Nicholas “Nickool” Bray is a Torontonian currently studying Film and Media Production but has found success in Facebook Gaming Streaming. He is currently trying to become a Film Director but he is also working on expanding his streams. In the future he is looking to broaden the gaming and film world together.
Do you remember the first game that you played?
First game I started playing was Minecraft back in the day. But that does not sound like fun but believe it or not it was fun back than. First shooter game I started playing was Counter Strike Global Offensive. Highest rank I was ever able to get was Master Guardian.
When did you start getting serious about gaming?
When I first got my pc around three years ago, I started playing pc games. My first game I started playing on an amateur pro level was pubg. Then I switched from pubg to fortnite and now fortnite to call of duty.
Can you walk us through one of your finest gaming moments?
One of my finest gaming moments was playing in a tournament in Toronto called EGLX for fortnite. It was a $10,000 prize pool with a first-place sponsorship. Where I came first place taking the sponsorship and the prize of $3600. I really felt proud being on stage as they called upon my name.
What is one of your career highlights?
A career highlight of mine is receiving messages from viewers that say they have been coming to my stream as a relief from quarantine. They enjoy my stream and use it for entertainment either during the day or at night.
What inspired you to begin streaming?
I have always been into watching live esports and seeing people live streaming them playing games have always looked cool. It is also like running your own TV show.
What are your favorite games and why?
Minecraft was one of my favorites because of the memories I had when I was younger. Call of Duty because of how intense and it also brought my elementary and high school friends together. Fortnite because it was able to give me an esports drive for all things competitive in gaming.
How often do you play?
Recently I have been playing almost 12 hours a day while also bringing daily and nightly streams.
Would you join a professional esports team league or start your own?
I would not mind joining an esports team or start my own. It is a new way to start a family online and bring in amazing talent under one roof. It can also network growth together.
Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
I used to work four jobs in high school as a Ski Instructor, videographer, Background actor and newspaper boy. My favourite I like to say I have done background on the sets of “The Boys” and “Suicide Squad.”
What other players inspire you?
Players of Canadian origin have the most inspiration to me. I love my country and love to bring more esports to it. As most of the esports world you have to travel to the US to attend.
What do you say to others who want to start making a living playing games?
I would say to others that want to start making a living gaming to never stop trying. Network with other streamers of all skill levels and just game. Whether its for fun or competitively. People will watch you for who you are, and your personality so always be yourself when you are streaming.
Any final words?
I stream daily from 12pm – 5pm EST and 7pm – 3am EST on Facebook Gaming. https://www.facebook.com/gaming/nickoolfps
Interview: Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen – Professional League of Legends Player
For Esports fans, it is very exciting and rewarding to see new talents emerge. And this season, those who follow the NA LCS will be excited about Johnson “Johnsun” Nguyen. He comes from an impeccable solo line and very hungry for victory. The bot-laner has the potential to dominate the competitive landscape in the coming years. However, what are your thoughts on all of this? Well, below is the interview we had with him.
How was the experience of spending Spring Split 2020 with Dignitas on the return to LCS?
I found it amazing! It was very good, I believe I came out much better than they expected me, coming from the solo line. Teammates helped me a lot, I learned and also grew as an individual. I focused on playing better right from the start, so the transition was very good.
As a rookie, how do you evaluate your individual performances during your first split?
To be honest, there were some games that I could have played better. In general, I would give myself a 6 or 7, for 10.
Is there a particular game that you’re focused on, or the season as a whole?
I prefer to focus on performance throughout the season. Individual games for me means that you need to do your best to be consistent.
What is your opinion about the competition at NA LCS?
To be honest, I don’t want to say the word kryptonite, but it’s like every team is your worst problem besides Cloud9. TSM has problems, Team Liquid obviously has problems and we also have our own problems. There are definitely some teams that are getting really good. But they still haven’t given the results because of their own general problems.
You played with 8 different champions this season, what are your thoughts on the current state of Bottom Lane?
For you to be successful in LCS, you must know how to play with 2 or 3 champions. In the beginning, obviously, it was Aphelios, Senna and Miss Fortune. After a while, Varus started to appear as well. You just need to focus on people who were bullies in the laning phase and who were still climbing later.
What are your plans for the offseason?
I’m just trying to relax and spend some time with friends of mine. Because, during the season, I can’t do anything but play and play.
If one day you had to play in another type of Esports, competitively, which would it be?
I think CS: GO. I don’t follow the Counter Strike scene, but maybe that would be the modality that would let me take it.
Three quick questions about other games. Did you play several hours playing this game? Would you like to spend more time in this game? A childhood game that was marked?
I played Fortnite with my friends when I needed to give League of Legends a break. To be honest, I don’t like other games when I’m off. Legend of Zelda.
To end the interview, would you like to send a message to someone?
Yes, for my friends, Aphromoo and some other professional players who have always supported me. Blaber and Santorin are examples of this, always giving me confidence.
You can follow Johnsun on Twitter at @Johnsun_lol, for all his latest updates and thoughts, and follow his offseason until Dignitas returns to the stage for Summer Split.
Interview: Richard “Xizt” Landström – Professional CS:GO Player
Today’s interviewee can be considered a legend in Counter Strike Global Offensive. Swede Richard “Xizt” Landström, 29, had his glory days in the Nip team, where he played from 2012 until 2018. He played just one championship for FaZe where he won the title, IEM Sydney 2018. After this brief passage as a complete, he was a year on the fnatic team, where he was not very successful. But with the presence of former NiP companions, Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg, Christopher “GeT_RiGhT” Alesund and Adam “friberg” Friberg, represent Dignitas in this new journey.
The player told us a little about how the team performed in the first edition of Flashpoint. In addition, the challenges in relation to COVID-19. How impactful was the replacement of hallzerk by GuardiaN. Check out the interview below.
Now at Dignitas you re-see colleagues who when they played together at NiP were very successful. How is this experience going now?
It’s been great, we had a bootcamp from the first day we started. It was fun to meet Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli and reconnect colleagues again. We haven’t played together for a few years, all of us. This is being a lot of fun. They all learned a lot from their previous teams. An example was Adam “friberg” Friberg at Heroic and OpTic, me at FaZe and fnatic. Everyone has new ideas that we didn’t have before!
How do you analyze the team’s progress from January to today?
I think we’ve improved a lot since the beginning of the team. We have very strong maps. Now we take the opportunity to play with the newbie Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli. We are more comfortable and so we can play roles better. Always looking at our strategies and inventing new things.
Is the presence of calls from Adam “friberg” Friberg now in matches new to you?
You can be sure that the idea of calling Adam “friberg” Friberg for the team was very important. I think it is very important to have a secondary call, which has an understanding of the game as it has. Today the best teams in the world have a secondary call. In some cases even more people in this role. This has been very important for us until now.
FLASHPOINT did not end the way you wanted. What do you get out of participating in the league?
We had some problems, Håkon “hallzerk” Fjærli was unable to come with us and we had to call Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovács. We had to change our language to English, which made team play a little difficult. But we had general problems, first with Hallzerk and then the whole Coronavirus situation. It was bad, but at the same time we were very close with the goal of improving further after Flashpoint. We learned a lot, but the results were obviously bad.
Did you have to change your playing style after replacing Hallzerk with GuardiaN at Flashpoint?
The characteristics of the two AWPers are very different. Hallzerk is more aggressive, while GuardiaN is as old-fashioned as the rest of us. Not having someone with Hallzerk’s style of play made it a little more difficult for us. We had to change the way we played a little bit. But I still hit the button that the biggest problem was communication. Everyone struggled with communication in English. Small details sometimes went unnoticed. The mind was working at double speed and it didn’t seem to work the way we wanted to.
What went wrong in the decisive match against Gen.G?
Our best map during Flashpoint didn’t do very well. Nuke and Vertigo were the best until the trip to Los Angeles. The two maps are similar in the way they communicate. The radar also changes a lot because of the two different levels. Against Gen.G, we played very well in my opinion, we just didn’t get the extra rounds. We were unable to close, it was small details that made the difference.
Now focusing on RMR events for Major, what is your opinion for this new qualification method due to COVID-19?
I found this change in the qualification system very good. We were looking forward to Minor, but at the same time it was a good time to change all that. The format was old and was not very good. All teams will change the lineup and get different results. With that, I think it’s very good to have the best teams in the Major.
Esports has a privilege to continue working with this pandemic, even with limitations. How does the team deal with this situation?
At the beginning of this we were in the United States, we wanted to go back to Sweden in our homes. Now that I’m here, I feel a strange feeling about not going to LAN tournaments and competing. Everyone needs to have the right mindset to play games online and have the best games. It will be different but at the same time fun, there will be many matches. Many tournaments too, at the same time, the public will love it.
Interview: Guilherme “spacca” Spacca – Player/Analyst/Caster CS:GO
Guilherme “spacca” Spacca is one of the famous names in the Brazilian Counter-Strike scene. He is known for his great success in several areas focused on the game, not only as a professional player. The former CS:GO player currently works in marketing for Gamers Club, the largest gaming platform in Latin America. In addition, he is a Caster/Analyst of Counter Strike Global Offensive.
Check out the exclusive conversation we had with Guilherme “spacca” Spacca.
How did you know Counter Strike and when did you start playing?
I met Counter Strike in 2004 at a lan house next to my school. Some friends of mine were going to play and I was interested, I had never been to a lan house. So, that first time I went, I was already in love with the game. Initially I didn’t play as much CS, because I was really bad, and my friends made fun of me. At first I was playing Battlefield and later I returned to Counter Strike, because one day, I passed a lan house and saw a team training. I didn’t know that there was a competitive scenario, with teams and training. I found this very interesting and so I started to dedicate myself more to the game. I’ve been playing Counter Strike for 16 years.
The Brazilian scenario of CS:GO is growing more and more, what do you consider important for this growth to continue in the coming years?
The Brazilian scenario of CS:GO grows a lot, and I think professionalization is important. Today we have organizations that invest a lot, with good structure, but little protection for the players. I wish there was a league / union project for the players that would defend their interests. Because there is still a lack of commitment from organizations, contracts that are not fulfilled, awards that are not paid. This harms the players a lot, as a majority depends on this salary to live, they do not play just for hobby. Perhaps some laws that value CS:GO players.
With all your experience in Counter Strike, what do you think is essential for an organization to succeed?
I think for an organization to be successful, it needs to think long term. It is no use thinking about an organization being created and in just 6 months, 1 year, and it already gives results. This is not the case. An example is FURIA, it was an organization that worked very quickly, but it is a random case. They got their hands on players, on punctual decisions and so were successful. There is no point in having a large organization, a large investment if there is no scenario for this to happen. Selling the project to players is also important, making them feel important and that they are part of that. Investment to hire the best players, having a gaming house, among others, is also essential.
Currently you have the functions of Caster/Analyst, how is this experience?
My experience as a Caster/Analyst is being very cool. In March I completed 1 year as Caster and it gave me a totally different view of CS:GO. I tell my friends that if I started to be a professional today, I would be much better than how I played a while ago. I saw things that at the time were difficult for me to see. It was always a person who did not dedicate me in the analysis part, nor my gameplay, it hurt me. Doing this now as an analyst gives me another perspective of the game, I can see more where there are gaps or take advantage of space within the game.
Nowadays you no longer compete professionally as a player, if you had a good project for a return, would you go back to compete?
I wouldn’t be competing professionally again, even with a good proposal. My mission on Counter Strike in general, I already did. As a professional, I competed in three different CS, 1.6, Source and CS: GO. I traveled the world playing Counter Strike and I have to make room for the new generation that is emerging with “game hunger”. I no longer have this hunger for games, I like to play yet, but I no longer have the lust to be playing 24 hours a day, preparing for big championships, my phase is over.
With the arrival of Valorant, do you see CS:GO threatened in terms of professional players migrating to the Riot game?
I don’t see CS:GO threatened by the arrival of Valorant. I think Tier 2 and Tier 3 players from around the world will have more opportunities in the Valorant game. Because it’s a new game, a game you don’t know much about, the mechanics of the game. So, a large part of the players who were not successful in CS:GO talking about professionalization, making money, traveling, will have a great chance at Valorant.
The Esports scenario is going to improve with this, with more space for players who were good at other games, but could not reach an advanced professional level. We will have more people living with Esports with the arrival of this game, casters, analysts, commentaries, and players. I haven’t played the game yet, but seeing the gameplays I don’t see the game much like CS:GO as many people were saying. A mixture of Overwatch with CS, the graphics that are more childlike can catch a younger audience. Even though CS:GO also has a young audience, the professional environment works with players of 20, 22 years old.
What was your most striking moment on Counter Strike?
There were several, complicated to say just one. I think when I was asked to play at the MIBR in 2009 it was a very incredible feeling. Raphael “cogu” Camargo called me calling me. When I played for FURIA and qualified for Minor in London in 2018, I was also forever marked as a player.
In closing, do you have any person who inspires you in this profession?
I don’t have someone in particular that inspires me. It’s not just Counter Strike, I don’t have many idols in music and football for example. I am a more relaxed person, I admire several players, but I never had one in particular. I try to get more inspiration from people outside the game, for example, my parents. My father is one of the best human beings in the world, and I always try to elevate that, in CS or in any other profession by being honest and true. So to sum up, I was inspired more by mine than by any specific player.
If you want to check out Guilherme “spacca” Spacca social networks: