This is a paid guest post.
Russel Van Dulken, or as he is better known in the professional electronic sports (eSports) Twistzz is a Canadian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player is currently a part of TeamLiquid’s professional group.
Twistzz started playing video games when he was young. He was inspired by his father and used to share this hobby with him a lot. After the break up of his family, his father had to move away. This gave him the incentive to clock much higher hours of gaming than he used to. However, not everything went well in his childhood years. Twistzz picked up CS GO when his mother moved in with her boyfriend. The problem with this setup was the fact that the boy was verbally abused constantly by his mother’s lover. After a couple of years, in 2014 to be exact, his mother and her boyfriend broke up meaning that his way was clear to focus on his career. The encouragement came from his mother as well due to the simple fact that she knew what her son was doing at all times.
Twistzz’s first steps into the professional gaming career were taken in 2015. He joined his first pro team called Tectonic. After 2 months he became a part of SapphireKelownaDotCom alongside their in-game leader Kyle O’Brien or more known on the internet as “Ocean.” The team was signed by AGG in February 2016. This was a stepping stone for Twistzz as his career really started to take off. The AGG gave him the potential to attend bigger tournaments and become noticed along the way.
In 2016, team AGG had to release their roaster and Twistzz decided to join KKona with his ex-AGG teammates for a very short period of time. This only lasted 1 week however as his first big-time offer became a reality. Team SoloMid (TSM) invited Twistzz to become a part of their organization later signing him up for a permanent contract as well. For 1 full year, Twistzz played faithfully on the side of TSM. This is where his skills really started to get polished with an actual professional team that had more than enough funding and international recognition. The experience Twistzz has gathered in this team was immense. His plays in this team have become some kind of a trademark. People started noticing him and a lot of followers started flocking to the up and coming legend of the CSGO.
In 2017, TSM released Twistzz putting him up for a grab. The wait wasn’t long before Misfits Gaming saw the opportunity and picked up the whole team. In April of 2017, Twistzz joined TeamLiquid which is one of the highest recognized brands in the eSports industry. He was a substitute for Jacob Winneche, better known as “Pimp.” The success that came after this event really caught the eyes and ears of the whole CSGO community. With Twistzz in the Team Liquid managed to place 2nd on two large events one of which was ESL One New York 2017 and the ESG Tour Mykonos. This was the moment his popularity became unstoppable. The tournaments were full of people rooting for Twistzz with lots of CSGO betting sites showing a spike in the financials every time TeamLiquid was going on the scene. The Canadian player managed to make a name in his own country. A lot of people were rooting for him putting Twistzz up with the names life NAF and other legendary players. Several Canadian roulette websites started working closer together with the CSGO betting websites taking the funds indirectly from the users making it possible to indirectly play roulette using skins from the CSGO by their value.
2018 had a rough start. Twistzz TeamLiquid, unfortunately, finished 14th on the ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018, when their main coach Lucas Lopes, or “Steel”, was substituted by Wilton Prado, or “Zews”, due to the roster-lock rules. However, the group didn’t lose motivation and actively started training for their next tournament. In February, TeamLiquid beat Could9 in the finals of cs_summit 2. This was their first of many wins in 2018. This was followed up by ESL Pro League Season 7 where they came 2nd as well as ECS Season 5 Finals losing to Astralis in the finals. Twistzz’s performance was enough to get first place in the challenger stage though. Very important fact during whole 2018 was that even though the “arch-nemesis” of TeamLiquid was still posing a huge threat to the team which caused them to finish on the 4th place on FACEIT Major: London 2018 and subsequent loss in the finals of ESL One New York 2018 to mousesports, Twistzz still managed to take the title of the tournament MVP. Overall, the year was fantastic for TeamLiquid and Twistzz was a part of every bit of their success.
Russel has been critical to the success of TeamLiquid in 2019. He dominated the ranks and managed to outperform everyone in the StarLadder Major Legends Stage kickoffs in August, 2019. Twistzz was hitting tremendous results with a 1.19 ratio on LAN across 121 maps. He is solely responsible for pushing TeamLiquid to numerous titles like IEM Sydney where they managed to win against team Fnatic in the best-of-five grand finals. Twistzz was also rocking 76.2% KAST rating as well as 75.5 ADR (average damage per round), 0.74 KPR (kills per round), and extremely high 65.6% headshot percentage. Although the stats have changed a bit he is still one of the top players. The last one is something Twistzz is very much known for in the communities.
It is funny how this all reminds us of one other Canadian player that we all got to know and love. Shroud, the Reddit king who was also extremely successful. The fact that every time he played in majors the Reddit would light up with his plays, hence the title.
Overall Twistzz is showing huge potential. While some people are debating about him already peaking in his career a lot of others, including us here, are expecting much more from the upcoming superstar. The dedication that this player has shown during his career showcases something more than just good plays. It is a talent that is in the process of awakening.