steel: "Still processing everything that has happened"

We sat down with Josh "steel" Nissan after Bee’s Money Crew fell in convincing fashion to Rise Nation in the Lower Bracket Final of Fragadelphia 11.

Just like Braxton "swag" Pierce, Joshua "steel" Nissan did not have to wait long after his ESL unban to get a taste of LAN action as a (partially) freed man. He helped Bee's Money Crew to finish third at Fragadelphia 11, where they were able to take down teams like CLG Academy and Complexity, but ultimately fell short to both ownage and Rise Nation.

Read on as the former iBUYPOWER player discusses the last 2.5 years, Valve, and what the future holds for him following ESL's announcement. 

This is your first LAN since Fragadelphia 10, how does it feel to be back?

LAN is always fun and exciting, I enjoy the traveling and the competition. It obviously would be better to attend with a proper team and with proper preparation, but I’ve played loads of local events in Toronto whenever they have them, Fragadelphias, iSeries and EPIC LANs. It is just something I enjoy.

I believe you had about a week to prepare with the Bee’s Money Crew guys, what was that process like?

We had about three days of practice, Connor "CONNOR93" Glover has work commitments so he gets up at 5 in the morning. We didn’t play that much, two or three scrims a night. Some of those were against Complexity, and that helped us defeat them here. The rest of the time we were playing Premier teams and only on Overpass [ESEA’s current map of the week], so all of the practice was on Overpass. It was more about familiarizing myself with the team, as well as trying to create some organization and structure, running defaults, figuring out how to play smart Counter-Strike on both sides. Unfortunately we only played Overpass once here.

Earlier this week you were unbanned by ESL, talk me through your reaction to that and what it means to you.

Honestly I’m still kind of processing everything that has happened and what is still to come. Over the last two years or so, I’ve gone through lots of different phases as a person, lots of changes on a personal level. I’ve lost a lot of my optimism and become a little bit of a recluse, I’ve been taking it day by day, figuring out where I am as a person. Ultimately I want to get to the point where I can be happy on a CS team, playing with the right players, who even if they maybe aren’t the most skilled, I’ll be having fun with, and it won’t be a chore to get on for practice. People I can socialize with outside of the game, do things together as a team and have chemistry. That is my overall goal.

steel believes Valve should hire a Community Manager for CS:GO

You mention team chemistry, you’ve talked in the past about how that was something iBUYPOWER lacked. Is this new direction a result of that experience?

It is definitely something that was on my mind even when I was still playing with them. At the time it was half me deciding to leave iBUYPOWER and half them wanting to replace me. They didn’t feel I was skilled enough, and at the same time I didn’t feel I could reach my potential. Every time we would go on for practice, or play a match, everyone would go their own way afterwards — we never really did anything as a team. swag was always hanging with the Cloud9 guys like Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert, Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham and Keven "AZK" Lariviere were both quiet and reserved. Sam "DaZeD" Marine would always go back to the hotel and watch movies on his iPad, he would be there by himself a lot of the time. Generally speaking, if we were to go to an afterparty, four of us would go, but would do our own thing at that party — and DaZed would be at the hotel.

After leaving iBP I wanted to play with my old teammates, Trey "tck" Martin, Neil "montE" Montgomery, and Mohamad "mOE" Assad at the time. So I wanted to go back to playing with friends and being able to enjoy it, that was my main goal at the time with Torqued, I think it is my main goal now, it has just carried over.

After the ban, you dipped into playing Overwatch professionally. You’ve been critical of Blizzard as a publisher, does that reflect your feelings on Valve as well?

I don’t like comparing the two because they both do a lot of things I disagree with. Blizzard doesn’t communicate enough, they want to control everything, won’t allow talent to talk about players coming from other games such Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike or Quake. They have a big plan for Overwatch League, but won’t talk to gaming organizations, they have a $20 million buy-in to the league, at a time when a lot of pro players are frustrated by balance issues and the stale meta of the game.

Valve does a lot of things right by being hands-off, but at the same time they should be paying more attention to the game, towards balance issues and the Majors. They turn a blind eye to a lot of things and just let the scene run. I think a community manager could help with that.

Do you feel like professional players are afraid to speak out about these issues for fear of retribution?

Absolutely, I think the CS players are more outspoken about Valve, the Overwatch pros are more afraid of Blizzard. There are a lot of politics behind the scenes, and if you tick them off, you might not be invited to certain things. With Valve, I don’t think they are actually listening to you when you criticize them, so it is not like they can do something spiteful to you.

swag has confirmed himself, DaZed and AZK are putting a team together and fielding offers from organizations, where do you think that team can go considering all the external factors?

I think for them it is the best choice, because finding other players at a high skill level that will only play ESL events will be difficult, now they only have to fill in the gaps. Having said that, I think they will run into a lot of the same issues that they had on iBUYPOWER, not a lot of chemistry and animosity between the players. I don’t think they necessarily want to play with each other, it is out of necessity to an extent. I think the issues that caused swag and AZK to want to cut DaZeD, those problems will still exist. They have the potential to be really good and when things are going well for them, they will go well, but as soon as something starts going wrong, I think it will just collapse on itself.

For what reasons did swag and AZK want to cut DaZeD way back when?

It was purely due to how DaZeD was in-game, we had several team meetings to talk about toxicity and in-game leadership. We were trying to have freedom for the players to use their skill, but also have some direction. They were weird meetings, but at the end of the day, DaZeD was too abrasive for the rest of the guys on the team. An issue with the team was there were too many quiet players, there needed to be someone who could pump up the team and focus on the positive. DaZeD definitely wasn’t that, I was the closest to it, and even then I’m not the best it at. There was an off dynamic on the team, it didn’t let us thrive.

Who would be the two additional players you would add in to complete their new team?

They need an AWPer, so someone like Joey "fxy0" Schlosser would be a good option. He’s messaged me, he has messaged them, trying to figure out what is happening. He is open to moving to North America as far as I’m aware, and his English isn’t bad. He would definitely be an option because obviously he isn’t worried about making a Major either. For the fifth, someone who is young and looking to develop their skills. Even if it is for a year in which he can play at ESL events only, eventually that player will have enough skill and can start looking to move to other teams and strive for a Major.

United States Mohamad 'mOE' Assad
Mohamad 'mOE' Assad
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
80
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.14
Canada Keven 'AZK' Lariviere
Keven 'AZK' Lariviere
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.98
Maps played:
282
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
United States Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert
Jordan 'n0thing' Gilbert
Age:
29
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
813
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.15
Canada Neil 'montE' Montgomery
Neil 'montE' Montgomery
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.87
Maps played:
166
KPR:
0.59
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.16
United States Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1047
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.59
APR:
0.11
United States Sam 'DaZeD' Marine
Sam 'DaZeD' Marine
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
170
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.19
United States Trey 'tck' Martin
Trey 'tck' Martin
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.88
Maps played:
109
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Canada Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
435
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
France Joey 'fxy0' Schlosser
Joey 'fxy0' Schlosser
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
186
KPR:
0.80
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.11
Canada Connor 'CONNOR93' Glover
Connor 'CONNOR93' Glover
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.95
Maps played:
449
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.12
United States Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
525
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.14
#1
 | 
Poland Snacer1337 
STEEL TOP 1 NA 2018 mark my words
2017-08-02 19:16
#11
 | 
United Kingdom Tendies 
bee's money crew will reach epl lan with steel
2017-08-02 19:17
#20
 | 
Russia Sur10n 
???mb top 1 SA??
2017-08-02 19:32
0/8
2017-08-03 01:14
Every time we would go on for practice, or play a match, everyone would go their own way afterwards — we never really did anything as a team. They probably faked going their own ways then hung out because they thought you were a dick!
2017-08-03 01:23
Thought it was brazilian steel at first
2017-08-02 19:17
I knew they would unban these $hit throwing frauds ever since they started this whole scheme of unbanning cheaters which was entirely just a move to make it so they could unban these fuks and justify it with community support. Well I don't support them going back on their word like little bitches and just proves any1 can cheat or fraud the fans and nothing concrete will be done about it. Congrats ESL. You suck.
2017-08-03 22:55
Looking good over there on ur high white hourse :D
2017-08-05 01:30
#103
 | 
Brazil P4t0NTC 
Omg guys pls steel from brasil is a name for championships in brasil tey calleh him steelega no steel
2017-08-03 22:59
#5
 | 
United Kingdom Tendies 
good boy, deserves to play in epl with bees money crew
2017-08-02 19:16
But they wont achieve much
2017-08-02 19:43
Yea he's got the experience to pass on, and it'd be lucky if they even reach the minor for a while anyways
2017-08-02 19:47
They can't play in a minor with steel on the team....
2017-08-02 21:06
thats what he's saying
2017-08-03 03:58
Hey Nice
2017-08-02 19:16
#12
 | 
United Kingdom Georgebaii 
These are the real Renegades
2017-08-02 19:17
#88
 | 
United States y0rk 
Or Misfits
2017-08-03 06:16
#14
 | 
Lithuania Paulius_CS 
No major no fun
2017-08-02 19:18
#16
 | 
Macau Bent0 
come back please
2017-08-02 19:21
#18
 | 
Sweden lagcats 
A lot of spelling needs to be done. Otherwise the interview was good. We already knew all of this tho and steel even said this before and the other players so this is not really "news"
2017-08-02 19:22
"Generally speaking, if we were to go to an afterparty, four of us would go, but would do our own thing at that party — and DaZed would be at the hotel." LUL
2017-08-02 19:28
I feel like Dazed changed a lot si nce because he seems a lot more outgoing
2017-08-02 19:33
Even if he "outgoes", doesnt change the fact that he has a huge ego and thinks that pure skill will make him succeed. Disgusting.. Im #teamsteel.
2017-08-02 19:54
#80
 | 
Italy steven513 
agreed steel is pretty underated and hated. everyone loves brax right? steel didn't play bad either
2017-08-03 02:34
And they love DaZeD because he is average looking, and bash other average-players on MM on the stream.
2017-08-03 13:42
#99
 | 
Italy steven513 
+1
2017-08-03 16:52
#22
 | 
Sweden godname 
steel GOD
2017-08-02 19:34
shots fired, now waiting for dazed's response :)
2017-08-02 19:36
no one likes dazed
2017-08-02 19:46
i like dazed he's funny :D
2017-08-02 21:38
Big iron boi
2017-08-03 00:52
You also like NiP so your comment isn't worth anything
2017-08-03 02:57
#teamsteel
2017-08-02 19:48
Shouldn't it be Canadian flag ?
2017-08-02 19:48
#36
 | 
Spain Alser 
It's because the interview took place at Fragadelphia 11
2017-08-02 20:03
Oh, I thought it was a normal interview, not from Fragdelphia
2017-08-02 20:18
what do you expect from people who play hours and hours of cs every day? they wont be the most outgoing persons you meet
2017-08-02 19:56
Take it easy Steel. Best of luck <3.
2017-08-02 20:06
knock em down steel <3
2017-08-02 20:11
STEEL <3
2017-08-02 20:26
#43
Xyp9x | 
Portugal CRMN1 
"Generally speaking, if we were to go to an afterparty, four of us would go, but would do our own thing at that party — and DaZed would be at the hotel."
2017-08-02 20:28
Dazed is an introvert. Idk if hes the "anti social" guy or just a guy who's not outgoing
2017-08-02 22:01
you can literally see that on his stream.
2017-08-03 06:33
still processing who i want to/would play*
2017-08-02 20:35
He's pretty salty on Dazed. I think some of his comments are colored by his own personal perspective and he discounts the possibility that some people do change/evolve. Much of what he says does seem to make sense, though.
2017-08-02 21:27
#79
 | 
Canada PwnNewb 
yeah he should have taken the highroad like DaZed did who said he would not play with Steel again, but would not say anything about him besides that as he wasn't going to bash anyone
2017-08-03 02:26
I like this interview. He seems a cool guy outside CS. I like his mentality. Quit overwatch because he loves CS and now getting unbanned.
2017-08-02 21:59
I don't think steel has changed, you can tell he still has some leftover angst since he's trying to put down his old teammates.
2017-08-02 23:52
#64
 | 
Ethiopia aNCIOn 
steel+moe team, make it happen. moe top 1 na awper 2018
2017-08-03 00:41
"Sam "DaZeD" Marine would always go back to the hotel and watch movies on his iPad, he would be there by himself a lot of the time. Generally speaking, if we were to go to an afterparty, four of us would go, but would do our own thing at that party — and DaZed would be at the hotel." No other pros like him because he is a snake.
2017-08-03 02:41
#84
 | 
United States y0rk 
One day at a time, brother. I also deal with depression and it's hard to deal with sometimes. I hope you find the team and players you enjoy the game with.
2017-08-03 03:30
Woah totally forgot this guy still exists, like legit LOL, i thought him and his team would have quit csgo by now and totally given up or at least gone back to the "real world" or different games. Suprised he's still around, wonder if his skill level is as close or up to the same standards as ages ago hahaha.
2017-08-03 09:12
You ever visit twitch?He is still big part of the American cs go community.
2017-08-03 18:07
#96
shox | 
United Kingdom dezmondo 
swag azk dazed fxy0 +who? .. could be decent
2017-08-03 13:44
That would be nuts with fxy0 :D fxy0 > all NA Awpers
2017-08-03 15:03
It really is bad if there is no chemistry within a team outside of official praccs and matches. Can't see true success in such dynamic. Not to mention it sucks. Too bad finding a fun team to play in is asking also a lot. Usually teams compromise with 1 or 2 of those last players who end up bringing the whole team down eventually. My conclusion is that the thing is that: counterstrike/professional gaming as a whole just isn't a thing that draws great and fun people together as default. Rather withdrawn individuals who many times have problems in personal life. When teams suffer from pressure, these things burst out and just like they deal with things in real life they deal with it in cs. They quit and withdraw, or whatever is their twisted way. Sad.
2017-08-03 16:38
#100
 | 
Denmark Ippoc 
I can understand, it came out of nowhere and it is great!
2017-08-03 18:00
I am happy that he has a little bit of an opportunity. Its still not huge but he can definitely make an NA team that can qualify for one of the ESL events
2017-08-05 01:32
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.