Excel Esports are retooling and rebuilding for 2020, and after signing Joey “YoungBuck” Steltenpool and Patrik “Patrik” Jírů, the next piece of the British puzzle comes in the form of Tore “Tore” Hoel Eilertsen. Previously known as Norskeren, the former-Splyce support has racked up an impressive display of in-game awareness and ability, and even flexed some of his talents at this year’s World Championship.
With a new team, and new goals, Tore is keen to hit the ground running with his new team – and, according to him, now that he’s played on the world stage, he wants to return.
So, Tore, how do you feel about moving to Excel?
Tore: Oh yeah it's exciting to work with an all-new team and players; I'm excited to start a new chapter with all new people.
You’ve dropped the Norskeren nick for 2020; was that a conscious effort?
I've been wanting to do it for a couple years now, but it just never happened. But now I felt like it was time. It was originally a joke, but I think it's kind of more natural to go back to Tore, because that's what everyone calls me, from teammates to family.
You just had a phenomenal season that capped off with a Worlds appearance; what made you want to move to Excel, and try something new?
Well, basically everyone was leaving Splyce and I wanted a fresh start. I think XL is the best option because I get to play with [Marc Robert "Caedrel" Lamont] again, who I played with back in 2017, when he was a midlaner and he's a good friend of mine. I know he's improving a lot and he has a great work ethic. He has a great chance to become a good jungler, and obviously playing with YoungBuck as a coach is also really exciting because he's the Six-Star General! I've heard a lot of good things about him. So I can only, only imagine what all the other teams are going to be like, and of course all the other players as well.
Playing with Caedrel again sounds like a great opportunity; are you looking forward to reunite with him?
We almost played together on a team earlier as well in LEC or LCS, I can't remember, but that didn't happen but now we're, we're finally reunited. It was good to be able to play with someone I played before so it's not all completely new.
“I want to bring all that I've learned from Splyce, my career in general, to try to join a team with a great coaching staff and try to be the leader.”
YoungBuck has already set some lofty goals for the team; making Playoffs and potentially even Worlds in a couple of years. Do you think this is achievable?
I think it's good to set high goals because there's something to work towards. And for me, at least I like setting high goals because it gives motivation. I literally don't want to be a team that's like satisfied with only getting Playoffs. So I want to work hard to contend for the top three spots.
Qualifying for Worlds is the most important thing, because it's really amazing to be able to represent the region in an international tournament. You feel more prideful by performing well or just playing in general on the world stage. And it's something I want to keep doing.
Now with a taste of the world stage, you want to keep playing against the globe’s top teams?
Yeah; it's really exciting to play at Worlds, especially when you've never done that before. When you're one of the new players, you've been watching, or at least for me, I've been watching competitive since like Season 2. And I think of all the super good players as gods, and being able to see them casually coming out of the elevator was completely insane, and I think I fanboyed a couple times, but I managed to keep my cool and then when we played on-stage as well, it felt insane to know that you deserve this spot to play there.
Joining Excel could be a gamble given their previous season; but are you confident?
It was the best option for me and I'm excited to see how it goes. I want to bring all that I've learned from Splyce, my career in general, to try to join a team with a great coaching staff and try to be the leader. That's like my goal now, so that's what I'm going to try to do with this team.
Which teams are you most excited to play next split?
I think the only team we're going to have to compete against the most is Origen, because they have a pretty, pretty good roster. So, there's not really any other team I'm super afraid of, but Origen is the only one that's going to be one of the new stronger teams, and I think all the rookie teams are not going to be as good as the old guard like Fnatic and G2. Origen are going to be one of the best teams.