Counter-Strike is littered with stories of talented young players who never really got their mental game right. But sometimes you get one who perfects the balance of skill and mental strength, and that is the story of Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif.
Reif started his career out at SK Gaming before they decided to cut their whole roster in order to sign a group of talented Brazilians led by Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David and Gabriel ‘FalleN’ Toledo. This led to a short successful spell at Dignitas, before they too cut their team after winning EPICENTER: Moscow 2016. Dig then moved to a US-based team supported by the Philadelphia 76ers.
The then known ‘Magiskb0Y’ went on to join North and the Dane got his first taste of a Major at the ELEAGUE Major: Atlanta 2017. The team dropped their first two games, meaning they would need to be perfect to get out of the group – which they did in impressive fashion against Hellraisers, G2, and GODSENT.
North would go on to be eliminated in the quarter-finals by Virtus Pro in remarkable circumstances. Going into the tiebreaker on Cobblestone, Reif’s team started CT and he put up a staggering 29 kills, which was a major record for eliminations in a half, helping his team to 13 round wins. The team unfortunately lost this game, crushing Magisk and creating cracks in the armor of North.
The young rifler later ended up at Astralis after a brief spell at OpTic and helped the team become the greatest of all time. Astralis went on to achieve unrivaled success, winning 3 Majors in a row with their victory at the StarLadder Major: Berlin 2019. Magisk was the missing piece to Astralis’ puzzle and this move played a big part in their now legendary status.
Dexerto had the opportunity to speak with Nabil ‘Nivera’ Benrlitom, the newest member of Vitality’s lineup about his role in the squad, his performance in the finals of IEM Beijing and his drive to one day outdo his brother and CS:GO legend Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom.
Brought in as the sixth member of an already established Team Vitality roster, Nivera found himself surrounded by some of the biggest names in French CS while facing a skeptic community on the feasibility of an extended roster.
After all, Astralis had also recently moved to an extended lineup but had not used Lucas ‘Bubzkji’ Andersen as a regular substitute after the original roster had been reunited.
Nivera was required to prove himself against the Complexity juggernaut at BLAST Premier Fall Series, being the first player to ever been subbed in during a CSGO match.
Nivera on his role within Vitality
Nabil has only made appearances for Vitality when the team played Inferno or Dust_2, subbing in for Richard ‘shox’ Papillon and Kévin ‘misutaaa’ Rabier.
While being an AWPer by nature, Nivera has been playing a flexible role on his new team, expanding on the topic he explained:
“In Dust_2 I’m playing with the rifle and on CT side…If I want to take the AWP, I take it…[on Inferno] I’m the main sniper, that’s why Inferno is my best map because the main sniper is my main role but I can play Rifle, that’s why Vitality took me.”
With big shoes to fill Nivera raised up to the challenge, delivering some great performances in the maps he played and helping the team secure a top spot in their group at Blast Premier Fall and the trophy at IEM Beijing-Haidian.
Nivera on being subbed in the Grand Finals of a tournament
The young star did not seem to be affected by the pressure of the grand final, even after witnessing his team’s dismantling on Nuke at the hands of NaVi.
“I had not a lot of pressure honestly…I have to give my best. I stay here for only two maps, I have to play good,” Nivera confessed. “I was a little bit sad after Dust_2 because we lost it but I was proud of myself ’cause I gave my best, even if we lost the map.”
Their journey to the final wasn’t easy. They faced their Danish nemesis Heroic and the Complexity juggernaut on the way.
Nivera was crucial in their victory against Heroic in the quarter-finals, being subbed in on the last map and ending the game with almost 30 kills to his name.
“I had to play and if we lost we would be out of the tournament but in my head, I was like: I will just play my game, give everything and stay focused on the game.”
Nivera has been impressive in the nine maps he has played for Vitality.
Nivera on becoming a legend like his brother ScreaM
After this level of performance at such a young age, the community started drawing comparisons between him and his older brother ScreaM.
“ScreaM has a big career…he has a lot of fans and is a legend of CSGO, literally. Doing more than him is hard but I will try to do it… I will just give my best like I do with everything in life and I will have no regrets”