A Conversation with William Merriman, Cloud9's Mezii.
This last Thursday, Ryan Friend and William "Mezii" Merriman got together to have a conversation about his life, where he grew up, his growth in CSGO, and what it feels like to be part of Cloud9. In what was a true, organic conversation and not a traditional Q&A response interview, this transcription will feel informal, but authentic. Some portions have been edited for clarity, however the responses from Mezii remain untouched except for grammatical edits.
Ryan: The biggest question that I have in all honesty, and I don’t want to sound rude when I say this, but who are you? I know, part of it’s a loaded question, part of it’s a little rude, but I think it’s a fair question for myself and for a lot of other people, because even those that follow the scene pretty seriously, you’ve just appeared. You’ve just jumped up on here. We had one of RushBMedia’s writers, Frog, he did a little piece on you, talked about you, talked about the British scene. I don’t want to just read it word for word, because everyone can go read it if they want too. When did you start to get into CS:GO, and then INTO CS:GO?
Mezzi: “I actually started playing, just casually, when I was really young, Source, just because my dad played it. So I played that a little bit, and then I think at the end of 2013, like December or January 2014, I actually got the game and gave it a little go. I was a bit naive at that point, I was thinking, ‘nah source is still the thing blah, blah, blah.’ When it never really was to be honest. So I started playing it a bit there, did the usual matchmaking stuff, trying to find people to play with. Then, probably, into 2015, early 2016 is when I started to play, like to at least try and take it a bit more serious, actually try and get a team, attended a few UK LANs with the same team. It was still quite rough then, I think I went to two UK LANs on a laptop that was probably the worst laptop ever. I think it was a bit of a joke, because I went one other UK LAN with, it was like a DVD player type screen thing. Even then I did perform quite well. But like, I think around 2016 I tried to at least push on and see where it could take me. It basically just went from there, making more friends, trying to make myself more known in the UK scene. Because it's like a clique type thing in the UK, you need to know people to get into these teams. It doesn’t happen quite quick, you have to be around for a while to get into them.”
I mean, I had to do my research, going through all the events on Liquipedia, I don’t want to be rude here, but like the last time you got first at an event was September of 2019 with Vexed, and that was a qualifier. There’s a lot of online, especially recently, it doesn’t seem like there was really anything to the point of jumping up, that would really make anyone recognize you on a big stage. And that’s always a concern, especially when you’re looking at new teams and trying to build, then when you go into your stats, to be as independent as possible, you’re insane. On GamerLegion, best player, you have a HLTV 2.0 Rating of 1.16, Zero’s at like 1.03 that’s the next highest. From most of the teams that you have, you’re always above and beyond in the roles and the output that you have. How do you make sure that you are always performing? I know that seems like, again, a very difficult question to ask. But, is it, are you watching demos constantly, are you trying to be putting yourself in the best positions, what are you doing that you feel that you’re doing more than everyone else is to become better?
“One way that my teammates would explain it would be, baiting, that could be one thing. But, nah, I think especially now, throughout Vexed, and even the start of this year just before I joined GamerLegion, I was studying at University, so it was a bit hard to keep a consistent routine. But now I’m doing it full time, it’s a lot easier for me to try and keep some sort of consistent performance within games. I try and watch as many demos as I can, but also it depends on what type of demos, whether I’m trying to find new smokes or whatever from a new team, or whether I’m trying to learn a new position, I try and do deathmatch each day, Aimbotz, all that stuff basically. I have my own set routine that I try and keep to each day, it’s one thing I say to everyone if asking me if I have a routine or how they’re trying to stay consistent, I always say, a consistent lifestyle, or consistent settings, or consistent whatever is gonna keep your performance consistent as well. I think people will notice that they’re like: ‘Oh I’m playing bad this game, lets switch res, lets switch sens.’ In my old team, UK players especially are like, ‘I’m on Niko’s settings,’ ‘I’m on Cold’s settings this time.’ Like they’re saying ‘I’m on Cold’s crosshair,’ and I’m like what’s his crosshair? I basically have my settings and I try and keep in the same, maybe for a day I’ll change it to just like refresh, and then go back to my old ones. I try to keep everything consistent cause I mean, it’s all a placebo type thing I think, people get in their heads way too much. Just try and keep it consistent throughout everything, try and keep your lifestyle consistent, your settings, your routine, and I think that will eventually, if you give it time will lead to being able to perform consistently as well.”
So where did you grow up?
“Birmingham, in the UK. I don’t know if you’ve heard of the show called “Peaky Blinders” that’s where it’s based in Birmingham, the second city, apart from London.”
So then are you, what is it Blues or is it Villa?
“Yeah, Blues, Birmingham. I’m not a Villa fan.”
Do you know Aizyesque? He’s the one North fan that just is on Twitter, just the only North fan that exists.
“Yeah, yeah, I was quite surprised actually cause I saw his meme recently and saw that he was from Birmingham or supports them or something. That was quite interesting”
Yeah, that’s the only reason, that and maybe a little bit of FIFA and Football Manager, is the only reason I know that Birmingham is an actual Football Club.
“Not doing very well so…”
Well you had the one FA Cup against Arsenal right?
“Carling Cup, League Cup yeah. That was our best game for a long time.”
So you were raised in Birmingham, do you have any brothers or sisters?
“I’ve got four brothers, well two older ones, one younger, and I live with my younger brother and mom and dad.”
You say you were doing University, are you still?
“Yeah, finished this year, in May I think it was.”
Oh, you’re actually graduated?
Wow, congratulations, what did you study?
“Accounting and Finance, a bit boring, but yeah.”
Accounting and finance? You are the most adult 21 year old human being I have ever spoken to, just like: ‘yeah, I do accounting and finance, yeah.’ Is your family like this, your dad like this?
“Not really, I remember the first time I was looking to do accounting and finance at uni, he was like: ‘That’s a bit boring you sure you don’t want to do something else?’ But, I was like no, this is definitely something I want to do. But, I think that one similar thing me and my dad have is probably gaming, he still likes watching all my games and the pro games and stuff. He’s not like that in that sense, I don’t think.”
What are your brothers like? Similar to you, do they game as much, play more football?
“My two older brothers play quite a bit of football, they play quite a few games, they’re more console players though, Call of Duty and stuff. My younger brother who lives with me, he played quite a bit of CS when he could, but he works a job, and now he’s moved over to Valorant.”
“I know, I know. But, yeah he’s never had the experience, he likes playing just for fun. They’re quite similar in that fact, we all like playing games, and we try and play together whenever we can.”
I’m gonna assume this, that when you guys were trying to play games together, were you the one that was like ‘Ok, it’s gotta be the 3v1, this is getting unfair.’ Did they ever do that to you?
“Yeah, I mean, I think I always had the upper hand in those games to be honest. I think we need to have an updated one, like now we’re a bit older, have some games now and see what happens.”
Here’s what’s gonna happen, you guys are all gonna play some games, and then they’re gonna be like ‘Come on we’re gonna go play some football.’ They’re gonna absolutely two foot you the second you get a touch on that ball, watch your ankles, all I’m gonna say.
How are you feeling, getting noticed by Cloud9 and making it to this point?
“It’s quite surreal, especially from the UK, there’s not a lot of players that get the recognition I think. You can count on one hand how many people actually kind of made it lets say. So it is kinda surreal, I still don’t think it’s kind of kicked in, so I think when we finally get playing and practicing and stuff, I think it will finally kick in then. But, I’m quite a level headed guy, so i think it should go quite well, I’m just kinda of taking it as it comes.”
I’ve tried to understand UK CS, but the more I try to understand it, I don’t. NA is really great because everyone has a super big ego when they haven’t accomplished much of anything, and they want to give everyone a chance so they can say they’re better than them.
“I feel like the UK scene is basically the same as that, just on a smaller scale. At least in NA you had, obviously C9, who were major champions, you’ve got teams that were competing at a higher level. In the UK, I mean, for many years, even now, there’s not really anyone. I mean, Endpoint slowly started to make something, but there’s a lot of big, there were anyway, I think it’s got a lot better now, there were a lot of big egos in the UK with people literally achieving nothing.”
Was that hard for you, I’m trying to just think, you’re in 2016 , no one knows who you are, and you’re trying to go and just play CS and go up. How did you try to navigate it, how did it prevent you from getting some things, how did you learn to just adjust with it, what was that like?
“For me, I tried not to focus too much on like focusing on being where I could be, or thinking I need to be in that team, I need to be with these players. I kind of just focused on actually playing the game and seeing where it could take me. Which I think I did with the three UK LANs, my first three with the same team. And then, I took a little break, and then a few of the more experience players, so like the coach at the moment in GamerLegion, ashhh, and a few of the guys that used to play Source and were CS:GO players, I played with them and they gave me a chance. It kind of went from there, like they were pretty known in the UK scene, but they weren’t the biggest players. As I said, I just tried to focus on playing, I didn’t really want to set too many goals in terms of, being on that team, being with those players. Because I think the problem is with the UK scene is when you focus on that, and you actually get it, it’s just a big cycle of which player can we get next when it doesn’t go right. I tried to stay out of that as much as I could and find players that actually wanted to stick together, because there’s so many players within the UK that have been given a chance to play with the bigger teams and then you don’t hear from them the next six months after they get kicked, because they just lose confidence and think ‘this is it.’ I tried to find some people that were actually fun to play with and actually friends first before just getting into a big team within the UK anyway.”
So talking about the UK, obviously ALEX is now gonna be your teammate. Funnily enough he and I, we actually talked a little bit and I wanted to know why you? He said one of the main things was that when building this team, they wanted to come up with something that they would have established players, and then they would have players that no one really knows that much, that have such high potential like you. This is what he said that really sticks out: ‘The most impressive thing for me, about mezii, is his mindset, his work ethic, and stuff like that. It is rarely ever seen in young players. Nowadays everyone just wants to be an FPL star to get noticed, whereas this guy has been going into smaller teams, but actually learning how to play team CS while still being an insane fragger and still coming out of the UK scene.’ When you hear that ALEX is heaping that high of praise on you, what are your first thoughts just from that? Like, ‘Yeah, I know’ or like ‘Thank god, this is the validation, this is what I’ve been doing for so long, thank god someone noticed this, finally.’
“Definitely that, especially coming from ALEX who, I mean he’s never really properly played within the UK, he’s always been in the French teams, but, he’s still one of these players that’s still repping UK CS, he’s still showing that you can do it and stuff. I’ve always said to many players that have asked me how to get their name into the UK scene, it’s definitely is that team CS, cause if you think about it, there’s only a handful of players that have made it through FPL into these top teams, like ropz and Bymas and so on. I feel like, for me definitely, it’s benefitted me the most, staying within a team, learning how to play with people, to respect others, taking criticism. It’s alway gonna be the fastest way to improve. If you’re looking to make a career out of this, and actually make a living, you need to be in a team. FPL might do it for a few months, but it’s also like rng. I think that was definitely the biggest thing, and it’s really good to hear that someone else is noticing it as well to be honest.”
It’s interesting the way you focus, and put a lot of emphasis on team, and when we first started talking, you were talking about how you were playing some football before you came on here. Did you grow up playing footy, were you in an academy, or was it just school friends? Outside of esports, how did you really understand this concept of ‘team’?
“I think from the age of five, I started in a football team, just a local one. I played there for quite a few years, probably until like I hit a phase where a lot of people got skating, that type of stuff. I played football, at least in like a football club, until I was a teenager. And then I still carried it on through the school team, but not so much outside on the weekends, and I kind of went in and out of it on the weekends, because I found CS, so I liked playing that quite a lot and tried to put my time more towards that than actually playing football outside. I think, like you said, that was like the first concept of like a team for me. Especially in a school environment as well, because you’re playing with friends and I think it’s similar to CS, you’re trying to find some friendships that you can be in a team with. You definitely learn a lot there, being helped to as I said, respect people and improve on things because, especially when it’s coming from people you respect, if you learned that, you take it in a lot easier and are able to work much quicker and more efficiently. So, I think football definitely, throughout life, has helped me.”
You’re also talking about learning from people that you respect, who within the UK scene that you started playing with, and grew up playing with, coming up through the scene, who was one person that really to you made more of an impact than you think is noticed by everyone else?
“So, within the UK scene?”
Anyone, anyone that you’ve learned a lot from of how to be a better player and teammate within CS.
“For sure, ashhh, he’s the coach for GamerLegion now, he was the coach in my previous team Vexed and I also played with him as well. I think, him especially has helped me a lot. I think a lot of people think coaches are only there to like obviously they help a bit in game, but they’re also focused on keeping the team environment healthy and stuff. But, like in game, out of game, I’ve spoke to him a lot, whenever I’ve thought I need to improve on something, he’s never afraid to tell me. Because, we have a pretty good relationship, where if he says I’m doing something wrong, he knows I can take it well. I think him, he’s definitely a big person that I’ve had in CS that’s helped me along the way, with everything from in game stuff to out of game like my personality, just everything to be honest. He’s been a really big person throughout CS.”
Now I want to move into this point where you’ve joined Vexed, a UK team, it didn’t really seem to go much further than what it was, and then teamless for a bit, and then GamerLegion. And now, two months after being officially signed by GamerLegion, on the move again. Moving from GamerLegion only after the two months of being officially signed, going from that to Cloud9, was it always the idea of: if there is going to be the opportunity, you have to take it, when the times comes, when somethings gonna be right in front of your face, you’re not gonna let it go. And that’s part of the reason at least why you joined Cloud9?
“I mean it was a huge opportunity in the first place to join GamerLegion for me. I’d played ESEA Advanced for, I think, six seasons or something, not making MDL, and then getting that opportunity to go straight into MDL and be able to see what I could do was a huge opportunity. I mean think about now, obviously if I’m getting an opportunity like this, I mean anyone would take it, it’s literally one of the biggest organizations in the world, building a great team. I think I would be kind of stupid not to think about it, or even take it. Because, I think most players would. There was obviously a couple other teams throughout, whilst I was at GamerLegion, that I had the opportunity of joining, but it definitely wasn’t worth it compared to what we were trying to build at GamerLegion I think, I mean we didn’t have the best start, I think we were still in the building phase and everything, but it was going well. As you said, when an opportunity like this comes along, it’s hard not to take it to be honest.”
When did you first learn that this might be a reality?
“What, about the Cloud9 move?”
Yeah, I think ALEX and you, at least a rumor from what I know, had a little flirtationship of where you guys were gonna team up together, was that ever a thing beforehand?
“I don’t know, I think it was a big surprise to me to be honest that this was happening. One the fact that they were looking to build a team was surprising, cause obviously they have the current team”
It was surprising to me too, I quite like the NA guys you know.
“It was a big surprise and I think when there were, you see it on Twitter as well, when there were other UK players that people were putting forward, and you see like ALEX saying: ‘How many UK players are gonna be in it blah, blah, blah.” I think at that point, obviously, I would have had the interest and stuff, but you never think it would be you. Especially when I haven’t had as much experience as some other players, you don’t think ‘Oh, ok, yeah, I could be next for this opportunity.’ Especially with how quick I’ve been in GamerLegion, so it definitely is surprising. I never really expected anything like this to come along.
So, now that you’re joining Cloud9, the team’s not done yet. You were the second player announcement, the third one is on its way. What are you kind of looking forward to now? I mean tournaments coming up, HenryG has already said that you guys are gonna be looking to do Flashpoint, probably gonna want at least a month of prac before you’re going there. Flashpoints gonna be sometime in Fall, I don’t officially know. But, what are you trying to do now if you’re not gonna be in a full team environment, how are you gonna try and prepare and try and get to know all the positions and work within that in that way?
“For me at the moment, I’m still gonna be playing out, until the end of the month, MDL with GamerLegion. So, that’s like a good thing for me, that I can still keep up to date, like you don’t have that rustiness after coming back into a team after a few weeks. So, I think that’s a good thing for me that I’m gonna be staying active. And even if I wasn’t I would still be doing the same thing, I’d probably just fit more pugs or something in to be honest, still carrying out my routine and so on. But, I think that’s all I’ll be doing and trying to keep up with so much as I can with the pro scene now, obviously I’ll be playing a lot more of it, and just kind of, well not mentally prepare, but try and keep focused on my game for the finer details I think and try and see what I can improve on. But as I say, it will be kind of good for me that I’m staying active within at least competitive games with GamerLegion until that point.”
Yeah, you don’t want to start playing all these pugs and all of the sudden carry all those bad habits into it. Do you play a lot of FPL at all, or do you just try and stay away from it?
“I’m in FPL-C.”
That’s about to change.
“FPL-C is a hard place, it’s a hard place to play. I played a few games there and it’s, I think especially after practicing so much, when you’re practicing with a team most of the day, and then you have your evenings, whenever I want to play a pug, I don’t really want to do it so much to play so seriously. Like FPL-C, people are there to win money and a place in FPL. So, I don’t want to be there, not really wanting to play so much, if you know what I mean. I try and keep my evenings or whatever free time to play like FaceIt stacks with some friends or something, I think that’s the best way to still be playing the game, but fully enjoying it at that point, you can just mess about where you don’t actually get that in practices and stuff. If or when I get the invite to FPL, I’ll definitely have to give it a go, see how I do.”
Speaking of free time, and you talk a lot about routine, the big discussion nowadays has been burnout. As someone who is younger within the scene, who doesn’t have a lot of experience at the top tier LANs. What do you think of this whole discussion about burnout, first of all. And then secondly, do you think that trying to maintain this healthy balance of where you have the game, you use it like a job, you know you play during the day, and then after are you still trying to play games, you talked about playing football are you still doing that, get a girlfriend, get a boyfriend, I don’t know, like what are you doing?
“So in terms of burnout, that’s a hard discussion, because, obviously, as you said, I’m quite inexperienced, haven’t had the chance to burn out. Haven’t had the chance to play all those events however many weeks a year. From what I know, I can’t see it changing that much, so I guess I will experience it at some point, and see what it’s like. But, I guess, at the same time, I’m still new to it, I still gotta experience it, I still gotta kind of like power through. All these people that you see doing it at the moment have been doing it for years. So, it’s pretty fair for those players that have been doing this year in year out. In terms, of trying to keep a balanced lifestyle outside, well recently I’ve only just started playing football again, I’m gonna try and do that weekly if my body allows me to. After not playing for so long it’s quite tough, especially in five-a-side or eight-a-side, it’s quite a lot of running. I’m definitely gonna try and keep that up, because I think that’s also a big thing, fitness and stuff and making sure you work out. Especially people these days, within esports, trying to do it more. I think people are saying, it keeps you a lot more focused when you are playing and like not getting too tired or burnt out. I think BlameF obviously is a big person for that, who’s been saying that.”
“Well literally, big person. And then other than that, I also have a girlfriend, I have to balance that as well. I’ve been with her for almost nine years, well nine years next year. So, also like, I spend a lot of my weekends with her as well. Obviously I’ll have like qualifiers and tournaments on the weekends, but I still try and play a little bit on the weekends, or as much as I can. I try and at least keep some sort of balance, on weekends at least, to stay not too much on the computer, and get outside and do something.”
I think that’s really important, you always want to make sure that you’re, what is it, sound body, sound mind. In gaming, a lot of it needs to be that sound mind, a lot of it needs to be able to keep a cool head. A lot of the biggest issues, talking about sound mind, is egos, obviously, within the UK scene. I don’t know what the format is gonna be with C9, and I don’t know too much about what the team format was before, but what kind of person are you inside of the game? Are you much more emotional, are you trying to be reserved, like how do you handle the changes, or handle emotions inside of the game?
“I think I’m quite reserved, I always, like when I went I go back to some of my old games on LAN or something, so I can see when I did a big clutch. I go back and I’m like ‘Did I celebrate that or not?’ And I’m just like sitting still, and my teammates around me are all like cheering and stuff and I’m just sat there. I think I’m quite reserved, like I still have quite a bit of fun, I think, within games. But, I would say I’m definitely a more reserved person. I think, I like to have a bit of a joke around within practice, or before a game, and keep the morale and stuff high. Especially within the game, I wouldn’t say I’m like a big hype person, but I have a few words to or something to say, like: ‘come on boys keep it up’ and all that stuff. But, I’d say I’m a bit more of a reserved person definitely, not so much hype when it comes to me I don’t think.”
No one’s gonna be able to see this because we’re not recording the video, but you’re kinda smiling at yourself right now, with how much you’re talking about how reserved that you are.
“It’s something that my dad was like, so obviously someone like Smooya’s got his big screech or something, he’s like ‘When are you gonna do something like that?’ I was like, ‘It’s not really me to do big screams or anything.’ Maybe after a game, I’ve done it a few times, maybe on like a last round on a big winning game. But, think like during the game, when it’s still going on, quite level headed, or quite reserved I think.”
Do you think that’s part of the reason why you’ve done so well for yourself kind of within the scene, being able to be so reserved, and being able to keep that cool head no matter what happens? Even when there’s success and even when there’s failure, you’re able to kind of just remain consistent. Which again bodes kinda to how you are for the remainder of your life, be consistent with everything else.
“I think it definitely helps, especially within the UK scene, or more inexperienced players. I think a lot more things can catch you off if you’re so focused on like, ‘Oh my God, we just won that round,’ or ‘Oh, you just did this big clutch.’ I think a lot of people can get caught off with thinking so much about what’s happened the round before, or for talking about ‘Oh my God, that was such a big round and blah, blah, blah.’ I think it definitely helps when you’re more inexperienced, like for me, to try and just keep focused until the game’s done. Then we can celebrate and then we can be like: ‘Now it’s done, we’ve won the game.’ It definitely helps when you’re less experienced for sure.”
So, then did you kinda lose though, when you realized that this Cloud9 thing might be a little bit real? Did you let yourself have a little bit of emotion?
“Well, yeah. It’s hard not to I think, It was like when I got my degree, I graduated university, and my girlfriend was like: ‘Come on show some emotion, you’ve just achieved your first degree.’ and I was just like I don’t know, I think it takes quite a long time for things to sink in if you know what I mean. So, when you achieve something to me, obviously, I know it’s a big thing and there’s so many things to come. But, it takes a while for things to actually sink in and think: ‘K like, I’ve just achieved this, or I’ve got this great opportunity to play for the biggest organization in the world.’ Obviously, eventually it will, but at the moment, it’s like this is obviously where I want to be, this is what I’ve worked for, but also I can’t say I’ve made it because, this is literally just the start of where I wanted to be.”
And where do you want to go?
“I mean, everyone says you want to be the best don’t you. That’s obviously the goal, not even individually, I think the Astralis team can vouch for that, you don’t want to be the best individual, you want to be, like you don’t get anything from losing a tournament and then getting that MVP medal at the end of the tournament. The celebrations all come in winning as a team and stuff. So, I think this is just the start of that and like Henry and ALEX said, you don’t want to be using excuses for when Flashpoint starts, obviously we’re gonna go in to win it, we don’t want excuses for it.”
What were the conversations with HenryG like, when I guess he approached you?
“I mean, it was quite weird, because obviously everyone knows him within the scene, he’s a huge talent casting all those games and all those big tournaments, you obviously know his voice. At first it was quite weird, cause I never expected or knew he was gonna be the GM of Cloud9. So it was quite weird, I was thinking: ‘Are we on about the same Henry here, I was like, when’s all this happened.’ It was quite weird, and also surreal, going from all these everyday people I know within the scene or people I speak to, then going from that to speaking to one of the biggest names within esports, it’s quite mental to be honest.”
Pretty jarring to have to switch into that frame of mind.
“That’s what I mean, you’re going from a fan to someone who you’re working with and everything. It’s definitely weird to have to switch that frame of mind.”
How do you think that’s gonna be a challenge for you? Because, there’s gonna be a lot more pressure, and I’m not trying to scare you, but there is a lot more pressure, there are gonna be a lot more eyes. The community and even press and people like me, we see it as now as Cloud9 is building a colossus. We saw what happened when Jason Lake made his, you know, juggernaut with Complexity and how that was endlessly memed, and there’s obviously a lot of pressure on players, and players feel that. Same with Astralis when they were said to be unbeatable and all these things. How are you trying to, with understanding how the community is going to be emotional, is going to be reactive, how are you trying to manage your own expectations, and your own ability to handle the expectations of others?
“Firstly, the community stuff is, even now, is a lot smaller scale, but you still get comments and stuff, but for me I find a lot of them just funny to be honest. Some of them I don’t read, but a lot of them, like when you get in those dm’s and stuff, me and my teammates especially make a joke out of it, like those type of things don't really bother me. Same thing that my girlfriend always asks me is like: ‘How do they not bother you? If I ever did YouTube and I got these comments I wouldn’t be able to do it.’ For me, I think if you’re that type of person and you want to ruin someone’s day or say all things, it’s like fair play to you, do whatever you want. For me, those things don’t bother me. But, obviously the pressure and the expectations are all there. I think the first step is realizing that. I don’t want to be so caught up in thinking: ‘Oh my God, I’ve just signed for Cloud9, I’ve got all these things to do, and we’re gonna achieve this and stuff.’ I think the first step for me is realizing that I’m in a team with this great player, looking to build such a great team under an amazing organization. The first step is just focusing on, I’ve got to get the job done, I’ve got to prove whatever I’ve done so far is just the start, and I can do so much more. I don’t think the pressure, and the community, and the comments and stuff like that is really ever gonna get to me. I’ve just got to get on with my work and basically focus in house, in the team, and whatever they say is kind of like what I focus on, not what outside people are saying.”
So, how many times have you looked yourself up on HLTV? How many times has it been? Four, five?
“Haha, I don’t know. I don’t really check myself on HLTV that much to be honest. I know a lot of people in the UK like to check their self up on HTLV. Stats is a huge thing within the UK. I think that’s only because it’s a bad cycle, teams focus too heavily on getting a player that’s got the biggest, the best stats. So people then play for stats, then they constantly think: ‘I’ve gotta have these stats.’ Obviously I’ll check, because that’s only letting myself be able to measure how well I’m doing. It’s not to be able to have an ego or anything like that. It’s just to be able to see how well have I played this game, if i haven't played well then what have I done wrong? I don’t really focus too heavily on it, I think when you don’t focus heavily on it, then that’s when the stats come anyway. That’s what I tell everyone, if you’re focusing too much on it, you’re gonna get in your own head and then you aren’t gonna get the stats that you want.”
I mean it’s good, because I was trying to up on Twitter, I was trying to name search you, and I was trying to name search anything on HLTV. Because I wanted to be able to be like: ‘Ok, let’s read some mean tweets to mezii, lets see what we can get here.’ I can’t get nothing, they’re not even creative. One is just like ‘Oh, mezii is shit.’ Come on, can I get like, some fun, like anything, anything that’s aged really badly. You can’t just say 'mezii’s shit'. I’ve always found it interesting the way that I think some players handle social media and some players handle the community. Some really go hard and really try to embrace it, while others want to stay away because they either don’t see the point in terms of like, I’m here doing my thing, I don’t really need to be a part of it. Then there are more that want to try to really build their own personalities and communities within it. This is really your first big exposure to the community as a whole, so how do you feel? ALEX has already taken the step of memeing everything. You gonna join him in it, are you just gonna bring that UK jokester, we gonna see a little bit of that?
“I think I kinda need to to be honest. I think so far, my dad would definitely agree I’ve been, I think boring is quite harsh, I think that’s another way to look at it. But, I think I should, i probably will, I think it’s time to give a bit more personality and I think that the tweets and the memeing is always fun. Especially from the UK, I think a lot of people have a lot to say about the UK players, so I think it’s always good to give a bit of banter back, so you might see some more from me, we’ll see.”
What are you looking forward to most with being a part of Cloud9, and what kind of things do you want everyone to know, just like about you, about what your expectations are, who you are looking to be. Any claims, you’re gonna absolutely win Cloud9 the next major?
“What I’m looking forward to the most is just experiencing the whole package. Playing with these players, playing at all these huge tournaments, being under such a great professional organization. I think that’s like the whole experience, I mean esports, an esports career, even if you’re the best, it’s not a huge, it’s not a big longevity to it. I think the whole experience I’m looking forward to. Other than that, it’s just try and win as much as we can, I mean you’ve heard it, we’re building a colossus, we’re gonna have to prove it and win as much as we can. Whenever that next major comes around, show what we can do. Me was a player, I just want to prove all those people that are saying, when this eventually goes up is ‘Who’s that guy, he’s shit,’ all this stuff. Prove them wrong and just show that people in the UK can play some CS and like good CS anyway, especially.”
William, thank you so much for joining me on this, welcome to Cloud9! I’m excited to see what goes forward with your career.
“Thanks, thanks for having me, it’s been a great time.”