The contracts were drafted and everything pointed towards them being recruited by SK Gaming.
Then, last minute, Kinguin made an offer Mikail ”Maikelele” Bill and his teammates couldn’t refuse – and so the new ”super team” will play under the name Team Kinguin.
– I’ve never heard of anyone with a contract as good as the one we have. Even though I wanted to play for SK again it was a simple decision to choose Kinguins offer, Mikail ”Maikelele” Bill tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Mikail ”Maikelele” Bill entered the very top of the CS:GO community when he was recruited as a replacement for Robin ”Fifflaren” Johansson in Ninjas in Pyjamas back in November 2014. But after the X-Games tournament in Aspen it became apparent that something was not right with the team, and Bill was soon demoted to a backup position while the squad tried out other AWP:ers. Even before he joined NiP, him and Adil ”ScreaM” Benrlitom had been in talks about forming an international team, discussions they resumed as Maikelele was eventually let go from NiP.
– When I left Unwanted last year and he was playing in Epsilon we talked about wanting to play with each other. Nothing serious, but we talked about it. I accepted the NiP offer and after that we didn’t discuss it a lot, but in the days after I left NiP we brought it up again and started discussing other players, Bill tells Aftonbladet Esport.
”Kinguin came in with a super offer”
Among those players were american stars Spencer ”Hiko” Martin and Tyler ”Skadoodle” Latham, but the thought of forming a team with them was soon shattered.
– We contacted a lot of people, american players and organizations. At first we discussed with Hiko and Skadoodle but we didn’t know if we were gonna play in the US or in Europe. Then, the North American shuffle happened and they got other offers, so we started weighing our options and I think we found the best players for us.
Teaming up with Håvard ”rain” Nygaard from LGB Esports, Ricardo ”Fox” Pacheco from K1ck and Alexander ”SKYTTEN” Carlsson who previously played with Maikelele in SK Gaming, they had their lineup. Soon, rumors started spreading that SK Gaming would be picking up the newly formed squad, and Bill now acknowledges that they were extremely close to signing up with the German organization, until Saturday when another player entered the field.
– SK had everything on the table for us, contracts drafted. Then Kinguin came in with a super offer. I’ve never heard of anyone with a contract as good as the one we have, it’s probably the best I’ve seen. So even though I wanted to play for SK, since I’m friends with Alex (Alexander Müller, SK manager) it was an easy decision. It was obvious we were gonna choose the second offer.
”I think rain will become the best CS:GO player out there”
Besides the salary, the team will have a house in Germany where they’ll meet up and practice before tournaments.
– We’re not gonna live there full time but we’ll spend a lot of time there. Just that fact alone shows that there are a lot of resources involved. I think everything will be perfect.
Tell me about how you and ScreaM chose your teammates?
– I saw rain play even before I joined LGB and he stuck with me right away. He is his own kind of player. Everyone else are similar to eachother but he’s one of a kind. He’s very mature, communicates well and brings up his own ideas and takes initiative. He’s a player that’s gonna go incredibly far, I think he’ll become the best CS:GO player out there.
– Fox has been on the scene for a long time and have always stood out in K1ck. When I played in Unwanted I was perhaps the guy that stood out, people saw me the most because I fragged a lot and I thought that it could be the same with Fox here. Plus, he’s got a lot of experience and what it takes to be part of a team.
– I’ve played with SKYTTEN for almost two and a half years but he wasn’t guaranteed just because we know each other. We’ve always been able to discuss and play good in our teams. We have a lot of fraggers and individual skill in the team but then you need someone who thinks a little extra, that’s why he was a given and he’ll be the in-game leader.
”We’ve gotten off to a good start together”
The team has been scrimming together for a couple of weeks now, and Maikelele already notices that they’re getting along well. And the communication is not a boundary according to him.
– I think we’ve gotten off to a good start together, we’re friends and have fun when we practice. We speak english, but we’re two Swedes and a Norwegian guy so we speak a little swedish too. I’ve noticed already that everyone has started to understand a bit of swedish. Personally I think the communication can become a bit tough at first when the games become tense, because it’s always harder to speak a different language then, but I think that within a couple of months we’ll be fighting with all of the top teams and will have a shot at winning tournaments. We have the capacity to do it.
Up until now, you’ve been kinda quiet after what went down with Ninjas in Pyjamas. What are your feelings about what happened there?
– Yeah, I’ve been quiet about how things turned out but that’s because I chose to be quiet. I didn’t want to say anything publicly. I was really disappointed in some of the players in the team, who took the decision to bench me and then let me go. We talked at different occasions and they always had new reasons. I don’t even know myself what the real reason was, and I don’t think there really is one. If you look at Allu, he’s a good player but he hasn’t accomplished much more than I have. So to say that my experience is lacking, then I feel something is not right because Allu doesn’t have much more experience. Sure, he’s been on a couple of more lans, but it feels like there are other things behind their decision.
After you were let go from NiP, was it the thought of forming this team that made you keep playing?
– Yeah, I guess it’s the thought of the team that drove me. I was stuck in a contract for three months and we had a hectic period with NiP in the end, so I figured I’d take a vacation for a couple of months. After Katowice LGB asked if I wanted to play so I did it, but the international team is what I’ve been wanting to do.
Now you have your big name sponsor, what’s next in line for the team?
– Me and ScreaM have been talking about how ESL One Cologne is the tournament we’re aiming for, but I don’t know if that will be our first. We could play at DreamHack before that. We’ll just have to wait and see, try to qualify for a couple of tournaments and if we get invited to one we’ll play it. But the one we’re aiming for is Cologne. We’d rather go slow and get everything going than go crazy and play every tournament out there.