As the 28th season of ESEA's online league draws closer to its debut, invite teams have been busy finding which six players to field for the upcoming invite season. Ascent is one of these teams who have chosen to draft new members for the upcoming season, with only medic Nursey and roaming soldier marmaloo returning from the Season 27 iteration of the team.
The team's new additions come mostly from last season's SVIFT NA roster, with yight, highfive, and aim joining the team as the team's scouts and pocket soldier respectively, replacing corsa, slemnish, and CEO Ma3laa, the previous occupants of the aforementioned roles.
With CEO duties to attend to, Ma3laa will move away from active play once more (picture by Ness "uberchain" Delacroix and Jasmine "Jasbutts" Ho)
However, the most notable member of the Ascent roster that is absent in this announcement is Bdonski, who will be calling it quits following 13 seasons of competition. He will be replaced by xaler, more commonly known by his previous alias campy.
Bdonski closes out the final chapter in his TF2 career (picture by Ness "uberchain" Delacroix and Jasmine "Jasbutts" Ho)
With his invite origins dating back to Season 14 with Solace eSports (the only invite team which he played scout on, oddly enough), and that team being the only one that he would play on that wouldn't make the invite playoffs, Bdonski's successes in game will stand as a testament to his legacy. He would later find himself placing third with lost in translation the next season with soon-to-be longtime teammates Ma3laa, alfa, and Decimate. Those four core members would eventually pick up rando, TheFragile, and a new team name to play under in Season 16: Exertus eSports. Following Season 16 and a perfect 16-0 win/loss record, the Exertus eSports brand was acquired by eLevate and the team was re-branded accordingly.
In Season 19, after being dropped by the sponsor eLevate, the team consolidated under the then-ad-interim Ascent banner until their acquisition by RONIN from seasons 21 to 22. After the dissolution of the roster after Season 22, the core players joined the EVL Gaming roster until Season 25, where the Ascent brand was revived by Ma3laa and acquired the EVL roster.
But still, the core of the Season 15 lost in translation roster remained relatively unchanged from season to season, with Shrugger being one of the final long term additions to the team until yomps joined the team for Season 20 until he later departed the team to join froyotech for Season 27. Throughout these roster shuffles, Bdonski was well respected by all of invite as a true veteran who was capable of going the distance and competing against the world's best on LAN, with an abundance of high placing finishes, with his most significant arguably being the historic first place finish in Season 20, where rivals froyotech would not even get to play in the Grand Finals, falling in an exciting series to Team SoloUber.
With many veterans departing the team's active roster, Nursey gave us her thoughts regarding the new roster mix-up and the rapid change in the lineup's core.
So far scrimming with this team has been an absolute joy that I haven't experienced in a while. It sucks that for seasons now that the Ascent teams struggle to keep the same roster, so the biggest problem we'll meet out of the gate is getting our chemistry and coordination down yet again. I will miss all of the old Ascent guys but I love all the personalities on the new roster very much and I cannot wait for the season to start.
With a mostly new roster under a familiar brand, Ascent will consist of:
- Scout: highfive
- Scout: yight
- Roamer: marmaloo
- Pocket: aim
- Demoman: xaler
- Medic: Nursey