ENCE skirts ESIC punishment, moves coach Twista to analyst role

Nick Johnson • October 1, 23:29

When the Esports Integrity Commission released its report on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s coaching exploit, ENCE‘s Slaava “Twista” Räsänen was on the list of coaches facing sanctions.

The Finn was cited for using CSGO’s coaching exploit alongside 36 other coaches after an investigation into the matter. For using the exploit, the ESIC handed down a 15-month punishment to Twista that prohibits the coach from interacting with any players when competing in tournaments hosted by the ESIC. But despite the punishment’s limited nature, ENCE has decided to make a change. It announced that it had moved Twista out of the team’s head coach position but had decided to keep him on as the team’s analyst.

ENCE opens doors to international coaches, keeps Twista at arms length

While it seems like ENCE is skirting the ESIC’s decision, it’s a clever way to ensure that Twista’s strategic mind stays within the organization. With so many young players on its roster, not having in-game coaching during CSGO’s online era would be a hard blow to the team. This way, ENCE retains Twista as a coach in all but name while the organization adds someone else familiar with calling mid-round in CSGO. That seems to be ENCE’s plan, according to a tweet from the team’s official Twitter account.

Given comments from ENCE’s general manager Niklas Ojalainen, ENCE is accepting coaching applications from international CSGO experts and opened its doors to non-Finns with CSGO experience.  That is a significant development as ENCE has always been an all-Finnish team by design. Since its return to competition in 2018, ENCE has only employed Finnish players, coaches, and analysts. The team’s own return announcement heralded the organization as the one that would put Finnish CSGO on display.

“We have worked around the clock last few weeks to put together a team we believe combines all the key elements to work on bringing Finland back on the international map in CSGO,” the announcement said.

ENCE’s sudden exploration of international applicants is more than important. It shows just how far teams like ENCE will go to technically comply with ESIC regulations without damaging their own tournament chances. It also shows just how little of an effect the ESIC’s ruling has actually had on the day-to-day of a CSGO team. In fact, several other teams have also made similar moves, including OG retaining head coach Casper “ruggah” Due.

Twista was one of the most penalized coaches on the report, having triggered the exploit 53 times during PGL Krakow’s Minor closed qualifiers and HellCase Cup 6 while serving as coach for iGame.com. This ultimately made him one of the most harshly penalized coaches of the entire report.

The second and final part of the ESIC’s report is due out at the end of October, which the CSGO industry is hoping is the end of the matter.

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