Aurimas "Bymas" Pipiras burst onto the pro scene as a stand-in for FaZe Clan. Overshadowed by Helvjis "broky" Saukants there, he found himself picked up by MOUZ where he would remain for two years before the arrival of Dorian "xertioN" Berman a year ago.
Now one of BLAST.tv Paris Major quarter-finalists Into the Breach’s newest signings, Bymas looks to battle his way back to tier one with an organization that has already defied all the odds once.
We sat down with Bymas at the IEM Cologne 2023 Play-In to discuss his integration into the team, the differences between ITB and MOUZ, and how to fix some of the issues the roster will face in their first few months together.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: A tough opening game for you with your loss against NIP, how are you feeling?
Bymas: Not so happy. We expected them to pick Ancient and we had some anti-strats and it was good, but I think when you're a new team, you need these losses to become good, to see where we're lacking, to see which parts of the game are missing. Overall, on our T side, we had a lot of good rounds. We lost a 4v3, we lost an anti-eco, we had some good clutch situations, and our T side is looking promising. On our CT side, we didn't have much chance to start and didn't have a lot of gun rounds. We gave it our all, we still need a lot of time, we've still only had like eight or nine practice days so it's still not a lot. We'll see how it goes in the next games.
BLIX: It's been a difficult start for the roster overall, a couple of losses in online games, do you think it's just a case of growing pains and needing extra practice time?
Bymas: Yeah, definitely. The first game we lost we didn't even have a practice day before it, we just went in because there was a qualifier, and then we played the Pro League qualifier with only two or three practice days, and for sure we just needed more time. It's just a lack of time right now.
BLIX: What about you individually as a player, it's been a year since you've been on a team, is there an element of rustiness for you to overcome?
Bymas: I wouldn't say so. I've been putting hours in ever since I was benched. No team CS, but a lot of FACEIT. I think I kept my individual level, but I just need to remember what it's like in team CS and LANs, the executes, the strats. I don't think I feel the rustiness, just in general, we just haven't had enough time. Individually I feel very good, at least in practice, I'm shooting good.
BLIX: Into the Breach is a bit different to your previous teams, being MOUZ and FaZe, does that mean there's less pressure on you to perform straight away?
Bymas: Yeah, I feel that for sure. I feel like I still need to perform well if we want to do something, but there's less pressure because when you play for teams like MOUZ and FaZe, you must be on your top level every single match because you never know when you can be benched. Here I feel less pressure for sure.
BLIX: Would you say that having less pressure is something that helps you or do you not get bothered by pressure?
Bymas: I never really had issues with pressure in MOUZ, but I can feel it for sure. I'm feeling braver to make certain plays, I don't feel like they'll end the round for us, but also, it's probably just also the experience I have now.
BLIX: What are the biggest differences going from tier-one organizations like FaZe and MOUZ to Into the Breach?
Bymas: The main thing is the fanbase. We don't have as many fans, but other than that, Into the Breach is a great organization. They care for the players, they do everything to make sure we feel good at boot camps, before officials and tournaments. Everything is the same, it's just that you're representing a lesser-known organization.
BLIX: What are the expectations for the roster as a whole towards the end of the year, if it's fair to say this tournament has come too soon for this team?
Bymas: I think our work ethic needs to improve. It wasn't the best in the boot camp. We could have had a way more productive time, for sure. I would say we need to get more practice in, but the thing that's different from this team to MOUZ is the work ethic, which I will try to help and put into the system we had at MOUZ. More strict, work harder, more practice. What was the question about the roster again?
BLIX: What are the expectations in terms of performance?
Bymas: Oh... well, our main goal right now is to qualify for Pro League and go deep in Cologne, at least get some ESL points. We want to keep winning, maybe we win our last game here. I wonder who the enemy is [laughs], if we meet MOUZ it will be spicy for me. But yeah, we just hope to get as many ESL points as we can to keep getting invited to tournaments and when this tournament ends, we will have way more time to develop our game plan and our strats. The biggest goal for us is the Major. We have our RMR spot because these boys made it to the playoffs, so that's the biggest goal.
BLIX: So in terms of the strictness and the work ethic, is that something that with you and NEOFRAG coming from tier one teams, you're both hoping to bring to the roster and how do you go about that?
Bymas: We had some slacking. We had set times to meet and sometimes some people were late, still having breakfast. Just small things that mean it's not perfect. In MOUZ, we had a set time and people were always ready and always warmed up, everyone had already prepared some stuff individually. I will just force it, I'll try to motivate everyone to put in more work, be more on time, to fix that work ethic.