UK esports organization Guild Esports announced this morning the signing of the Bad News Eagles Counter-Strike (CS) roster, now known as Guild Eagles.
The squad, made up of Kosovar players Genc ‘gxx-‘ Kolgeci, Flatron ‘juanflatroo’ Halimi, Sener ‘SENER1’ Mahuti, Dionis ‘sinnopsyy’ Budeciand Swiss player Rigon ‘rigoN’ Gashi – joins Guild along with his coaching staff and British esports presenter James Banks.
James Banks has assisted Bad News Eagles as their team manager and will now join Guild as a consultant to support the organization.
The Guild Eagles team will have the support of the Swedish head coach Jonathan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg (the only winner of multiple Majors as a coach and as a player), German assistant coach Kevin ‘Krystal’ amendment and Canadian analyst Kieran ‘KayJay’ Playfair.
Today’s announcement comes three months after Guild said they planned to hire a second CS team, joining the existing Guild CS women’s team.
It also comes after Guild praised the recent announcement of the Esports World Cup, which will take place in the summer of 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The new Guild Eagles roster will likely compete there, as the World Cup is replacing Gamers8, which featured Counter-Strike.
Additionally, training partner Ground+Air will also support the new squad with a training and education programme, described as the “Elite Performance Programme”.
The performance and wellbeing consultancy has already delivered the Oracle Red Bull Racing Performance Accelerator Program for F1 Esports.
Ground+Air also has experience in other sectors such as football, motorsport, entertainment and more.
Guild’s program will consist of individual training and team development workshops, delivered by performance experts from education, sports, business and esports.
Who are the bad news eagles?
Bad News Eagles surprised everyone when they became the first team from the Albanian-Kosovar region to reach a Major (RMR) qualifier back in 2022, when they qualified for the PGL Antwerp Major.
Since then, they have competed and qualified for the Legends stage in three Counter-Strike Majors in Antwerp, Rio and Paris, earning $96,000 worth of prize money in 2023 alone.
From humble origins in Kosovar internet cafes to the Hall de la Pinède in Paris, this squad has come a long way since its competitive debut in 2020.
Guild CEO and Head Coach Comments on New Guild Eagles CS Team
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports, said: “With the release of CS2, we realized there was no better time to increase our presence in Counter-Strike. The journey of the Bad News Eagles roster has been inspiring and embodies the attitude we value here at Guild Esports – we look forward to supporting them on their journey in CS2 with the help of Ground+Air.”
Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg, head coach of the Guild Eagles, added: “We are incredibly excited to represent Guild in CS2. Throughout our conversations with Guild, it has been very clear that they share our vision and truly want to help this roster succeed at the highest level of competitive Counter-Strike.
“We have received offers from multiple organizations during our time as an unsigned team, but in the end we found that Guild was the most aligned with what we wanted to achieve in CS2 and could provide us with the highest level of holistic support to help us compete at our best. potential. “With what we have already seen from meeting the staff and seeing the facilities, we have no doubt that this is where we belong to reach the next level in the competition.”
Dom is an award-winning writer and shortlisted for Esports Journalist of the Year 2023. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 BA in Multimedia Journalism in 2007.
As a veteran gamer who first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a variety of publications, including GamesTM, the official Nintendo magazine, industry publication MCV, and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation until February 2021, when he returned to work full-time at Esports News UK offering esports consulting and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter independently, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple (usually only covering occasional press releases) due to this conflict of interest.