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.
In the first of six interviews that will be conducted over the next two weeks in the run up to epic.TWENTY, I have managed to catch up with Andrew “resu” Robson. Andrew is no stranger to the UK Counter-Strike scene, having played for a variety of UK teams over the years, he has developed a close working partnership with Team CeX’s Management structure and has settled in their team for esports. Andrew was one of the first of the big teams to announce the overhaul of roster changes post insomnia59 late last year, however for the majority of it, it was a forced set of roster changes just prior to LAN. Since then, he has had to replace a player after missing out on ESL Premiership, with bringing in Sam “Astroo” Gresham and dropping Dek “deksen” Sen.
Since the change, they’ve managed two wins and two draws in UK Gaming Tours, and currently stand top of the pack in that league. In ESEA Main, they currently reside in 10th place with a 1 win and 1 loss record currently. They are now heading to epic.TWENTY with the hopes of overcoming their fourth place finish at epic.SEVENTEEN last year. Things have changed this year though, they face stiff competition, with the likes of exceL eSports & Endpoint’s mix team heading to Kettering, current epic.LAN Champions, Homeless eSports (formerly Bulldog eSports), Impulse Gaming, Radix eSports, runners up from epic.NINETEEN, DOG Gaming and many other notable teams. The scene has vastly developed over the course of the year, and it is another epic.LAN event without the likes of Brandon “Weber” Weber, Jake “jakem” McCausland and some other familiar UK Scene faces.
Talk me around your team, and the various roster changes you have been through over the last few months?
Yeah we knew prior to last LAN that the lineup was not sticking together so I knew there was changes to be made. Brody & I decided to stick together after LAN and I wanted to play with LS for a long time as we are best friends. LS went to LAN with a mix team of the old lineup in Impulse Gaming and JDD was called in last minute to play with them. Meeting them both at LAN and watching them play I’d already decided that I wanted to play with both of the players afterwards.
The lineup was then decided on the four of us and after trying a few people we couldn’t find the awper we really wanted until Deksen who we played with, and played the UKGT and ESL Premiership with mixed success and unfortunately we decided to part ways which led us to picking up Astroo who I had played some pugs with and after playing with him for one night he instantly fit in with everyone and clearly had stacks of potential and made the quick decision to get him on-board to complete our roster.
I am extremely enjoy playing with this team and everyone in the team gets on well which to me is really important, I built this team for the long term and I can see us improving a lot already and can’t wait to keep competing in this season of masters, UKGT, iSeries and epic all on the horizon.
Team CeX managed to surprise everyone at insomnia59 at the end of last year with a third placed finish at the NEC, what were you truly expecting and how happy were you with that performance?
Insomnia we all went into with reasonable expectations as we were not practising in the run up for the even as a team. We knew we were able to perform and take on the top 3 teams in FM-eSports Team Endpoint and CAZ eSports but we would certainly be the underdogs. We achieved our goal and finished in the top 4 beating CAZ and then losing out to Endpoint to finish third and miss the grand finals. I was still very pleased with how we did under the circumstances but it definitely didn’t come to a shock to any of us!
Why did the actual team that went to insomnia59 end up breaking down and going it’s separate ways?
The team had somewhat run its course and although we had some success during out time together we found it increasingly hard to practice which got in the way of us improving. Smooya got an offer from a new UK team that he decided to go with a couple weeks prior to the event and so that was the nail in the coffin. We still went and had a respectable finish despite not playing together for the month run up to LAN.
Turning to epic.TWENTY, what are your thoughts on epic.LAN as an event, what attracts you to the LAN event, and how do you see the event in terms of success?
This will only be my second time going to epic.LAN and I think this is the anniversary of our last trip out to Kettering. I enjoyed epic.LAN last time as its very different to insomnia as it is more condensed and allows people to be more social and network with other players. I look forward to testing ourselves out as a team as it will be our first LAN together and I know it will great experience for all of the team. It is great to see epic.LAN reaching the big number 20 and I think that is a testament to its success living past the old CS: S (Counter-Strike Source) and still deep into the new age of CS:GO.
You had an interesting rivalry appear at last year’s February event with adamxoxo’s Team uFrag, now that Team uFrag has disappeared and the old Team CeX not featuring a certain individual, will you try and rekindle the rivalry with Adam’s new mix or did you not enjoy that aspect that much?
Adam & I have got on well for years and he’s a really nice guy. He managed to get under Charlie’s skin during the game by shouting, it was very effective due to Charley not really being used to LAN environment and letting it get to him during the games but I never held it against Adam or uFrag and we all have had a good laugh about it after the games. I think it was very much a friendly rivalry and I would think competition and rivalry like that helps brings the best out of people so if you are reading this Adam, lets get it boi!!!!
How confident are you about your team’s chances at epic.TWENTY? Where are you realistically looking to finish?
I have a lot of confidence in ourselves for epic.TWENTY as i know how good we can be and we are constantly improving. I personally think we are the best team in attendance however there are a couple strong teams and some very strong mixes attending. We are aiming to win epic.LAN which wont be easy but I know it is very achievable with the players we have.
Is there any team you are potentially looking at, like a dark horse to be worried about?
Impulse I think will be tough competition as they are practising hard and have some really strong players on there lineup. We are close friends with the Impulse lineup which I think only adds to the challenge of playing them as we all know each other and how we play and neither of us wants to lose against one another as it will include bragging rights for our shared teamspeak for months to come.
How would you look to improve epic.LAN from a participant at the event view?
The bigger names throughout the day on the main stream and maybe even side streams directed at other games. Hopefully UKCSGO keeps on top of the event and provides people with good coverage of results and fixtures so people can keep updated. I really do think with good coverage there will be a good amount of viewers which will bring more attention to epic.LAN and not let it go under the radar as much as it has in the past.
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?
In my honest opinion we don’t really have a star player, not to say we don’t have sick individuals but we all pull our weight and play as a unit. All four of my team mates are capable of going huge but we are not built around just one player. Everyone brings something different to the table in and out of game LS for example is not bothered by his stats and does what’s needed of him regardless of his personal stats. Astro is on the other end and wants to be the one killing people and always has an air of confidence in his ability which is needed as an awper and I think we have a great balance in our attitudes and roles.
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?
The UK scene has a long way to go in order to catch up with the rest of Europe. Honestly I don’t know why we are not as good as we should be so I won’t pretend to have all the answers however I think teams need to stick it out and work on things rather than just disband at the first obstacle. I would love to see a team from the UK compete in an international level and don’t get why people always want to see fellow UK teams fail. Hopefully teams like fm-eSports, CAZ eSports, exceL eSports and Endpoint stick it out and keep on improving as well as many others including ourselves.
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?
I’d like to think I’m a very laid back person especially as an IGL and that I never read into results too much. I know teams can’t always play to their best standards. Every team loses, I see it as if you never lose then you are never tested and that is vital to improve.
Any final shoutouts?
Yeah shoutout to my girlfriend Sarah who had zero clue what Counter-Strike was before she met me who is now watching all our games and becoming our #1 fangrill and to Revilo our CeX manager who has supported me and the team for so long now and he has been amazing this whole time, I love you both! Remeber to visit http://webuy.com for the latest electrical goods at a fair price!!
Team CeX roster for epic.TWENTY is as follows:
Andrew “resu” Robson
Liam “LS” Scotter
Brody “BrodyyyC” Cullum
Sam “Astroo” Gresham
Josh “JDD” Denham
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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