Sean “seang@res” Gares is an American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player with an extensive competitive history, having competed in over ten seasons of invite level Counter-Strike.

Sean Gares kicked off his professional CS:GO career with Area 51 Gaming. His first high tier tournament in CS:GO came after Area 51 had secured a spot at ESWC 2012 after winning the offline qualifier. Seang@res, alongside Semphis, DaZeD, tck and Hiko headed to Paris, France to compete. The North Americans were placed in a group with Ninjas in Pyjamas, mousesports, ProGaming.TD and LowlandLions.

Their first match was against Brazilian side ProGaming.TD. The North Americans dispatched of them quickly, beating them 16-0. Their next match against mousesports ended in a tie on Nuke and then was set to face NIP for their third match in the group stages. Area 51 lost 16-10 against the Swedes, and the North Americans had a 1-1-1 group stage record. In their final group stage match, the North Americans prevailed over chrisJ’s side 16-10 to end the group stages with a 2-1-1 record, and secured their spot in the playoffs of ESWC.

The North Americans set themselves up for a match in the semifinals against the predominantly French side, VeryGames. The North Americans secured map one with a 19-16 scoreline on Dust II. VeryGames were able to secure Nuke 16-5 and Train 16-11 to send Area 51 to play in a third-place match decider match versus n!faculty. Area 51 won the best of three 2-1 against the German side to secure third place at the first ESWC for CS:GO.

Area 51 lost it’s Counter Strike roster, and that team became 4Nothing, which eventually became Lurking and Working, which then became Quantic Gaming.

The roster of Quantic Gaming, which, at the time was swag, n0thing, Semphis, Hiko, and seang@res were signed by compLexity Gaming.

Sean Gares found a lot of success with compLexity in both offline and online competition. The team placed 2nd in the online portion of ESEA Invite Season 14, and then went on to place 2nd at the ESEA Season 14 Global Finals after losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas in the finals after a strong run through the losers’ bracket.

At ESWC 2013, compLexity was placed in a group with Clan-Mystik, Eternity Gaming, and LGB eSports. Seang@res’ men kicked off their ESWC group stage campaign in an emphatic fashion, crushing Eternity 16-1. The North Americans went on to beat LGB in a close match, edging the Swedes out 16-14 on Inferno. In their final group stage match, compLexity drew with Clan-Mystik on Nuke and ended their group stage campaign with a 2-1-0 record. The North American team’s run at ESWC 2013 was shut down by NIP in the quarterfinals of the tournament after the Swedes beat them 2-0 on Nuke and Dust II.

compLexity was invited to compete at the first CS:GO major, DreamHack Winter 2013. The North Americans were placed in Group C, alongside VeryGames, n!faculty, and Xapso. Sean’s men kicked off their major campaign strongly, beating n!faculty 16-5 on Inferno. This victory set them up for a match against the French side, VeryGames. CompLexity prevailed in the hotly contested best of one, winning 16-14 on Inferno to qualify from their group with a perfect record.

Their quarterfinal match was against Astana Dragons. The CIS side claimed Nuke with a 16-9 scoreline. The North Americans then won the next two maps, Dust II and Inferno with a 16-7 and 16-12 scoreline respectively.

In the semifinals, the North Americans had to do battle against Fnatic. The Swedes beat the North Americans 16-7 on Inferno and Mirage to send seang@res and his men back home.

CompLexity continued to enjoy success on an international level, placing third at the ESEA Season 15 Finals, securing legends status at EMS One: Katowice and placing second at the ESEA Season 16 Finals.

On August 1, 2014, Cloud9 had signed the compLexity roster, which consisted of seang@res, Hiko, n0thing, Semphis and stand-in, shroud.

The first iteration of Cloud9’s CS:GO roster took compLexity’s legends spot at the major as a result of moving from one organization to another, which meant that the first tournament under the Cloud9 banner for the former compLexity roster was ESL One: Cologne 2014.

Cloud9 qualified from their group with a 2-0 record, beating Titan 22-18 on Dust II, as well as beating Dignitas 16-14 on Mirage. They met NIP in the quarterfinals of the tournament, and the North Americans took the Swedes to the limit. Cloud9 won Nuke 16-8, but, unfortunately for the North Americans, the Swedes managed to secure Dust II and Cobblestone with back to back 16-14 scorelines. The former compLexity roster was able to secure legends status once again and was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the major.

Towards the end of 2014, Cloud9 suffered a number of group stage exits at the FACEIT League Season 2 Finals, ESWC 2014 and most notably Dreamhack Winter 2014. The group stage exit at Dreamhack Winter 2014 meant that Cloud9 lost their legends status for the next major.

At the end of the year, Cloud9 signed ShahZaM as a replacement for Hiko.

Cloud9 kicked off their 2015 at the MLG X Games Aspen Invitational. The North Americans fell short in the group stage, winning against NIP but losing to KabuM and Dignitas. The North Americans were able to qualify for ESL One: Katowice 2015, and were put in Group D alongside Virtus.pro, TSM, and 3DMAX. Cloud9 won their opening match against TSM 16-14 on Train, but fell short to VP on Inferno, losing 16-11, putting their record at 1-1. The North Americans were set for a rematch against the Danish side TSM. Unfortunately, the North Americans were not able to replicate their victory over the Danes on Inferno. Cloud9 lost to TSM 16-8 on Overpass and were eliminated in the group stage of the Katowice major.

Sean Gares’ men were able to bounce back from a disappointing result at the major by securing a playoff berth at Gfinity Spring Masters. Two best of three wins over Orbit and a best of three loss to VP meant that Cloud9 finished second in their group. Cloud9 met Team EnVyUs in the semifinals. The two sides did battle in a best of three series, but the French side claimed both maps to send the North Americans to a third-place playoff. Virtus.pro beat Cloud9 in the third-place playoff, which meant that Cloud9 finished fourth at the Spring Masters.

The next tournament was disappointing for Cloud9. Gares’ men fell short in the early stages of the ESEA Season 18: Global Finals, going out in the first round and failing to amount anything with their second chance in the losers’ bracket.

On April 24, 2015, ShahZaM and Semphis were released. Five days later, fREKAZOID and Skadoodle were added to Cloud9’s line up.

The fresh roster headed to the Gfinity Spring Masters 2 and were eliminated in the group stages.

After a bit of time together, the North Americans headed to their next tournament, the Gfinity Masters Summer edition. Unfortunately, Cloud9 were eliminated in the group stages of the tournament.

From here, Sean Gares’ men went on a run of form that was used as a benchmark for North American success in Counter-Strike for a significant period of time.

Cloud9 had started what turned out to be their famous summer run.

seang@res, fREAKAZOID, Skadoodle, shroud and n0thing headed to Cologne to play at the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 1 Finals.

The North Americans were put in a group with Virtus.pro, EnVyUs and Luminosity. A 16-13 win over EnVyUs and a 16-10 loss over VP was enough for the North Americans to secure a spot in the round of six stage of the tournament. They were put against Team EnVyUs, and Cloud9 secured the best of three after back to back 16-12 wins on Dust II and Cache. Counter Logic Gaming stood in wait for Cloud9 in the semifinals. Cloud9 made light work of their fellow North Americans, beating them 16-5 on Cache and 16-8 on Dust II. Fnatic was waiting for Cloud9 in the finals. Map one, Cobblestone, went to Cloud9 with a 16-14 scoreline. Fnatic brought it back by winning Cache 16-6. Overpass was hotly contested between the two sides, but Fnatic managed to escape with the map 16-14. Cloud9 took Fnatic to the edge on Dust II. 10-5 halves from both sides meant the map was tied up 15-15. Fnatic snatched the map away from the North Americans in overtime, winning 19-15. Cloud9 secured 2nd place after losing to Fnatic 3-1 in a best of five.

Cloud9 continued their fine run of form with a 2nd place finish at ESWC 2015, a 2nd place finish at the FACEIT 2015 Stage 2 Finals with a win over Fnatic in the semifinals and a top-four finish at CEVO Professional 7.

A group stage exit at ESL One: Cologne 2015 and the ESL ESEA Pro League Invitational in Dubai meant that Cloud9’s famous summer run had come to an end.

A group stage exit at the Cluj Napoca major, followed by a 1st place finish at the iBUYPOWER Cup and an early elimination at IEM San Jose closed out Cloud9’s run of tournaments in 2015.

On November 24, 2015, seang@res stepped down from Cloud9’s CS:GO roster.

After a well-deserved break, seang@res returned to compete in the MLG Columbus 2016 Last Chance Qualifier under the Torqued banner alongside m0E, a2z, tck, and ryx.

This iteration of the Torqued roster was acquired by Echo Fox, as the newly formed organization announced their expansion into Counter-Strike. Simultaneously, Echo Fox was set to compete in the inaugural season of ELEAGUE.

Echo Fox had found limited success online. After many roster changes and stand-ins, their team was set.

sgares, ryx, fREAKAZOID, roca, and ShahZaM headed to Echo Fox’s first offline tournament – ELEAGUE Season 1.

Echo Fox impressed on Dust II against Na’Vi, winning that fixture 16-11. Their only other win was a 16-5 victory over FlipSide on Nuke. Unfortunately, their tournament life was cut short after suffering losses from mousesports, Na’Vi and FlipSide.

Sean Gares’ men had limited tournament appearances during their tenure at Echo Fox. The North Americans placed in the top four at the ESEA Season 22: Global Challenge, placed 4th at Northern Arena: Toronto, suffered heavy defeats in the group stages of ELEAGUE Season 2 and were condemned to a group stage exit at the iBUYPOWER Masters 2016.

After a short time together, the Echo Fox players were granted the chance to explore other options.

Sean Gares and ShahZaM had joined Team SoloMid to replace Semphis and FNS before the New Year.

On December 21, 2016, SirScoots had published an open letter to the Professional eSports Association on behalf of the member teams, the Counter-Strike community and the 25 players on these teams’ rosters. The letter was published shortly after Slingshot Esports disclosed that the PEA intended to outlaw its member teams from participating in the ESL Pro League, and to keep on with the decision despite player disagreement.

Two days after the letter was published, Sean was removed from TSM due to his involvement in the letter. Sean’s contract with TSM was terminated.

On January 14, seang@res and the rest of the TSM roster signed with Misfits.

Misfits were headed to Las Vegas to take part in the Dreamhack Masters series. They gave a good account of themselves against Virtus.pro on Cobblestone in their opening group stage match, as the North Americans went down 16-12. A 16-9 loss to Fnatic on Mirage ensured Misfits finished 0-2 and were sent home early.

On April 14, 2017, Twistzz left to join Team Liquid and Relyks was moved to a backup position. Misfits signed Amanek and devoduvek to replace them.

Four days later, peacemaker joined the team as their head coach.

In May, Misfits headed to France to play at Dreamhack Tours. The predominantly North American side was placed in a group with Na’Vi, mousesports, and Heroic. Misfits suffered a heavy loss to Na’Vi in their opening group stage match but were able to cling to their tournament life by winning a best of three elimination match 2-1 over Heroic. Na’Vi stood in their way of tournament progression, and were a direct threat to their tournament life.

It was do or die for Misfits, and Misfits did. They beat Na’Vi 2-1 in the best of three elimination match to secure their tournament lifeline and progress to the semifinals of Dreamhack Tours. Misfits went on to face HellRaisers in the semifinals and were knocked out by the CIS side.

In June, peacemaker was removed as head coach and analyst.

Misfits’ next tournament was Dreamhack Valencia. Unfortunately, Sean’s men were unable to do the damage they did at Dreamhack Tours, as his side were eliminated early in the group stage, after suffering a 16-8 loss to Heroic and a 2-1 best of three elimination match loss to Team EnVyUs.

Misfits suffered an early exit at Dreamhack Atlanta. A 16-9 loss to Renegades put Misfits in elimination contention early on. A 2-0 win over Binary Dragons put Misfits’ record at 1-1, but they were unable to overcome HellRaisers, as the CIS side eliminated them from the tournament after claiming the first two maps of the best of three.

Fast forward from July to early November, and Misfits are fighting for a spot at the Main Major Qualifier at the Americas Minor Championship. Misfits were put in a group with CLG, Luminosity and Rise Nation. Misfits lost to CLG 16-13 on Mirage, only to bounce back and beat Rise Nation 2-0 in a best of three. Their final group stage match was against Luminosity, and, in a series that went all the way, Misfits came out on top with a 2-1 record to book themselves a match against Team Liquid in the semifinals. After a heavily contested best of three, Misfits prevailed with a 2-1 record and booked themselves a group stage rematch with CLG. This time, Misfits came out on top, winning 2-1 after a very tense series. Liquid beat Misfits in the finals of the Americas Minor, but, by beating CLG in the upper bracket finals, Misfits had earned their place at the ELEAGUE Boston Major Qualifier.

Sean is an in-game leader that designs effective anti strats and is known for giving his star players freedom. In the past, Sean’s teams were able to go toe to toe with the best sides from Europe and were widely regarded as the best team in North America. The success he had with Cloud9 was the benchmark for North American Counter-Strike until Cloud9’s win at the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals and OpTic’s win at ELEAGUE Season 2.

Sean was also regarded as North America’s top in-game leader at the time, and in my opinion, still is.

The ability to anti strat, and to do it well is something can be difficult when playing against good teams. To anti strat effectively you need to be able to scout well, which means thoroughly understanding the teams tendencies, setting up your team to be prepared for that and whatever else the other team may throw at you, and then applying that to the match, or matches, if they’re playing in a best of three series.

Seang@res was largely responsible for Cloud9’s summer run. Sean had a system in place that utilized their star players, shroud, and Skadoodle, whilst also having decent performances from both n0thing and fREAKAZOID. It worked until it didn’t, largely due to a lack of practice, as cited on Thorin’s Reflections.

On top of his ability to anti strat effectively, seang@res is an innovative in game leader, creating useful tidbits that we use today, such as the end of ivy smoke on Train, the B smoke on Cache that blocks off the AWP, and more recently, threw a decoy execute into play to bait out Team Liquid’s utility, and then threw their exec smokes. Innovation catches teams off guard, and the element of surprise can be used to your advantage in matches.

Playing under Sean was very structured; you will always be prepared going into a big game. He does a lot of demo watching, so when playing with him, you’re going to feel pretty confident in his calling – Daniel “roca” Gustaferri (former teammate)

The statement from his former teammates gives off the general idea that Sean puts in a lot of time to prepare his team adequately for the team that they’re facing. As stated in roca’s statement, Sean’s preparation outside of the server was at a high level. As a result, he would bring in useful information for his team, and as a result they would be structured and set up accordingly. Preparation for the match, or matches ahead, is crucial. Adequate preparation is necessary when tackling opponents, and the fact that his teammates felt confident in his setups, structure and the information he brought into the server shows how hard he worked outside the server and inside the server for his team.

Sean’s leadership skills and tactical prowess have been put to the test throughout the year, and that has paid off with Misfits’ recent success, qualifying for the finals of the Pro League and qualifying for the main major qualifier. His team will be put to the test during that major qualifier and during the ESL Pro League Finals. Misfits’ run of form towards the end of the calendar year reinforces the hard work that seang@res puts into preparing his team.

Sean’s career has been filled with ups and downs throughout his tenures on compLexity, Cloud9 and Echo Fox. He has had ups and downs on Misfits, but now it’s starting to look up with two very important tournaments on the horizon. Misfits have come to, and have looked very strong in their last few showings, and, by the looks of things, have room to develop into an even stronger team.

Sean’s ability to effectively anti strat his opponents, as well as his knack for logical thinking and innovation makes him one of, if not the best in game leader in North America to date. His ability to dedicate himself to studying opponents and setting up his team’s structure accordingly ensured that his team went into their matches with adequate preparation. His successes over the years are a result of his mind for the game, and the players around him.

With a career filled with ups and downs, seang@res has proven throughout his tenure as a professional Counter Strike player that he has the fortitude to press forward, even in the most trying times. As a leader, perseverance is key, and Sean was able to persevere and hang on throughout the lows, and was rewarded eventually, and has been rewarded once again. A mixture of a strong ability to anti strat, innovation, the ability to scout an opponent well, logical and tactical thinking grouped with the ability to utilise his players correctly, and strong leadership traits, such as intelligence, toughness, determination and vision makes him the strongest in game leader in North America, who has enjoyed success throughout his career.

Now, we look to the the ESL Pro League Finals and the ELEAGUE Boston Major Main Qualifier to see if seang@res and the players of Misfits can continue the run of form that they have been on.

 

Photo Credit: Clickon, Dexerto & Dreamhack

About The Author

Jonah
Esports Manager

My first video game was Tonka Construction for the PC. I played that in 2000, at 3 years of age, and have been hooked by video games ever since. I like to dabble in as many games as I possibly can, but nothing can come close to a captivating story, an intense multiplayer experience or a well made RTS game. In 2015, I found what can only be described as passion and love for esports. Now I convey that passion, love and knowledge through articles about esports titles, most notably Counter Strike.