Yesterday marked another important step in the history of Romanian esports, as Alexandru “Whiteinn” Kolozsvari became the first Romanian League of Legends player to win the European Masters competition.
European Masters is the highest tier competition for teams playing in the European Regional Leagues, Riot Games’ regional pro circuit. Winning this competition is the highest professional achievement that a team or player can attain, excluding the closed-circuit and franchised LEC.
Historically, teams and players who won EU Masters have gone on to do great things in the competitive scene and, based on Whiteinn’s career trajectory, we could see something similar for him in the future.
He became the first Romanian player to win this competition, a phenomenal achievement that brings tremendous joy and pride to Romanian esports enthusiasts. This win was the result of years of hard work and a spotless work etiquette from Whiteinn. If we take a look at his career trajectory, this comes as no surprise. He took things one step at a time and gradually improved over the course of a few years. We believe this to be an interesting story for every young player who aspires to do great things in esports.
He started by climbing the ladder on the EUNE server in 2017, playing in a few online Romanian tournaments. After getting a taste for the entry-level competitive scene, he started climbing the ladder on EU West, continued playing in tournaments and getting himself noticed. Therefore, it was not long before he answered the call of joining Nexus Gaming in 2018. After playing in competitions like The Romanian National Tournament, it was time for Whiteinn to test his skills in the ERL circuit for the first time. With Nexus Gaming, he played in EBL Season 2, where he got his first taste of what ERL action was like.
As mentioned before, Whiteinn took steps gradually in his career, always looking for the next level, the next challenge. After a trial by fire in his rookie split within the EBL, he joined Gamespace, a team competing in the GLL. He took advantage of his first two experiences in the ERL circuit, he weighed the balance between the good experiences and the bad, took the experiences for what they were and he focused on improving himself. He rejoined Nexus Gaming in 2019 and played in a few important national tournaments like Romanian Esports League and Digital Crusade (shameless plug, but we had to do it).
After a few short months he was ready to have another go at the ERL circuit, this time joining the very promising roster of Energypot Wizards in the EBL. In his first season back in the EBL he managed to win the tournament, a phenomenal performance even back then for a Romanian player. What made Energypot’s win all the more spectacular in that season was that they weren’t favourites. Teams like Saim SE and maybe even CZV had a stronger claim to the title based on regular season and playoff performances, but Energypot managed a spectacular 3-2 win in the finals. Hindsight being 20-20, the roster of Energypot Wizards was brimming with talent and most of them have since gone on to accomplish great things in League of Legends, with Whiteinn being no exception to that.
After the EBL win, he joined the Spanish side BCN Squad, playing in LVPes, one of the strongest, if not the strongest national league at the time. Even if the first taste of this new level of competition was not the sweetest, with BCN finishing 9th, this wasn’t an obstacle that Whiteinn couldn’t overcome in the long run. He took a step back from the Spanish scene, joining Team Phantasma (the winners of this year’s Crusaders Crown) for the GLL 2020 Winter split. He managed to get first place during the regular split and second place in the playoffs, another important performance in a strong league.
After this performance, Whiteinn had unfinished business in the Spanish scene, so he joined Cream Real Betis in 2021. Upon his return to the Spanish league, he managed to finish 3rd in the league during the regular split and 2nd during the playoffs run, a worthy performance from a player who by this point, had been working hard for almost 4 years in the competitive scene.
“What I always liked and respected about him is that he was always rational in his approach to his career and to the life of an esports player. Whenever we were talking about his career or about tournaments, he would always ask the right questions and have a coherent reasoning behind his decision. He would say stuff like “Hey, this thing would be worthwhile from an experience standpoint” or “Yeah, I would like to do this, but if it doesn’t help me grow in some way or another as a player, I won’t do it”. This was in stark contrast to what I was hearing from some other players at the time, stuff like “I will turbofist this league” or “It’s free money”. There was an obvious quality to his decision-making and work ethic and this was evident in his approach to practice and playing the game. He would always train hard and play scrims properly, focusing on improving himself and those around him. I knew, even back then, that we couldn’t keep him for too long and that was destined for greater things. Everyone at Nexus KTRL is so proud of him and of what he has achieved, it’s amazing!” said HolyDiver – Manager for Nexus KTRL
After 10 months spent playing with Cream Real Betis and continuing his good run of form, Whiteinn joined Team Heretics to try and tackle new challenges within the Spanish league and EU Masters. Their first split in the spring of 2022 wasn’t the greatest, with the team finishing 8th in the league. However, they’ve kept most of their roster for the Summer split, they’ve put in a hell of a lot of effort and in the Summer Split, they were the champions of Spain, finishing 2nd in the regular season and 1st in the playoff stage.
With this historic performance already on his resume, the last untapped challenge for Whiteinn was EU Masters. He had qualified once before, with Real Betis, but their run was a rather short 1-5 in the group stage. As is the case with most of the obstacles in his career, it was a case of “once encountered, twice conquered”, with an unbelievable performance to follow.
Against all odds, Team Heretics managed to beat Team BDS Academy last night, with the Spanish team winning 3-2 in the grand final. It was an ecstatic moment for Team Heretics, for the Spanish scene, for Whiteinn, and for each and every one of us watching from our homes.
A performance that will be incredibly hard to top, but a performance that is a sign of things to come, we hope. In a day and age where our reasons for hope and pride are increasingly scarce, the performances of a young player from Cluj Napoca shine brighter than the “achievements” of the majority of our “athletes” and “superstars”. The story of Whiteinn is a story of hard work, dedication, and the restless need to achieve increasingly higher goals.
We’ve reached out to him for comment:
“Winning EU Masters means a lot to me. I’ve always known that I was capable of doing it, but I didn’t think it would be this year, so I can say that this is a surprise for me, as well as for the people who were watching us. We were clear underdogs for the entire tournament, I don’t think anyone expected us to move past the quarter finals, so to win the entire thing feels even more satisfying.
My next goal is clearly the LEC. I don’t know when that moment will come, but this is what I’m working towards. Once in the LEC, Worlds would be the next step. I’ve always wanted more after winning something. I think this is what drives me forward, day after day, to give everything I got.” – Alexandru “Whiteinn” Kolozsvari