ENCE have announced the signing of ex-HAVU players Joonas “doto” Forss and Eetu “sAw” Saha. The Finnish duo will round up ENCE’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster ahead of the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIV – Beijing, set to begin next week.
Filling in the Gaps with doto and sAw
The signings of doto and sAw got announced this Thursday, November 5, when it was also revealed the Finnish duo will serve as replacements for Slaava “Twista” Räsänen and Jani “Aerial” Jussila, who left the active roster in September and late October, respectively. Both Twista and Aerial are, however, still tied with the organization, neither is available to represent ENCE for different reasons.
Twista got removed from the active roster and relegated to an analyst position on September 30, following a 15.75-month Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) ban for using the spectator bug. Meanwhile, Aerial decided to take an indefinite sick leave earlier last month, citing “issues with his well-being” as the reason for his departure from the team.
By losing Twista and Aerial, ENCE was reduced to only four players on their active roster, effectively leaving them unable to compete and in a tough position with a lack of options to fill in the gaps. However, ENCE concluded they want to keep a full Finish lineup and coaching staff, which ushered in talks with their regional rivals HAVU, with whom they struck a deal for two of their players.
Leaving HAVU Wasn’t an Easy Decision
After joining ENCE, doto spoke about the move and noted that leaving HAVU was a very tough decision. Although he has joined the Finnish squad just over a year ago (September 2019), his stint with HAVU marked the most successful period in his esports career.
With HAVU, doto reached quite a few impressive feats, including title-winning runs at the Elisa CS:GO Finnish Championship 2020 and theFunSpark ULTI 2020 – Europe and BLAST Rising. And a top-four finish at the ESEA Season 32: Global Challenge and a bronze medal from the inaugural season of FLASHPOINT.
Since their successful run through the Elisa CS:GO Finnish Championship 2020, HAVU started to underperform and not only crashed out of the FLASHPOINT 2 qualifiers but also managed a disastrous 16th-18th place finish at the LOOT.BET/CS Season 8 – although they did manage a top-four finish at the Elisa Invitational Fall 2020.
“We [HAVU] experienced a lot together. We were stuck in the US for a month and a half and know each other really well,” said doto.
“It was a tough decision to make, but I see it as a necessary move in terms of continuity of my career. You don’t really get these chances often”.
While doto had a tough time choosing whether to leave HAVU, sAw’s decision was much easier to make. The Finnish CS:GO veteran, and now former HAVU captain has been contemplating hanging up his mouse and keyboard to focus on coaching, which made ENCE’s offer an excellent opportunity to chase his dreams.
The 28-year-old CS:GO pro has joined HAVU in May 2018 and has even enjoyed a short two-month stint as a head coach (January-March 2019) of the team before returning to the battlefield. He has since played a pivotal role in HAVU’s success in their competitive endeavors. However, his performances as of late started to stagnate as he rarely managed to break the 1.00 HLTV rating.
“Today marks a new chapter in my life as I will end my playing career and move on to a coaching role. It’s a move I have been pondering on for a while,” said sAw.
ENCE to Show Off New Roster at the IEM Beijing
With a full five-man roster which includes doto, Aleksi “allu” Jalli, Jere “sergej” Salo, Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen, and the in-game leader Miikka “suNny” Kemppi, ENCE are now set to compete at the Intel Extreme Masters XV – Beijing Online: Europe, where they will face off against some of the strongest European CS:GO teams.
The Finnish squad got seeded into Group B alongside North, Heroic, G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, BIG, mousesports, and Astralis. ENCE’s first match of the tournament is slated for Friday, November 13, when they will face off against a four-time Major champions Astralis, who they last faced in June during the BLAST Premier: Spring 2020 European Showdown and won 16-13.
ENCE is also confirmed to attend the DreamHack Masters Winter 2020: Europe at the end of November, as well as the 13th and 14th season of ESL Pro League in March and September 2021.