eUnited bring in FNS; Ace benched
eUnited are looking to rejuvenate their game by bringing in former Cloud9 in-game leader and chessmaster Pujan "FNS" Mehta to replace Brandon "Ace" Winn, the organization has announced. The change will also see the team's current in-game leader, Skyler "Relyks" Weaver, pick up the AWP in place of Ace.
FNS gave the following statement to HLTV.org:
I'm very happy to announce that I'll be stepping in as the In game leader for eUnited. Not competing for the past 2-3 months has been difficult but refreshing in a sense. It gave me time to reflect on everything that went wrong with C9 but I'm happy they found a lineup they're confident in. As for me, I couldn't be more motivated up to get back in the server and play with this group of talented players. This game has been my life for the past 4 years and I can't wait to show everyone what this team is capable of. I have the complete respect of every player/coach on this team and so far, the organization has shown me nothing but love. That's all any player can ask for & I'm grateful for this opportunity. For all the people who have consistently supported me, whether that be family, friends, fans, ex-teammates, whoever, I really do appreciate it. Over the last couple of months, I've recieved tons of positive messages and I'm genuinely thankful for that.
FNS has been a free agent since late July, when he was released from his contract on Cloud9 following his benching from the team just two months prior. During his short month-and-a-half long stint on the team, FNS attended DreamHack Masters Marseille, IEM Sydney, ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals, and ECS Season 5 Finals. Cloud9 only managed to make it past the group stage in France, picking up a 2-0 victory over FaZe in their group winner match before falling to Gambit 0-2 in the quarterfinals.
Ace has been a part of the core eUnited roster since it's formation, dating back to 2016 when he was a part of Eclipse. That roster went on to become Rise Nation before eventually being picked up by eUnited in March of this year.
During Ace's time with the team, eUnited managed to win Gfinity Winter Series, claim a spot in ESL Pro League after a successful run in MDL Season 27, place 5-6th at DreamHack Open Austin, and narrowly miss out on a spot at the FACEIT Major after a loss to compLexity in the consolidation final of the Americas Minor. The team most recently managed to qualify for both IEM Chicago and DreamHack Open Atlanta with a 3-2 series win over Cloud9 in the closed qualifier for Chicago and a 2-0 win over Spacestation for Atlanta.
eUnited's overall progress has been at somewhat of an impasse, finding middling results online and falling short on LAN against similar caliber opposition. They currently sit at a 7-9 record in EPL Season 8, only narrowly making the cut for top six after difficult losses to Liquid, Renegades, and NRG.
Not all is lost however, as the team did manage to split series with some of the league's more harrowing opposition in Cloud9, Ghost, and MIBR, and more recently fought back with 2-0 wins over Rogue and compLexity. Having played 16 of their 22 games already, eUnited will need to bring their A game when they go up against Envy, INTZ, and Luminosity in the coming weeks.
The team also sit in seventh place in ECS Season 6, having played 14 of their 18 matches. Their path to Arlington is a little more treacherous as they have yet to go up against Renegades and compLexity in the FACEIT-run league, but with the possible addition of FNS' mastermind, a small chance to qualify still remains.
eUnited are set to attend IEM Chicago at the start of November, where they'll have their first true taste of top-tier international opposition as they take on the likes of Astralis, Na`Vi, and FaZe. Shortly afterward, the team will also attend DreamHack Open Atlanta, where they'll look to finally add a DreamHack Open trophy to their cabinet after a lackluster foray at DreamHack Open Montreal.
eUnited's roster now looks as follows:
- Kaleb "moose" Jayne
- Will "dazzLe" Loafman
- Michael "dapr" Gulino
- Skyler "Relyks" Weaver
- Pujan "FNS" Mehta
- Jared "osorandom" Hartman (Coach)
- Brandon "Ace" Winn (Inactive)
eUnited are slated to debut with their new roster against Envy and INTZ in back-to-back matchups for ESL Pro League Season 8 on October 31st, with their first match kicking off at 7:15 PM EDT.