This week, we’re highlighting one of Europe’s greatest talents, Splyce super-star Ben ‘Bance’ Bance. Following a meteoric rise to join Europe’s elite, Bance is now at the tip of the spear in the region’s fight on the international stage.
A relative new-comer to the upper echelons of Call of Duty, Bance made his competitive debut as recently as Advanced Warfare.
Taking the traditional path for a European competitor, he started out attending domestic events, the likes of Am2Pro, iSeries and EGL. Just months into his career, however, Bance’s profile was given a boost when, having surprisingly qualified for ESWC, his Barrage squad upset the dominant OpTic Gaming in the group stage.
Bance continued to rise through the domestic circuit, winning his first event at Insomnia 55 on Advanced Warfare. It was with the advent of Black Ops 3 and the Call of Duty World League that Bance really joined the big leagues, however, qualifying for Stage 1 with Splyce and ultimately helping to build the most successful European squad of the year.
After an uncertain start to his career, moving with relative frequency between teams in his rookie year, Bance seems to have found a home.
Having been a part of the very first roster assembled by Splyce on their entrance into Call of Duty at the start of Black Ops 3, Bance settled in for the long haul, remaining with the organisation ever since.
Now playing with the fifth iteration of the Splyce roster, Bance has been the one constant: the only player remaining of the original roster now that Joshua-Lee ‘Joshh’ Shepherd has departed.
Gearing up to play their first event together at the CWL Dallas Open, the new Splyce team have been tipped as the most individually talented squad in Europe.
Bance isn’t without domestic success, having won the Gfinity Summer Masters on Black Ops 3, but his real highlight moments have come on the international stage.
Europe has long lagged behind North America when it comes to international competition, but that gap seems to have been shrinking over the last couple of years, and Bance has been one of the players leading that progression.
Mid-way through the Black Ops 3 season, Splyce showed promise when they beat FaZe Clan and Rise Nation on their way to the ESWC grand finals. The pinnacle of Bance’s career so far, however, came later in the year when the team repeated the feat, placing second at the Call of Duty Championships.
It may not be a trophy, but that result was the greatest achievement for a European Call of Duty team to date, and Bance was a critical part of it, even garnering a number of nods for the MVP award despite Splyce’s eventual loss to Team EnVyUs.
Some players make their name through being vocal leaders or exceptional team players. Bance is a more traditional star, contributing through the sheer skill he brings to a team.
It’s a talent he was immediately recognized for, chosen as a Red Bull Rising Star at one of his very first events: Am2Pro 1. Since then, the accolades have piled up, getting the Red Bull MVP nod at both Gfinity Summer Masters and the Call of Duty Championships.
Most recently, Bance was ranked second on prominent caster Alan ‘Bricetacular’ Brice’s top ten European players list, which also featured input from a collection of top EU pro’s. In other words, Bance’s contemporaries recognize him as one of the best of them.
It’s not too hard to understand why. Simply put, Bance is a slayer. For all the clever strategy and carefully-planned tactics in the world, Bance is the sort of player who can single-handedly turn the tide of a game simply by killing everything in sight.
Unlike many of their North American counter-parts, most European pro players haven’t embraced the media side of esports to the same degree. While a handful of the more vocal players can be found streaming, Bance isn’t among them.
Though he doesn’t make use of the likes of YouTube or Twitch, Bance isn’t without a voice, posting regularly on Twitter. While he’s generally among the more reserved pros publicly, it’s not for lack of character, demonstrating a playful side by dabbing his way onto the stage for the Call of Duty Championships grand final.