With the recent reopening of a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive unite in mousesports, we decided to have a closer look at the new faces and got to talk to Troubley and chrisJ about EPS, their play style and DreamHack Winter. Let’s jump right to it!
Hello Troubley and chrisJ, thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
How's the spirit after you and your team have been picked up by mousesports, one of the most successful pro gaming brands?
chrisJ: Of course being backed by mousesports and also BenQ Gaming gives us a lot of confidence, but I also think it added some pressure for us. Mousesports is a huge name to represent, and for many of us the first time in such a big organization. This actually affected our play during the EMS One Finals, as we didn't play our best and got sent home without a win. In hindsight, it was only two maps you might add, with one against NiP, the (arguably) best team in the world, so we don't feel too bad about this now and are just focusing on representing mousesports the best we can in the future!
The ESL Pro Series Winter 2013 was very successful for you so far, as you have been able to win 3 out of 5 cups this season; qualifying for the playoffs as the clear #1 - do you think the EPS Playoffs will be a real indicator of strength for you and your team?
chrisJ: Yes I think it will be. For some reason I see a lot of people writing that the German scene isn't so strong anymore, supposedly because the legendary players are not competing anymore. In my opinion this doesn't make much sense, the German scene is not to be underestimated, teams like 3DMAX, aTTaX and EnRo Griffins can upset any international top team on a good day. So if we don't play focused and take them seriously, we are taking a big risk. I think the EPS playoffs will show how consistent we can be, on paper we should have a good chance to perform strong in the playoffs, but we got to keep our feet on the ground and fight for every match and every round.
Troubley: Unfortunately the ESL Pro Series is past its glorious prime. If I would have to divide the scene into three parts, it would be: 1) international top teams, 2) top teams, 3) good teams, and the EPS would only be among the “good teams” part. There’s still a huge gap among the most German teams and the international teams in skill difference. Therefore the ESL Pro Series is not as thrilling as it was some years ago.
Troubley, you share a very special relationship with the ESL Pro Series. Despite several tries, you haven’t been able to hoist the trophy in your career yet. But you’re once more competing at the very top this season – what makes you positive to finally win your first EPS championship this season?
Troubley: Yes, unfortunately. I hope it will work out this time. But to be fair, it will be a real tough challenge, as every LAN event is different and challenging. You have to keep in mind that all teams are preparing much more for this event than for the entire season. I finally want to win that title, but unlike the last times, I’m not going to drop any catching lines and rather approach the event thinking, that everything is possible this season.
Troubley, you are using the Nova shotgun more often in the second round. Is the Nova the most effective money-farming weapon in the game for you or are you impressed by the devastating penetration power? Do you wonder why not many players are utilizing this weapon?
Troubley: The Nova is very powerful, as it’s a very accurate weapon (for a shotgun). Combined with the long distance it provides, it makes up for a great weapon to use. A headshot in a close combat fight always leads to an instant kill, no matter if your opponent invested in a Kevlar helm or not. The problem is that teams tend to buy in the second round instead of running a single eco after they’ve lost the pistol round, so you would need 2-3 chest hits to take out your opponent. That’s extremely dangerous against aggressively rushing Terrorist players, as the penetration power against armor is just not high enough.
As we’ve just hit the topic: Do you think the CT side is missing a real powerful weapon for the second round (after a won pistol round)? Mp9 and Mp7 are no match for the M4A4, which only the top scoring player can buy with decent equipment in the second round.
Troubley: No, that’s perfectly fine in my opinion. You can buy the M4A1 ($2900) or the M4A4 ($3100) in the second round and players that scored at least two kills in the opening rounds, will have the needed money to buy it. All other players can choose between P90, Bizon or FAMAS, which they vary according to the map and money situation. I believe the weapons are just fine at the moment and don’t need any tweaking.
chrisJ, close combat AWP fights have become a signature move of yours. But your teammates, especially Troubley, are getting very nervous by times, when you decide to play the AWP rather than switching to the less powerful but faster pistol. Have you developed this special AWP playing style especially for CS:GO?
chrisJ: Well back in CS 1.6 I actually liked to play the AWP in close combat even more, since you had the ability to quick zoom in that game. It made me even more confident in just going close with the AWP and getting the frag. I had problems with this style at the start of my switch to CS:GO, even leading me to play rifles more often. Right now I feel very confident with the AWP again, like at the end of 1.6. I just try to play AWP as much as possible and use it all the time, doesn't matter if it’s close or long range.
Okay, let’s talk about DreamHack Winter 2013. What do you expect from that?
Troubley: I expect it to be the most valuable and best event in 2013 so far. All good teams are participating and VALVE supports the tournament with money – it’s going to be awesome, but hard to compete.
chrisJ: My expectation is that it will be a great experience once again! I've been at DreamHack twice before to play CS 1.6 and it was a lot of fun both times.
How would you rate your chances in the BYOC tournament?
Troubley: Our chances are quite good. Our goal is, to qualify for the main tournament, no matter what. There is no excuse for losing in the BYOC tournament.
chrisJ: In my opinion we have some good chances to advance to the main tournament, but there will be quite a few good opponents in the BYOC that we shouldn't underestimate. Teams like Reason, Nostalgie, Xapso, Vox Eminor and probably some more that I don't know about will put up a good fight for sure, so we will have to maintain full focus if we want to advance.
If you qualify, which group (C or D) would you prefer to play in and why?
Troubley: I would prefer Group C although VeryGames is in that group. n!faculty and compLexity are both weaker teams than all of group D. If we get into group D we really need to be at our highest level in group stage already, whereas in group C we might have some "weaker" opponents.
chrisJ: Both groups are really strong so I don't really prefer any of those two groups. We will need to play our A-game if we want to advance from either. I'm kind of glad we can't end up in the group with NiP, I would rather not start the tournament against them again.
How do you see the CS:GO scene evolving in the future? The eSports scene in general?
Troubley: I see the scene evolving quite good in the near future. Since prize money of almost all tournaments grow and finally the game may become Free2Play, more and more players will join. We already reached a new record on the amount of players playing. The eSports scene will grow a lot in general.
chrisJ: In my opinion this is pretty hard to predict and a lot depends on VALVE. They need to continue bringing updates for matchmaking (like a tournament/ranking system) and the CS:GO gameplay overall but also it is important more big tournaments like DH:W will be hosted. I have heard 3 - 4 tournaments with about 250,000$ prize pool each will be hosted next year, if so I see a very bright future for CS:GO with increased amounts of spectators and increased competitiveness. Hopefully VALVE will decide to make CS:GO Free2Play soon as well, this will help the scene grow a lot.
I don't follow the other eSports that much, but it’s obvious that games like DotA2 and LoL are actually 2 or 3 steps ahead of CS:GO in terms of professionalism and the overall size/quality of the "pro-scene".
How do you prepare for an offline tournament? Do you mix up your daily practice routine?
Troubley: Yeah, for an offline tournament you prepare more specific and watch a lot of demos besides daily practice clan wars. You need to be more prepared in order to compete with the best teams in the world, since they are also going to prepare.
chrisJ: I don't really prepare much differently for an offline tournament. I play a lot of DM and practice wars with the team. If we know our opponents we will prepare a bit more specifically for them, not really creating new tactics but just watching some demos to get an idea about how they play the game. This can really help sometimes.
What do you like to do outside of Counter-Strike?
Troubley: Outside of Counter-Strike I like hanging out with my friends and of course, watch some movies/series!
chrisJ: I like to hang out with friends and just chill, maybe watch some TV shows or just have some interesting talks. I used to go to techno parties a lot but I don't do that so much anymore, CS is pretty time consuming and lately we practice in the weekends as well so… But I enjoy CS enough to not make me miss it and usually after a tournament there is enough time to party!
Thank you and good luck!
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