Amidst the chaos of the PGL CS2 Major Copenhagen RMRs we must not neglect our regional scenes. Yes, K10 are potentially mimicking Viperio but ignore that for now. We must look towards DuckDuckGOOSE. After a third-place finish at the UKIC League Fall 2023 Finals DuckDuckGOOSE seemingly impressed people because they will represent Coalesce entering 2024.
Coalesce is a household name in UK Counter-Strike. Forming in 2021 as six organisations merged, however, their ability to retain a team for long periods has been an issue. They have boasted some of the best players in the scene, but just not for long. They entered the scene with Tom “arTisT” Clarke and Sebastian “volt” Malos’s team winning EPIC.LAN 34 and SiGMA Esports Technologies Cup in Malta. However, in 2022 when the contracts ended, the team departed.
2022 was a rocky year for Esports as they attempted to go international signing a team headlined by Luka “emi” Vuković, but this was anything but successful as they played six maps on HLTV in almost five months and failed to earn promotion from ESEA Advanced.
2023 seemed brighter for the organisation as they signed the successful 1PIN roster. Once again they won an EPIC.LAN, besting Viperio in the finals. And even though they had some good results, making playoffs in CCT events and top four in ESL Premiership, when the contracts expired, the team departed. This marked the longest Coalesce held a roster in three years, and it was for less than five months.
Now, once again, they enter a new year featuring a new squad. Coalesce has signed DuckDuckGOOSE, but not the same roster that played at the UKIC Finals. Firstly, the Lithuanian AWPer Lukas ‘luccs‘ Zdanavičius left due to disagreements with the organisation.
My teammates have decided to align with an organisation that I personally didn’t align with, and this means we’re moving separate ways. Best of luck to them!
LFT main/adv level for next season, awp/rifle role. I’m available full-time and I want to prac minimum 3-4 days a week.
— luccs (@luccs_hs) December 22, 2023
On top of that, the roster also decided to part ways with Fizan “fizzy” Anjum which seemed to spark confusion as he said in a tweet: “Surprised [I got kicked] considering how we did at lan [sic] and were about to sign for an org.”
Going to be looking for a new team for the new season.
The lads decided to move on with me
Surprised considering how we did at lan and were about to sign for an org.
Looking for any Rifle Role and am still very motivated.
— Fizzy (@F1zzy_cs) December 21, 2023
Therefore, as they were joining an organisation, they needed an AWPer and a new rifler. The sniper comes in the form of William “wfn” Maskrey, formally of Arctic Raptors. wfn brings in experience playing at a high level in Europe qualifying for ESEA Advanced, and previously contesting the top echelons of UK Counter-Strike. Unfortunately after a top-three finish at EPIC.LAN 38 and after losing their advanced spot changes were made and wfn was removed. After almost a year hiatus, the AWPer returns to competitive play.
Alongside him is fellow EPIC.LAN 40 intermediate winner Matthew “moz” Gelder, the DuckDuckGOOSE recent stand-in for PrimeOPI at the UKIC LANs. The rifler comes from a stint with Linx Legacy where they got top four at EPIC.LAN 39 and went 8-6 in ESEA Main season 46. Even though the rifler struggled on LAN, he will be looking for long-term success now under Coalesce, and is already familiar with his team-mates from the UKIC LAN.
These two will join the core of Micheal “PrimeOPI” John Fury, Anthony “BehinDx” Luscombe, and Karrar “Karrar” Almayali. Even though unsigned the team still qualified for the UKIC LAN Finals, the only unorged team to do so. Alongside this, they also had a respectable 6-6 scoreline in ESEA Main last season. The hope now is that with more organisational support they will be able to push to greater heights.
UKCSGO reached out to Coalesce Founder and CEO Paul Young for a comment about why they picked up DuckDuckGOOSE and what their expectations are.
I am delighted to have signed this promising roster, they have proved they can compete with the best of UKCS and with the new additions of WFN & Moz I am hoping they can upset a lot of teams in Europe.
Our combined goal is to reach Advanced and expand from there getting more invites for more tournaments.
As mentioned before, Coalesce has had a slew of teams over the last few years, however, this is the first time that the organisation has not picked up a roster that they can just take to EPIC.LAN and win. This is the first time the organisation has to ‘grow’ and ‘invest’ in a team that has potential and is maybe unproven. Moreover, with Coalesce changing a lot in the background it is going to be interesting to see where this team stands in six months.
Coalesce will enter 2024 as such:
Micheal “PrimeOPI” John Fury
Anthony “BehinDx” Luscombe
Karrar “Karrar” Almayali
Matthew “moz” Gelder
William “wfn” Maskrey