By: Zachary Lange
With only a few weeks before pro league action in Counter Strike picks back up, eUnited’s newest lineup has continued to put countless hours trying to build team chemistry.
Some teams participating in Season 9 of the ESL Pro League, which begin April 12, have been teammates for years. eUnited’s five core players have been teammates for roughly a few weeks. At this point, any high level play in various lobbies serve as a way for the team to grow together each night.
All of the new team members have unique experiences to bring to the table, and look to capitalize on already being qualified for the EPL and the Esports Championship Series, which will kick off March 11 with the first of five weekly tournaments worth $25,000 each.
Here’s a brief look into the backgrounds of each new member on eUnited:
Austin “Cooper” Abadir
Cooper joined eUnited in November, and instantly made an impact with his abilities using the AWP. The main sniper will also serve as eUnited’s team captain.
After seeing his brother Ryan “freakazoid” Abadir become successful at Counter Strike, Cooper knew that he had to pursue a full-time career in the competitive esport as well.
Now, the goal is to build a new culture as a leader for eUnited.
“My hopes are that we can work together and continue to improve over time,” Cooper said.
Victor “food” Wong
Balancing college studies and playing Counter Strike throughout the past few years, food didn’t know if playing professionally full time would ever materialize.
But after being invited to play in the FPL Circuit, an online lobby of top players who run pick-up games, his interest in playing sparked.
The rifler, who occasionally uses an AWP depending on the map and situation, knows that a lack of experience may impact the team starting out in pro league play.
“None of us on the team have experienced an EPL season (except Kaleb “moose” Jayne) and we have to try our best to make sure that the pressure does not affect us too much,” food said.
Anthony “vanity” Malaspina
Like food, vanity also had to balance college when playing amateur Counter Strike.
But when the opportunity arose to make the leap into professional play, vanity put college on hold to pursue the chance.
As an in-game leader, vanity has the ever important job of calling out mid-round strategy and knowing each situation that can occur in a game. It’s a demanding position that only experience can teach.
That’s why preparing for the pro league has been all about putting the hours in, both individually and as a team, vanity said.
Edgar “MarKE” Jimenez
Of the new players, MarKE may have the most experience.
MarKE has previously been a member of NRG Esports and Gale Force Esports, and has played professionally since at least 2016. In that year, he placed third at the World Electronic Sports Games Championship as a member of a Mexican esports team.
Like food, MarKE will be a rifler on eUnited’s main roster.
The reformed squad will get a chance to showcase their abilities during an online qualifier for DreamHack: Rio that begins on Sunday.