Introducing our new CS:GO lineup;

Arron “Arron” Bal (Netherlands)

Aaron “Toko” Craine (United-Kingdom)

David “DSR” Henson (United-Kingdom)

Jesse “Djessy ” Bos (Netherlands)

John “WundA” Smith-Howell (United-Kingdom)


Interview with John “WundA” Smith-Howell:

Q: Tell us about yourself and the current roster; names, country, age. How did you personally get into CS? Also, how has your experience with CS:GO been with past clans?

A: I’m John, 28 years old and from the United Kingdom. I’m married and have two kids. I have been playing CS since 1999 and have taken some breaks throughout those years for various reasons (ex. marriage,kids). I got into CS by just walking past a LAN cafe. I had zero experience with computers at this point and was interested. I always loved console games as a kid and wanted to see what PC games I could play. I got addicted pretty much instantly and spent every penny and spare time in this cafe and ended up joining their LAN team and playing in small tournaments very early on.

Over the years I’ve taken various roles from playing to managing teams both British and European teams. I’m lucky that I have managed to travel most of the UK, EU & USA playing and managing eSports teams.

Our current roster is myself, Toko, who is 30 years old from Island of Man and is just as “old skool” as I am. Toko played for one of the best teams in the UK for years and represented team England and United Kingdom.

Arron, who is 17 years old from The Netherlands and although he is the youngest member of our team he has been playing for a number of years and is an absolute beast in game.

Djessy is 22 years old from the Netherlands and has been playing for a number of years. Jesse is a very clever player in game and can wait out our opponent for silly amounts of times without movement- an absolute key element.
DSR is 26 years old and from the UK. Dave has been playing for well over 10 years and brings vast amount of experience to the team. Dave is that player who tops the scoreboards most games and is able to hold his own versus some of the best.
 Q: What are your feelings about the current Last Rites roster? Is there any particular players we should watch out for?
A: I’ll be honest that when I returned to CS only 3 months ago I didn’t think I’d find the right group of players who could compete. I’ve never been so wrong. We gel so well and are so far ahead already of where we would normally be so early on as a team. Players to watch out for are Arron & DsR both monsters of players.
Q: As a team captain, what is your biggest challenge and what do you do to manage this challenge?
A: The biggest challenge is internal relationships. When you actually break it down we circa 40+ hours a week with each other on Teamspeak and were from very different backgrounds. There are some age gaps as well. I manage this by trying to keep everyone calm and encourage talking about problems and issues. If we can get each other motivated we will be able to achieve more as a team. Arguments and disagreements are always going to happen but we know we have to be grown up about it and get over it.
Q: What online competitions are you currently signed up to? When do we expect to see the team competing?
A: Currently, we are playing in open online cups due to the time of year. January is going to be an interesting month for us as we will be competing in ESEA Season 24, and in the UK Gaming Tours with a £10,000 prize pool in season one with offline finals in the UK if we qualify.
Q: What are your long-term aspirations in eSports and for LastRites?
A: My personal aspirations are to again work full time within the eSports industry (playing or managing). In regards to LastRites, I honestly believe if we can keep the same line up and continue with our current progress I see us being able to challenge Tier 2 teams within the next 18 to 24 months.
Q: Is there any rival teams in particular you would love to compete vs?
A: Well, there is the obvious teams that we would love to play such as; Dignitas, SK, VP etc. but to be honest we have no real rivals… Currently :p
Q: What are your thoughts on the UK CS:GO scene? You currently have three UK players, do you hope to be seen as a main contender?
A: The UK scene is recovering but is a long way off from where it was back in the day. We need more business’s to support us and likewise the community to show support to the online/offline events out there. Within the next six months I believe we can be one of the main contenders in the UK.
Q: eSports is definitely rising in popularity. Where do you think eSports or your particular game is headed?
A: eSports is heading to becoming a spectator sport and in some countries and games I believe they have achieved this. CS is a little different as it’s not a game you can perhaps just watch without knowing about it. However, we are absolutely heading in the right direction. The major events are using massive indoor arenas and football stadiums to host events.
Q: Is there anything that bothers you with eSports or your particular game?
A: Well, there is the obvious people who ruin the game for others through cheating. Nothing else really bothers me. I’m pretty much only really interested what we do and how we act as a team and how we are perceived by our fans and opponents.
Q: Looking back on all that you have doe, what is you biggest accomplishment so far in eSports and what would be your ultimate achievement/goal?
A:My biggest accomplishment is traveling to New York for a $1 million event for absolutely free! An amazing experience! My ultimate goal would be to be playing full time as a professional or even managing a top tier 1 team.
Q: What was the best advice that you were given while working in this industry? Where do you draw your inspiration from?
A: Best advice I was given was just to never give up and carry on no matter what. I’m truly inspired by the owner of SK (Alexander Muller) and was very lucky to interview him while I was working for ZeroPoint Gaming.
Q: Do you have any advice for players who might want to start competing?
A: Practice, practice, and practice. But do it smart.. don’t just play random games all day long. Take your time to review your plays and learn from your mistakes. Don’t get frustrated and have confidence in your ability.
Q: Where can people find out more about you or your team?
A: First point of call would be the LastRites website. Most of us have profiles on various team pages online which gives them an idea of the equipment we use and configs and some of our history. I hope we can put this stuff on our profiles on the LRG website also.
Q: Lastly, is there anything else that you would like to share?
A: Just to thank Miles and his team for giving us an opportunity to represent LRG and we are all very excited to see what the future brings. We are going to continue to play hard and certainly turn some heads within the CSGO world.
We want to thank WundA for taking the time for this interview. We encourage you to support his team as they raise through the ranks of competitive CS:GO. For more information, check out the LastRites website. Happy Gaming! – Hannah K