Spencer “Slashug” Oliver was unceremoniously dumped by Oxygen after a series of struggles in 2020. Most teams were already done with their trials by the time he found out he was being cut. Shortly after, he retired. One of NA Siege’s greats – stints on Rogue, Luminosity, eRa Eternity, and Most Wanted, was working in VR design in Michigan in early 2021, nine hours a day with a two-hour total commute.
He was miserable.
“I didn’t like it at all … and around that time I was like ‘damn, I miss playing’,” Slashug said. He started to get back into it, after six or seven months off, but the hours were long. Five hours of sleep a night is dangerous on a miserable two-hour commute, and Slashug quit to function better in the server.
Slashug then went back to working at Jimmy John’s, where his status as a part-time employee gave him more time to scrimmage Siege at night. No more two-hour commute – but the effort to return to the scene would still have to be tempered by the real world. Slashug tried out with Aaron "Gotcha" Chung’s Challenger League team and got the spot before the team disbanded. Fortunately for Slashug, he had already reached out to beastcoast by way of Mark “MarkTheShark” Arismendez three months prior – but the team chose Damian “Surf” instead.
That’s what made FPL Queens’ victory over beastcoast in the NA SI Qualifier that much sweeter. “The next day,” beastcoast reached out, and Slashug was effectively back.
This experience, the feeling of a fresh start, is one shared by all of his teammates to some degree as well. Jacob “Sweater”’s trial with beastcoast only took one map before their coaching staff knew what they had struck.
All of the elements that made Sweater, and by extension RentFree, a feared roster in NA Challenger League were still there. He still had “it”, in this case, “it” describing a combination of mechanical skill, creativity, and fearlessness that made him a hot commodity a year ago.
Sweater was set to join XSET – until, according to his own testimony, he left a USB drive that contained software he used to cheat in Escape from Tarkov in his computer when booting up Siege for scrimmages. Battleye caught it, and he was banned from the game, and shortly thereafter from competing in Rainbow Six Siege for a year.
“I didn’t really do much that year,” Sweater said. He went on to say that he did some things for himself, and spent more time with family. The financial loss wasn’t too big of a deal – but the time loss was. Sweater didn’t touch the game until five to six months later, and piled on with a competitive team of underagers to keep himself warm until the beastcoast trial.
While the vast majority of the competitive scene vouches for Sweater’s legitimacy, there were still some pertinent questions immediately following his ban. A lack of evidence doesn’t mean no crime was committed – how can anyone be sure?
“I don’t really look at the ban as a bad thing,” Sweater said after talking about how he utilized the time away to spend more time with friends and family. “Obviously, I get annoyed at the people that still, like, talk about it and say I was cheating [in Siege] and stuff. When I got banned, [FACEIT] asked me to submit all my MOSS and they never found anything.”
Sweater now has a completely clean slate with beastcoast. All doubts about his ability, and his legitimacy, have been erased. He’s completely and totally back, if not better, say his teammates and coaches.
Surf was very close to being on his way out as well.
After a stellar Stage 1 in the 2021 iteration of Challenger League, he slumped in Stage 2, and was effectively on his way out of the Siege scene after Stage 3. “I pretty much had quit the game after Stage 3,” Surf said. “...I got a job, I started working, I didn’t have that much time to play the game anymore.”
Robert “RaMz” Rockhill messaged him after the stage was over for a tryout, and Surf was trialed all the way through the NA SI Qualifier. “If I didn’t get the spot, I wasn’t gonna play the game anymore,” Surf said.
Surf says he was about one day away from quitting during his trial period – which lasted longer than many others’. Trials can last for up to two weeks at some players, or in Sweater’s case, as short as one map before it’s decided internally. Surf’s trial started in the beginning of December.
He moved to PC when he was “around 17 and a half”, and has been on PC for an extremely short amount of time compared to others. Surf says he was one of HONOR’s last options. HONOR broke up, and he was on 2Faced for Stage 3 before he got a job, but was only on the job for about two months before RaMz called. Either way – he was on the way out, and now he’s back in.
According to the “If Supr Says It” podcast featuring Adam “Drip” Kolodokin and Seth “supr” Hoffman, Anthony “AnthonyMGS” Gomez was the only player from the former beastcoast roster that wasn’t overtly celebrating the team’s escape from relegation.
AnthonyMGS remembers being happy that they weren’t in relegations, but not satisfied.
In many ways, this new formation of beastcoast is also a second shot for Anthony.
All through the last year, AnthonyMGS was one of the most consistent players on a consistently poor team. Beastcoast started off the year strong, with an upset over TSM FTX, but fell off considerably later on in the season. Of the old roster, AnthonyMGS is the only player that remains. “I was just glad we didn’t have to, like, play relegations,” AnthonyMGS said.
After the NA SI Qualifier, AnthonyMGS was the lone surviving member of beastcoast’s 2021 roster – by choice. Jayson “Jaay” Meszaros elected to leave, but was extended an offer to stay.
“I didn’t have a problem with the changes. I was looking forward to a new team,” AnthonyMGS said.
In this new look, AnthonyMGS is moving to a more flexible role. He’s playing the Smoke defensive role, the secondary hard breach offensive role. He also says he’s “more excited than ever to play”.
According to AnthonyMGS, the moment he knew when the team needed changes was the scrimmages before the SI Qualifiers and the SI Qualifiers themselves. At that point, it was readily apparent the roster needed change.
That change came in the form of the architect of the “pug stack” that knocked old beastcoast out of NA SI Quals – Adam “Drip” Kolodkin.
No one is unfamiliar with Drip. Not knowing who he is, at this point, betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the North American scene – despite Drip’s lack of tier one success at the moment. In a former life, under the tag “Yardy”, Drip apologized for “audio clips of me saying very vile, disgusting things”.
Since then, Drip has had several controversies, albeit to a much lesser extent, with “trolling” in FPL, amongst others related to his tendency to speak exactly what’s on his mind at every single avenue. To some, he’s the vocal leader for a young group of Siege fans unafraid of “cancel culture”. To others, he’s a relic of the times before Siege became mainstream in esports, and should therefore be left in the past.
Drip was on XSET last season, but left due to a combination of burnout and not agreeing with how XSET’s future seemed to be laid out, as a roster. Statistically, he was one of XSET’s best players, but being the best statistical player on a poor team doesn’t mean all too much.
Now, he’s back with a vengeance, on an undoubtedly-talented beastcoast squad, reunited with old teammate Sweater, with a team full of players hungry to prove they still belong in the North American League.
If there’s one thing you can’t doubt: Drip is a solid teammate, no matter what way you slice it. He has a knack for turning somewhat distrusting teammates and coaches into believers, and that’s exactly what he did with beastcoast and FPL Queens, according to the teammates and coaches themselves.
The thing that drew Drip to beastcoast? The possibility of playing with Sweater again. “I shot my shot,” Drip said when asked what drew him to beastcoast. He messaged MarkTheShark close to the time FPL Queens crushed multiple NAL teams in the NA SI Qualifier, saying that if given a shot, he could fill the support role adequately.
“At the end of the day, [the controversy] doesn’t really affect me,” Drip said. “At the end of the day, it’s just a video game, and these are the majority of people online. I definitely appreciate the supporters, and the supporters definitely outweigh the haters by a large margin,” he said.
“... I have nothing to prove to those people. I’d rather prove it to the people that are with me,” Drip said.
Drip insists that his Twitter persona isn’t his real persona, that the difference between him on social media and him as a teammate is like “Hannah Montana”.
“It’s taken a lot of growing to get to this point, but like, they know I’m just a different person off-camera,” Drip said.
This beastcoast roster has a lot to prove. They have to prove that they’re not what they were last year, that at points they aren’t what each other thought they were. For every single member of this roster – this is a second chance, one they might not get again if this iteration of this roster fails. If it ends up in the same position as last time, there’s always the chance that these players get thrown to the wayside.
That’s precisely the reason why they’re so dangerous – why they can’t be counted out. This isn’t a beastcoast roster loaded with check-stealers, this is a beastcoast roster loaded with players who know, or who have seen a bit, of what the other side looks like.
Life in the North American League is about to be unforgiving. There are no pushovers – every team has talent, every team has proverbial “potential”. If beastcoast is to thrive, not just survive, their new, hungry, lineup will be the key.
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