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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

meyern: “I want to give my all to compete with an Argentinian team at big events; I’m going to chase that dream”

Ignacio “⁠meyern⁠” Meyer made his return to the servers last month with Furious, on loan from 9z, after taking break from competition in October 2020. The first event in his new endeavour was a success as he and his teammates qualified for the Aorus League regional finals with wins against the biggest teams in Argentina.

Following their victory, we sat down with the Argentine youngster to learn more about him joining forces with Furious, the reasoning behind his long break, how he sees his return and the different possible routes he could have taken when considering his options.

meyern believes Argentina has what it takes to put a team on the world scene

The 18-year-old, who lived two intense years abroad playing in Brazil, Europe and North America with teams like Isurus, Sharks and MIBR, has now set the goal of trying to get Argentina on the map by teaming up with Jonathan “⁠JonY BoY⁠” Muñoz and a trio of young up-and-coming players in the South American country. To understand how meyern got to where he is now, we revisited some of his past experiences and picked his brain on his current situation and what the future could bring in a burgeoning Counter-Strike scene in his native country.

Let’s start off by going back in time to your big break on the international scene, when you joined MIBR. What was that experience like?

When I joined MIBR in December 2019 we did OK at the beginning. We had close games against some of the best teams in the world and we bootcamped in February, practicing up to 11 hours a day against all of the top teams. I think we were fairly strong at the time, we were doing well in practice and we were pretty united as a group. We spent all of our time together, talking about the mistakes we had to fix and the things we did well.

Then the Major got cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. We were in California at the time and we lost the Flashpoint final, as well. After that, our results started to go downhill, we had a lot of meetings in which we talked about possible solutions and proposals regarding how to get better. Despite everything, it was a nice period. It was a beautiful experience to be able to play against the best teams in the world, alongside the best players in the world, and I really learned a lot.

I took away good things from everyone there and without a doubt it was a time in which I felt good about myself. I was playing all day and working on finding the best version that I could be, but in the end, they decided to cut me from the team. I had to accept the decision and I took it in stride, even staying at the gaming house a few extra days before flying back home.

During my time in MIBR I got to play on LAN with a bit of a crowd and I had the chance to bootcamp in Poland, which was also a great experience. To live and breathe Counter-Strike all day long was something amazing. Living with the team was also quite an experience. Waking up and walking down to your PC to sit next to FalleN, TACO, kNgV- and fer, people who know so much about the game and who are always giving you something new to think about, was a constant learning process.

Why weren’t you able to adapt to the team? Was it because of the roles in the server? Lack of experience? Something else?

I wasn’t able to fit in because I have a bit of a special personality, I don’t think I was contributing enough to the team at the time, inside or outside of the server. At first, I was playing okay, but I was playing new roles because they already had all of their fixed roles and I was the one who had to adapt. So in some ways, I wasn’t able to contribute enough with communication and other things, but I tried to give as much as I could and to learn as much as I could to get up to speed. I was never able to get on their level, and looking back, I just think it wasn’t my time. I was there to learn and become a better version of myself, but they needed something to work out faster. I tried to give as much as I could, but it just wasn’t my time yet.

Did you think that joining a struggling team at such a young age was a problem?

Being so young was one more setback. I was in a very beloved team with an incredibly huge following and I was feeling a lot of pressure. They were also already struggling before I came into the picture, it’s not like they were winning before I joined, and when we couldn’t turn it around I think it made them want to look elsewhere and try something new, which is something that I was the first person to understand and agree with.

Where was the pressure coming from? Was it self-imposed or was it external?

The pressure was mostly from within, I wanted to become the best possible version of myself, although I also felt the pressure of having such a huge following — there were so many people rooting for MIBR. The pressure was both internal and external.

meyern felt the pressure of standing among giants of the game during his time in MIBR

What was your biggest takeaway from that time?

I learned a lot while I was in MIBR, especially as a teammate, trying to make the person next to you better so that they can also be the best possible version of themselves. Striving to reach the highest level and trying to find perfection in the game. That’s something very crucial and I always seek it out now, perfection — even if such a thing doesn’t exist, you want to be as close to it as possible. The things I experienced during that time filled me up for the future, so I take it as something positive. Now I’m just trying to put to practice all of the things I learned back then.

You didn’t let much time elapse after leaving MIBR and you teamed up with 9z soon thereafter, albeit somewhat briefly. What happened there?

I joined 9z in July 2020. It was a different team than what I was used to, a lot of young guys but also experience on the side of bit and zakk. It was a team that I struggled to gel with at the beginning, but they were always there to help and did everything for me to fit in with the group. They’re a very good team with a solid future ahead of them. I’ll forever apologize to them, but it just wasn’t the right time for me to join a team, I wasn’t feeling well back then. I was a bit depressed, so to say, a bit tired of the game.

Nothing was the same when I returned [to Argentina] and I just didn’t have the same motivation as before. I tried to force myself to give as much as I could to the team and the organization, but in the end I hit a wall and realized that I needed to take some time to myself. It had nothing to do with them, quite the opposite, I got along with everyone and they had great energy. But the truth is that at that point staying on the team didn’t do anyone any good, so I decided to take some time off, get my affairs in order and hit the reset button.

Do you think the experiences you lived at such a young age, before joining 9z, were heavy on you?

I started playing when I was really young and I left home when I was 16. Having so many experiences at such a young age eventually made me hit a low point, emotionally, and I think that reaching the heights of playing with MIBR and it coming to such an abrupt end… In a certain way, it was great because of all of the things I learned, but in other ways, it hit me emotionally. Being so far from my family and not having a lot of contact with them for so long, it all played into me feeling a bit down. I left home at 16, first to Brazil with Isurus, then to Portugal and Texas with Sharks, and finally to California with MIBR.

meyern took some time to himself after almost two years abroad, a journey he started at 16

All in all, it was nearly two years away from home and it did affect me. I don’t think it would have been the same had I been living in Argentina, but on the other hand, I’m so happy that I was able to do all of those things at such a young age, and I know that all of it will help me in the present and in the future. Like any period, it had its ups and downs, some things were lost and others were gained, but now I’m ready to look forward and use what I have learned.

What did you do in your time off to get the flame burning again?

When I took a break from Counter-Strike, I set more time aside to be with my family and friends. I used my time to connect with them while also getting my own affairs in order. Although even then I still kept up to date with the game. I played with friends, I watched streams and tournaments, but it was all just a bit more relaxed. It was a time to figure out how to come back in the best possible way, both inside and outside of the server. It was a crucial break for me, after which I’m ready to start practicing seriously and playing tournaments again. More than ever, I’m ready to start striving and achieving new goals.

Did you have many offers while you were on the sidelines?

I had several offers from Europe and North America, I was very close to signing with a team based in North America. I was literally one step away from leaving, but I realized deep down that it wasn’t really what I wanted. What I wanted was to return with an Argentinian team.

I believe that my future is here and I want to give my all to compete with an Argentinian squad at big events. That’s my goal now, so I turned down international offers to start a new journey here, with that goal in mind. It’s my dream and I want to make it reality, I’m going to do everything I can to make it happen. Language barriers or leaving the country weren’t a big deal for me, I could have done it, but I truly believe an Argentinian team can make it, so I’m going to chase that dream.

You ended up making a return with Furious. What led you there? And can you tell me a little bit about the team itself?

One big takeaway from my early days was the importance of teamwork because tomorrow it won’t be you winning all by yourself, it will be with your team. Fruits are borne from hard work each and every day, with the whole team on the same page and having the same goals and dreams. I believe the most important part is group work, to get good chemistry and good energy going. I believe that the teams that become successful are the ones that are united. That’s something I feel with Furious. Even if we’re going slowly and step by step, I think we’re on the right track.

We just started out, but I’m sure we have everything we need to move forward. It’s a complicated time with the coronavirus pandemic still out there, which makes bootcamping and other things hard, but we’re going to do everything in our hands to give as much as each of us possibly can. I believe we’ll be able to achieve beautiful things with time, we just need to keep up our routine and the progress we’re making so that things will work out in our favor.

JonY BoY was one of the players meyern looked up to in his early days

Furious is made up of nacho, abizz and Owen$inhoM, three young players that may not be famous but that have huge potential. They’ve been playing together for a while now and the truth is that they have what it takes to make it, they’re very devoted to the game. They’re always trying to figure out their mistakes, working on becoming better players, and they’re very motivated. They may not have a lot of experience, but they’re getting better day by day and they also work on making the team a strong, cohesive unit.

On the other side there’s JonY BoY, who has been through a lot. When I started playing I was a huge fan of his, so being on a team with him now is incredible for me — I’m very happy that it worked out the way it did. We have a nice group going with our coach, Xiguinilster, and our analyst, Muse. We work well and I know that what we’re doing now, which we do to chase our dream, will be rewarded in the future. We have a lot of ambition and we put in the work to go with it.

You beat Isurus and 9z in your first outing, the Aorus League Season 2 Southern Cone qualifier. What was that win like for the team?

We only had two weeks of practice before the Aorus League Season 2 Southern Cone qualifier, but we won all of our matches, except one against 9z, and qualified for the event. We started ahead against 9z, but they came back and won 16-14. We had a good T side on Nuke, but our CT side wasn’t great and they punished us for it. After that, we beat Coscu Army, Isurus in the semi-finals and 9z in the final. It was a very good tournament for us, we were always fixing our mistakes and constantly improving after every match.

It’s incredible how every player is constantly trying to become better and the work they put towards doing it is amazing, it makes me very happy. When I came back to activity I told myself that I’d give my best in every single tournament we play and that I’d live every experience in the best possible way. Now we need to keep this up at every upcoming tournament.

You’re on loan with Furious until the end of the year but still under contract with 9z. How do you see the future playing out? Do you think you’ll stay in Argentina or is there a chance you’ll go to a bigger region?

I haven’t really thought long term, and it’s not something I’m very interested in doing just yet, but I can say that the chance of going international and living that experience again is always there, sure, the door is always open. But right now, more than anything, I want to concentrate on the present and focus on the experience of playing with Furious.

I’m happy playing in Argentina and I’m happy that this opportunity arose, and although it’s just a loan right now — which is something that has to be respected —, I’m just focused on being present and going all in with this team. I’m just playing as if every match with this team were the last one and giving as much of myself as I can in order to win everything we can.

It seems to be a good moment to be playing in Argentina, the region is currently in a period of growth, living through a golden age.

I’m very excited about the current state of the Argentinian Counter-Strike scene. It’s full of people that are really supporting the game and we have a huge fan base. We also have a lot of teams that are starting to make waves like Durany, River Plate, Isurus or 9z. I think if we keep going we’ll be able to reach a pretty high level. The Argentinian scene hasn’t always been very strong, but we should be proud of the way things are going at the moment.

I dream that one day be we’ll be recognized globally. Our next step is to qualify for bigger tournaments, as 9z did. They went on to beat none other than Vitality. That meant a lot to us, it made me so happy when they won. I worked with the 9z guys and seeing them win was a real pleasure. I’m going to keep working hard so that we can bring fans more joyous moments like that. I know that everyone is working hard for that to happen and it makes me very happy.

Counter-Strike is suffering in a lot of regions, but in Argentina we’re lucky to have guys like Luken, try, max… well, max is from Uruguay, but that’s a country that we fraternize with a lot. I think that having a lot of positive influences has helped the community grow. These days it’s huge, people don’t talk about it much, but there are a lot of people joining in and supporting the local scene.

Players like Luken are important pillars for the game’s growth in Argentina, meyern says

There are also a lot of very talented players appearing, players who have been working hard to carve out a place for themselves. This is something that has slowly been happening, it seems like it’s new, but I’ve been watching talented players in our amateur circuit for a while now. I think that hard work and consistency are really helping us become a bigger community.

Organizations like 9z, Isurus, Furious, they’re very big at our regional level, and in large part it’s thanks to them that more and more people are joining the scene every day. It’s almost impossible to say that we can be like Brazil, the cradle of Counter-Strike in South America — they’re at a very high level with a lot of great teams —, but it’s something we can try and mimic to reach similar heights. We need to keep supporting each other and treating each other with respect, in the end, we’re all chasing the same dream. If anyone from Argentina wins something, we should take it as a victory for all of us. We all need to be pushing in the same direction and I believe that we’re on the right path.

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Counter Strike: Global Offensive

OG defeat BIG to win Spring Sweet Spring 2

OG have won Spring Sweet Spring 2 after defeating BIG 2-1 in the grand final to book a spot at LAN Sweet LAN 2022, an event to cap off Relog Media’s tournament series featuring all the monthly winners throughout the year. Both finalists received direct invites to the quarter-finals (alongside fnatic and forZe), with Aleksi “⁠Aleksib⁠” Virolainen‘s troops taking down 1WIN and Fiend, while Johannes “⁠tabseN⁠” Wodarz & co. beat Wisla Krakow and Entropiq en route to the final.

“We needed something like this just to boost the confidence and overall to get the team started on the right path,” Aleksib said after the match. “We’re feeling super hot right now.” OG will be looking to ride the momentum into IEM Summer tomorrow, when they will face NIP in the best-of-one opening round at 16:30