ENCE is happy to announce that Serral has re-signed his contract and will continue to represent the team for the upcoming year!
This partnership extends back over the years, as the SC2 World Champion has accumulated five years in the ENCE colors.
In 2020, we only got to witness one offline event, IEM Katowice, until the pandemic hit and the StarCraft 2 Circuit, ESL Pro Tour took things online. During the online year, Serral consistently placed among the Top 3 in various Premier tournaments and won both the Summer and Winter Season Finals and two StayAtHome Story Cups.
"In all honesty even though 2020 wasn't the worst year for me, I'm not really specifically proud of it and none of the accomplishments really stand out to me. I'm happy that I managed to keep my level at a good place for most of the year; I wasn't just quite able to always do what I could have. Also, I guess, I won two out of the three Season Finals, which was quite good."
"The top three things I value in an organization are good communication, longevity, and just overall the support they provide."
- Joona "Serral" Sotala
During the year, many players found themselves struggling with the changing environment. Online tournaments presented a new set of challenges to both the organizers and the players. Even if rough travel to events was no longer required and the players could participate in tournaments from the comforts of their own homes, for example, latency and time-zone issues, along with the lack of the lifting atmosphere of a live audience, hindered the experiences of both pros and fans alike.
"The biggest challenge for the year probably was to get the actual tournament mindset out since you are just playing from your usual practice environment. I don't think anyone enjoyed this year with everything played online, but I don’t think it affected my playing level too much. I do feel like I can maintain my level at offline events quite well, so that might give me an advantage there."
It can be quite rare for a professional player to stay with one team for an extended period of time. Now that Serral has spent five years working together with ENCE, we wanted to ask him what he values in an organization he represents and how he sees the long-standing relationship between himself and ENCE.
"The top three things I value in an organization are good communication, longevity, and just overall, the support they provide. I Have been part of ENCE for about 5 years if you count the first one-year session. It has been easy to maintain a good relationship with the management side, and communication has worked well, which is why I also value having a Finnish organization."
2021 starts with the DH SC2 Masters 2020: Last Chance 2021, to which Serral qualified in early December. This is the last event before the ESL Pro Tour's culmination in the Global Finals at IEM Katowice 2021.
"My goal right now is to win Katowice. Other than that, I’m just looking forward to big offline events which aren’t guaranteed yet for 2021."