'There needs to be more region-based LAN events' – interview with Splyce's UK Call of Duty player Bance

At Insomnia62’s CWL Birmingham event a few weeks back, 200 teams battled it out to become CWL champions and take home their share of the $200,000 prize pool.
Esports News UK’s Jacob Hale managed to speak to Splyce captain Ben Bance about the team, himself and the future of Call of Duty esports.

Results prior to i62 haven’t been what you expect. Why do you think that’s been the case? Is it something you’ve managed to address?

There’s a lot of reasons why we haven’t had much success. We haven’t played much so we weren’t up to date with the meta. We tried role swaps; it worked for a bit but people were still uncomfortable so we had to change back.
We realised we just need to be quicker, rely on each other and trust each other – we were all trying to do too much, doing the main slaying and everything, so trust was a main part.
And honestly, I’d say it was myself, I was too inconsistent at times. Sometimes I played well and it wasn’t enough and sometimes I just had awful maps and I cost my team. I feel like I’ve gone back and worked on myself to be consistent. It’s all the little things really.

So, what are your expectations for this tournament?

I always come in to every event wanting to win. Anything but a win is a disappointment for me.

“There needs to be more region-based LAN events so that the talent have something to practice for.”


Last year you had a lot of success with Trei “Zer0” Morris – what prompted the roster change, and what is new recruit Tommey bringing to the table?

The main reason was personality-wise – even he and I clashed and I see him as a really, really good friend. I always talk to him and even he and I started clashing quite badly, and it just wasn’t healthy for the team.
The vibes just weren’t there, and when the vibes aren’t there you just don’t play as well, and you can see that in our performance. We went from first and second to top eight/top 12, it was a massive change and I think that was the main reason.
Tommey just brings in a leadership role. He doesn’t command us or anything, but he gives his input more. I don’t know… it’s easy skill-wise, there’s a lot of people that are very talented but I feel teams just need to start working on how they work with each other.

Do you think the current system is detrimental or beneficial to Call of Duty esports as a whole, particularly at a grassroots level?

I feel like there’s always going to be room for improvement, no matter what game, like anything in life there’s always room for improvement. I feel like it’s good for what we’ve got at the moment, because it’s helping bring talent in constantly and they’re playing for something [in regards to the National Circuits].
There just needs to be more region-based LAN events so that the talent have something to practice for. At the moment you see teams constantly change every week, and they just don’t want to stick together to work for something, so I feel like a regional event here and there would be better.

“I always come in to every event wanting to win. Anything but a win is a disappointment for me.”


With Black Ops 4 recently announced, how are you feeling about it and what are your expectations for the game?

I’m looking forward to Black Ops 4. Vonderhaar (David Vonderhaar, Studio Lead at Treyarch) makes the best games.
He’s just great at what he’s doing, and I think he’s a proper esports lover, so you know he’s not going to throw us to one side and just cater for the casual gamers. He will always try and make it work for both. I’m excited.
Following this interview, Splyce went on a historic run to place second at CWL Birmingham, taking out some of the best teams in the world on the way, with Bance playing even beyond the high expectations held of him.
Huge congratulations to both Splyce and Ben himself for giving the CWL Birmingham fans – and the esport – an elevated standard of expectations for CWL events and UK esports.
(Featured image courtesy of COD World League/Sammy Lam)

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