As the UK CS:GO Premiership starts to pick up speed this week, we thought it was time to get to know our players a little better. We caught up with Ben 'Esio' Doughty, of team 'Alter Your EGO', on his rivals, his nearest and dearest, and where he sees his career going in the future.
For this season of the premiership, your team "Alter your EGO" has similar line-up to that of last season's Choke Gaming. How would you say the two teams differ? (eg style, map choices, in-game roles etc)
With the addition of quiver, we changed some of the roles around a bit. He is effectively the 2nd caller in the team, usually taking charge of the CT side. However, the map choices and game style in general have actually stayed the same. After the past few months of experience with Puls3 & Cruc1al in FM, Max has also stepped up to somewhat match Quiver’s role as well. In the past few weeks this has helped the team due to the inflow of opinions, thoughts, etc.
Looking at the line-ups this season, who would you say are your biggest rivals in the Premiership and why?
Based on the line-ups, I would have to say it’s United Estonia. This is partly due to the power brought in from the Estonians. As well as that, they are a mix which, in general, is harder to play against as their play is unstructured and therefore a bit more unpredictable. Added onto that, they proved that they were good in the previous season.
How did you come to be so successful within the UK scene? (when did you start CS/esports? Successful teams you've been on etc etc)
I started playing CS:S in 2005 but didn’t really play in tournaments till around 2008 back when EnemyDown was played a lot. I didn’t really get a “breakthrough” so to speak until I played with Alter Your Ego funnily enough in 2011 with Immi, Abstrakt, LoKo & Tredz. However, I ended up quitting CS after seeing the GO beta which meant I switched to League of Legends instead. I’d say I got a good experience out of it placing top 16 at pretty much every event I went to with League. I do regret quitting CS earlier on now but I feel like it was a good time, regardless of success or not.
After playing League for around 2 years, me, Max and Immi came back to CS – they went to play as MALIK and I took a short break to focus on my school work. After i54, inkG had to quit due to how much time he was able to put in which meant I could join the guys. We ended up winning our first event (EpicFIFTEEN) and then coming 2nd at our first iSeries (i55). I suppose sticking with some of the guys I’ve known longest in the scene helped towards winning in the UK.
Do you see being a player as a career option or are you working on a backup plan? (job/school. chance to talk about future casting if you want)
It’s difficult to see being a player as a career option in the UK due to our lack of presence on a European level. I’ve committed the next year or so to see how far I can take it which means putting my studies on halt for now. I guess, in a way, I can see myself potentially moving on to being an analyst of sorts as I don’t think I have the voice to be a commentator but I think I can quite easily analyse the game to a mid-high level due to my experience as a player.
What are your predictions for who will make it to play-offs this season and who will take the trophy?
This season I’d say there’s a good level playing field right now in regards to who will make it to the play-offs. Personally, I think that the following teams will qualify: Us, UE, Reason & Infused – I think that UE will be able to carry on their mix style of play quite well and take advantage of it a lot. If I remember correctly, both Reason & Infused are putting in a fair amount of hours which means as the season goes on they will be able to improve and that’s why I think they’ll qualify.
The final will be very similar to last season I feel. I think any of the teams could take it depending on how they play on the day. I’d obviously like to think that we’d take it but that would be a biased opinion :D
Is there anything you're like to say to your hordes of adoring fans?
I’d like to say thanks for supporting and hopefully the future is bright!
You can catch the ESL UK CS:GO Premiership every Monday night at 7pm here