Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom is a rifler for G2 Esports and is one of the best-known Belgian Counter-Strike players thanks in part to his uncommon tapping playstyle. His team have had an up-and-down year, but after a second-place finish at SL i-League Season 2, they look like one of the stronger teams going into ESL One New York 2016.
With just a few hours until the tournament kicks off, ScreaM took the time to chat with theScore esports to talk about his one-taps and the state of G2.
First let’s talk about you as a player. Your tapping style of playing is very unique in CS:GO days and it’s become a meme within the community. While tapping was quite common in the 1.6 days, most would argue that now it’s an antiquated way of playing.
Regardless, you excel at it and you seem to be the only player that does, as seemingly indicated by your 64.7% headshot rate this year, no other pro player comes close. Why did you stick with the tapping style when everyone else primarily adapted to a spray-control style?
That is a good question, I have been practicing my style for a while now, just because it's so amazing to play like this in my opinion. I’m enjoying it a lot, and that's how I wanna play. And of course, I think it is the most efficient style when you master it completely (I haven't mastered it yet.)
In the "Second Shot" update from Aug. 3, changes were made across all weapons that improved tapping and short bursts. It’s been over a month since that update, did you notice an improvement in your own game? Have you noticed other players shifting over to tapping more?
Yes. The first bullets are more accurate and it feels good for me. I don’t know how big it impacts other players, but I'm really happy with it.
I guess people will just need to be used to it again, but they won't change their playstyle because of this. It actually helps everyone to have the first bullets more accurate, not only my style.
G2 have looked hot and cold in the middle part of 2016. What are the factors in the team’s apparent inconsistency? What are you guys doing to keep this momentum going?
Well, we have been on vacation for four weeks without practicing, etc. and it affected us a lot. We lost some principles we had, and of course some momentum, but it’s getting a lot better since a few days. We are just practicing as much as possible, as a team and individually.
Confidence seems to be a huge factor in how you guys perform, moreso than other teams. What are the things that make you guys lose your confidence, and what do you guys do to regain it?
It's not really only about confidence, we are just trying to keep things simple and clear. Playing with our strengths, being able to adapt quickly, improving our communication and firepower.
Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro came on to the team in April and so the roster has been stable for almost six months. What are your thoughts on the potential of this roster? Where does the team need to improve?
We still need some experience of course. We are quite a new team with not many events together, but the next events will be crucial to know what we really need to work on. I guess we need to work on a lot of details mostly, to make it a perfect team.
Another change that came back in April was Richard "shox" Papillon taking over as the in-game leader. How would you describe playing under his leadership in comparison to the other leaders you’ve played under?
shox’s lead is more about using his players as they should be used; trust them and let them free. For example on T sides, SmithZz [Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux] and I are calling most of the time.
I've never played like that with any leader, but I feel like it's the playstyle to have. Still need some experience with it though.
G2 and your French cousins/rivals in Team EnVyUs have been at the top of French CS:GO for a while now. There’s also Millenium, as well as LDLC with former teammate Kevin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans, but neither come close to being a top tier team. What is your opinion on the health of the French/Belgium scene?
I think there's a lot of potential in France, but once again, French teams aren't really consistent and change roster every time. That's the biggest problem I think.
G2 were one of the few teams to never really make use of a coach, do you believe you guys will benefit come the next Major, given the coaching ban?
We never used a coach because we don’t really want one. I think it won't help us or we don't feel the need for it yet, though someone that analyzes other teams is a very good thing that everyone needs.
Going into ESL One New York, what do you think of the Swiss-system used for the group stage?
I think it's an amazing format, for the viewers and for the players. There are a lot of games and the best teams go through. What else do we need?
You guys know that your opening matchup is against Astralis, but you won’t know which team you’re facing next until after the first matches are done. How does that affect the team’s preparation for the event?
As always, we will analyze some of their maps. But we won’t prepare anything big, just play our own game and try to make less mistakes than them.
From ESL NY and onward, what do you guys hope to achieve in the season leading into the next Major?
We just want to win every event, but we will take it one-by-one, map-by-map and see how everything goes! But I know we can if we want. We are a different team from SLTV already, and it feels amazing to see our progress.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.