ENCE explored the market in CS:GO during the summer player break to find a replacement for his star player Lotan “Spinx” Giladi, who agreed to join Vitality, and ended up signing the former OG rifler Valdemar “valde” Vangså after tryouts.
Valde, though, wasn’t the first option for ENCE, despite having played with in-game leader Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer in Heroic during 2016 and 2017. Before reaching out to the Danish rifler, ENCE was more interested in signing Sprout’s Romanian rifler Laurențiu “lauNX” Țârlea but did not reach an agreement with Sprout.
“LauNX was the only one where an offer was made early on and he wanted to go,” Snappi said in an interview with HLTV. “We bid a lot but Sprout denied it and his agent didn’t put a buyout in his contract. After that, we did tryouts on some players as we weren’t 100 percent sure who to go for. Valde did amazing and the team preferred him. I think he will do great and he truly seems motivated to do big things as he didn’t achieve what he wants to. He has great comms and with the addition of him it opens up more possibilities to play more ‘open’ rounds without an end goal.”
In addition to considering valde to replace Spinx, ENCE also thought about Polish legend Janusz “Snax” Pogorzelski. The 29-year-old has been a free agent since December 2021 when he parted ways with Anonymo and recently played for ENCE at IEM Dallas as a temporary substitute for Spinx.
Nobody was expecting Snax to show up in great form after being away from tier-one tournaments for a long time but he exceeded all expectations. The former Virtus Pro player was ENCE’s highest-rated player at IEM Dallas despite having almost no time to practice with them and helped the international team to reach the grand finals.
“Yes hey [Snax] was considered,” Snappi said. “We had four different players we picked between as a team, and he was one of them. It was close that we picked him. I love Janusz and I’m truly sorry that I didn’t hold up my tweet after Dallas. I wrote it both to help him and also because I actually meant it at the time. So, sorry to the Polish community, but mostly Janusz for not picking him. I’m sure he will find somewhere soon though, he is not like other older players, he has motivation, drive, and most important talent. I really hope I see him again soon, he is amazing.”
Valde and ENCE’s new AWPer Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia will debut at ESL Pro League season 16 in September. ENCE are part of Group C alongside Heroic, Astralis, MOUZ, Complexity, and HEET.