We caught up with Drew "Frozone" Bienusa aka The Ringer, for a quick chat before the New York Subliners $100k WarzoneMania Event scheduled to begin on December 19th, 2020.
He talks about his return to streaming after a brief hiatus and his love for all Call of Duty titles especially Warzone, his future plans in regards to streaming, and various celebrities – sports and esports personalities alike – that he gets to play the game with.
You’re considered one of the best players in NA for Warzone. What do you think keeps you at the top in terms of gameplay?
I’d say that I try to out grind and out hustle the competition by spending 300+ hours a month streaming and playing the game to learn everything about it.
Warzone is a very fast paced game, just like the regular COD games, but this one has battle royale elements. What are your thoughts on RNG in esports?
I think that it is part of the “battle royale” genre, but Warzone started removing that as it is not so focused on “RNG” and I don’t have to relay on floor loot or not having competent weapons when playing.
It seems as if you’re a hardcore Call of Duty fan as you used to wait outside Gamestop for each new Call of Duty release. What element made you so addicted towards this particular game?
It’s the game that all my friends played, and it was the game that everybody wanted to play. They all wanted to play the new one whenever it came out and we just kept on playing each new game.
You got your start playing at a high level in Fortnite. What was the particular reason for moving on from that game?
I just didn’t really enjoy playing Fortnite as much as I did other games. I realized my strengths weren’t really suited for it.
You had a brief stint playing Apex Legends. What do you think holds that game back from being a better title?
When I first played it, there was no ranked mode; but, it seems to be moving in the right direction to establish a more clear-cut competitive scene.
Do you have any plans trying to get competitive in Valorant?
I do enjoy playing Valorant off-stream with some friends. But since my Warzone streams and tournaments have been so successful, that has been my primary focus.
Not so long ago, you were on a hiatus when you started working full-time due to which you ceased streaming completely. However, due to the unexpected pandemic and release of the newest Call of Duty title, Warzone, you saw your chance to start streaming again and ended up being one of the top players in the title. I’d like to ask you what made you quit the industry and then later make a comeback? Is there anything that we may not know or be aware of?
The timing was just right to make a comeback to it. When Warzone came out, I was addicted instantly and playing it non-stop. Once COVID hit, Minnesota shut down and I had nothing to do but stream and play videogames all day.
For a novice such as myself, how would you describe Warzone and more importantly why should one play this particular game or any other COD titles, when there are other, and perhaps, better options like CS:GO? I hope you don’t kill me for asking this question haha!
The most unique aspect is that it is “free to play” and is cross-platform so you can play with everybody, including Xbox, Playstation and PC users. It is also a more causal game and appeals to more casual players than some other games that have more technical gameplay involved.
Moving on, you play with and against some of the top gamers from the scene such as TimTheTatman, NICKMERCS, Summit1G, and Huskerrs as well as playing with current and former professional athletes, including NFL players Golden Tate, Blake Martinez, Jamal Charles and Brian Orkapo, among others. Tell us the difference between playing with these two different factions of individuals; one who are familiar with online gaming and the other who are sports athletes? Also, how did you establish relationships with the latter faction?
Playing with the professional athletes is definitely a more casual and laidback gaming experience and a little bit slower of a pace. But, when you’re playing with high-tier gamers, it’s all about fast-pace, high kills and always winning. One of the coolest things about playing with some professional athletes, is how excited and hyped they get when you are winning. Some of the players that I met are through are mutual friends and contacts who know the athletes.
Moving on, you’ll be participating in the JackLinks Warzone Invitational and that too as a captain. 16 Duos, 1 Champion and $30,000 up for grabs. How confident are you going into the tournament and who do you consider as the toughest opponent to beat?
This tournament is stacked and is filled with many of the world’s top Warzone players. It is going to be an intense competition no matter who we battle.
Similarly, there’s also another event taking place, namely, New York Subliners Warzone Mania with $100,000 on the line. How do you think the event is going to fare and which team are you most likely rooting to win?
The event is going to be awesome with everybody competing for such a large prize pool. The event will feature the new “Cold War” integration so it will be interesting to see how all the teams do.
Moving forward, which game are you most likely going to stick to or are you going to dip your toes into different games and choose streaming as a career option instead of being a pro gamer?
I plan to continue competing in Warzone for as long as I can. I always will be interested in trying new games and streaming as I enjoy engaging with my audience. Right now, I plan to stream and play Warzone as the scene continues to grow.
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