The UK team flying high at the top of ESEA MDL, Stifmeister, have been signed by Wind and Rain. The organisation, who have been a part of various games and currently compete in the ESL Premiership for League of Legends, announced the signing after the first night of the ESL Premiership, where they had debuted under their colours.
After multiple weeks of stating they won’t be taking part in the upcoming Gfinity Elite Series, things have changed for the now former-FM Esports roster. Now signed by legendary World of Warcraft organisation Method, the current best UK CS:GO team will be all up in Gfinity’s grill. This is their first return into CS:GO for the Britain-based organisation, since hosting a CIS squad in early 2016. Before that, they were well known for having a moderately successful North American side.
When Method were announced for the Elite Series last month, no-one really knew who’d join the legendary organisation for CS:GO. Fast-forward to now and we know the answer. Joining alongside the side are Jamie “keita” Hall as coach, and current streamer and former 4Kings pro Craig “onscreen” Shannon as manager. The side have also swapped out Aaron “fre1” Frei for Tom “jenko” Jenkinson. Entering UK CS:GO with such moves means they’re in for blood, and are taking there new move seriously.
The team is set to be taking part in the Gfinity Elite Series, GAME’s UK Masters and the ESL Premiership.
Neil “nEiLZiNHo” Finlay, veteran of the current team, had this to say upon joining Method:
“I am extremely motivated and excited to begin this journey with Method in the Gfinity Elite Series, as well as UK Masters, ESL UK and ESEA Main. I am certain that with the support and professionalism provided by the staff at Method we will be able to build upon our dominating year within the UK and make the push towards becoming more competitive in Europe.”
The full Method roster is:
Reece “Puls3” Marrs
Neil “nEiLZiNHo” Finlay
Brandon “weber” Weber
Tramaine “stan1ey” Stanley
Tom “jenko” Jenkinson
Jamie “keita” Hall (coach)
Craig “onscreen” Shannon (manager)
At a rather unfortunate time in the morning, FM eSports decided this was the appropriate time to shed some light on their new lineup, a rather interesting choice, but it seems the new roster has decided they wish to lay low. A curious choice when playing under one of the most known brands within the UK.
For those of you with a keen eye, you may notice that parts of this lineup played in the UK Masters qualifier, eventually leading to what George “hudzG” Hoskins describes in the following quote, as a relatively easy task. Quote Taken from FM eSports press release.
A few weeks ago Neil contacted me about the possibility of playing competitively again and whilst initially I was against it, I decided to play some FACEIT pugs with the guys to see if I had the same passion for CS as I did before. After a few days of playing I realised that the hunger was still there so we looked towards the Multiplay UK Masters as a line-up and managed to qualify with relative ease. After a chat as a team, we realised we all had similar and realistic goals going forward. With a mix of new and old talent, we’ll be looking towards the upcoming Insomnia Gaming Festival and any other online/offline events that are feasible for us as a team. It’s great that we can do this as a UK team under a UK organisation like FM and we appreciate the trust Darren, Bret and their sponsors have put in us.
So with that all said, the new names to enter the fold, under the FM brand, are the following;
Neil “nEiLZiNHo” Finlay
George “hudzG” Hoskins
Som “s0m” Hadow
Tramaine “v” Stanley
Aaron “fre1” Frei
Phil “Whindanski” Nicholas (Coach)
The roster is filled with some known faces – as well as some relatively newer faces, including the addition of Phil “Whindanski” Nicholas, who’ll be filling the role of both the coach as well as an acting 6th for the lineup.
George “HudzG” Hoskins, a Counter-Strike Source player who has played in teams such as 4Kings and managed to find his way to the top of the domestic scene whilst still challenging at the European level. He is one of the most accomplished players from the UK, gaining results against lineups such as Fnatic and Reason, in times where both proved dominant. I thought it best fitting to go directly to him to get an insight on this new lineup, as well as getting a recap from him on the high’s and lows of his playing career.
So, where did you start out in Counter-Strike?
I started playing CSS around 2006 in a team called myteq , before that I had brief experience with 1.5/6 but never really playing it at a high level. 2007 was my first real break through with zBoard @ i30 where we managed to take 3rd place behind Fnatic and I believe at the time reason. From there eventually I joined Reason gaming who went on to become one of the best teams in the world with an eu lineup that consisted of (me , jimmy, c0bain , warclown , fetish and later on I left leaving helblinde and giftig to replace myself and c0bain). From there I played in London Mint for the brief period that CGS was around and then later on joined mTw where I played out the remainder of css career playing in German EPS and various international competitions.
So, you’ve found yourself in FM eSports now, we can already tell a little about how that came around from the statement in FM’s release, but is there anything more to add?
Well around the time of EZSKINS I was working as a full time personal trainer which meant my time eventually became pretty limited due to long and irregular gym hours. This unfortunately lead to the end of that team. And a lot of personal issues that I had to deal with. 2 weeks ago I was contacted by Neil if I would ever consider playing CS at a competitive level again, and I actually said no. Again due to various reasons that effected my life quite heavily outside of the game. If I ever played again I wanted to set realistic goals and be able to commit enough time myself to have the best chance of achieving them. Luckily I now work for myself freelance which means I am able to deligate time and also take time off when needed. Which means I can pursue playing and streaming again and see where it takes me. The guys initially asked me just to play some faceit’s to see if I had the passion still and to help them out in the qualifier, it quickly became apparent that I enjoyed competing again in this environment and the hunger from fre1 and stan combined just felt good and my hunger slowly started to come back. And I feel that FM is the perfect environment for myself and us to grow as a team and I also feel I can help the younger players grow their mindset and pass on what I have learnt throughout the years. The main goal being Iseries and competing in CEVO main. Any other goals will come after those and we all have realistic expectations.
Lastly, we heard rumblings of you / the roster wanting to keep this move low-profile, is there anything you’d be up to highlight in regards to that?
The reason for that is simple, I didn’t want the team to be about a huge comeback again or that we are going to do all these great things or strive to do them. I just want to enjoy the game with the guys and play in the leagues and see where it takes us, like we did in mTw originally. We are here were playing actively and going to do our best. Obviously joining FM we needed to do a small announcement and this it. Outside of that I will be streaming and trying to regain the form I had in css. No more interviews.
We can only look forward to what George and the rest of the team are able to bring to the table, a lineup consisting of both new and old faces. With the upcoming Epic.Lan as well as iSeries, both are certainly set to be showstoppers for the UK Counter-Strike scene, with shake-ups happening scene wide.
Though, it’s important to note, the new FM lineup is formed around players who have a joy for the game, nothing more — any results that come from that are down to them playing actively, and pushing to play at their best, but for them, this isn’t about a comeback or playing under the biggest organisations, it’s about them loving the game. In fact, George spoke to me directly about how the lineup dont plan on making any moves away from FM, believing that it is the best possible home for the lineup, with both strong management and sponsors to back them. It’s also worth pushing the idea that playing for joy doesn’t provide any excuses for the lineup, as they still aim to compete at the highest level. Something that is echoed perfectly from George in the interview he granted us.
Team BEASTS announced their arrival to the UK market earlier this month, unveiling some of the most talented players in the UK. Despite a number of offers from organisations all over Europe, they have decided to join the UK organisation, Team Infused.
Days after losing their long-term team leader, James “redSNK” Littlewood, and leaving no one to rebuild their CSGO presence, Infused have filled the gap with this new powerhouse lineup consisting of players who have seen their fair share of tournament victories.
The new Team Infused are currently taking part in the CEVO Main League and the ESL Major League. The lineup is also widely expected soon on LAN and in future international tournaments.
Before joining the team made a change, replacing George “ZED” Bear with Kia “Surreal” Mann, leaving the lineup looking like this:
Philip “Whindanski” Nicholas
Som “s0m” Haddow
Kia “Surreal” Man
Neil “neilzinho” Finlay
Josh “mole” Rowley
Neil “NeiL_M” Murphy (coach)
Neil is no strange to calling Infused “home” as he coached their teams before, and always pushed them to do their best.
Team Infused have always been the place to stay at in UK for many years now. We are happy to finally come to an agreement with Infused for 2016.
Neilzinho/Whindanski & mole have been working hard since December and patiently making sure the correct 5 was selected. We picked over som last month and he’s been so impressive and really fitted into the team. We also added Surreal who recently had a very impressive iseries also winning that event & personally delighted to bring such a talented AWPer to the complete the lineup!
We are going participate in a lot of online tournament like CEVO:Professional Bracket, and hopefully we will qualify in some qualifiers to get to some more tier2/3 tournaments in 2016. I’d like to thank Andy & Adam for giving us this opportunity. We are looking forward to what 2016 has in hold for us!