Can you talk about the old roster and your general feeling now that there's a new beginning with OpTic?
The old roster had issues with consistency and performing after having good tournaments because we couldn't lay another elite layer on these performances which is a little frustrating looking back. The summer break killed our first vibe leading into Zotac Masters, DreamHack Masters and the Faceit Major. Looking back, we should've skipped Zotac Masters due to several reasons, but the lack of practice definitely being one which ultimately hurt us at the following tournaments.
Since then, we only showed weeks of okay results while having let downs in important qualifiers. It was hard to really build momentum leading into multiple tournaments which showed over the fall season. Looking back, our best results and performances came at the Faceit Minor, StarSeries and CS Summit 3, where we could have won all three with a little more killer instinct. The teams that beat us at those tournaments all found an extra ceiling after their wins (NiP, ENCE and NRG), so who knows if our destiny had been a little different.
I know when we spoke last year you had mentioned that there were some clashing styles. Did that continue throughout the year?The different styles leading into and on the team weren't that big, however, it was harder to master all the details compared to what I've been used to with my former iterations of Dignitas/North. Whether the fault lays with me, the style, or the players is hard to pinpoint. I also see great potential in a democratic approach where players are being heard and things adapted to fit all from the in-game leader to the other players on the team.
OpTic brought in MSL and niko from Rogue. Was that a move that you've been considering for a while?
MSL is a really good in-game leader that has shown during his career in CS:GO that he knows the meta (as it's updated) and can develop teams to compete at the very top. I worked with him for 18 months previously in Dignitas and North, and as I've said in earlier interviews, his style of calling and philosophy matches my approach, so I'm glad that we get to work together once more. Niko brings consistency and showed in his previous stint at OpTic that he has a lot to offer in multiple departments from his core skill to being a really good team player.As you've mentioned you've known MSL for a long time, but when you were coach for North he primarily rifled where as now he will be the primary awp for OpTic. Have you noticed anything different about his style since he's picked up the AWP?
From the short time together in OpTic it looks like he has found more confidence in his own play, whereas in North/Dignitas he sometimes struggled to make an impact when being the rifler on the CT-sides. The current situation has loosened him up to take duels on his own terms. He has always been a very clever player so the AWP-role suits him very well to put himself in positions where he can find kills.
While cajunb was with OpTic he was a very central figure both on the map and in the team. I would imagine Refrezh is now going to take over many of those roles cajun played. What are you thoughts on Refrezh's overall game and how has developed since joining OpTic?
Refrezh had a somewhat hard time coming into the team due to playing some different roles and positions than what he'd been used to previously. From my perspective, it wasn't a big change, but from a players perspective changing things up can be challenging and add to the mix new teammates, all of a sudden things take time to fit into.
I have a good feeling that he will show his huge potential once the team settles in and the new play style has been implemented. He has from day one been a really sick clutcher and aimer and has a good approach to being a top player (from analyzing his own game to the way he trains), so it's just a matter of time until he becomes a solid top player.