iBUYPOWER Invitational Preview: Ascendancy
Ronnie ‘ryx’ Bylicki
Ricky ‘sLip’ Cohen
Peter ‘stanJESUS’ Stanislaw
Max ‘Assailant’ Gallagher
Mitch ‘Glorinsz’ MacInnis
ESEA Season 18 Premier Record: 11-0
Ascendancy is the only team in this Invitational who is not a part of ESEA Invite, but they’re currently making a great case for themselves in the Premier division, which is just one step below. Sitting at 11-0, they began the season with some close contests against their fellow premier squads, including a pair of 16-14 wins and a double overtime victory. But in their last three matches in ESEA, they’ve surrendered a total of just ten rounds combined and are looking to sweep the division and leave no doubt that they deserve a shot in Invite.
Throughout the first half of the current Premier season, the roster saw turnover as Ascendancy attempted to find a mix of players that could capitalize on their potential. The rotations led to some closer than preferred ESEA victories (in OT or by 1 round) and some tough losses in CEVO. The team finally settled very recently on Peter “stanJESUS” Stanislaw, who was added to the squad after a brief stint with SKDC in Invite and previous with Affnity – Season 16 ESEA-Intermediate Champs. Ricky ‘Slip’ Cohen spoke regarding the changes and the addition of stanJESUS, noting:
“First, I want to apologize to all of the people who have been watching us and are upset that we field a different 5 each match. We want to be the best we can be as a team, which is why we’ve been juggling many different 5ths throughout the season, it’s been a tough journey for us to find the right 5th that will help us grow as a team. Our CT sides have felt weak, and unorganized due to the lack of leadership qualities our mix of players had, which is why we’re now happy to announce our 5th as stanJESUS. He has proven he has the necessary qualities to lead a team to victory, and we’re looking forward to the competition from here on out. We’d love to take this time to give a huge shoutout to our sponsor, Ascendancy Gaming who has done nothing but support us from day 1. Much love to the guys over there!”
Stanislaw joins a roster already chock full of former Invite talent. Mitch ‘Glorisnz’ MacInnis and Cohen both have Invite experience from earlier CS:GO seasons with teams like DestructionBox9000, Exertus, and mouseSpaz (now CLG). But the two players that make Ascendancy tick are Ronnie ‘ryx’ Bylicki and lead AWPer Max ‘Assailant’ Gallagher. Bylicki has been a part of Ascendancy for four seasons now, and led all of ESEA Main in Frags Per Round (1.069) and was #2 in both Average Damage Per Round (112.7) and Total Frags (417) in Season 17. The fact that he leads both FPR and ADR in current season of ESEA Premier shows that his skills are transitioning against tougher competition. Gallagher is currently leading ESEA Premier in AWP Kills (114) and has been an effective long range deterrent for his team and a pick provider when necessary.
The team has gotten a chance to see where they stack up against some of the best teams in North America during their run through CEVO-P Season 6, where they notched a win over SKDC and had a 13-16 loss to CLG on Overpass. They also had a pair of overtime losses to Cloud9 and Elevate on Season and Nuke respectively. Aside from their victory over SKDC, they’ve come up short against every Invite team they’ve played, and some of their closest matches were on maps like Season and Tuscan, which are not in the most official map pools.
Despite the losses, there is no denying the experience or talent of this team. The fact that they performed as well as they did with rotating fifths is even more impressive, and Ascendancy’s iBP Invitational opponents would do well not to take this team lightly. With the addition of Stanislaw and a set roster, we could see this team making waves in North America – but in due time, not one week from now when the Invitational kicks off. They have a first round date with top seeded Liquid, a team that has the edge in experience, chemistry, and probably firepower. Ascendancy couldn’t outlast CLG in CEVO’s best of three playoffs just this week, and I don’t think they’ll be toppling Liquid…at least not now. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them keep it close or even take a map, but in the end, I think Liquid will prove too deep and too experienced. Keep your eyes on Ascendancy though. You might be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
Preview by Brian ‘Rotaderp’ Antoszyk – ESEA News. Follow him on twitter: @antoszykb
(photo sources:ESEA News, ascendancy.gg)