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At the time of this interview, René is 31 years old and lives in Amsterdam. He works fulltime in sales for a well-known hardware retailer and lives together with his girlfriend. In response to our question René explains how he started with competitive gaming.

It was 2004. I liked to play football in the local football club. I performed pretty well until I sustained a pretty serious ankle injury. Because of that I couldn’t play football for several months. A blessing for me was that 56K modems and the first PC Games were a hype at that time. What do you do when you’re banned to your chair….yeah…..playing PC games online! It didn’t take long before I became a hardcore Counter-Strike player.

Q: So, quite a change, from physical football to gaming.

Yes, and it was quite unlucky but I, after recovering, almost immediately injured my ankle again! The doctor ill-advised ever playing soccer again, so the choice that I had to make wasn’t that hard and I traded in my football activities and went on with gaming. I was getting better and better playing free for all and 5v5 mode. People noticed me and through the chat they invited me to join their team. Hahahaha, what the f...k I thought, such a thing really exists? Finally I joined the team “Undine” and discovered there was a whole unknown world hidden behind the game.

René smiles whilst saying that his good friend from that time, Petrit de Haan, still remains in contact, despite not having played together since 2006.

We played pretty well, I remember that I played together with Peter Gordijn (Director Benelux at SD-Gaming, ed.). We were members from the team “Madkids” and scored the second place in May 2007 at the LAN-tournament in Zaandam, despite the fact that we played against big names with huge sponsor backing that should be able to easily defeat us. 

LAN Networkingday 2007, Zaandam

Link: LAN Networkingday

Soon enough I ended  up competing in teams such as Shadows, Letalis and finally Kaos. During these years, I discovered online streaming – I think it was the CPL or WCG back then, and understood that E-sports (pro-gaming, ed.) was bigger than I could ever have imagined. Live footage from events with proper commentators, prize purses of over 100.000 $, and fan favorite’s signing mouse pads! René relaxes and leans back while he tells us about his next “career move” Although our scores were nice in the Benelux I stopped gaming in 2008 when CS 1.6 battled CS Source for sponsor interest. As team captain I always was sought out for interviews. I had a quick chat in front of the camera in Dutch and English as well. This was also noted by KAOS TV and they invited me to take care of the hosting and shout casting at gaming events. I found this offer quite intriguing, so I said yes.

Q: And that’s the way you became a commentator?

Yes, from 2010 you could find us at all kinds of tournaments, recording games.

Gamescom 2013

link Youtube: Gamecom 2013

Locally as well as on the Dreamhack Summer Edition in Stockholm. Just in Dutch for the Dutch public, together with Thijs Hoving ( now working at Paradox Int. Game developments, ed.). The feedback we received on our shout casting was so overwhelming and ranging from “what are you doing Dutchies” to “Wow, can you shoutcast in English too?” that, as we were halfway Dream hack, decided to switch to English.

Link Esportsheaven: Dreamhack Summer 2011

This was a huge success and resulted in Dreamhack officially inviting us to be the official tournament commentators the next year. Sitting side to side with two Swedish shout casters we were live to over a 100.000 unique viewers! It was a great experience I can tell you that!  And the fact that René is a good storyteller we experience ourselves. We listen fascinated.

I am still working freelance for KAOS TV and sometimes GrantedTV and shoutcast 5 to 10 tournaments each year. I am also available for broadcasting on behalf of other parties. At the beginning of October I am present at the Antwerpen tournament (semi -/finals where SD-Gaming will battle, ed.). I have good knowledge about CS and FIFA/Pro Evolution Soccer, therefore I focus on those with the shout casting. But during the years NBA, Street Fighter, and even a James Bond game passed my commentators desk.

PES League NL

Link YouTube: PES League

I have seen and experienced a lot and I don’t regret a second of it! Did you know that I have had the honor, together with 9 other Dutchies, to carry the Olympic torch in 2012 for the Olympics in London. They have chosen us from over 1,000 nominees. Many top-athletes, actors, artists and  veterans were present. There were max three people from the Gaming-scene who have been allowed to carry the Olympic torch: Pro Starcraft players Jae Ho “Moon” Jang and Li “Sky” Xiaofeng and yours truly.

Link : Hello Liefje

Q: Btw, is your girlfriend a gamer?

No, she isn’t charmed by digital games. But it was funny to see how she noticed  that the stereotypes about gamers often were not true. At the KaosTV studio we all had an incredible cozy barbecue together and NERD behavior did not occur.

Q: Do you have some good advice for young gamers?

Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard. To become a pro-gamer you have to be willing to spend so much time in practice gaming there won’t be much time left for anything else. So think this over very carefully; do you really want to be a pro-gamer?

Q: To conclude this interview René, what do you expect from the future?

Well, I have mixed feelings about that. I think it’s great to be part of the game-scene, to play my role and I would love to do it daily. There are two major factors that keep me from it. In the first place there’s my private life, I have a girlfriend and she is my first priority; second… I have a nice but quite demanding job and I need a steady income. And I can’t afford losing that.

René, thank you for this open-minded interview. We enjoyed the sun, and certainly your story. We are looking forward to meet again. Thank you for your time!

And that’s how this meeting with an interesting, congenial person ended.

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