Top 20 players of 2013: ScreaM (7)
The best aimer in the world, Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom, is number 7 on our Top 20 of 2013 by eSportsventure.com. Ever since joining VeryGames in January, he was always one of the best players in the world, and he made big contributions to help VeryGames overturn their NiP rivalry near the end of the year.
Basic info and history
Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom first lit up the French CS:Source scene in 2010 as a 16-year-old when his eLogic team did well in EPS France. The Belgian would already in 2011 become part of a 3DMAX squad together with Richard "shox" Papillon that would manage to dethrone VeryGames at MaxLan.
Their paths would go separate ways when Papillon joined the big VG in May 2011, but they would get back together in 2012 in Tt Dragons. After CS:GO came out, they teamed up with experienced in-game leader Steeve "Ozstrik3r" Flavigni and would embark on adventures in the new game in August.
First named Epsilon, then Millenium, they would finally find a stable home in Imaginary, but Benrlitom himself though made his international CS:GO debut as a stand-in for BuyKey at AMD Sapphire Prague, where he put up incredible numbers (0.97 kills per round) and awed the audience on numerous occasions.
He would later attend SLTV StarSeries IV Finals with his own team, where despite another brilliant individual performance, the team finished 3rd after losses to ESC Gaming and Virtus.pro.
At the beginning of 2013, when Cédric "RpK" Guipouy decided to retire, the rumor-mill was at full pace with talks of Benrlitom joining VeryGames and helping them finally become better than NiP. And on January 16th he officially signed for the French team, making his debut a few days later in ESEA and immediately setting the scene on fire with his plays in the online league.
"I was really happy and proud to join VeryGames, I'm playing a lot more with them but it doesn't change my life so much, I always played a lot :D" – on how joining VeryGames affected him personally
However, despite his amazing form, the team would still lose to NiP, finding themselves on the wrong side of a 0-14 comeback, also in ESEA's online stage, and to further their troubles, they would later lose to Virtus.pro in the semi-final of Fnatic FragOut League.
But with highlight after highlight Benrlitom started establishing himself as one of the biggest stars in the world, and soon it would be time for his LAN debut with the new team. They attended Mad Catz Vienna with hopes of finally overthrowing NiP, but they would hit troubles early on.
With a draw against ALTERNATE in their second match, VeryGames needed to beat Anexis in order to top their group, but the Danes stunned them with a 4-16 loss and sent them to the second group stage instead of going directly to playoffs.
The French-Belgian squad still made their way to the knockout stage, but this time the entirely new to CS:GO squad of Na`Vi gave them a fight of their lives in the quarter-final. After a 6-hour match VG made it through to the semi-final (34-30, 11-16, 16-14), but then Anexis would once again get the better of them (12-16, 16-9, 13-16), marking it the first time VeryGames failed to reach the grand final in CS:GO.
ScreaM had a good VeryGames debut in Vienna
Despite the team finishing in a disappointing 3rd place, Benrlitom was one of the stars of the event, having the most total kills (315) and doing great in the playoffs (5th best 1.09 playoff rating), and of course scoring an incredible 226 headshots (72%), amount that would go unmatched for the rest of the year.
He would continue showing his headshot prowess at Copenhagen Games where he first broke the 80% barrier, but the team would still not make progress. They finally got the chance to meet NiP for the first time with the new lineup on LAN, but the Swedes overpowered them in the upper bracket semi-final (11-16, 2-16).
Later they would lose 4-16 in the lower bracket final to the same Danes who knocked them out in Vienna, now named Western Wolves, so no rematch with NiP would come and an even more disappointing 4th place finish was in the books.
ScreaM went for headshots only at Mad Catz Birmingham
VeryGames would finally clinch their first international title one week later at Mad Catz Birmingham, although without the toughest competition of NiP and Virtus.pro, and without even meeting their new nemesis Western Wolves.
Benrlitom, who finished as the 2nd best fragger in his team at Copenhagen Games, this time finished as the worst with 0.71 kills per round. But it was by no means a bad event for him, having a well above average 1.07 rating, and more interestingly getting his all-time headshot percentage record with 88% (127 headshots out of 144 kills).
"Sometimes I want to get only headshots to train my aim, and yes on some matches at this LAN I was trying to get only heads."
The next meeting with NiP came at RaidCall EMS One Spring Finals, but even though they had a great opportunity to even the series on the second map, VeryGames lost 3-16, 14-16 and wound up 3rd-4th once again.
They would then come as close as ever at ESEA Season 13 Global Finals, taking NiP on in the upper bracket final and losing two maps 14-16 despite leading at the half both times. After that they lost to Quantic as well, finishing in another 3rd place, and going home disappointed.
Four stunning headshots against NiP at ESEA 13 Global Finals
Benrlitom had another solid event, putting up team's second best 0.73 kills per round and doing well in both of their close losses, so he wasn't considered a reason for another below-standard placing.
But the team did, however, consider a lineup change after the long set of events, and eventually they decided to replace the youngest member of the team, Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, with Benrlitom's former teammate and also former VG member Richard "shox" Papillon.
VeryGames would skip DreamHack Summer due to the lineup change, and with some mediocre online performances they would end up qualifying for the RaidCall EMS One Summer Finals, which is where the new lineup made its debut at the end of June.
The team overcame Copenhagen Wolves and fnatic to get to the final, but instead of meeting Ninjas in Pyjamas there, they ran into Virtus.pro. That proved to be an easy challenge for the new squad, as they disposed of their opponents 16-8, 16-11.
ScreaM at RaidCall EMS One Summer Finals
Benrlitom was overall just about average, with a 0.99 rating as the 3rd best in his team, but he did win several important clutch rounds for VG, overall having five 1-on-1s and a 1-on-2 throughout the event, and also as usual aiming flawlessly (71% headshots).
"When I'm on a good day I think it's helping my team a lot. It depends, sometimes I can be in first to get headshots and sometimes I'm behind and I'm the clutcher.
When shox joined the team we changed a lot of things in our game and we tried to make me more helpful."
Their next test was only after the summer break that saw them rest for the entire month of July, coming back in August to take part in Mad Catz Invitational Cologne. The team made it to the LAN final where they met the new fnatic squad, formerly Epsilon, and led by one of Benrlitom's strongest LAN performances of the year (45:24 score, 1.47 rating), VeryGames stomped the Swedes 16-8, 16-5.
At the beginning of September, Benrlitom had what is definitely his best match of the year, albeit online in the final of FACEIT Cup August, when VeryGames finally took a map against NiP. Even though they eventually lost the match (16-13, 14-16, 16-12), it was a sign of things to come, and Benrlitom's unbelievable play in the series was the main reason they did that well (93:55 score, 1.57 rating).
A few days later they met NiP on LAN in the quarter-final of DreamHack Bucharest, but it didn't go so well for the Frenchmen as it did online, notching up another convincing loss (10-16, 2-16) and going home with a 5th-8th finish.
"I think people prefer actions like my 4k on nuke at ESEA. My clutches were not that spectacular, but I remember my clutch at DreamHack Bucharest, I think it was an important round to win." - on whether his clutching ability goes unnoticed because of his spectacular aim
Nevertheless, the long awaited moment would come two weeks later in MSI Beat it European Finals, although again online, as VeryGames would beat NiP in the semi-final convincingly (16-8, 16-7) with Benrlitom once again on song (44:26, 1.50 rating). That would clinch them a spot for the tournament in China, while Benrlitom ended up with an MVP-worthy performance throughout the online qualifier, playing well in each of their 13 maps (0.85 kills per round, 1.31 rating).
And then on the 10th of October VeryGames finally defeated NiP on LAN for the first time, doing so in the upper bracket semi-final of SLTV StarSeries VII Finals (16-14, 16-6). Benrlitom continued his impressive form and top fragged in this series (52:33, 1.42), and even though he was overshadowed by his teammate Papillon overall at the event, he was one of the best players in Kiev that weekend.
ScreaM was in amazing form during the post-summer period, especially in matches against NiP
VeryGames would repeat that feat at RaidCall EMS One Fall Finals, this time beating their big nemesis in the grand final (5-16, 16-14, 16-6), with Benrlitom again having a great series (57:46, 1.18 rating).
An eco round against SK in ESEA Season 15
But after this incredible spell of form since coming back from the summer break, Benrlitom would somewhat quiet down until the end of the year. At ESWC VeryGames defeated NiP for the third time in a row (16-13, 19-16), but would then lose to Clan-Mystik on the big stage where Benrlitom had one of his worst series of the year.
They traveled to China next for the MSI Beat it Grand Finals, where they came back to winning ways, having no real problems against SK in the semis and defeating fnatic in the final (16-12, 16-10).
ScreaM in China at MSI Beat it Grand Finals
"I really liked this trip in China. People are so nice and we were like superstars, everyone wanted a photo with us, it was so special. I hope for more events there ;)"
And then it was time for the biggest event of the year, DreamHack Winter. A 14-16 loss to compLexity sent VeryGames to the same side of the bracket as NiP, and after they made it past Copenhagen Wolves in the semis, it was time for another big clash. However, the Swedes had found an answer to their previous problems and this time they came out on top (13-16, 16-6, 5-16), leaving VG in 3rd-4th place.
Benrlitom had his worst performance of the year on this occasion, despite one great map against the Wolves, ending up with the team's worst 0.92 rating and only 0.62 kills per round.
"Yes for sure it was my worst LAN this year, and I really felt bad after that :(. My aim felt good there, but not my gamesense, I only made bad moves, that's why it was my worst LAN I think."
Although he had a great year by most standards, Benrlitom is determined to improve and he has identified things to work on.
"I didn't play my best this year, I felt really inconsistent. I'm not really proud of myself, I have to step up this year and I will do everything for that. I didn't try to improve myself enough, I only played a lot of deathmatch for my skill, but that isn't enough and I have to do more to be more helpful.
I have to improve my gamesense and also my aim! I want to be more helpful to my team, and like everyone I wanna be the best :)"
Why is he the 7th best player in 2013?
Without a doubt the most impressive aimer of the year, having made 75% of his kills with headshots, way more than anyone else, 19-year-old Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom was one of VeryGames' key members on their road to success in 2013.
He was in incredible shape in the second half of the year, when he was one of the keys in overturning their big rivalry with NiP by having some incredible performances against the Swedes.
Additionally, and perhaps surprisingly he was one of the best clutchers, as no one won more than his 25 one-on-ones, and only two players won more than his 13 one-on-two situations.
On the other hand, he was rather inconsistent throughout the year, more so than any of the players above him in the ranking, and he was never the star of his team during their winning campaigns, having no MVP titles to show for.
Like five other players before him, Benrlitom also has huge hopes for the talented AWPer of Clan-Mystik.
Hovik "KQLY" Tovmassian
"KQLY. I didn't know him a lot before CSGO, but he played really well this year and I'm sure he’s gonna be better and better!"
Did you expect Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom higher on the list or lower? After reading about his year, do you think 7th is the right place for him?
With only six players to go we are getting to the absolute best of the year. But before we do, make sure to remind yourself how the whole Top 20 of 2013 by eSprotsventure.com looks so far.