A modern-day esports God in Adil “ScreaM” Benrilton was born in Belgium and started playing Counter-Strike rather late than most pros: 12 years old. But his talent and the godly gift of headshot-ing immediately stood out. Despite being one of the most talented players that the Counter-Strike world has seen to this day, his career was marred and stained by events out of his control. A trophy cabinet as small as ScreaM’s starkly contrasts the genius’ zest of aiming high.
While a lot of great teams were playing 1.6, ScreaM and shox shone as unrefined diamonds in the CS: Source world. Needless to say, he was blindly accused of cheating and was kicked out of rosters for suspicion. The officials of these organizations were left jaw-dropped when they saw him shine on LAN after LAN.
ScreaM and shox marked the birth of a new generation of aimers when the two CS worlds collided into one; CS:GO was born. After its release, ScreaM and shox jumped from team to team in a matter of months before the first French superteam of CS:GO was born at the start of 2013: VeryGames.
The French duo of ScreaM and shox sent shivers down the CS:GO world on VeryGames, being one of the only teams to have figured out a way around the otherworldly NiP on multiple instances. Going into the first Major of CS:GO in late 2013, VeryGames looked destined to bring glory to France. ScreaM and co. had reached the finals of three straight tournaments leading up to the Major, winning two of them and beating NiP in one.
Come the Major, and a shaky start saw them lose to Hiko’s Complexity, but they still qualified for the Playoffs. Reaching the semi-finals, they found themselves against a familiar foe in NiP, a team they had experience in defeating. But after sharing the spoils of the first two maps, disaster struck on Nuke as they fell to a humiliating 11-4 half. The French superteam had bowed out of the tournament and settled for a 3rd-4th place with Hiko’s COL, which was an achievement, but one that didn’t seem to match the talent ScreaM possessed.
Nevertheless, 2013 had come to a close, and ScreaM secured No. 7 on HLTV’s Top 20, with an astonishing HS% of 73.5. He was already being talked about as one of the to-be-legends in the CS:GO scene, and as we know it today, he did not disappoint.
After the VeryGames roster moved to Titan, their powers waned and after two consecutive group stage exits in the 2014 Majors, shox and later ScreaM would leave Titan. They chose different paths, as ScreaM ended up in Epsilon Gaming.
A fierce storm hit ScreaM’s way that changed the course of history. The whip of bad luck, that had cursed millions from reaching the stage he had reached, struck him when he was at the cusp of truly rising, when at the very peak of his powers. Two of his Epsilon teammates were banned for cheating, and the roster was disqualified for the final Major of 2014. The talented Belgian could only watch from the stands as his former teammates, including his old pal shox, went on to win the Major with LDLC.
2014 was a disaster.
Just as ScreaM may have thought everything would cool down and he could shine in the sun again, a dust storm buried the diamond for what seemed like the final blow to ,his career. The whole Epsilon roster was permanently banned for match-fixing, with ScreaM the only honest one.
Despite being clean and honest, ScreaM was punished regardless. Not by the authorities, but by Lady Luck. ScreaM sat without a team as he witnessed another Major, another chance for glory, pass by.
He eventually joined Team Kinguin, but after losing to TSM and seeing some of his former teammates reach the Grand Finals of the Major, he switched back to what he thought was a revitalized Titan. The last Major of 2015 only got worse, as Titan quit the Group Stages again, alongside another cursed man, Hiko. Harrowingly, ScreaM saw his old pals win the Major this time.
To blame a single person or two for all the defeats is wrong, but one of the main reasons why Titan had tasted failure over and over again was not totally ScreaM’s undeniably one-dimensional playstyle, but also Ex6TenZ’s a-bit-too-orderly IGLing.
But beyond expectations, ScreaM was indeed granted one final chance to rediscover his form; one final chance to revive his career; one final chance at redemption.
Read about it in Part 2 of History of ScreaM!
(Header image via Team Liquid)