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Rezzed: “Byfield is the hardest worker I have ever played with”

The veteran rifler returns back to Kettering for the first time since 2019.

by GrimyRannarr

The last time Reason Gaming was at an EPIC.LAN was in 2017 at EPIC 21, headlined by Thomas “Thomas” Utting the team placed second losing to Radix eSports in the finals.

The organisation left the UK CS space in 2017 – only to make an appearance in 2020 for two months – but officially returned last year with an NA roster. However, at the end of 2023, they dropped their North American team and sailed across the pond back to UK CS.

The veteran organisation returned with veteran players and came into EPIC.LAN 41 seeded #14th, then exceeded those expectations by placing #12th.

For many of the players, it was the first time back to Kettering in years. Ben “Rezzed” Bignall had previously placed top four with Bulldog and top six with Walter Walkers before taking a four-year break. Now on his return, the veteran sits down with UKCSGO after EPIC.LAN 41 to talk about Reason’s performance, why he came back to CS, and what it is like playing for Reason Gaming.

Good to have you back in the UK scene. What was it like being back at LAN for the first since 2019, and how did it go for you?

First LAN in four years, it was an experience, to say the least. I have never been to a LAN with two power cuts [laughs], but we move past it. The rest of the LAN smoothly so credit to the EPIC staff and the team behind that.

It was fun, the fact I went with three of my best mates I have played the game with. I think the result wasn’t there for us personally, we expected better but we will get there next time.

You obviously played quite a few LANs pre covid. Are there any differences you observed?

Watching people play mainly. Before I would spectate people more to pass the time, but now I am actually playing and understanding what they are doing, trying to take things back to my team so we can improve.

You used to make high placements at LAN, is it strange coming back and restarting after you took a break?

I took a break for four years and started full-time work a year after I stopped playing full-time CS. I didn’t really look back at coming back into CS. At the end of last year, I had some time free and thought why not, let’s give it another go.

The LAN placement is a bit disheartening but we will move forward. Byfield and I are really experienced players and we will use this as a learning experience. Now it is time to get better as time goes on.

Looking at why you took time out, why did you step away from playing Counter-Strike?

I was playing so much CS at the time, I would wake up in the morning and I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I fell out of love with the game. Being as passionate as I have been with Counter-Strike and as I am with the game now, not having that didn’t give me any drive to play. I felt isolated in the scene and thought there was no better time to stop playing now. I had my run and it was a good time.

I was playing so much CS at the time, I would wake up in the morning and I just didn’t want to do it anymore. I fell out of love with the game.

I genuinely didn’t ever think I would play again.

Byfield celebrating after a round win

What is the reason you have come back?

The main reason I’ve decided to come back is that I’ve missed competing and playing CS in general. On top of that, this project I get to play with two of my oldest standing teammates in cJe and FinCHy. Those are childhood friends of mine.

Alongside that, Byfield is one of if not the most determined players to make it in the scene. And finally, our coach Monsa is non-stop helping us to improve giving us his full support.

So did this roster revolve around FincHY, cJe and you?

I wouldn’t say the roster revolved around anyone specifically. Byfield and FincHY were the two who spearheaded the idea. Originally we had a Danish player, but he got an offer he couldn’t refuse which then led to us going LF1. When we played with Cha0s it just felt like the most natural fit and decided to pick him up three weeks before LAN.

How has it going with this new roster and your return to CS?

Completely different game for one. I never felt more like a noob to start with. I genuinely felt like I was playing a whole different game. It was very interesting.

Youngster Cha0s playing for Reason Gaming at EPIC.LAN 41

I feel like I am getting there and back up to speed. Our practice is going really well. We just struggle to translate that to officials. At the minute that is something we have to look into and get past, whether it [is] a mental block or more time.

I assume you committed a lot of time previously, but now that you are working full time how are you balancing the two?

It is hard. It is very different to before in my previous situation when I could play CS as much as I could.

I genuinely have a fire in my belly with this team.

Hats off to everybody who does it or anyone who does a manual labour job like I do and plays CS in all their spare time. It is so draining. The love for the game drives me, I genuinely have a fire in my belly with this team. I think whatever we do we can genuinely make it somewhere.

Talk to me about Byfield. We were speaking before about the work that he puts in. What is it like playing under him as an IGL?

Funny story with Byfield being the IGL. He is our CT IGL now. cJe is now our main IGL because something wasn’t clicking when the roster first started with Byfield calling on the T side. It felt like he was out of the game sometimes. We decided to make that change there and then when we formed the team with Cha0s.

FincHY is probably one of the best raw aimers I have ever played with. His mechanical skill is off the charts.

FincHY is probably one of the best raw aimers I have ever played with. His mechanical skill is off the charts. Byfield is the hardest worker I have ever played with. All he does is play or think about CS. cJe is just calm-headed, well sometimes hot-headed, but mostly calm and is a strong voice to have on the team to give direction.

cJe- the new IGL of Reason Gaming

Adrian [Cha0s] is the young gun of the team. He is 20 but still the youngest on our roster and he brings a lot of firepower to the team and a look of CS that we didn’t really have before.

What are your expectations for the team, and do any of those change because you are playing under a name like Reason Gaming?

Yes and no. Obviously, we all would want to be a top-six UK team within the next 6-12 months. Whether or not that happens is another story.

I don’t think Reason has played too much on our expectations. They have been really supportive of everything so far. Reason has been nothing but help to us.

FincHY returning to EPIC.LAN after three years.

How does it feel to play in this historic organisation?

It is a dream. That is also another big driving factor to why we put so much time into CS. The fact we are playing for Reason is why some of us put in all our spare time when we get home from work.

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