OG’s new lineup at the surface appears to be a band of misfits, several of the players have come from the bench of other rosters, having been cut from the active lineup.
In the “Building OG” series, we talk about the who, what, when, where, and why of the players. This time, it’s Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen’s story – how did he get here?
Unlike the previously covered Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, Aleksib’s career did not begin until Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was in control of the scene. He did not have a notable history in 1.6 or Source and is noted to have become an active player in 2015 when he joined Finnish esports organization, Recursive esports.
Aleksib would jump around some lower tier teams through early 2016, eventually drawing the attention of ENCE.
First ENCE encounter
In the latter half of 2016, Aleksib would be recruited by ENCE alongside Tony “arvid” Niemelä after Mikko “xartE” Välimaa was cut from the lineup and Aleksi “allu” Jalli was acquired by FaZe Clan.
This lineup wouldn’t be able to bring home the results the organization was hoping for and just months later ENCE would release its CS:GO lineup on December 1st.
Return to ENCE
After playing on ENCORE and HAVU Gaming through all of 2017, ENCE once again sought Aleksib to guide its new roster.
The organization had brought on a new roster and released it in 2017 but brought back allu on a 2-year deal at the start of 2018 with the intent to build around the AWPer. A month after allu’s return was announced, ENCE revealed the new lineup led by Aleksib and consisting of Jere “sergej” Salo, Jani “Aerial” Jussila, and Sami “xseveN” Laasanen.
During Aleksib’s time with this ENCE lineup, the squad achieved many notable results, earning first and second-place finishes at eight events. Included in those top placings was the Europe Minor Championship for Katowice 2019, StarSeries i-League CS:GO Season 6, BLAST Pro Series: Madrid, DreamHack Masters Dallas, and more.
Things weren’t all green in the ENCE camp, however, and the organization would sign Miikka “suNny” Kemppi in later August. It would come to be known that suNny would be taking the place of Aleksib following the conclusion of the StarLadder Major in Berlin.
ENCE would achieve better than expected results at the Major, making it to the top eight with victories over AVANGAR, MIBR, and Vitality before falling to the then Renegades (now 100 Thieves).
Post ENCE, the OG project
Aleksib’s removal was questioned by many and the results ENCE has been able to achieve since have been lackluster enough for it to be considered unworthy at this point. His impact as a tactician was certainly noticed.
A player of his caliber had been highly sought after, but ultimately it was OG that would gain his mind for the game with a lineup built from scratch. It was reported in October that Complexity CEO Jason Lake offered the teamless player a $1 million dollar offer.
Gaining a proven in-game leader, an in-game leader who had been able to guide a Finnish lineup to a top-three ranking is a big win for OG.