NRG Esports are a team that have hit the headlines recently, following their triumph in the finals of the CS Summit in Los Angeles at the beginning of November.
Thanks to an imperious display, the team beat OpTic 3-1 to win the first prize of $63,750 and establish their reputation as one of the best Counter-Strike competitors in the world. NRG’s Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte was also named the tournament’s MVP, after a series of undeniably impressive displays. With the team also guaranteed a spot in the ESL Pro League world finals, there’s no doubt they are braced for a bright and promising future.
In this post, we’ll consider this in further detail while appraising the origins of the team and its performance so far.
Then and now: the history of NRG ESports
The team was founded back in December 2015, by Gerard Kelly and the co-owners of Sacramento Kings (namely Andy Miller and Mark Mastrov). NRG Esports are currently based in Los Angeles, California.
After receiving further investment from Alex Rodriguez, Jimmy Rollins and former LA Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal in March 2016, the team became one of the highest profile teams and were quickly able to make their mark in major tournaments.
This started with victory at the Intel Extreme Masters Season XIII Shanghai tournament in the spring of 2016, during which the team topped Group A and vanquished Gambit ESports in the semi-finals.
They followed this with a 2-0 victory over Tyloo in the grand finals, claiming their first major title and claiming half of a $250,000 prize fund in the process.
The following autumn, the team tied for 3rd at the iBuyerpower Invitational 2016, and in 2017 participated in the GAMEKIT Counter Pit League Season 2 Finals. This championship was scheduled to run until March the following year, during which time the team progressed to the semi-finals before losing to Astralis by a 2-0 margin.
Despite this, NRG ESports tied with Virtus.pro for third and fourth place, banking a cool $10,400 in the process.
The side has continued their success into this autumn of this year, with their victory at the CS Summit in California reinforcing their status as one of the best active teams in the world. They also finished second in the seventh season of the ESL Pro League in April, finishing 10 points behind the eventual winner Team Liquid.
This success is unlikely to be challenged any time soon, particularly given the huge resources and the quality of players that the team possesses.
Game specialties and top performers
Heavy investment has always been at the heart of NRG ESports’ success, and this has enabled the team to compete aggressively in several game specialties.
Currently, the team have rosters available in: Clash Royale, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Fortnite, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Smite, Hearthstone, For Honor, Rocket League and Vainglory.
In fact, one of their first moves was to sign the members of the former Overwatch team Luminosity Gaming. This followed the purchase of Super Smash Bros star performer Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada; formerly of Team Liquid, he remains on the NRG ESports roster and has grown into one of the best players in the world.
We also spoke earlier about Vincent “Brehze” Cayonte, who has enjoyed a stellar 2018 and achieved a staggering win-rate of 71.12% during the last 12 months. Throughout his career, he’s earned an impressive $125,348 from a total of 36 tournaments, and is considered to be a particularly talented Counter-Strike player.
With this in mind, his recent MVP award at the recent CS Summit represents just the tip of the iceberg, with much more expected from this player in the future.
Another key performer is the Clash Royale star Buzby “Hazard” Robb, who despite being 17 was acquired along with his teammate “Guanek” and head coach “Chief J” in April this year. He is another star who has enjoyed an outstanding 2018 to date, with this culminating in a fourth place finish for Brazil during the Clash Royale Nations Cup in July.
Looking Ahead to the Future
With 2018 having already been a successful year and the team now qualified for the eighth season of the ESL Pro League, NRG ESports are ideally placed to continue their exceptional form into 2019.
This is especially true given the 11 rosters that are at the team’s disposal, while the presence of specialists like Hazard and Brehze almost guarantees success in future Clash Royale and Counter-Strike tournaments.
Make no mistake, this is definitely a key team to watch for eSports fans in the future, and one that has arguably assumed the mantle of North America’s best side in recent times.