The emergence of two pro UK CSGO players can inspire a generation of talent, according to British esports icon Paul “Redeye” Chaloner.
Britain has struggled to consistently produce top-level players in the CSGO era but currently has two to be proud of.
smooya of Berlin International Gaming (BIG) and dephh of compLexity are British-born and rubbing shoulders with the best in the game at the moment.
smooya recently won Player of the Year at the UK Esports Awards and put in a top performance at ESL One Cologne, helping BIG reach the final, while dephh helped CompLexity win the Americas Minor.
Both with play on home soil in September when the FACEIT CSGO Major is hosted in London for the first time. The pair were confirmed by their respective teams when the rosters were locked.
Redeye said it was a huge boost for the British CSGO scene.
Speaking in episode two of the Luckbox podcast, he said: “We have two UK players – bonafide, good players and potentially great players – who are both playing at the UK Major in September at Wembley, which is amazing, it’s fantastic.
“I hope it helps the young kids, the boys and girls that go to school and college right now that look up to these guys as role models, as people they want to emulate later on.
“We grew up maybe thinking we we’re going to be footballers. Today’s kids are growing up thinking they want to be esports superstars. They want to be professional players in whatever game.
“I hope that by having two UK players to root for at the UK Major, it inspires some of these young players and that over the next five to ten years, we can start improving those players and bringing them through and putting them on really good teams in Tier 1 games as well.”
“The fact that we’ve got British players playing at the Major is a huge step forward for this region of esports because we’ve notoriously not done very well over the past five years.”
Paul “Redeye” Chaloner
On smooya (who is represented by Redeye’s agency Code Red Esports), Redeye added: “BIG took on probably the best player we’ve produced in a decade, if not a generation, in Counter-Strike.
“He is an absolute talent, there’s no doubt about that and I know that he’s been frustrated over the last couple of years in various line-ups and teams that he’s played in but I think he’s finally found a home now, that he can have friends in, that he can enjoy playing in and that can match his ambition and his skill level.
“The fact that we’ve actually got British players at all playing at the Major, is a huge step forward for this area and this region of esports because we’ve notoriously not done very well over the past five years.”
smooya played for Epsilon and Team Endpoint prior to his BIG move, and it wasn’t always plain sailing for the UK player.
Redeye is an advisor and ambassador for esports betting platform Luckbox and is a regular host of the Luckbox Podcast with Sujoy Roy, the company’s director of esports and the UK’s first pro esports player.
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Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.