we will see anything like it through my lifetime either. Serrals’ picture will be hanging from the ceiling at BlizzCon, as the first non-Korean to have won the WCS global finals in the games 20-year history.
Photo: © 2018 Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
With Rainbow Six: Siege, the year was a rollercoaster. A year ago the team brought home the first ever Pro League championship, only for the following season to end up with a catastrophe of being relegated to Challenger League. At the time, we had to evaluate our situation and analyze what we needed to do moving forward. The conclusion was that we went international with our R6S team and then eventually also brought back our former champion, Ville ”Shatte” Palola. We had a strong season in Challenger League, seeing us make our target, which was getting back to Pro League. There is very little time to take a breather however, as the new season will commence in December already.
In Finland, the most loved esport is definitely Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and it is an integral part of the DNA at ENCE aswell. Our current team, starred by Aleksi ”allu” Jalli, has brought home the first-ever premier tournament championship in the games 6-year history to Finland, as they won StarSeries i-League Season 6 in October, winning $125,000 USD along with it. The team has cemented its place within the top15 of the world and there are plenty of traditionally strong Counter-Strike teams behind us, some of which could be considered to be ”NHL-caliber” with hockey analogy.
Success brings its own challenges when our teams consist of some of the best players in the world and upcoming talents that are desired by other teams as well. We need to be able to provide our players the circumstances and a home that they deserve and want to stay at.
We have started to build a facility together with one of our main partners Telia, which will combine space for practice, office and content creation in Helsinki. This will further professionalize our whole operation and the target by the end of 2019 is, that we employ approximately ten people fulltime besides our players.
ENCE’s business is taking the next steps in the immediate future, as the company has appointed a new CEO, as of 1st of December. He will bring a tremendous amount of know-how in international business, community building and sales. I will continue to work with ENCE in the future, focusing on player development programs and helping bring new talent into the limelight.