2020 with SKADE CS:GO

The hardest working and yet the most unfortunate team of 2020 in European CS:GO?

What a year this has been! Hard work, success, adversity and a stellar display of mental strength! 2020 has not been easy on anyone, but what a roller coaster ride it has been for our young squad.

After ending 2019 on a high with a breakthrough into the top 50 of the EU rankings; winning a couple of tournaments and impressing the scene despite just a few months of work. We got a rough start to the year as we learned that our biggest tournament win of 2019 was a straight up scam. Along with other teams we never got paid for our hard work and amazing run. In response to this our players showed us how mentally strong they were. Even when faced with the loss of a rather big amount of cash for them they decided to conquer new heights.

As early as February, we decided it was time to take things up a notch and brought in coach Nikolay “pNshr” Paunin! The decision start paying off immediately as our team took a spot in the top 2 of the European qualifiers for Flashpoint (Season 1)! The guys were flying high and ready to take their skills across the pond to fight for the highly coveted franchise spot. Only one thing was left to do, on a really short notice we had to get the visas to travel and compete in Los Angeles, USA. We teamed up with Flashpoint and FACEIT to make it happen and in what felt like a record time the paperwork got done, meetings were booked and all seemed ready. However, misfortune struck again as the US consulate worker misinterpreted one of the laws and declined our application. It turned out our boys had done everything correctly, but there simply was not enough time to get a new case worker and apply again. We had to pass on an opportunity of a lifetime due to a human error.

As early as February, we decided it was time to take things up a notch and brought in coach Nikolay “pNshr” Paunin! The decision start paying off immediately as our team took a spot in the top 2 of the European qualifiers for Flashpoint (Season 1)! The guys were flying high and ready to take their skills across the pond to fight for the highly coveted franchise spot. Only one thing was left to do, on a really short notice we had to get the visas to travel and compete in Los Angeles, USA. We teamed up with Flashpoint and FACEIT to make it happen and in what felt like a record time the paperwork got done, meetings were booked and all seemed ready. However, misfortune struck again as the US consulate worker misinterpreted one of the laws and declined our application. It turned out our boys had done everything correctly, but there simply was not enough time to get a new case worker and apply again. We had to pass on an opportunity of a lifetime due to a human error.

Once again, we were on a roll. Climbing ranks and things were looking good. However, over the next couple of months something felt off. Within the team, progress was not up to their own expectations and we ran into a bad streak of matches just barely saving our spot in MDL while dropping out early in a couple of tournaments. It was time for a change and new input. In June, we parted ways with Ivan “Rock1nG” Stratiev and Kostadin “rafftu” Turbinov and in came Blagoi “Oxygen” Dimitrov and Viktor “Duplicate” Mitev and a much-needed summer break was planned.

As the summer break came to an end the guys came out all guns blazing and had their eyes set on getting back to the record ranks, we had before the summer. They had deep run-ins at almost all the big qualifiers, crushed their way in MDL and showed solid performances in online tournaments. Once again, we were climbing fast, kicking ass and taking names. With a rank of #40 in the world and #20 in EU the boys were on fire! But then shit hits the fan, again! ESIC announces their first findings in the “coach bug abuse case” and together with our coach Nikolay “pNshr” Paunin we had already reported this bug in one of our matches. His case was a minor one as he simply had not seen, nor heard about the bug before and didn’t know what to do when it happened. The match it self had little to no impact as we still lost it, but ESIC handed our coach a 3 month ban and we accepted it.

This could have been the end of that story, but ESL decided to show that they were also serious about the ESIC report. They did however look for the lowest impact action while still showing their “strength” and as a result SKADE got hit hard. As the ONLY team we got punished with a ban from MDL as we “won our spot” in the previous season and they seized all winnings from teams who had been involved with the mentioned coaches.

Once again, the players of SKADE were faced with unreal disappointment and could almost not believe how much misfortune could hit them. This time around, things felt dark and as a manager I was worried for my players’ wellbeing. But once more they AMAZED me as they dug down again, brought their focus back and REFUSED to give in! They signed up for everything available and then some and put up a grind that was unmatched in the EU scene. SKADE ended the year with 363 official HLTV matches, more than anyone else in EU!

The guys closed out the year with a wild run that no one thought possible with all that had happened. Starting with a 2nd place finish at Bellum Gens Elite – Stara Zagora, they took back-to-back-to-back tournament wins!! Banking in cyberPRO Series #2, OGA Counter PIT Season 6 AND ESEA Cash Cup – Europe. I think it is safe to say that most people who have followed the team were shook and amazed.

Working with these guys have certainly been a roller coaster of emotions ranging from frustration to the purest forms of joy! In just one year we have experienced more action and fun then most teams get in years. As we have now started a new year with new challenges and dreams, we hope to see more good fortune for the boys. 2021 will be a HUGE year for SKADE and I am sure it will be just as much of a joyride as 2020 was. I want to give praise to our players and staff for enduring what we have been through so far and I can’t wait to continue this ride.

A special thanks goes out to the fantastic players I have had the joy of working with over the past year. They have shown what it means to get back up after getting knocked down. Thank you!!

Denislav “dennyslaw” Dimitrov

Alex “Rainwaker” Petrov

Viktor “Duplicate” Mitev

Blagoi “Oxygen” Dimitrov

Nikolay “pNshr” Paunin

Teodor “SPELLAN” Nikolov

Kostadin “rafftu” Turbinov

Ivan “Rock1nG” Stratiev

  • Kim-Erik Aanes, CEO SKADE

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