Alex “ALEX” McMeekin
#CS:GO #Vitality #Ancien WebSPELL, Melty, LDLC
translation by Sans Filtre’s team (be kind with us )
I never really knew why we left England. I think my parents appreciated the quality of life in France and the people around them who seemed more friendly.
But we were not going to the unknown, my grandparents already lived there and we came to see them every year.
My integration was complicated because of the language barrier. Even though we had taken a few classes before arriving with my brother, we often found ourselves alone together because we were unable to speak French well. I would always remember my first day of school, I was asked if I was going to eat at the cafeteria. I really felt that it was a matter of a high level of language, I didn’t understand. This barrier made other students acting differently towards us at the beginning.
It is often said that sport is universal. That’s certainly why I was quickly integrated. During my years in England, I played a lot of football at the Cambridge Academy. I had to stop because of health problems, but I had kept an excellent level.
Everyone wanted to play with me and and that was a perfect way to make friends.
A PASSION FOR COMPETITION ABOVE ALL
The video games came later. At that time I followed my older brother in everything he did and especially in his passion for Call of Duty. While we were watching a competition played by the best players, a CS game followed. My brother bought the game right away, and even though he stopped shortly afterwards, I kept playing.
Even though I loved the gameplay, it was the competitive aspect that really attracted me. Maybe it’s something I was missing when I stopped playing football. It was also the ideal game at an age when I needed to socialize, chat with my friends every night on the server. In fact, I am still very close to the friends with whom we created our first team.
I followed a natural evolution without skipping a step. After playing with my friends for a few years, I received a proposal from WebSPELL to join their team with a friend. It was the beginning of the top level, but still with a fun side.
I had never dreamed of going pro, because it wasn’t really something that existed when I started. So living off this was not an objective, but participating in the biggest tournaments was.
When I received the LDLC proposal to join them, I had a real sense of accomplishment. All these years on the game had paid off and I could be part of one of the biggest French esports structures with a legend like Ex6TenZ. I thought about all those little fights I had with my parents because of my poor school results and their fear of seeing me fail professionally.
Today they are proud of me and are my first fans.
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WITH LDLC, WE HAD REACHED OUR MAXIMUM POTENTIAL
I spent two and a half years at LDLC, an eternity in the world of sports. It wasn’t all easy: first line up with Ex6TenZ who didn’t know which players to pick, changes and kick because he found that some didn’t have the level and finally conflict directly between him and me; everything could have ended there for me, but LDLC preferred to keep me. A difficult episode that could have put me a little too much on the defensive, especially towards my teammates, and that should have kept me from being part of the line-up that was so successful in 2018.
But an online qualification with AmaNEk, devoduvek, mistou and logaN, allowed us to show the staff the good chemistry we had together. I also knew how to adapt by moving from support to a role where I was asked for more firepower to finally become a leader.
If this adventure has worked so well, it is because each of us has accepted our role, in which we are most successful, not necessarily in the position we prefer. Many see our ¼ from the IEM Chicago finals as our highlight, but for me it’s all the tournaments with this team that are. A lot of things could be improved and yet we had such good results, we won the vast majority of our games. We had no reason to be so strong together, but we did.
I can never thank LDLC enough for their confidence in me throughout these 3 years. I sincerely wish them that their new team will perform well.
ENTER THE BIG LEAGUE WITH VITALITY
Coming to Vitality was a logical next step for me because it is simply the best French team. We had reached the peak of LDLC’s potential and I knew it would be very difficult to reproduce good performance in tier-1 events over time.
When I received the offer from Vitality while I was at the end of my contract, I immediately accepted it. I was adopted by the French scene and I didn’t see myself leaving for a while.
In addition, playing with players who have made the game legend such as NBK, apEX and RpK is an achievement for me. When you are part of the subtop, you aspire to become the teammate of these players. I’ve been watching them for so many years, even since Source for Nathan while he was in VeryGames.
I immediately got to the nub of the matter with this qualification for my first Major. Although, I would have preferred other circumstances with a longer preparation time than those 3 weeks where I had to learn a whole style and blend in individually, I had so much excitement to play this very special tournament. Having your sticker and meeting the best teams is the goal of every player.
This tournament is so different from the others. I saw it during our game against Grayhound where we were 13-2 down on one of our best maps, Nuke. With all due respect, this was not supposed to happen. We had a crazy comeback and we finally won. Quite similar to what happened this year in the football champions league, anything can happen in this kind of tournament without necessarily being logical.
After a few months at Vitality, I became fit perfectly to the team and my integration on a human level went perfectly well. This is what made it possible to fulfil my new role with confidence I took the lead on the terrorist side. The staff and our captain Nathan support me 100%, so I can put what I have in mind in place.
Having responsibilities doesn’t scare me, quite the contrary, I was able to lead both sides at LDLC, only one side will do it.
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AN IMMINENT RETURN TO FRANCE
Today, I have the chance to continue in the scene that welcomed me, but also to have the opportunity to reach a more international audience in a structure that has a worldwide reputation. I feel closer to the fans who will encourage me much more if I perform well. The opposite is also true.
On a personal note, I returned to my parents’ home in Cambridge some time ago because of my health problems. I could no longer live alone.
It was really reluctant, because I love living in France and I don’t know many people here anymore. It’s nice to be taken care of, but I hope to find a solution this year to return to live in France without endangering my health.
France has become my home not only for me personally, but also for CS: GO. I grew up in this scene and that’s why I’m not really invested in what’s happening in England.
But I certainly have English aspects in me: this hard working side inherited from my family or this small part of ego. Whenever I face weaker opponents, I have a certain ease in playing them, because I tell myself that I have no reason not to beat them. It’s not a lack of respect, but it’s easier to play when you know you’re the best in a duel.
I’m friend who plays in the English subtop like the Endpoint team, the former coach of the NRG Immi, but I’m not close to the big pros like Dephh and smooya, for example.
The esport is not really breaking through there because of people’s mentality. Playing computer or console to make a living is a little weird for them. Some medias such as the BBC are trying to highlight this through good reports, but it is ultimately the non-gamers who should be interested, convinced that esport is a positive thing. Holding major events in London such as the last Major of 2018, the Rocket League finals or Ginfinity should help.
For the time being, my lack of legitimacy prevents me from playing a role in advancing sport in my country of origin. But maybe by getting as far as possible on CS, it will allow me to get involved on that side.