Blasts, who was recently dropped by iG, spoke to esports.gg about the decision, that fateful playoff 1v1 and how he got into gaming.
Jamie Levine, known as Blasts has had a rollercoaster few months in the build up to the 2nd split of Pro League.
The 19-year-old has already had a varied career in the Apex scene. This included that fateful 1v1 in January that could've won Invictus Gaming $100k. Next up for the talented player is playing Pro League with T-Rex. Pro League starts for EMEA this week.
esports.gg spoke to Blasts following his release from iG to discuss his career to date, that 1v1 and how he got into gaming.
Blasts: "I didn't really understand why I was being dropped"
Blasts' sudden departure from iG surprised the whole Apex scene.
iG had performed admirably in the playoffs, and were just one kill away from taking the title. As a trio, Blasts, Brynn and Noiises had been improving and confidence seemed high.
"To be honest the whole situation of leaving iG came so suddenly for me that initially it was heart-breaking. I didn't really understand why I was being dropped to the point I literally asked three times if they were joking."
However, iG were serious. Blasts was released from the roster just a few weeks after placing 4th in playoffs.
"The main reasons from my understanding of the change were a lack of focus in scrims. Because we had such good chemistry as friends it became one of these situations where we could not focus at all in scrims, me most of all it seemed."
Blasts tournament performance not a factor
"To clarify they made it clear that the change was nothing to do with my performance in tournaments. The other main reason for the change was also due to the new map being announced for comp Apex. We have been playing the same style for essentially a year and a half. So I have been used to playing the same way."
Storm Point has shaken up the Apex competitive scene. Blasts revealed that iG felt they needed to change style to be successful moving forward. They felt Blasts could adapt, but not quick enough for Pro League.
"The boys knew I would be able to change style for the map. However the way they saw it was that by the time I'd have learnt how to play on the new map it would already be too late into pro league."
Inexperienced Urban replaces Blasts
Blasts has since been replaced on the iG roster by Urban, who is an up and coming player. He does not have any significant experience at the Professional level.
"They need results from pro league as quick as quick as possible. At the end of the day they felt it was best to work with a new player they could mould who has less experience therefore a more open mindset."
When asked if being replaced by someone who is new to the top level and inexperienced felt, Blasts said it was frustrating to say the least. However, Blasts was very quick to add that he knows that Urban will be a great addition and thinks that the new iG roster will be successful.
"To be replaced by someone who has less experience in comp even after performing in every event hurts a lot"
"Honestly there's no easy way to say it other than it feels frustrating. Almost like the saying of adding salt to the wound.
"Last we discussed the boys agreed I was essentially the mvp of our team in playoffs. So to be told that someone with less experience was replacing me after all this time together so suddenly really did hurt."
"I've thought of a million ways I could have won"
Undoubtedly, the defining moment of Blasts time with iG will be game four of the of the ALGS playoffs.
Having performed admirably, the iG team found themselves in a 3v3. Victory would land them $100k and first place.
It all fell to Blasts, who had one of the most consequential 1v1s in Apex history.
In a slight moment of hesitation and confusion, Blasts found himself without full health and he lost the 1v1.
"Looking back at the situation I've thought of a million ways I could have won of course."
"In retrospect this was the first time I had ever experienced such a situation where it was down to just me to win it all for a big event."
"Something happened before we left our building, myself and Noiises tried to armour swap the same box. We did it so fast that I didn't even realize that I was using the broken armour as I left the building. So that could have greatly changed the fight. As well as this by the time it got to a 1v1 I was out of shotgun ammo and flatline ammo."
"At the end of the day I know I will never lose that again."
"My instincts told me to get an armour swap however in the moment I felt by the time I had thirsted the downed player it would be too late and I would be killed from my side, so I went for the push because he phased away instead."
"Looking back now I know exactly how to play these intense situations and I'm certain I will never lose under the same circumstances. There is also this crazy rush that goes through you in those type of situations that greatly impact your thinking. At the end of the day I know I will never lose that again."
Blasts and iG unphased by near-miss
However, Blasts told esports.gg that this near-miss did not impact the remaining games.
"To be honest I was so in the moment that I literally did not have time to even think about what had just happened."
"I just kept going with the same confidence. There was no reason not to. We had no right being able to get 2nd in that game at all so it was just about staying positive and to keep moving."
However, Blasts did reveal that their tail off towards the end of the tournament was due to fatigue.
"One problem we had was actually our team getting pretty tired through the rest of the games though. I really wanted us to keep the momentum but it can be draining to have something like that happen. Hence our games took a slight turn. However once it came to the final 2 games we knew it was all or nothing."
"We gave it everything we had. There was a world where we could have won the final game which NEW took however we just got unlucky with certain things."
"The dropship height MUST be raised"
Blasts had a clear priority when asked what changes ALGS should make.
"As for Storm Point, they need too, and I mean need to, up the height of the jump ship."
Several teams have complained that they cannot reach their landing spots consistently. Including Torrent and Muutarium.
Blasts thinks that feedback from ALGS players and fans could be listened too more.
"I've seen a thousand good ideas for comp and the game in general. Even for the casual fan base and the amount of people who have upvoted and said that it was a good idea just hasn't impacted much."
Cheaters a big problem in ALGS
"I don't think in the whole of apex I've seen so many people complaining about supposed cheaters in ALGS and nothing happen. It just feels like we are heard but only half of what we say."
However, Blasts didn't think that EMEA Pro League had any current cheaters.
"Rayman 3 is my favourite game of all time"
Blasts, while only 19, has had a long passion for gaming that started when he was just 6 years old.
"The main way I got into gaming was because of my uncle when i was about 6 ish. I was at his house and he brought down a very old TV and console and let me play a game called Rayman 3. To this day that game has been my favourite of all time and is the reason I love games."
"I guess after a while I got an xbox. I started playing FPS games like Call of Duty and met people who got me into pc gaming after a while. For some time it was an unthinkable goal for me to even own a PC.
"I remember what must of been 9 years ago now me sitting downstairs in my lounge begging my mum and dad for a gaming PC so I could play with my friends. We weren't the richest family growing up so I had to wait till I was around 12. My only real passion/hobby since then has been gaming."
The second I started playing I was locked in
Blasts was referred to Apex by a friend, and instantly fell in love with the game.
"I actually got into gaming because of someone who was a pro player in PUBG at the time known as Maverick. I can't remember who he played for but he told me about this game coming out called Apex Legends."
"The second I started playing I was just locked in. I was playing better than my "pro friend". This was a lot at the time as I didn't know if I could ever do anything like this in the past."
"I have been dreaming about going pro since i was literally 10 years old. And had to wait 7 ish years before I could even have a chance. So to get into a game like this and be told I was good enough to compete was a huge moment for me."
Blasts will hope he can prove iG wrong, and that T-Rex will show everyone what they can do in the 2nd split of Pro League.