An Interview with Renegades’ “SPUNJ”

In the small yet explosive scene of Australian Counter strike, teams strive to make their mark on the top echelon of the competition. One such team is The Renegades.

Photo via Blizzard Entertainment

In the small yet explosive scene of Australian Counter strike, teams strive to make their mark on the top echelon of the competition. One such team is The Renegades. Originally under the Vox Eminor organisation, the Renegades have been at the forefront of Oceanic CS:GO throughout their decorated history as a team, and have made their intentions on the world stage clear. The roster was recently picked up by the North American organisation, giving them the opportunity to make their dreams of becoming professional Counter Strike players a reality. Boasting an individually talented roster, coupled with disciplined tactics and strategies, the Renegades hope to show the world what the Australians are truly capable of. Chad “SPUNJ” Burchill, the IGL and team captain of Renegades was kind enough to answer a few questions surrounding the team, their history and what the future has in store.


How did the original lineup come to know each other, and what was the vision/drive you had when you began to build and establish the team?


“The original lineup was the creation of two teams coming together at the end of Counter-Strike: Source. Myself, Havoc and SnypeR were all already playing together in Team Immunity.CSS, while AZR and topguN were playing together in Vox Eminor.CSS. We were early adopters and keen to get into the CS:GO scene with the best team possible – thus we merged the talents of both teams to take the scene by storm. We never knew at the time that the game would grow to be this huge, nor did we know it would eventually become a full time job!”


Was Vox Eminor your own creation? What prompted the move from Team Immunity?


“Initially we were looking to become the CS:GO team for Team Immunity. However they wanted to have 3 teams, a COD team playing CS:GO, a 1.6 team playing CS:GO and a Source team playing CS:GO. We were told that an iM backed event was happening but we were not the preferential team, the 1.6 team was. Something we were obviously not happy with, so we made the move into limbo – Legionnaires – and then went into talks with Talnoy from Vox Eminor who was more than happy to support us!”


During your time as Vox Eminor, you were obviously the dominant team in terms of local results, what do you most attribute this to?


We had the best players who were able to adapt and learn the quickest. Complaining that the game wasn’t the way we wanted didn’t exist in our team. We were keen and hungry to be the top dog in the country and that drove us to stay the best for such a long time.”


As the IGL, do you handle the bulk of the analysis for the team, such as VOD reviewing and strategising, or does the whole team have their own contributions?


“Everyone contributes in their own way. Sometimes, depending on the team we come up against we find it best to do very little prep as it can be counter-productive. I definitely do the most, that is to help with my own style of calling, but everyone does their bit.”


Many analysts and commentators claim that the bulk of your upset victories on LAN have been because of the surprise factor that the team brought being from a smaller region. What is your opinion on this statement?


“I definitely agree with that. The surprise factor is huge, but it shows we are talented enough to compete at their level. We have the skill to do so, we just need to compete in a more competitive scene for a longer period of time for our results to become more consistent.”

When first approached by the Renegades org, how was the team feeling about the move into full time CS and relocating to North America? Was it difficult leaving Vox Eminor behind?


“It was extremely hard leaving Vox Eminor as it was a legacy we built and we had such a good relationship with Talnoy. It wasn’t a decision we were able to make lightly. However for us to play the game full time we needed to turn it into a job and to do that we needed to be apart of a new organisation. Everyone was obviously very excited to take it to the next level!”


Was there an initial “culture” shock, when transitioning to a North American team, aswell as moving into the Downton Grand? What are some of the luxuries you and the team have enjoyed that you didn’t necessarily have access to whilst on Vox?


“Well we are still an Australian team and will always be! Our time in the US this year was very short. It was a slightly extended bootcamp and a taste of what to expect from our living environment. Practicing in the same room on amazing PC’s with a solid internet connection is something we hadn’t experienced on a day to day basis before. It will, in the future, help us grow and fix our issues much quicker.”


With the current discussion and hype surrounding the Turner e-League, what is next for the Renegades? Is there anything particular you are looking forward to in early 2016?


The E-League is one of our main priorities for 2016, other than that our focus is on the bigger events. Making sure we qualify for every major is something that is a goal for our team – and hopefully making top 8!”


Finally, There are a lot of young Australian CS:GO players that look at you and Renegades as idols/inspiration. Do you have any advice for the players looking to break into the CSGO competitive scene?


“Keep at it. It is very hard to make it to the top so don’t get discouraged. Also make sure you stay in school and finish your high school education! That is very important.”


The Renegades are hungry for success, looking to take on the rest the NA scene in the E-League, and hopefully the world’s best in the upcoming major after coming off of a strong second place showing at the RGN lan, knocking out Luminosity Gaming and Team Liquid in commanding fashion. Counterstrike: Global Offensive is headed for a big 2016, as SPUNJ and his troops return to North America to resume practice and preparation for the upcoming challenges that lie in wait.

Images courtesy of facebook.com/OfficialHavoc/ & Aftonbladet.se respectively