Anders Blume: ”Next year we will see the game elevate to a whole new level”

av Björn Ehrnberg

The CS:GO community is gearing up for the biggest tournament of the year. Dreamhack Winter is looming on the horizon and we will all be guided through the games by a Danish guy born right outside of Copenhagen.
– It’s been a great year for Counter-Strike, but I believe that next year we will see the game elevate to a whole new level, Anders Blume told Aftonbladet Esport.

During Fragbite Masters LAN-finals, way before all the VAC-bans were handed out, we had the chance to sit down with the casting legend, Anders Blume. The Dane, who’s been the voice of Counter-Strike Global Offensive for what seems like ages, talked about the past, the present and the future. With that soothing English of his, Blume tells the story how it all began, and where CS:GO is heading.
– I started playing Counter-Strike a really long time ago. I’ve been calculating backwards to when I began, and I remember when we played with no options bar and you had to bind the keys all by yourself, Anders reminisce and continues:
– I remember back in those days when I would play the 5.2 beta and be laughing at the models. They bend their knees really high and it looks ridiculous. And then 1.0 came out and the game looked a lot more realistic. At that moment I had fallen for the game.

Did you play for the fun of it or did you have an ambition to become really good at it?
– I played with a lot of friends and we used to make up really bad clans. We basically made them just to have the tag next to our names. Later on we actually started to focus on competing online against other teams in tournaments.
– The last clan I joined was called Faktory. We did fairly well and ended up going to one LAN if I remember correctly and finished second against an other Danish team. They were way better then us, and we got kind of rekted.

”I hated it”

The years went by and Anders had a break from the game. Along came Counter-Strike: Source, but it was nothing that intrigued him.
I hated it instantly and actually never looked back after trying it once. It felt so different and I didn’t enjoy it, but now it is something that I kind of regret because it would have been fun knowing the history of Source as well. We’re just lucky that we have Richard Lewis and Halvor ‘vENdetta’ Gulestøl that I’m really good friends with who can help me catch up a little bit.
– Now I don’t care where if professional players came from either Source or 1.6, that doesn’t matter even though it did in the beginning of Global Offensive.

After rides and strides through the Danish CS:GO-community Anders Blume ended up with Ninjas in Pyjamas and their project with NiPTV. From there he went on to become the voice of the game and today he runs RoomOnFire together with Auguste ”Semmlertheriot” Massonnat and Gulestøl.

Where did all this broadcasting begin?
– I started playing CS:GO and found it really hard to adjust. If I don’t play almost every day I forget what I’m doing. But I was watching a lot of others doing casting from games, and I always thought that they were missing some stuff, most notably how smokes, flashes and grenades matter to the game. And to what extent they are used to either signal a push or a fake. Mainly people were talking about how one player was good at getting a lot of kills.

”Tiny, tiny details”

The humble dane continues and explains how much of the tactical aspects of the game is fairly easy to talk about, how much of it is actually common sense if you have had enough time in the game.
– The concept of analysis in Counter-Strike is really widely misunderstood by a lot of people because when you look at games like Dota2 or League of Legends you have such a lot of time to talk about what is happening in the game. They can easily talk for several minutes about aspects of a team fight or what will happen next while nothing else is happening, he says and keeps on going:
– In Counter-Strike you are really lucky if you have 15 seconds to talk about something. And actually most stuff requires a lot more time because they come down to tiny, tiny details. Sometimes you don’t even catch that very defining detail on camera.

What would make the broadcast even better?
– The best way for casting CS:GO would be to have a color caster during the game, but unlike now, we have a studio where we can bring up the most significant rounds from the match and actually dig in regarding the tactical stuff that is going on.
– You have to realize that one player on the team spotted an opponent in a certain position and that position somehow means that the other team holds a certain set up and the ingame leader makes the best call based on that information. And all that you can’t sum up in 15 seconds, no matter who you are.

You would wish for Counter-Strike to basically have the same opportunity that football in general have, where you have an analys desk talking about specific moments during the game and explaining that for the audience?
– Yes. And at the same time I would love for the color caster to have more time to talk about the deep stuff instead of having to mention the most simple stuff – that is something I can do. But I feel that a bunch of people look at the other games and want the same standard in CS:GO, and it just isn’t. There is not enough time.

”Delete the CZ out of the game”

This past year, basically since Dreamhack Winter 2013, CS:GO really has taken off. What would you attribute the success to?
– 2013 and 2014 have been the building blocks for CS:GO. Next year we will see a lot more money, and a lot more pressure on the teams to play more. There will be more tournaments next year, something that is both good and bad. We have all seen what happened to Dota, when there is too many tourneys and a really big one. I’m happy we don’t have one big tournament like The International that weighs to much, and rather have the majors.
– But even the majors need to be upgraded, because all other tournaments might grow so big that the majors shrink and don’t look as impressive.

Do you in any shape or form feel like the game need to evolve?
– When Valve decided to go from five to seven maps, a lot of people were arguing for Cache and Tuscan to be introduced to the map pool. Instead they ditched Train and added Cache, Overpass and Cobblestone. Right now it feels like Overpass might actually be a good map, but Cobblestone has been regarded as horrible map ever since 1.6. And I think that is one issue.
– But my main complaints with the game right now is the CZ and the Scout. If I could, I would just delete the CZ out of the game. But that is not necessary, you could nerf it by making the drawing speed slower, you could make it so it only has six bullets instead of twelve or you could limit the rate of fire on it.
– The Scout right now is a too good of an investment. Eco rounds should be really hard rounds to win, and it should be very impressive and fun when someone actually win one. As it is right now when you can actually run around and head shot someone with CZ, while you can’t hit anything with the AK, that is messed up.

Anders will now be guiding the audience through the nerve-wracking terror that close games can be in Counter-Strike Global Offensive. As we are typing this Dreamhack Winter is only days away, and the hype is real. Dreamhack has, during Wednesday, declared that they will do all in their power to have a cheat free tournament.



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