Catching up with B.O.O.T-d[S] before the COBX Masters

Aditya Singh Rawat

3o, Apr, 2019

Welcome back to the fourth instalment of ‘MewMents with Catslayer’.

It's been a while since the last episode but now with the COBX Masters just two days away, your friendly neighbourhood Catslayer connected with one of the international teams that is making its way to the event via the SEA qualifier - B.O.O.T-d[S].

The top team from Singapore has had a fair share of success in recent times as they head to Mumbai. Here's what we talked about.

Benedict ‘Benkai’ Tan

What is a  typical workday like for a B.O.O.T-d[S] player?

Since I am in the army, I usually get home at around 5.30 pm and we start practice at 6 pm. We usually theorycraft for about an hour before we scrim around 3 - 4 matches. Afterwards, we have a short debrief and then we call it a day.

What does the team do when taking a break?

We normally don’t touch CS at all as it is heavily highlighted in the team that we have a good work-life balance outside of CS. We could be doing other things like playing casual games together (Apex Legends of course) and even going out for a movie and whatnot.

In what ways do you think the SEA teams lag behind their Chinese counterparts? Or do you think both the regions have equally talented teams to offer?

I don’t necessarily think that SEA teams are lagging behind the teams in China. Both regions have very different playstyles. Chinese teams have a playstyle that most SEA teams are not very used to playing against, they also have a lot more time to practice since playing CS in China is a very sustainable source of income compared to playing in SEA. If SEA teams had the same opportunities as Chinese teams job wise, I think there’ll easily be more competitive players from the SEA region.


Which team do you guys think will be the biggest threat for B.O.O.T-d[S] at the COBX Masters?

Obviously, our biggest threat is Grayhound. They’re the team with the most experience I think but I think our mix of players is more than capable of causing the upset.


Are you all looking forward to trying some Indian cuisine? Anything specific on the Menu?

We love Indian cuisine! It’s our favourite choice for supper and we’re excited to see how different it is in India! Roti Prata is the first that comes to mind followed by some good biryani!

Alexandre ‘alecks’ Sallé

How did the organization cope with the constant departure and arrival of players?

It was tough, Benkai is definitely one of the best players in the region and him leaving left a huge hole to fill. It did, however, allow other people in the team to step up and show the organisation what they were capable of, I'd say impression splashske and Tommy did an amazing job considering that they had to deal with new teammates every 2 months. It did get to them in the end, there was a lot of frustration because we couldn't move forward and it felt like the team was constantly stuck in limbo, having to relearn everything again and again together with new guys.

Having moxie and bobosaur stand-in for the last 4 months was really great for us, we finally had found some stable lineup that we could practice with, and we tried our best to win Extremesland 2018, but alas we crashed out in the semis. Was fun though.

It's just unfortunate that we couldn't work it out with w1nter, we all love the guy but every time we win an online tournament we'd get his visa rejected 10 days before the tournament and we need a stand-in. After the 3rd time, it was like omg, not this shit again. Eventually, we just made the mutual decision to part ways. I hear he's in a Kazakhstani team right now and I'm sure he knows we're rooting for him.

Benkai being available to play tournaments is probably the best news for B.O.O.T this year, he's still our hero, the 5-month break he had didn't seem to affect his skill too much.

B.O.O.T acquiring d4v41 from FrostFire has made us a better team than last year I think. d4v41 is a fantastic person to work with, not only is he really good at CSGO, but like I think its really hard to find someone who is so demanding to himself, and also yet a very positive influence, never upset with anyone and always encouraging his teammates. He's a joy to work with honestly.

Lastly, bobosaur has been in and out of the team as the eternal stand-in, I'm happy that he's won himself a permanent place on the roster. He's incredibly goofy but always positive, and always has input in rounds. He's also responsible for any crazy ideas in-game that B.O.O.T might pull off, always trying to reinvent the meta for us. I think he's enjoying his time in B.O.O.T a lot right now.

All in all, we're sad to see Tommy, moxie and impression go, but the three of them are now part of great projects and we wish them all the best. Impression is now the first Singaporean CSGO player to be part of a truly international lineup in BTRG, Tommy and moxie have embarked on a new project and will be back to the top of Asian counterstrike sooner rather than later. I'm sure B.O.O.T will relish the future battles with our former teammates.


The team consists of players belonging to three different nationalities so how does the team manage to communicate effectively?

We all speak good English, I've been here in Singapore since I was four so I'm only French by blood and by my passport, I'm more Singaporean than I am French for sure. Communication isn't an issue, although sometimes D4v41 will random tell me directions of players left and right in Malay still.


Climbing all the way to the top how would you describe the esport scene in Singapore?

Singapore has a really small scene. At any one point in time, there's like 2-3 teams that compete. Last year was B.O.O.T and Vindicta, this year there are the young boys from AOES.SG who are doing really well, us with B.O.O.T, and a new TitaNs project that everyone in Singapore should be really excited about.

In B.O.O.T although we want to win every tournament we do hope that anyone in the Singapore scene does well in overseas competitions. Gotta stick together!


Are you guys friends with any of the Indian players? Have you ever played against an Indian team before?

Yeah, I think I've known Ace for a long long time, he's a good guy. Also, Aequitas who works with sostronk is one of my IGL inspirations, I always have great discussions with him, loads of respect. He's been in the Singapore scene too so I hope he has a soft spot for us. I'm not really close to anyone else. I enjoy chatting with Bleh a lot!

We've practised with Entity a lot, haven't played with the new Signify but we used to have games with the now infamous Optic. India.

Nevin ‘splashske’ Aw

How is the team preparing for the upcoming events? What are the team's expectations going into these events?

Our aim for these events are always going step by step so the first goal is to make it to playoffs and then from there we set the goal higher and higher.


What do you guys think about the Group Stage format? Do you think that the Indian teams can cause an upset?

Its a fair and even group I would say, and it's a LAN event so i think anything can happen anyone can upset anybody so it'll be a very interesting event for sure.


What are you most excited about for your trip to India? Will you guys be going around the city of Mumbai?

Excited for the Food for sure in Mumbai as I've heard from people it's super amazing.


How are the preparations for the upcoming COBX Masters coming along? Is the team doing anything special for the event?

Nothing special just practising normally every day before the event. Maybe we are just playing extra individually to make sure we are at standard.

Leslie ‘Bobosaur’ Soen

What is the team doing right to perform so well in all the recent qualifiers it has participated in?

We've hit the right balance of practice and rest and it shows in our performances as well, we get down to business and do our work diligently during practices. In our free time, we also talk a lot about CS and we all do individual demo work to bring new things in practice as well.


What do you feel about the current line-up? Where would you rank yourselves in the SEA region?

I feel that our current line-up is very balanced and the roles of the players fit very nicely to compliment each other which makes us perform better as a team. I would say that we are currently a little shaky and we are not undisputed in the SEA region yet as we are not pulling off super convincing wins, so maybe top 3.


Is it the team's first time coming to India? Any preconceived notions that the team is worried about?

Yes, it is our first time going to India. I believe for some of us may be a little worried about the food here in India, especially when the food is generally spicy, but I think for most of us, we can handle spicy food as we have plenty back home.

I had some extra time on my hand so I ended up asking some random questions to the players, here's what they had to say!

Dream tournament that you have always wanted to be a part of?

Benkai: I’d obviously want to be part of the major.

D4v41: Of course it would be the Major.

Alecks: Anyone of the majors, maybe the Katowice/Cologne ones.

Splashske: The CS:GO Major for sure as its the biggest tournament in CS:GO history

Bobosaur: The Major! So that I can draw a Bulbasaur on my own stickers.

What would be the perfect holiday or vacation for you?

Benkai: I’ve visited Switzerland before and I think it’s a country with surreal scenery and some of the most welcoming people I’ve met. Would love to head back there again!

D4v41: Good food, buying souvenirs for family and myself.

Alecks: I like Japan a lot, so probably some road trip to see the sights of Japan in winter, ending with a snowboarding trip in Niseko with a couple of good friends.

Splashske: A VAC-ation....just kidding probably a place like Bali would be a nice place to be.

If not a professional CS player, what would you have been?

Benkai: Probably a graphic designer, that’s my second hobby outside of playing CS.

Alecks: Hopefully a successful business owner!

Splashske: Probably take up Go-Kart or Bike racing professionally for sure.


Given a chance to create an all-star team, which players would have featured in your team?

Benkai: I’d choose Bobosaur. Just Bobosaur. He’s a one-man team.

Alecks: Trace, NEO, f0rest, GeT_RiGhT and ave probably. Old school cool. (Sorry Harley! you definitely make the second team)

Splashske: Gla1ve, Xyp9x, dupreeh, Magisk and Me.

What has been your most memorable moment related to CS so far?

Benkai: Qualifying for Dreamhack Malmo was a pretty fond memory of mine as that was the first time I felt our hard work paying off.

Alecks: I think my local tournament wins with my old bovines guys have a special place in my heart, because we started from nothing and worked with no salary and stuff. Meant a lot to know that we were good enough to hang with the best in the scene at that time.

Splashske: I think it would be going to my first big event and meeting all the pros for the first time. It was just an eye-opener for me.

Going all the way back in time, what was your first ever MM rank?

Benkai: DMG. (I was scouted out from MM. Thanks, matchmaking!)

Alecks: SMFC or Global. (I won all 10 games when the game came out. CSGO has come a long way.)

Splashske: Global Elite.

That is all for now. Stay tuned for more interesting conversations, until next time this is Catslayer sighing off. Peace guys!

In case you missed out on the earlier episodes check them out now.

Episode - 1 | Episode - 2 | Episode - 3