Watch out, there are some hooligans running around town. Every offseason, ESEA Invite always sees teams come and go, and this time around Hooligans For Hire is the fresh blood on the scene. Their newness is not only represented by their team history but individual player history as well. As an aside, this is an awesome testament to the current stability of Invite, as Hooligans For Hire is the only new team in the division this season.
Like The Sparkle Gang before them, Hooligans For Hire have made the jump directly into Invite, though unlike their "predecessors" they opted out of playing in the Intermediate division which is making a return for Season 27. This roster went under the name Every Villain Is Lemons last season when they finished 5th place in Open. Returning from that Season 26 lineup are roaming soldier and team leader Reflecto, pocket soldier faust, scout Link, and medic Phantom. All of these players are pretty new to ESEA, at least in comparison to their Invite colleagues. They all got their start around early 2016, but most have at least a season of Intermediate experience under their belts. The exceptions would be the combo of faust and Phantom, who will have accomplished the impressive feat of going straight to Invite from Open.
fabulous is the only member on the team with prior Invite experience. Better known as a soldier and medic player on teams such as fishy fishes (Season 24 Invite) and KRIT Esports (Season 26 Open winners), he will be picking up a scattergun for the first time. Demoman Shylo rounds out the roster, and spent the last three seasons under Open teams Power Surge and Looking For Trouble. He will complete the Hooligan's trifecta of Open-to-Invite players. Despite their young careers, they aren't without some history together. fabulous, Reflecto and faust were all teammates during Seasons 22 and 23 as part of the original Every Villain Is Lemons, on a roster that would eventually become Cat Noises (who appeared in Invite just last season). Combined with the Season 26 core that has remained mostly intact, it should be exciting to see how they'll compete during Season 27.
Team leader Reflecto spoke to us about jumping straight into Invite and how they'll approach this challenge:
I was proud of how my team did last season. But what was frustrating to me was that we were making the same mistakes at the end of last season that we were making at the beginning of it. So since we came in 5th I was unsure of whether or not we could go to invite. So I put together a group of people that I knew wanted to improve. Everyone on my team wants to learn and improve at the game. So I figured if we don't get the opportunity to play invite everyone will learn so much this next season that we will surely be ready by the next season. Even though we've gotten the opportunity to play Invite our expectations are remaining the same. I love all my players and want to grow with them and be one of those teams where the players always stick together season after season. And I think we have that. I can't wait to grow as a team with these guys, they're all great.
These Hooligans For Hire ready to tackle their Invite debuts are:
- Scout: Link
- Scout: fabulous
- Roamer: Reflecto
- Pocket: faust
- Demoman: Shylo
- Medic: Phantom