blameF: "I live and breathe Counter-Strike"
Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer sat down with Rush B Media's own Lukas DeWitt at IEM Chicago
and spoke about his brief but bright career at the top level.
Since joining Heroic, you’ve consistently improved as a player. How has joining Heroic helped your growth as a player?
In the beginning it was tough for me because we had a lot of roster changes, a lot of rotations in the beginning. Originally, I think es3tag was the in-game leader, then we went to Friberg as the IGL, then we went to Acilion being the IGL before we finally got another player in. It was a hectic time and I don’t think it was a healthy start for my pro career. I don't feel like I played very good back then. The teams would call to me a lot and they helped me with roles and everything like that, so it wasn't like the team didn't do anything. They helped me with everything they could. The core of the team has been really consistent now. We have been improving every tournament and as you improve as a team you’re going to improve as a player, especially as an IGL. The more stable the team is, the easier it is on me to focus on myself and my fragging. It will always show that in the hardest matches that is probably where we struggle the most and on the easier matches I can rely on my own raw skill.
In some of your biggest wins, you are at the top of the scoreboard. Are you establishing a system where you are the number one guy as the IGL?
I wouldn’t say that. I have a central role in the game, as I am the one to take map control and the one making calls. A lot of the time I will be in the action, so I’m usually the one getting a lot of frags but I am also the one dying a lot. I feel that also shows up on the scoreboard.
Is that your preference as a caller?
I like to be where I am calling and I like to control the battle. I am calling around where I am playing but I wouldn't say it like that. We spend a lot of time on the tactical aspect to make sure we are preparing before the match so if there is any weaknesses on other places of the map we will explore that, and anyone on the team can be doing that.
How have you handled the departure of Peacemaker as the in-game leader?
Of course there is more responsibility and more pressure on my shoulder. I realize I don’t have a guy that will pause the game and help me, I don’t have anyone to ask or anything like that besides my teammates which of course I always have. In that sense there is more pressure on me but its fine. I know how I like to call and how I like to play. There is a bit more preparation for me but overall I think it's fine. I think the results show we have been doing just fine without him.
As an in-game leader, do you think any player can step into that role or are their innate qualities out of the server you have to have?
It is not easy to be an IGL. No one can just step into that. I was IGL in all of my former teams but I was never picked up as an IGL in the Danish scene so I had to form my own teams. I had to watch a lot of demos and understand how you build and structure a team yourself. I think that's where my experience as an IGL shows because I am able to do that. I think its way tougher than people might think. It is not just about calling. It's about making strats, how to use them, why you use them, even if you lose can you still use it? What will the opponents expect in the next round if you just won a round on A? Do they expect you to go A again? Will you fake it? There are a lot of things that goes in calling and I think you need to be passionate about it and you need to be passionate about it outside of the game to be able to IGL.
You said you watched a lot of demos when building yourself as an IGL. Did you pick and piece qualities of IGLs that you wanted?
In the beginning I wasn’t watching a lot of top demos because I was so low ranked back then I didn't think it would make sense for me to copy tier one opponents. I was trying to steal ideas from [lower] Danish IGLs in the scene and trying to steal their best rounds. Back then it was even just how to get map control. I started very basic with the easiest stuff. As I’ve progressed I’ve started watching the demos of them people I’m playing against. That’s what I’ve been doing now. Instead of going to see the city, I’ve been in the practice room preparing for the next event so we are ready after the break.
What are your biggest strengths as an IGL?
The thing that has been highlighted the most is that I can frag while IGL’ing. You can never always be fragging on the team so even if I wasn’t fragging then I need to have a team that also is fragging and I feel like I have that. I think my biggest strength is how I can build a team up. We use a lot of time and I’m using a lot of energy to make the team play a lot and play better. We are using a lot of time to prepare for events, so I would say a lot of my best qualities are the background things. The things people don’t see. It’s hard to explain in English for me, but we are making sure we know our defaults and making sure we know every mistake that can happen. We talk about what reaction can happen if they do this. We try to do every situation that can happen on a map. Every time we make a new mistake we go over it and talk about what reactions should have happened, what can be done better, and what utility was wasted. We try to spend time actually making sure we prepare as a team and I think that is showing. We are getting more consistent against tier one and tier two opponents whereas before we could win against tier three and four but couldn't get any upsets in the beginning of this team. I think that now we are more consistent than we were in the beginning.
You’re 22 and nearing the prime of your career. What do you want from Counter-Strike?
I live and breathe Counter-Strike. I don't really have a life outside of it. I’m sitting every day in my room like 24 hours, except for when I go to the gym. I don’t really see friends. I don’t really do anything. My only goal is to get the achievements in this game. I want to get on stage, I want to play and I want to win against big teams. I want to lift trophies, so I’m doing everything I can to get that. I know I’m playing really good but I don’t think I’m even close to reaching my potential, I think I can go way further. I’m working every day and I think I can see my growth as a player. Especially playing tier one events you get a lot of experience. That's what I’m getting right now and I'm just trying to suck it all in right now so I can grow as a player each event. I think for sure there is more to come and I don’t think this is the maximum for our team.