UK esports organisation Guild Esports have this morning announced the signing of the Bad News Eagles Counter-Strike (CS) roster, now known as Guild Eagles.
The roster, consisting of Kosovan players Genc ‘gxx-’ Kolgeci, Flatron ‘juanflatroo’ Halimi, Sener ‘SENER1’ Mahuti, Dionis ‘sinnopsyy’ Budeci, and Swiss player Rigon ‘rigoN’ Gashi – joins Guild along with their coaching staff and British esports host James Banks.
James Banks has helped Bad News Eagles as their team manager, and now he will join Guild as a consultant to support the org.
The Guild Eagles team will be supported by Swedish Head Coach Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg (the only multi-Major winner as both a coach and a player), German Assistant Coach Kevin ‘Krystal’ Amend and Canadian Analyst Kieran ‘KayJay’ Playfair.
It also comes after Guild spoke highly of the recent announcement of the Esports World Cup, which will take place in summer 2024 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It’s likely the new Guild Eagles roster will compete there, given that the World Cup is replacing Gamers8, which featured Counter-Strike.
Additionally, coaching partner Ground+Air will also support the new roster with a coaching and education programme, described as an ‘Elite Performance Programme’.
The performance and wellbeing consultancy previously delivered Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Performance Accelerator Programme for F1 Esports.
Ground+Air also has experience in other sectors such as football, motor racing, entertainment and more.
The programme for Guild will consist of one-to-one coaching and team development workshops, delivered by performance experts from education, sports, business and esports.
Guild also seem to have established some kind of partnership with JME, the UK grime artist that tweeted about League of Legends player Caps back during MSI London.
Who are Bad News Eagles?
Bad News Eagles surprised everyone when they became the first ever team from the Albanian-Kosovar region to reach a Major qualifier (RMR) back in 2022, when they qualified for the PGL Antwerp Major.
They’ve since competed at, and qualified for the Legends stage in, three Counter-Strike Majors in Antwerp, Rio, and Paris – earning prize winnings worth $96,000 in 2023 alone.
From humble origins in Kosovan net cafes to Paris’ Hall de la Pinède, this roster has come a long way since their competitive debut in 2020.
Comments from Guild CEO and Head Coach on new Guild Eagles CS team
Jasmine Skee, CEO of Guild Esports, said: “With the release of CS2, we realised that there was no better time for us to increase our presence in Counter-Strike. The trajectory of the Bad News Eagles roster has been inspirational, and embodies the attitude that we value here at Guild Esports – we can’t wait to support them on their journey in CS2 with the help of Ground+Air.”
Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg, Head Coach for Guild Eagles, added: “We’re incredibly excited to represent Guild in CS2. Throughout our conversations with Guild it’s been abundantly clear that they share our vision, and truly want to help this roster succeed at the highest level of competitive Counter-Strike.
“We’ve had offers from multiple organisations during our time as an unsigned team, but ultimately we found that Guild were the most closely aligned with what we want to achieve in CS2, and were able to provide us the greatest level of holistic support to help us compete at our peak potential. With what we have already seen from meeting the staff and seeing the facilities, we have no doubt this is where we belong to reach the next level in competition.”
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.