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In the first of our ten pre-ESWC interviews we catch up with Kory "semphis" Friesen from Area51 who won the North American qualification at the end of August in Seattle.
In this series we will attempt to interview a member of each participant at ESWC 2012's $20,000 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive tournament, starting today with North American Area51.
Friesen has been with the number one North American team in CS 1.6 and CS:GO since the end of 2011, and is now together with his longtime teammate Sean "sgares" Gares getting his first shot at international CS since their rise to the top in their region.
How have you prepared for ESWC 2012? Have you bootcamped or only practiced online? Do you feel ready for the competition?
We have been playing as much as we can online to prepare for our boot camp that we will be going to a week before ESWC to prepare, just trying to get all our strats and setups down so that when we're boot camping it will be mostly tweaking and adapting to players that know how to play cs.
How many hours have you played CS:GO overall? How about your teammates?
I think the entire team is hovering around 350-400 hours, I personally have 475h.
What are you thoughts on CS:GO? What do you like and dislike? If you could change one thing, what would it be?
If I compare CS:GO to 1.6 it's hard to say it has many features I like more than 1.6 excluding graphics of course, but I would say just learning new flashes, smokes, and grenades and having to use different strats is probably the most enjoyable things I get out of it. This will probably sound like I hate the game which isn't the case but I feel right now the game isn't truly ready for competitive play yet, but with a couple changes I believe it would be.
Changes I would make:
- Nerf P250 or Make it cost more
- Reduce smoke size
- Remove molotovs
- Recreate the maps to be large and with less clutter
- Increase cost of Mag7
- Fix the money system to 1.6/CS:S style money again
Honestly those aren't a lot of changes and if implemented I think the game would be a lot more balanced and less random but if I only get one change it would be the molotovs - they completely break the game as they are.
What do you expect from ESWC 2012? If your life depended on guessing your final placing, what would you guess?
It sounds cliche to say this but I'm not sure how we'll do and all the teams have a chance to win if they have been playing CS:GO a lot just based off the fact the game is so new. We are however very confident that we can make top 3 and anything less would be a disappointment to us. If my life was on the line I would say last place and sabotage my matches so that I could live.
What can you tell us about your competition based on seeing them play? Who do you consider the strongest three teams going into the event?
It's honestly hard to say without anything to go on in terms of results for most teams, I would say VG and NiP are the top two right now with ESC rounding up the top three if they are practicing CS:GO a good amount.
Can you talk about your teammates and explain to our readers what everyone's role on the team is in-game?
Sean "sgares" Gares is our main AWPer and in-game leader while Spencer "Hiko" Martin and Trey "tck" Martin share the lurker / support role depending on the maps, me and Sam "DaZeD" Marine are usually the players entering into sites first or working an area. He is also our secondary AWPer.
Many say CS:S players had an advantage in switching to CS:GO, do you agree? Has the game been out long enough for it to even out?
I think it's pretty much a fact at this point that if you are an experienced Source player you have a huge advantage at the start with the engine and lots of strats / setups / nades being similar or even the same as Source, but as long as 1.6 players play a lot and are willing to learn the gap will keep decreasing.
Do you believe it is necessary or advantageous to mix players from different games, or do you think it does not help?
I think it's very useful to mix the two games because the Source players can kind of power level you through a bunch of basic things that wouldn't seem very obvious at first since the game's engine and just over all feel is way more saucy.
With CS:GO still being a relatively new game, do you believe simply playing more hours still gives players a clear advantage?
I don't think the advantage is as big for a player, but it's still fairly large for teams that have been playing since the alpha. I can however see this getting smaller and smaller the more teams learn how to adapt to the different style of play this game requires.
Since winning ESWC NA, you replaced PineKone with tck. Can you talk about the roster change and how it has changed you as a team?
As everyone knows in order for a team to be successful you all have to be on the same page and agree with what strats and setups the team is running and unfortunately with Josh "PineKone" Springer we weren't all on the same page so changes had to happen. The changes ultimately led to us being more methodical in our play style and a lot less aggressive in general.
After being the best in North America in CS 1.6 but not getting to compete internationally, how psyched are you to finally measure yourselves up against the world's best?
Personally I think we are a lot closer to the Europeans skill in CS:GO than we would have been with my old line up in 1.6 just because the game is newer and easier in general so I'm confident we will do well especially after our boot camp. It would have been nice to see how we fared in 1.6 before it died though.
You can follow Area51's progress in Paris right here on HLTV.org as we will provide you with full coverage of the first major event in CS:GO set to take place on November 1-4.
Post edited 2012-10-24 19:36:27
english streams + better coverage would have made so much difference to the end of 1.6.
how much would it cost to bring 1 camera to portugal/romania?
Post edited 2012-10-24 20:26:45
they actually performed really well at the eswc quali's as far as skill and teamwork go, especially since it was their first LAN ever in any version of cs.
for whatever reason they weren't aware that if they ran everywhere every round the opposing team would be able to hear them. it was pretty funny, and the shoutcasters were losing their minds with frustration, but i doubt HMO/Team Curse will be making that mistake again.
ROFLMFAO!!! Truly clever!
How do they feel about the North American practice environment for CS:GO so far? With ESEA completely embracing the game, providing a really active scrim/practice platform, and the fact that there are arguably already 4 lethal teams constantly pushing eachother (A51, HMO, Dynamic, We are GO Players, and any I missed), do they feel like this gives them an advantage compared to other countries (excluding maybe sweden)?
Top NA teams have pretty much fully integrated the bootcamp idea of practice and scrimming, where they play multiple maps against the same teams as opposed to single scrims like was done in North American 1.6 for the past few years, at least for the most part. I'm curious how they feel about the environment so far and how they believe it compares to that of Europe and maybe South America.
just a thought
Post edited 2012-10-25 07:09:11
not many active teams and again same issue as in the past where certain teams won't practice vs each other etc. also most teams just scrim instead of actually going over strats etc. it's not by any means an advantage, europe has it better like in the past.
never heard anyone calling playing multiple maps in a row bootcamping but the best teams in 1.6 always did that even in north america, playing one map at a time is only for people who never intend to leave esea online league (and by that i mean, never even go to the finals). all of europe has only played 2-4 (or even more) maps at a time since i started playing competitively (2004) so at most north america is only a little behind, although in reality i think it's worse than you think; most teams still play one map a week.
as far as the "bootcamping", i meant it more as the bootcamping format for scrims, where they do a group of maps, as you described.
hopefully we'll see real practice regimens start appearing with good teams over here as time goes on. i personally think CS:GO is going to help boost the national LAN scene again, at least for a while, which would reasonably get teams out of that league map of the week mindset. the goal of all this imo would be to put our best NA teams on a more even playing field with the rest of the world.
i guess i want those 3D coL days to come back, at least to the extent where the europeans aren't making fun of us, or where we don't need to hire a finnish IGL to get us international wins again :p
Post edited 2012-10-25 07:27:47
i don't understand why eg didn't send them to e-stars given the fact it would have been an almost free trip, but considering their showings elsewhere it's clear they were never going to be a contender in any case.
What 'many features' to be liked in GO more than in 1.6 excluding graphics, news flashes, smokes, grenades, and new strats? Can you elaborate that? If you cannot, you sound like total bullcrapping there.
- Increase cost of Mag7"
I think most people would see movement as a much bigger issue then this..
Movement is up with those four in importance for sure.
If my life was on the line I would say last place and sabotage my matches so that I could live.
cs:go strooonk, global game!!! top teams from all over the world
hltv.org with amazing coverage as usual
waiting for interview with cogu
Post edited 2012-10-24 22:03:29
hahaha i love it, very good response.
ps dat sgarez is hot