The loss of a star player like Lotan "Spinx" Giladi can have massive effects on an organization like ENCE. This is especially true when an ambitious rebuild featuring Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså and Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia fails to meet expectations for an organization that looked close to being a title contender. Compared to June 2022 when ENCE were capable of fighting for a top spot in the scene, the Finnish organization, the team recently has been close to slipping out of the top 20.
This led ENCE to realize valde's playstyle was at odds with the direction the team wanted to go as he languished in big events. As a result, the seasoned Dane was benched and ENCE turned to the young blood Guy "NertZ" Iluz, a player who has been growing in stature and renown ever since the start of the year with Endpoint. As the team makes continues their run in ESL Pro League Season 17, BLIX sat down with their newest addition to discuss his arrival to the lineup.
Joining ENCE and Early Impressions
Saumya Srijan, BLIX.GG: How are you gelling into the team so far? Are you feeling comfortable in the lineup?
Guy "NertZ" Iluz: We just started to practice and I feel from game to game more comfortable.
BLIX: At the start of 2023, did you expect that you'll get to play for a team like ENCE?
NertZ: To be honest I had some interest from other teams, so I expected to play in tier1 teams.
BLIX: What’s your first impression of Snappi? Is he the kind of IGL who lets you do your work or is he the type to lay out your role for you?
NertZ: Obviously I have huge respect for Snappi, he's always trying to help me with the new roles and give me a lot of freedom to bring ideas to the team.
BLIX: We have heard how sAw is the one pulling the strings when it comes to roster changes. How involved was he with your signing?
NertZ: I don't really know, everything was fast. I got a call from the management in Endpoint and 2 days after I signed the contract in ENCE.
BLIX: Was it an easy decision?
NertZ: Yeah it was an easy decision because I have huge respect for the team I'm playing with.
BLIX: Talk to me about leaving Endpoint. You were a part of the project for around 16 months. How hard it was leaving the team when it was coming close to scratching the surface of tier one. Did you also have other offers?
NertZ: It was a bit hard for me because I felt we were really close to each other and yea I had some interest from other teams.
BLIX: Snappi wanted Valde to play the star roles but that obviously didn't work out. Are we going to see you be the star of the team from the get go?
NertZ: As I said, I changed my roles. In some months I believe I can be that guy.
BLIX: In ESL Pro League Season 16, you had a really impressive game when you managed to take down NAVI. Are those the kind of performances we can expect more frequently now?
NertZ: Yes, as soon as I feel comfortable, I will be able to understand 100% how ENCE plays, you will see a top 5 team.
BLIX: Finally, have you set any goals for the year? What can we expect from you with the ESL Pro League Season 17 coming up.
NertZ: We didn't talk about goals yet, but for me I wanna win one trophy at least this year because I have huge expectations from us.