ottoNd back in action with HAVU
The former c0ntact AWPer makes his return after a year on the sidelines, joining HAVU alongside 19-year-old Sm1llee.
HAVU have announced two new players to round out their roster, Otto "ottoNd" Sihvo and Joona "Sm1llee" Holmström, which closes out the team's lineup for the coming season as the Finns will kick off 2022 with a match against Looking For Org in the Elisa Invitational Main Swiss Stage on January 20.
The incoming duo will take the places of Lasse "ZOREE" Uronen and Jemi "jemi" Mäkinen. The former was a longtime member of HAVU, having played for the Finnish organization for over three years while averaging a 1.13 rating during his tenure with the team, and the latter a one-year signing who struggled to find form and was momentarily moved to the bench mid-season before being reinstated to the starting five.
The newcomers join after HAVU's lacklustre finish to 2021, in which the Finnish squad fell from a 14th place peak in the world ranking at the beginning of the year to the environs of the top 30 by the half-year point and a lowly 56th place before changes were announced in December.
ottoNd will be taking over AWPing duties in the Finnish side, which he already played for in 2018 before going on to gain top-flight experience during his days with CR4ZY and c0ntact, which included participation at the StarLader Major in Berlin — where he ended with a 1.13 rating — and three DreamHack Open grand finals, one of which ended in victory at the Rotterdam stop in 2019.
Sm1llee comes in as an unproven prospect, having spent 2021 plying his trade for hREDS, where he accrued a 1.01 rating in a year that saw him start out with a lot of events in the red and end with a much better personal record, including a 1.21 rating at the Elisa Invitational Winter Regionals and a 1.10 in his team's two ESEA Advanced Season 39 playoff matches.
"After parting ways with ZOREE and Jemi we needed a dedicated AWPer and a rifler. ottoNd was an obvious pick for us as he brings experience and very needed controlling AWP-play to our team," says coach Taneli "disturbed" Veikkola.
"For the last spot we have Sm1llee. He's an up and coming 19-year-old talent who has raised interest in the Finnish scene, putting up good numbers on the board during his time with hREDS. Joona is a perfect fit for us role-wise and has an incredible aim to work with."
HAVU are now:
Olli "sLowi" Pitkänen
Sami "xseveN" Laasanen
Jani "Aerial" Jussila
Otto "ottoNd" Sihvo
Joona "Sm1llee" Holmström
Taneli "disturbed" Veikkola (coach)