Ashley “ashhh” Battye’s GamerLegion has notched their first tournament win in two years taking home $30,000 for winning the online Thunderpick Bitcoin Series #2. Despite falling to the lower bracket in their opening fixture, the eclectic international mix led by Kamil ‘siuhy’ Szkaradek eliminated the likes of IKLA and GODSENT before avenging themselves against kenny “KennyS” Schrub’s and the Falcons in the grand final. The victory is the biggest win of ashhh’s career and the largest single prize pool won by the organisation to date.
GamerLegion were in control throughout the final, laying down the pressure on their opponent’s pick of Vertigo and restricting the Frenchmen to just 5 T rounds. ashhh’s troops would not let up, taking the T-side pistol at the switch along with the next four rounds, and though Team Falcons would answer back in the 21st, GamerLegion would secure the map at the next opportunity, 16-6.
Anubis did not see much change, as GamerLegion were simply a class above on the new map. Despite Falcons securing the opening pistol, their international opponents won 11 rounds without reply on the T-side on their way to a 13-2 half, as Frederik “acoR” Gyldstrand topped the scoreboard with a whopping 120.1 ADR. Falcons were able to muster a fight on their own offensive, winning 7 rounds once the sides were swapped, but the gap simply proved too large as GamerLegion ran out deserved 2-0 winners.
ashhh has been a part of the German organisation since 2020, when he joined up with his former Vexed Gaming team-mates William “mezii” Merriman and Adam “Adam9130” Ahmad. He became the last Brit standing after the former was sold to Cloud9 in 2020 and the latter was benched along with William “dobbo” Dobson in 2021. The team, built around a Swedish core including Alfred “RuStY” Karlsson and Isak “Isak” Fahlen, found success hard to come by in the cut-throat tier 2 EU scene, with victories in Flashe Super Slam and ESEA Spring Cash Cup #5 2021 the only notable successes although they did manage a three-month spell in HLTV’s top 30 in early 2022.
Changes were made last summer following a last-place finish at the PGL Antwerp EU RMR, with only Isak and iM remaining from the previous core. With ashhh retained as coach, the addition of acoR, siuhy and Nicolas “Keoz” Dgus immediately brought success as GamerLegion made it through the IEM Rio Open Qualifiers, stunned G2 at the European RMR A, and ultimately qualified for the organisation’s first Major with a victory over B8 Esports.
Sadly, despite opening best-of-one victories at IEM Rio over 9z and Team Vitality, the team found best-of-three matches more difficult, and exited the competition after defeats to Bad News Eagles, FURIA and Cloud9. A first tournament victory will hopefully serve to prove their Major run was not a fluke, and give the team a good platform for 2023 and a possible repeat at the BLAST Paris Major.
Other UK representation in the tournament came from the former Into the Breach lineup, who competed in the main Swiss stage under the organisation’s tag before they were dropped in December. Adam9130’s men reverse swept the Swiss bracket, with defeats to IKLA and EYEBALLERS being followed by victories over Alternate Attax, Dynamo Eclot, and Monte Esports. They could not continue that momentum after adding Robin “robiin” Sjogren and Max “PANIX” Hungebruch, however, losing to UNGENTIUM and Sangal Esports in the play-in stage and finishing in 15th-18th place.