It may not be the ELEAGUE Atlanta Major, but the UK has some of it’s own domestic LAN events to look forward to. The first UK LAN is always a highly competitive affair, mixed with a lot of intriguing results, new lineups, and incredible drama to boot. With epic.TWENTY around the corner in the next couple of weeks, I have started sitting down with various team representatives and their thoughts on a wide ranging array of subjects going over previous LAN results, their thoughts on the UK Scene, epic.LAN in general, and their own team and what they are hoping to achieve with the current roster.
After interviewing Andrew “resu” Robson the other day from Team CeX, he had personally highlighted my next player and his team in particular. As practice partners and close friends it seemed natural that I turned my attentions to Jonathan “CynicJon” Burvill, captain of Impulse Gaming. Jonathan has been around for what seems like an eternity in the UK Scene, starting off in the lowly depths of Enemy Down’s Counter-Strike: Source Open Ladder, he has naturally progressed over the years.
Jonathan had began his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive days playing in a team called SWAGWAN, which later joined the organisation Animate eSports. Getting a few mediocre results and shortly after the organisation went down the drain, Jonathan took a competitive break of sorts to focus on his real life endeavours. After that time away, he came back for insomnia57 last year with the mix team “Pick N Mix” who managed to secure a couple of big wins and make a run in the elimination stages, they ended up finishing 7th – 8th that event. After that event, the mix formed a team which went to be picked up by the organisation MALiK, before they headed to nerdRage for a longer stay there.
However, a few issues cropped up in the run up to insomnia59, which affected the team, and then Jonathan “CynicJon” Burvill ended up heading to LAN with a mix team under their new home of Impulse Gaming. They managed to turn a few more heads at the event as they made a rather impressive run with a great win over London Lynx at the event. They finished 5th – 6th at the final LAN of the year, however that mix has since ceased to be and they have drafted in new faces for the 2017 LAN season.
Talk me around your team, and the roles within your team?
Samwell is the player on the team I’ve played with longest, he’s a talented player that can really go off and be a thorn in the side of a team, he plays an anchor role on CT and entry on T. Our other entry is Ray1, who is a player with a great attitude about the game and a real ability to frag.
Jammy plays a support role and does whats needed to get the round won, and is great at holding a site, I play IGL and support, finally we have our AWPer, Nukkye, who was a high level TF2 player before he started CS:GO. Hes a player that can hit some crazy shots and never misses the easy ones.
Resu spoke highly of your team recently in my first interview, how do you see your team, and do you feel confident in progressing at such events like epic.LAN and iSeries?
I think we have a good chance at doing a lot better than people expect, we’re still a new team so we’re working really hard trying to hammer out a map pool we feel comfortable on. I see ourselves as a team with a lot of talented young players with the right mindset, but we are still battling with consistency, we can be hot or cold at times. If we’re confident, hitting our shots and communicating well we can beat anyone, but some days it can be hard to make it click into place.
You had a highly successful run at insomnia59, however your team went through some sudden roster changes, talk me through how it all happened in December?
The end goal for us in NerdRage in 2016 was i59. Its what we were trying to build up to all year. In the run up to LAN, HVM got a really, really good job offer that he couldn’t refuse that meant he couldn’t go to LAN. It was a pain for us, but real life has to come first. Caspian decided that he didn’t want to attend without the full 5 we had practised with for so long, since he had very few holiday days left and was sacrificing spending Christmas with his Girlfriend in Germany in order to go to i59.
That left LS, Samwell and myself looking for +2. A friend pointed us towards JDD who was a really easy choice as hes a really solid player and a guy we instantly got along with. Nerdrage decided to drop us and withdraw the support for i59 we were relying on, but whilst looking for a 5th we found worsty and the support of Impulse Gaming who really helped us out. It still however meant LS had no way of getting to LAN so I had to drive from Cambridge to Grimsby to LAN, which was a lot of fun.
Turning to epic.TWENTY in a few weeks, what are your thoughts on epic.LAN as an event, what attracted you and your team to the event, and how do you see the event in terms of success?
I’ve wanted the go to an epicLAN for a while now but never been able to fit it in around iSeries and work commitments etc. I’ve been to 13 iSeries and yet to attend an epic so i thought it was time and bought my ticket, and built the team with epicLAN as our first long term goal. I’ve never attended an epic but i hope it brings back the feeling of my first few LANs at i31/33 since its in a smaller setting with the CS teams sitting in the same section.
How confident are you about your team’s chances at epic.TWENTY? Where are you realistically looking to finish?
There are quite a few good teams going to this LAN and some scary mixes. I’m not really looking for a particular finish, but more at how well we play on the day. I think we’d be disappointed with anything less than top 6, I expect top 4, but if everything clicks I think we can win it.
Is there any team you are potentially looking at, like a dark horse to be worried about?
I think everyone’s going to be looking at SKUM Gaming this LAN. They’ve popped up from nowhere and seem to be upsetting everyone. I wouldn’t say I am worried about them per se, but my pick for surprise of the event would be wAVE’s Money Crew.
In your honest opinion, who is the star player on your team, and outside of just the game, what do they bring to the table?
Nukkye is definitely our star player. If you watch him play you’ll see some incredibly fast flicks, and a lot of frags, but what impressed me the most is his ability to process information that most people miss, like seeing the smoke on the floor in a clutch or seeing that the other guy doesn’t have a kit in a 1v1, stuff like that.
What are your thoughts on the UK Scene currently, do you feel it is a much tougher scene now or do you feel there is still much to do within the scene?
There is always a lot more to do, but I feel like the scene is developing quickly now. The new talent of players that started CS on CS:GO is coming through in earnest now, and the gap between the top 3-ish teams and the rest is narrowing. I think the days where a mix team can win a LAN are numbered. Mixes winning LANs always felt like the achievement vanished a week after the tournament. Whereas if a team wins they can use that achievement to build, gain sponsors, invites etc.
How have you found your online games in the various leagues and events you participate in and how much do you read into any surprising results you may suffer?
At the moment our schedule of online games is packed, with UKGT, ESL prem, ESEA etc. It can be very hard to get a good nights pracc in. Each league has its own issues but we try not to let it affect us. We’d like to win them all obviously but its not the end of the world if we get an L over a W since our goal is progress not immediate success.
You seem to have developed an interesting rivalry with CAZ eSports, after beating them twice in UKGT, you also lost to them twice in ESL Premiership, was there any key differences in those matches?
I’d say not enough differences, since we played mirage all 4 maps, which was a bit ridiculous by the end. I think it was just the way our map pools matched up. I think it was mainly a case of being hot one day and not so hot the other, but both teams made a lot of adjustments and I think we learnt a lot.
The UK tends to get ridiculed a lot by the wider CS scene, how do you think we should change the “chop shop” trend that we have here and why do you think it happens when teams fall apart?
I cant really say why it happens, since my teams don’t really have that problem. I think its a combination of it always being greener on the other side, chasing the dream of a salary, and a fear of failure. After all there’s no shame in losing if you’re ‘only a mix’
Any final shoutouts?
Big thanks to Impulse Gaming and all our sponsors for everything they’re doing for us,and shoutouts to Coach Cas and all the teams and players that use the swagwan teamspeak.
Impulse Gaming are heading to epic.TWENTY with the following roster:
Sam “Samwell” Reynolds
James “JammyJames” Meadowcroft
Jonathan “CynicJon” Burvill
Alfie “raY1” Scott
Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas
We will be having five more interviews over the coming weeks with a variety of teams, so make sure you keep in touch with UKCSGO in the run up and during epic.TWENTY through our Facebook & Twitter pages.
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