Article has been edited slightly after klassy reached out to give further information on roster changes.
After a less than optimal Season 36, Ascent are back to sponsor another team in this season’s iteration of ETF2L. Ascent sponsored a team last season but the team struggled to produce results, ultimately finishing 5th in the league table: just missing out on playoffs by 4 points. The new roster does not come as a surprise, as klassy hinted on the teamfortress.tv forums that a smouldering Ascent reincarnation was due to emerge from the ashes. Ascent.EU will be eager to bounce back this season and prove their status as a 2 time Premiership championship holding organisation.
Following a result that left the organisation hoping for more after S36, they were approached by klassy about sponsoring his new team for the next season. Ascent agreed but the team went underneath some roster changes between now and then.
The new Ascent.EU roster competed in the recent Lockdown Throwdown 2 tournament, but with a slightly different roster. The team played with seeds as Medic and Domo as a stand-in Demoman. This squad fell just short at the finish line, succumbing to nerdRage in the Grand Finals of the competition. This version of Ascent.EU seemed quite strong, with the potential to challenge for the ETF2L Championship with a bit more practice and chance to build chemistry. However, there were more changes to come.
Firstly, toemas decided to opt out of the team just before the Lockdown Throwdown cup, leaving klassy cold and alone on scout. Thaigrr returned to Premiership TF2 to join klassy on scout. Since leaving Se7en after Season 32 and playing half a season with egg in Season 35, the twitchy Scout main has been exploring other options playing in lower divisions and taking a more enjoyable road through competitive TF2. However, the European G.O.A.T Scout is back to frag.
seeds was cut from the roster shortly after the Lockdown Throwdown tournament, with the decision having already been made for klassy to make the jump to Medic. And with a scout spot left vacant, toemas rejoined the roster to take back his spot.
kaptain, the 5th most successful ETF2L player according to ETF2L awards, returns for another potential championship. (Picture by Ness "uberchain" Delacroix)
LUKASTANK joins Ascent.EU, the tank who won Player of the Season and Demoman of the Season three seasons in a row. He already has a legacy to live up to, in spite of being a relatively new addition to Premiership. LUKAS will be hoping to clinch himself another few awards this season with his tachyon-speed bombs.
We spoke with uberchain, the COO of Ascent, and klassy about their new roster.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Uberchain, Ascent has established themselves as one of the most sucessful organisations to ever compete in TF2, was the 5th place finish last season disappointing for you as an organisation? With the return to some old-faces, does Ascent hope to bring back some of the magic you had while winning 2 ETF2L Championships?
Uberchain: Due to the nature of TF2 late 2019 with its controversies, continuing into the 2020 climate of LANs being cancelled and a pandemic changing our lives, it wasn't as big of a focus for us as Ascent due to other priorities Wyatt and I were required to pay attention to. Going off 2019 to 2020, motivation was probably at an all-time low for TF2 for the past few months from all those events that occured within the scene, especially with having to figure out if there was a driving factor to play with no IRL LANs at stake. While it's not meant as an excuse for our last season's team's standings in the end, there were a lot of factors likely at play within that iteration of Ascent.EU that they can speak about better than I ever could. It's best to give our players autonomy over decisions important to a team's nature, and we've always trusted our players enough that we shouldn't interfere from a higher-up standpoint. It just doesn't make sense for TF2.
Looking at the roster as the season's about to begin, I still stand by us letting the teams do what they need to do as a good thing, especially for this group of players. For this season's version of Ascent.EU; while it's sad to see seeds go, I'm happy to see Thaigrr included in the lineup as well as Toemas back on the Scout role. As stated when Ascent.EU was first announced playing in this season of ETF2L, the mix of the old and the new means that there's a lot of experience, skill, & talent that calls back to that top-level team we've had represent us before. I look forward to seeing them do it again, let's win boys.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: So firstly klassy, the Lockdown Throwdown competition was obviously a nice test-run of the new roster. Finishing second just behind last season's champions, are you guys feeling confident coming into the new season?
klassy: Considering that we played the cup with a completely new flank and me on pocket scout after not having played together for almost 1 year, I'd say we performed well even if everyone were disappointed with losing. As far as this season goes I'm very confident going into it since our roster is objectively looking very strong.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: So even after the big roster shuffles in the last few weeks, you're feeling confident about the raw power of this roster?
klassy: Definitely, considering that there aren't that many established teams that we're going up against, I'd say we're the favorites going into this season.
It would be nice to get another chance at beating nerdRage but apparently they decided to either not play or just join separate teams.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Talking about "established teams", the new Ascent roster is still pretty fresh, but combined you all have a nearly uncountable amount of ETF2L seasons under your belts. Do you think this long-term experience will help you edge out other teams?
With the new and hopefully improved roster, will the team have the chance to win that golden crown that Ascent is constantly aspiring after? Ascent's lightspeed roster for Season 37 is:
- Scout: Thaigrr
- Scout: toemas
- Roamer: kaptain
- Pocket: papi
- Demoman: LUKASTANK
- Medic: klassy