Swedish version

RobbaN on his comeback: ”My goal is to compete again”

av Tobias Lundgren
Robert ”RobbaN” Dahlström. Foto: Sk Gaming
Robert ”RobbaN” Dahlström. Foto: Sk Gaming

He’s one of the most successful 1.6 players of all time – but quit playing when CS:GO was released.
Now, Robert ”RobbaN” Dahlström is back on the scene and aiming towards going pro again, with the backing of an organization he doesn’t want to reveal just yet.
– I don’t want to say anything before everything’s set, there are still some details to work out, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.

He was a Counter-Strike professional for well over 8 years, travelling the World with organizations like SK Gaming and Ninjas in Pyjamas and winning everything there was to win in the 1.6 community. But when teams switched to CS:GO, Robert ”RobbaN” Dahlström chose to retire from pro gaming because he didn’t like the game.
– I quit pretty suddenly, mostly because I didn’t think the game was fun. I tried GO at first, but it was boring and not properly developed so that’s the reason I stopped playing, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.

”I realized that I should put an effort into CS:GO”

But after suffering a back injury at his new job in the construction industry, he picked the game up and got hooked.
– Because of my back I had to go on sick leave, so I tried some CS:GO and the game has really evolved into something good, so it’s really fun to play again. That’s when I realized that maybe I should put an effort into the game.

Last week he announced his official comeback, where he will start with streaming to gain skill. But the ultimate goal is to get back into competitive gaming.
– We’ll see how things turn out. My goal right now is to become good at the game. I’ve quite a lot of practice ahead of me to get in shape. But if I feel that I’m getting good it would absolutely be fun to play tournaments again.
And there’s already an organization lined up to support his newly found interest in CS:GO.
– Nothing’s official yet but I’ve entered a collaboration so I can stream full-time. That’s my way back into shape. Then we’ll see if I can start a team with the organization. Which organization? That’s a secret, I’ll keep it between me and them. I don’t like saying anything before everything’s set, there are still some details to work out.

”I still keep in touch with people I’ve played with”

Even though he hasn’t kept track of the CS:GO scene, he checks results regularly. And he still has a lot of friends playing professional CS.
– Me and Taz have played against each other for a lot of years. And me and Neo actually played in the same team back in 2003. None of us were famous back then, but we played public games together and then started a clan which we had for a year, so I’ve known him for a really long time
– I talk quite a lot with f0rest and GeT_RiGhT, and Delpan. Most of the people I’ve played with I still keep in touch with.

Have any of them tried to get you into CS:GO?
– That was more in the beginnning of the game, after I quit the first year. But after that when people have asked I’ve been like ”hell no”. I haven’t wanted to play the game until now.

It must be pretty crazy that a lot of people you’ve teamed up with are still in the scene as professionals?
– Yeah, that’s really great. That’s what makes it fun, that you know a lot of people who still play. It’s fun to follow the community, you know what they’re capable of.

”I always played to win, not to win cash”

Do you ever stop to think that ”damn, I should’ve had my peak now” when you see the major success of the game recently?
– Of course you feel that way. When I watch games I can still feel the fire burning inside of me. I’ve been doing it so long so I just want to compete. It doesn’t really matter that the prize pools are larger now. I always played to win, not to win cash.

Did you foresee this future success for eSports back when you were at your best?
– Definitely. I thought it was pretty big back then already. 1.6 was really big in the prime years, especially in Asia. But you knew it could still become even bigger. I think it needed something like this, a new game with better graphics. I think the graphics does a lot for the popularity. But it’s really good that it’s become as big as it is. The pros’ deserve this.

Have you thought of alternative jobs within eSports if a pro comeback doesn’t pan out?
– Casting would be fun to, but my goal is to compete again. That’s what I’ve done and that’s what I know how to do. But if I suck I won’t grind just to be a professional, but I would still want to stay and do something within the community. I know so many people and it’s fun being involved, so casting would be an alternative.

Robert ”RobbaN” Dahlström

Notable teams: SK Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas

Results (selection): 1st World eSports Games 2005, 2nd WCG 2006, 1st KODES 2006, 1st IEM IV Chengdu 2008, 1st WCG SEC 2010, 1st ESWC 2011

Stream: http://www.twitch.tv/robbanofficial



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