A1 Adria League has been a talent factory since its very first season. Each game featured so far saw players go a step further and reach the next level in their competitive careers. That still hasn’t changed..
The sixth A1 Adria League season recently began. Four games, countless talented players, and an impressive prize pool worth €11,000. The competition is fierce, but there are competitors that stand out and are considered favorites for lifting this season’s trophy.
lvlUP going for their third title in a row
The Serbian side has been a force to be reckoned with for the past two years. The team consists of the core of Miloš “dEE” Marčeta, Filip “aVN” Belojica, and Dimitrije “DiMKE” Veljković along with the newer additions of Nemanja “Impulse” Stankić and most recently, Andrej “Necrogenes1s” Mancheski. These four veterans and the young Macedonian talent, Necrogenes1s, are already establishing themselves as one of the best teams in the lower Europe tiers.
dEE has been a part of the A1 Adria League since its very beginnings. The first season saw Miloš compete as a part of Zonic eSports. His team managed to secure a LAN spot in the online playoffs, but two disappointing 0-2 losses against Valiance and KlikTech put the team in the fourth place. dEE had already improved before the start of the second season. He spearheaded GamePub to a second-place finish and a €3,000 reward in Zagreb.
DiMKE wasn’t so successful in the earlier seasons of the A1 Adria League. He and Impulse finished dead last in the first A1 Adria League group stage and second-to-last in the second season of the League. UltiCoin, the team that he was playing for during the second season had a talented lineup with the likes of Luka “c0llins” Živanović and Pavle “Maden” Bošković under their name, but the squad ultimately failed to deliver.
aVN has been a part of the regional scene for quite a while. From the AdriaMasters competitions to the First Serbian League, the player has played for a number of teams and has reached a certain level of success. He also took part in the first season of the League, but his team, proWince, finished at 7th, right in front of DiMKE’s Resistance.
Impulse played the first season of the League as a part of Resistance. A team consisting of the likes of Nikola “Lobanjica” Mijomanović, Nemanja “k1Ng0r” Bošković, Jovan “N1GHTMARE” Derebanoski as well as DiMKE, really seems like a dangerous squad on paper, but in the end, the team couldn’t even play out the entire season. Impulse then had a short stint with the Spanish team, x6tence, and after that, he took on the AWP role in Valiance. Valiance & Impulse didn’t have much trouble in the second season of the League and a victory against GamePub secured them the first place.
Akopalipsa started a new adventure
At the beginning of 2019., a new name appeared in the regional Counter-Strike scene. Akopalipsa was formed by five phenomenal regional players and we instantly saw great results. DiMKE, dEE, and Nemanja “sarenii” Šarenac were the core of the team, and they were joined by Petar “HOLMES” Dimitrijević and Maden.
HOLMES’ team was constantly improving on the regional and European CS:GO scene. Even before the start of the third CSadria Clan Championship season, they were considered the favorites, and they affirmed their dominance in Split. A great showing during the Good Game 2019 qualifiers as well as their first-place finish in CCCS3 brought the attention of some organizations to this Serbian team.
After negotiating the contracts with the German organization, BLUEJAYS Sports, dEE & co. signed six-month contracts. The signing of the contracts was supposed to bring stability to the team, but that didn’t happen. Soon after the signing, sarenii left the team, and aVN filled his shoes. This combination of players didn’t show promising results, so the IGL of the team, HOLMES, decided to step down from BLUEJAYS. sarenii returned to the team once again, and this time, the young player took on the IGL role.
Four months after the signing of the contracts, SMASH Esports bought out the Montenegrin player in the team, Maden. BLUEJAYS were once again left without a fifth player, and this time, the position was filled by c0llins, a young Serbian player that was looking for a team at the time. Together with c0llins, BLUEJAYS won the third iteration of the Belgrade Open tournament and they also managed to secure a second-place finish in the tenth ESL SEC season.
Of course, the team achieved their biggest accomplishment when they were no longer a part of BLUEJAYS and were using the ex-BLUEJAYS tag, during the fourth A1AL season. A fantastic season from the team culminated in a spectacular Grand Finals versus the Kosovar team, uNiQUE. ex-BLUEJAYS came out on top and bested their rivals in the third map of the finals, lifting the trophy in Zagreb.
Two weeks after the LAN finals, Juggernauts (ex-BLUEJAYS) went through another change. Recently before the change happened, Impulse decided to leave the British organization Fierce Esports because of disagreements with the players. Juggernauts offered him an ideal chance to continue with his career, and Impulse gladly accepted the offer.
The team didn’t secure an offline finals spot in the first Relog Esports League, but they easily outplayed the competition in the WESG Adria LAN. Unfortunately, because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the team never got the chance to play the main event in China. Besides Qi Banja Luka and WESG Adria, the Serbian quintet played a number of online cups in the free time they had between LANs.
The new year brought new challenges
Juggernauts didn’t really start the year in a good light. Most of the qualifiers they played ended badly for Miloš “dEE” Marčeta’s team, but they had their good moments as well. In the third qualifiers for the first FLASHPOINT season, they managed to finish in the top 4. The bad form from the team continued in the following months, and in the end, we saw yet another change take place..
In the beginning of May, sarenii announced his departure from the team via TwitLonger. We were approaching the A1 Adria League S5 qualifiers and there weren’t a lot of good regional players without a team, so the team decided to go with an unusual signing. David “devoduvek” Dobrosavljević, a Serbian player that lives in France and has spent his CS:GO career playing for French and international teams joined a Serbian squad for the first time.
Juggernauts qualified for the fifth A1 Adria League season in their first try. Their first match against Athaim (Karavan) ended in a loss for the reigning champions. That was the last match that devoduvek played for the team, and the empty spot on the team was filled by the team’s coach, Darko “soLo” Mitić. This change didn’t hurt the team by much, so they managed to finish the SWISS stage without any more losses.
During the fifth season of the League, Juggernauts received an offer from a Serbian esports organization, lvlUP. This offer came in the right time for the team that had been playing without the support of an organization for months prior. The people behind lvlUP didn’t have to wait much for results because the team won the A1 Adria League just a couple of days after the signing was made official. They beat Blink twice in the playoffs and were also better than the Macedonian Good Game squad (QSKE Gaming during the fifth season).
The sixth A1 Adria League season
After the fifth season ended, the players had a player break that lasted for a month. DiMKE and the team continued playing online cups like Eden Arena: Malta Vibes and the Nine to Five tournaments organized by Relog Media, but also spent their time looking for a potential fifth player. And they found him..
The twenty-one-year-old Macedonian, Andrej “Necrogenes1s” Mancheski is the newest addition to lvlUP. While dEE was a part of the Relog Media podcast, he stated that they noticed Necrogenes1s while the player was a part of Adaptation. Necrogenes1s formed Adaptation together with Anel “NENO” Ceković and two Israeli players, Shiran “shushan” Shushan and Shahur “flameZ” Shushan. The quartet was later joined by Sebastian “Basso” Aagaard, and this mix team accomplished great results in the short period that they spent playing together.
Before receiving lvlUP’s offer, Necrogenes1s often played with NENO. The duo won the Macedonian A1 Game Fest tournament in the end of 2019., and in the tournament’s final they met the current Good Game squad, without Jasmin “JasmiNhs” Murič. Necrogenes1s’ team played in a similar competition during MESA’s Quarantine Online tournament, but Jane “aidKiT” Apostoloski’s squad managed to dominate the veteran team.
Going into the sixth season of the League, lvlUP may have their biggest challenge in front of them. Good Game and Blink have the potential to upset the Serbs in a BO3, and GODZ1337 and Shock Bomb have the surprise factor by their side. The other teams shouldn’t be written off too, but these four rosters have the highest chances of beating the current champions.
Will the lvlUP players win three seasons in a row or will a new roster rise up to the challenge? You can watch lvlUP’s potential road to a third title on our Twitch channel, and the team’s next opponents are the Kosovar team MiKS…