dare: "I definitely think we should've been banned"
In his first interview since being unbanned from ESEA, Iron Blood's Derek "dare" Brown sat down with Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore to discuss the ban, the team's return to competition, and whether the community will ever accept the squad after their multiple controversies. Outside of that discussion, the duo also had a chance to talk about timbermen's unusual source of support, being finally signed after the near-miss with Tempest, and adding Damian "droid" Boulware to the team.
To start, how did you feel about your run at Fragadelphia 17?
Alright I guess. I think we should have beat BIG Academy for sure. Honestly kinda shitty. Not great.
That match against BIG Academy was very close, what factors do you think allowed them to come out ahead?
We just threw that's it. I remember we were up 14-13 and we're in a 4v3 and the round was over, we knew where they were. Just stupid positioning and shit like that. Just throwing the game.
Iron Blood claimed the first seed for Fragadelphia 17 based on all of the LAN events the players attended. How was timbermen able to attend so many events?
Honestly nbgee12 and his org, I don't know where he got it from.
Can you tell us a bit about that? What's the situation with nbgee12?
I don't know? He just has an org, I don't know where he got it from, he just funds the money and that's it.
Is that Lethal Gaming Gear?
Yeah, Lethal Gaming Gear.
Can you tell me about that at all?
No I don't know.
They just give you money to go to events?
Yeah, they give him the money.
Right before Fragadelphia 17, timbermen were signed by Iron Blood. This signing seemed to came out of nowhere and droid told us it took him somewhat by surprise. What's the situation with them?
One of our friends was trying to get this org for us before the event. He ended up getting it in the middle of the event. We weren't sure if we were going to get it.
In June, we saw that timbermen were temporarily signed by Tempest under strange circumstances. From your perspective, what happened with those guys?
I don't know, some guy approached us for an org, I can't remember what his name was. We had an interview with him and he liked us and we liked him. We signed with him... I can't remember what the guy's name was but some guy on Twitter just made a post and we got dropped.
For your first season back on ESEA, timbermen qualified back to ECL. How do you rate yourself among the other teams in the division despite the long absence?
Yeah I think so. There's a lot of teams in ECL that don't really deserve to be there. Maybe we're one of them, I don't know.
Overall, how do you feel about your chances in your group?
We're one of the top teams for sure. We should make playoffs for sure.
At this event we saw bddu on the coach PC instead of FLUSH, was FLUSH unable to attend?
No FLUSH is here. They're not actually coaches, it's more of a friend spectating.
So does bddu do any coaching for you guys?
No doesn't do anything, he's just a friend.
To move to a more serious question, the majority of the team was recently unbanned after widespread condemnation for racist and offensive comments on Discord. A lot of people seem to be uncomfortable with your presence in the scene however it seems timbermen have been working to stay out of trouble. What is your pitch to people why they should give you a second chance?
I feel like everyone has done something in their life that someone is going to think is wrong. We're just kids just fucking around. It wasn't right but what do you want to say?
How did it feel to have such large names like EliGE and s1mple come down on you and do you think it was justified?
I don't know, I don't know. It's all so complicated.
Gamers historically have a bad rap for saying off-color and offensive things in Discord or in other private conversations that have leaked out and caused trouble. Do you think the community's reaction and ESL's reaction were justified?
Yeah I definitely think we should've been banned for sure. A year ban or six months may have been better, just so we can get back into the game.
Now that you're back in the scene, there's one lingering issue with the team being permanently banned on FACEIT. Do you think the lifetime bans are reasonable?
It's not super fair to be honest. Especially because ESL and FACEIT are the same company now right and owned by the same guy. I don't think that's fair at all.
Do you see the ESL FACEIT Group merger as a potential light at the end of the tunnel?
Super happy, we love the game and it means so much to us. Being permanently banned would be horrible.
How did you find droid and bring him into timbermen?
We're friends with nero and he's been friends with droid for a while. droid just needed a team and we tried him out and it worked. We have a lot of the same personality.
What does droid bring to the team?
His brain to be honest. He's super smart in the game... he's not bad at aiming, I'm not saying that's an issue but he's super smart in-game and doesn't make mistakes very often. We've had trouble with other players in the past doing that.
What's next for timbermen, are you staying with Iron Blood and are you going to be competing anywhere outside of ECL?
We're definitely going to continue with Iron Blood. We're definitely going to more LANs with this fuckin kid [points to nbgee12] some more, that'd be fun. Then just play ECL and qualifiers. Hopefully be unbanned on FACEIT, that'd be absolutely awesome.
Is there anything you want to say to the community about why any new fans should look past your previous controversies?
I think everyone makes mistakes and we were just kids when those messages were in Discord. I think everyone deserves a second chance and were trying to be better and nicer and I am and we are.
dare and Iron Blood are currently competing in ESL Challenger League Season 42. It will have to be seen if the completion of the ESL FACEIT Group merger will dash their attempts to continue competing once the bans are merged.