The loss of Jere “sergej” Salo to military service could be very bad news for Finnish esports org ENCE’s prospects “for the rest of their sorry existence,” according to Richard Lewis.
ENCE started out as a genuine underdog story from Finland, a region that has definitely contributed its fair share of great players to professional Counter-Strike over the years.
When Sergej joined the team at 16 he was already one of the standout players on the roster, and helped ENCE compete as one of the top teams in the world. But, the cutting of Aleksi ‘Aleksib’ Virolainen in early 2020 sent the team into a “death spiral,” according to Lewis.
“He [sergej] looks to have gone into a terminal slump, I mean he’s barely scraping a one rating on HLTV.” Lewis said. “He clearly wants out, and then you hear the news that he’s being benched with immediate effect because he wants to go do his national service in Finland and get it out of the way now.”
Finland requires 3-6 months of compulsory military service for eligible males, however, it is possible to defer or put it off if you play esports, which is what many Finnish pros do, choosing to wait to do it until later.
For sergej to want to go and complete his service at 18, after being one of the best young players in the world “tells you all you need to know about what is going on in ENCE right now,” according to Lewis.
The fourth Chipotle Challenger series featured another star-studded lineup of contestants, including:
Streamers / Pro Players
Celebrities / Athletes
Tyler Joseph (Twenty One Pilots)
In the Chipotle Challenger Series Fortnite event, there were four qualifiers for teams of three to try to get through. Teams scored one point for each elimination they earned, as well as points for placing.
Up to 1000 trio teams
Private lobbies for a 3-hour play window
Ladder system that allows registrants to play for the whole 3-hour window
Qualifying teams then had the chance to go head to head in a private lobby with teams of streaming superstars, celebrities and athletes.
Top 4 teams from each qualifier advance
17 teams of invited talent
Chipotle Challenger Series Prize Pool
A total of $50,000 in prize money was up for grabs. But, that’s not all – as with previous events, the top three teams also secured themselves free burritos for a year!
1st: $30,000 + free burritos for 1 year
2nd: $15,000 + free burritos for 1 year
3rd: $5,000 + free burritos for 1 year
Previous Chipotle Challenger Series results
Here’s a look back at how previous events in the Chipotle Challenger series have finished.
Chipotle Warzone Challenge #1 – April 30
Here are the top-10 placing teams for the first Chipotle Challenger Series event. The winners, a surprise team, actually had to go through the qualifier stages to make it to the main event.
As with the first Challengers Series tournament, the second event on July 16 also featured a relatively unknown pair of Warzone players top the star-studded list of participants, taking home $25,000 and a year’s worth of burritos.
The Trio blitzed through to first place with three extremely high scoring games out of their five in the grand finals. 77 points pushed them just ahead of the second-best team on the day by a total of three points.
A look at the top three Trios at the end of the Chipotle Challenger Series event.
What is the Chipotle Challenger Series?
The Chipotle Challenger Series first launched last year at DreamHack in Dallas, TX and is now virtual for 2020 with an online tournament that gives every fan across the U.S. and Canada the opportunity to join the competition and prove their skills in some of the world’s most popular games.
A live-broadcasted Finale is held, featuring the top-performing teams from the Qualifiers up against the streamers and celebrities.
These teams have the opportunity to go head-to-head against fan-favorites in esports as well as Chipotle-fan gamers in sports, music, and entertainment.
Some of the big names that took part in the first tournament of the 2020 Chipotle Challenger Series included award-winning DJ Steve Aoki, actors Finn Wolfhard, Jerry Ferrara, Colton Underwood, and Cameron Fuller, esports players Tommey, Rallied, Shane ‘ShAnE’ McKerral, and Crowder, streamers ItzWarsz, Symfuhny, Di3seL, TSM Diego, and HusKerrs, YouTuber FaZe Swagg, baseball players Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger, and Joey Gallo, DJ-Gamer CRAY, USA Hockey’s Hilary Knight, elite basketball prospects James Wiseman, R.J. Hampton, and Tre Jones, U.S. Soccer’s Allie Long, and athlete Demi Bagby.
Chipotle and esports
This is far from Chipotle’s first foray into the world of esports. In 2017 the company made headlines as one of OpTic Gaming’s main sponsors and the Chipotle logo was on proud display when the organization’s Call of Duty roster took home the trophy at the 2017 Call of Duty World League Championship.
The Challenger Series first kicked off at DreamHack Dallas, where players duked it out on PUBG, before moving to Fortnite for the second event at DreamHack Atlanta.
In 2018 Chipotle became a title sponsor of Team SoloMid’s competitive Fortnite roster, specifically the TSM Fortnite house in California. This has led to various collaborations, including one of the world’s most recognized streamers, Ali ‘Myth’ Kabbani, creating his own burrito inside a Chipotle store.
Today, CouRage is a streaming superstar – but how did he get there? This is the story of how Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop went from a young fan with a passion for esports, to one of Call of Duty’s most iconic commentators, to one of the most popular streamers in the world.
How did @CouRageJD became a world famous streamer? 🤔
The former Call of Duty caster tells @ThePhenomenalEE the key moments of his career which led him to stardom at #DHATL19 🔥