Our feature this week is on Brandon “Ace” Winn, who is the main AWP on our CS:GO team! Ace has been with Rise Nation since the end of May 2017 and will be competing at Fragadelphia this upcoming weekend alongside vSa, Jonji, Moose, and dazzLe!
We hope you enjoy the Q&A segment! If you have any questions that you would like asked in Feature Friday Q&A’s email us at email@example.com or tweet them at us @TheRiseNation! #RiseWithUs
Ace’s Social Media
Q&A General Questions:
Q: Most memorable moment?
A: Way back in Modern Warfare 2 we were scrimming Team FeaR and I was able to turn on Moho in a 1v1. I was mad young at the time so I was so hype.
Q: Favorite teammate?
A: The homie Tyler “Shifty” Herschel. We went to multiple LANs together starting from Call of Duty 4 all the way up to Ghosts. Our chemistry and mechanical talent just always worked out perfectly.
Q: What advice would you give to people trying to enter the scene?
A: Always try your hardest to be the best player you can be, and never stop grinding. The phrase, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” applies to every video game scene.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: I don’t know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow, let alone in 5 years. Hopefully, I’ll be kicking it at the Rise team house with a few major championships under my belt.
Q: What are the responsibilities of representing an org?
A: It’s all about keeping a clean image and putting the org up on a pedestal. You always have to watch your actions and be careful what you say, and in return, they’ll take care of you.
Q: What do your family think about you gaming professionally?
A: My mother never really cared what I did as long as I was happy and not getting into trouble. At a young age, I was able to show my potential in the scene and the extra income definitely made her feel like I wasn’t just wasting my time.
Q: What career would they have chosen if you didn’t become a pro player?
A: If I were to never go pro then I would probably find myself in the clothing industry. Making my own clothes has always been my passion and owning my own store would be the dream.
Q: When was the first time you competed as a pro? How was that experience?
A: To be honest, I wouldn’t consider myself as achieving and holding on to pro status yet. I’ve always held my own against pros in any game I’ve played but never made the push to establish myself.
Q: Are there other games you’re interested in doing competitive with?
A: I’ve played almost every competitive game there is from console to PC. The only games I didn’t have a natural talent in would be fighting games, so Marvel vs Capcom or Super Smash Bro’s would be my next option.
Q: Who’s your biggest rival?
A: I really don’t consider myself to have a set rivalry with someone, so I guess JW from Fnatic since we have a similar aggressive playstyle. Come soon I’ll be able to prove myself against him.
Q: If you were to retire today, what would be your next step?
A: My next step would be to establish my brand so I could live off my own income and do what I please. I’d probably become a SoundCloud rapper as a hobby.
Q: Has gaming evolved into a chore for you or is it still fun getting on every day?
A: Playing at a higher level and always furthering my progression keeps the game fun and fresh. At the same time, this is the most stressful gaming has been since this is my job now.
Q: What do you do when you’re not playing video games?
A: Just being around friends and doing ignorant things is my definition of fun. I love exploring places I’ve never been and seeing new things.
Q: What’s something you want to accomplish in your life?
A: The only thing that really matters to me is being established enough to not work a lame 9 to 5 job, that’s just not for me. As long as I can get my mom and sister living a care free life is all I want.
Q: How do you prepare as a team when it comes to big LAN events?
A: Practice enough that everybody has their role down perfectly. Apart from that making sure everybody is in a good mood and on the same page is crucial.
Q: Do you like traveling to different countries and states to attend events?
A: It’s amazing, to be honest. It’s always been a goal to move out of my home city, and going around seeing different parts of the world is a perfect way to achieve that.
Q: Best event?
A: It’s hard to pinpoint one event, so I’ll just say any event at the eBash LAN center. All the events ran so much more smooth than most events nowadays. Also seeing all the talent around and being able to compete against top players is always fun.
Q: How do you manage having such a big fan base?
A: It sounds really cliche, but just being yourself is key. They follow and support you because they relate or appreciate what you do, and how you execute it.
Q: How do you interact with your fans?
A: Twitch and Twitter are the two largest platforms for interaction. I always try to talk and reply to my fans whenever I can. Inspiring others is a great feeling and I’ll always try to put people on game.
Q: When you switch up team mates does it affect friendships?
A: It almost always does, but that’s the sad truth. A team is a family, and nobody wants to be cut or switched out. You just have to hope everyone involved is mature about the situation.
Q: Does playing the same game get boring and if so why?
A: For me it does, but you have to push past that to be able to progress. If you get too stale or bored, then you’re putting yourself in a mental block. I try and find motivation out of not progressing.
Q: What other games have you been a professional player in?
A: I’ve played competitively in Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Halo. I always played League of Legends, but I didn’t take it seriously until I stopped playing console. My newfound PC addiction eventually led me over to Counter Strike.
Q: How long do you practice for?
A: Right now we play for about five hours a day, and that’s not including playing in our free time.
Q: Do you enjoy rivalries?
A: Rivalries are fun and can be a pretty nice way to continue pushing yourself to your limits. As long as it doesn’t become too toxic of a relationship.
CS: GO questions:
Q: How does it feel playing players from all nationalities?
A: It’s so much fun meeting all the different types of people that play. Playing all the French and Spanish teams and seeing the difference in play styles is very refreshing.
Q: What is your favorite weapon in CS:GO?
A: Without a doubt, it’d be the scout. Especially before the jump shot nerf, the gun was so fun. The movement speed you get with it and the potential to just pick off awpers and unsuspecting enemies is just too fun.
Q: What makes a “good” player in your eyes?
A: A good player must meet a few different expectations. Two of the main criteria would be the mechanical ability (shooting people) and game sense (predicting the enemy and outplaying them). On top of that attitude is a huge factor, if a player is toxic or has too much of an ego it can be harmful to the entire team.
Q: Do you have any tips for young players wanting to go pro?
A: Always keep your head on straight and your goals clear. Don’t let anybody get in your head and you’ll make it far, perseverance is key.
Q: What’s your favorite skin?
A: AWP Medusa, that skin is a straight gem. The color scheme and design of the Medusa are just so nice, I could go on all day about it.
Q: What major LAN events have you attended?
A: The largest LAN I’ve attended prize pool wise would be Fragadelphia 10. The coldest tournament in the world, it was like -9999 Celsius.
Q: Do you feel CS is going in the right direction when it comes to eSports?
A: Counter Strike has always had a presence in the scene, but its been blowing up in the esport world as of the last year or two. There’s been so many events and prize pools have never been higher.
Q: What are your goals as a professional CS player?
A: To be the best there ever was, and nothing less.
Q: Would you like to attend events which are broadcasted on live TV?
A: Of course, that’s like a dream come true. When I was younger I would of never thought they would show video games on tv, it’s amazing how far esports has come.
Q: How much CS do you play daily?
A: Way too much than I should. I usually average about 7-8 hours a day.
Q: When did you start playing CS?
A: I started a little over a year and a half ago, been only playing CS every since.
Q: What is your opinion on betting in CS?
A: Betting on CS is a fun way to make matches more interesting to watch since the viewer has something on the line. When people start being toxic towards players for losing is when it gets taken too far.
Q: What is your favourite map and why?
A: Mirage is the most fun map in the cycle right now. It’s a rotate heavy map so playing window gives me a lot of control of the map. There is also a lot of pick potential on that map, so awping is fun on it.
Q: Best team you’ve played on?
A: Rise Nation all the way. The roster we have has so much potential, and I can’t wait to start this season off strong. I promise we’re gonna make waves in the scene.
Q: How many teams have you been a part of?
A: I’d say two teams so far. I was on the Eclipse roster for almost my entire career. My first season I played 9 matches on the False Hope Gaming Team, before we moved to Eclipse.
Q: What are the major differences between Lan and Online?
A: Nerves are what get all the new school players in the scene. Players without lan experience get so scared playing in front of a crowd. Also the hit registry on lan is so much better than playing online. In other words, shots actually hit.
Q: Why do professionals play with black bars on the sides?
A: Because they are weird, and want to ruin their eyesight. All jokes aside, they do it because that’s what they’re used to from playing CS 1.6. That’s what I was told at least.
Q: Does playing in front of a crowd affect your gameplay?
A: Not at all, I’ve been competing in lans since I was 13 so i’m pretty used to it by now. Streaming also trains you to play in front of a crowd and helps with nerves.
Q: How do you prepare for important matches?
A: It’s all about getting in the right mindset. I’ll usually play some hype music while I warm up.
We hope you enjoyed this Q&A from Brandon “Ace” Winn! Stay tuned for next Friday to see who we do our next feature on! If you have suggestions on who you want to see our next feature on, send us a tweet or email! Make sure you follow all of our social media accounts to stay connected on everything Rise Nation: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. #RiseWithUs