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Arctic Raptors bring in RMR experience

The Arctic Raptors make a change after first ESEA Main loss.

by Tom Coles

Arctic Raptors have benched Euan “synergii” Watson, the organisation have announced in a statement. In his place comes former Viperio rifler Marco “MMS” Salomone, who left the ESL Premiership Autumn 2022 runners-up last month after his contract expired.

The Arctic Raptors have had a successful season so far in ESEA Main, with eight wins without defeat before Sunday’s overtime loss to Russian side 888. synergii‘s benching is unrelated to the loss, according to the organisation, being the result of “schedule conflicts which have been limiting the team’s practice arrangements”. Arctic Raptors have opted to make the change during the ESL Premiership’s two week break for the Paris Major “to maintain momentum and ensure they can actively participate in various qualifiers”.

synergii had played alongside Rasmus “zodi” Frølich and Mohamad “Ducky” Nourelden since they were signed by XRAVEL in July of last year. The team quickly emerged as dark horses in the UK scene, finishing in the top six for ESL Premiership Autumn 2022 and achieving promotion to ESEA Advanced, although that would be short-lived as they were relegated shortly after. They also achieved a third place finish at EPIC.38, to which synergii contributed with a 1.14 average rating and the highest HS% on Arctic Raptors*.  The organisation acknowledged synergii‘s contributions in their statement, saying “this is a very careful decision that we have made in an attempt to balance the needs of the team and its players to move beyond the realms of UK Counter-Strike.”

His replacement MMS will need no introduction to UK CSGO fans. He came to prominence on Temperate, particularly when they reverse swept EKO Esports in the final of Insomnia 68. MMS himself achieved a 2.15 rating on the third map of that series, Overpass. Shortly after he joined the orgless SOS project which was formed by the former EKO roster, and they joined Viperio in the autumn. Although the team managed to qualify for the BLAST Paris Major RMR in Copenhagen, MMS struggled individually as the team faced a higher calibre of opposition, finishing that event with a 0.67 average rating. The organisation opted not to renew his contract when it expired after the RMR.

Arctic Raptors will hope that MMS’ experience at the tier one LAN will help them to return to the heights they faced last season – and possibly beyond. They currently sit third in group B of ESL Premiership Spring 2023 after an upset win over Endpoint in their opening game, and are 8-1 in ESEA Main.

Arctic Raptors are now:

Mohamad “Ducky” Nourelden
Rasmus “zodi” Frølich
Reegan “ReegaN” Ward
Slaven “AwaykeN” Lyubenov
Marco “MMS” Salomone

Daniel “papp” Hart (Coach)

*Stats by Mischief_CSGO

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