Former fnatic duo Jesper ‘JW’ Wecksell and Robin ‘flusha’ Rönnquist have brought back EYEBALLERS, one of the most iconic names of the old days in Swedish esports.
JW and flusha have a vision for Swedish Counter-Strike. And rather than wait for the phone to ring, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
The Swedish pair, who won a series of international titles during their time together on Fnatic, including three Majors, have joined forces to revive EYEBALLERS, an old-school name in Swedish esports.
The EYEBALLERS Are Back.https://t.co/1iETgyVx9a#EYEBALLERS pic.twitter.com/VMG17aB2Lq
— EYEBALLERS (@EYEBALLERS) June 9, 2022
JW and flusha have acquired the branding rights from the previous owners and are now majority owners in the company, with the former taking up the role of CEO. Based in Avesta, Sweden, EYEBALLERS have already secured three partners: gaming headset manufacturer JBL Quantum, plant-based food company Peas of Heaven, and CS:GO skins site Bitskins.
EYEBALLERS will initially focus on CS:GO, with Anton ‘Sapec’ Palmgren, Casper ‘SHiNE’ Wennerberg and Leo ‘Svedjehed’ Svedjehed joining JW and flusha. The team has been competing for several months under the name ‘Hellslayers’, reaching the 62nd place in HLTV.org’s world rankings in late March.
“Inspired by the legacy of EYEBALLERS and the great memories that flusha and I have, we realised that acquiring an old brand would be the best case,” JW told Dexerto, pointing to Astralis’ return in 2016 after acquiring the rights from the original founders of the Finnish Counter-Strike team, and NIP’s multiple rebrandings over the years.
“We think EYEBALLERS is the real deal. We believe in EYE in the long run and we are extremely excited to build an organization to really foster new stars and talents.”
Who were EYEBALLERS?
Founded in 1998, EYEBALLERS was a Swedish organization that competed in a number of first-person shooter titles, including Counter-Strike, Quake and Battlefield.
EYEBALLERS featured some of the best talents Swedish Counter-Strike had to offer in the early 2000s, including Tommy ‘Potti’ Ingemarsson, Daniel ‘Hyper’ Kuusisto, and Harley ‘dsn’ Örwall. The team notably won CPL Summer 2004 after beating Swedish rivals SK Gaming in the grand final.
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In 2008, the organization closed its doors due to a lack of good results and the players wanting to leave for greener pastures.
“EYEBALLERS was not only a successful Quake Clan but also a very famous CS team,” JW said. “It was also the traditional second team that rivalled the established teams (like NiP/SK) back then in Sweden and competed internationally.
“This is a tone that we really like with the new EYEBALLERS. We are here to challenge, not to just stay around.”
Challenging the status quo
Time will tell whether EYEBALLERS will manage to live up to the legacy of the old team, but the project provides a much-needed boost to the Swedish CS:GO scene, where there has been a shortage of talent in recent years.
Once one of the world’s top talent factories in Counter-Strike, Sweden has long been overtaken by Denmark. For the first time in history, it was not represented by a single player in HLTV.org’s most recent Top 20 Players of the Year list. Besides NIP, only Finest (29th) fly Sweden’s flag in HLTV.org’s top 30 world ranking at the moment.
JW wants to change that paradigm and return Sweden to its former glory in the game
“Sweden needs one squad to cheer on; EYEBALLERS will be that team,” he said. “Flusha and I will do our utmost for us to be that team, and with our players we believe we will revive the Swedish scene.
“A project like EYE has been missing in Swedish CS for the past years, which is the biggest reason for talents not making a leap to the next level. There is plenty of talent out there in Sweden, we just have not been taking care of them in a good way. Until now.”
EYEBALLERS CS:GO roster
- Jesper ‘JW’ Wecksell
- Robin ‘flusha’ Rönnquist
- Anton ‘Sapec’ Palmgren
- Casper ‘SHiNE’ Wennerberg
- Leo ‘Svedjehed’ Svedjehed