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Life After GG: Retired Horseman of the Apocalypse Clive Canlas

ITSCLIVEMAN takes us back to the good old days of Counter-Strike

Izo Lopez

Life After GG is an article series produced by Mineski.net. In it, we feature various retired or inactive PH pro-gamers and what they're up to after their times in the competitive scene.

This week, we interviewed Clive Canlas, or ITSCLIVEMAN from the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and more recently, 5peaks.

Izoid: We know you as ITSCLIVEMAN from the legendary 2001 Horsemen of the Apocalypse roster, but you're no longer as active.

ITSCLIVEMAN: Hello Izo, just call me Clive. Yes, currently inactive and you could say "retired" since I'm not playing any competitive esport at the moment.

I still visit big tournaments (esgs, mpgl, etc.) or sometimes have a few beers with the active counter-strike players and give them a bit of advice or my astute perception on what's happening between real life and gaming.

Could we know a little about what you're up to now outside of CS:GO and competitive gaming? What is a Horseman's day job, so to speak?

I'm working as a Senior IT Specialist in Maersk (Shipping company), meaning my parents were wrong when they said I had no future because all I did in Highschool was play counter-strike and run plays in my mind 24/7 (I even had dreams of playing tournaments!).

Also, I'm trying to be a good husband to my wife (girlfriend of 11 years). I'll be working abroad with her, so everything looks promising in real life.

Congratulations, by the way, on your wedding! Was your wife involved in esports as well, or what does she think about you being an ex-pro gamer?

Thanks man. I never knew being wed to the girl of my dreams would have an earnest feeling – I’ve fallen even more in love with Maze. My wife isn't really into esports but she was very supportive back in the day. She thinks it's lame, haha. Not really – deep down inside she's proud of some of the things I've done in the esports community, in Counter-Strike and maybe in Starcraft 2.

We did play WC3: DotA back in college, I taught her how to play Lion and she can kick ass with the stun+hex combo plus finger of death. She can even take double kills with our favorite evil-shaman. She uses Enigma too and plays like DJ, heh.

Clive faces something more challenging than any clutch 1v5. It shows on his face.

Let's go back to your time with the Horsemen, or if not that then when you were in the thickest of the pro-gaming lifestyle. Could you compare your day-to-day then to now that you've retired?

I think I was in the thickest of the pro-gaming lifestyle when I was in HoA 2000-2001.

2000 to 2001 for me is the golden age of counter-strike. This was when there were still at least 64 active teams, with a variety of players (some older than me!). There were multiple monthly tournaments with up to 50k and computer scholarships in prizes.

We used to practice in Anonas, the Mecca of gaming at the time, with players from all over who wanted to play against us for experience. No Facebook or social media back then, so we had to take each other’s contact numbers. Some players would even refer our numbers to someone in Marikina, Taft, or Paranaque, and so on.

We used to have a motto: "WALANG KAKAIN HANGGA'T DI NANALO SA PUSTA" (nobody eats until we win some money!). That Muro Ami meme is a little oldschool now, haha. We ate too many Yakisobas in those days.

The biggest names in Counter-strike Beta 7 and 1.1 to 1.3 were be us, HoA (Death, War, Plague, Famine, and Captain Apocalypse), Quest-bombsite (BatangPro, SniperBoy, Junix, Rakedish, and KillaBeeZ) and Ninja (South-side players with star players like Immortali$$$$, Brood, and RallyBot).

There were some notable teams as well: CXG, Teletubbies, Cybr, ABB, and Jupiter. They'd take a big tournament or two out of nowhere.

Some of my friends would live in computer cafes. If they weren’t practicing Counter-Strike, they were playing those pixelated MMORPGs like SOMA.

Right now, the difference is I'm not playing 6 to 8 hours to practice. I can still play but I don't want to get caught up in it too much because gaming is a rabbit hole for me. I’d get obsessed and sucked into playing competitively again haha. Still, I'm already in the category of "too old to compete" because of responsibilities in real life, and there's no team who would draft me since I've been away for almost 4 years.


Any interesting pro-gamer anecdotes you still reminisce about from time to time?

Ah yes, I'll keep going back to one of the most magnificent comebacks in Philippine gaming history. Let me put you in memory lane.

PCGL’s (Philippine Computer Gaming League) biggest tournament back in 2001 had a 50,000 Php prize, plus a scholarship, and the winners would get to represent the country for the first time ever in the CPL World Championship in Texas, USA.

We lost 1-12 to our biggest rivals (Quest Bombsite) I think in de_cbble. I went back to a computer shop in UST and I was crying my eyes out cause we were about to get eliminated (Losers Bracket, Day 1). Our team captain (Sigwa) kept consoling me and assured me that we'd make a comeback and become champions.

Day 2, we got defeated by Teletubbies in de_aztec (I know how it sounds) but we had the highest average of wins in the loser's bracket (meaning, even though we were eliminated twice, we still had our last swan song because of the CPL rules).

We had to beat five teams before getting to the championship. If I remember correctly, Ninjas were able to beat QuestBombSite in de_aztec (a freaking old map), making them the Winners Bracket forerunners.

We plowed our way through the five teams. First was CXG in de_cbble (they were twice to beat), Ninja 2 (I forgot the map but I remember it was a bad map for competitive) then Teletubbies (forgot the map again haha).

The biggest hurdle of course was QuestBombSite because they had our number. Good thing their player Junix (IGL) slept deep and his brain wasn't functioning properly. We defeated them in de_nuke (12-4). Batang _pro was so angry because there were no plays coming from Junix, hahaha.

Ninja was also difficult because they were twice to beat. Aztec was their favorite map but momentum was on our side. First map, I’ve forgotten how we won, but we did (it was 16 years ago haha). Next map, they got their groove back and it turned intense. They were CT-sided and the score 2-2. I told the team to SAC since we didn't have enough funds to buy high-powered weapons.

We all got eliminated except for our star player "Ken" aka "Death" who bought a Deagle. IIRC, he killed the AWPer in monkey bridge, went down the T-stairs and headshot a player in the river (for whatever reason, the dude got itchy). Then, he took the AUG (CS 1.3 is Steyr Aug era) from his kill, went to the plant in outer and was able to eliminate 3 players (one in outer bombsite, one near the entrance in monkey bridge, and last in CT double doors). Everyone in exploded in cheers when it happened and we went to defeat Ninja 12-10 in their favorite map.

It was the greatest feeling ever after winning that tourney, but then 9/11 happened and it got difficult to get a US visa. Sadness.

It’s a pretty long story but there's no other record of how it went down. It should be a part of PH esports history haha.

Lastly, what are the life lessons you learned from your time as an esports athlete?

Friendships can last forever. I'm still friends with Batang_Pro, Killabeez, Kenjots and other players in Counter-strike 1.1 to 1.3.

I think this game molded me in real life as well. I learned how to fill my role in any team. It takes a great amount of discipline, will-power, hard work, and personal sacrifice to achieve your goals. It sounds cliche, but I'm a shy boy from Tondo and CS taught me how to socialize with people, learned to empathize with my fellow players when they're struggling, or just be proud when you have a good friend who's making a name for himself (Hannibal, libre mo ako food haha).

Also, I met the new generation of players and their potential in CS is as high as the sky. I wish PH doesn’t only become known as a "Dota Country" but as a home to many great CS players as well.