As part of our pre-coverage of the Mad Catz CS:GO Invitational in Vienna, we sat down with TCM-Gaming member Dimitrios "stavros" Smoilis to discuss his team's preparation for the Austrian event.
The German team were created only last month after Smoilis and Hendrik "strux1" Goetzendorff left mousesports, and it took them just a couple of weeks to find a home as they were picked up by UK-based organisation TCM-Gaming.
This will be the very first tournament for TCM, and with the team not making the cut for the new season of EPS Germany, they will want to make the most of this opportunity to prove that they belong to the European elite.
In this interview, Smoilis talks about how his team have prepared for Mad Catz, his expectations for the Austrian event and also the infamous reputation surrounding team-mate Robert "TORNADOTONI" Radosevic, among other topics.
How have you prepared for Mad Catz? Have you bootcamped or only practiced online?
We have prepared as well as possible in the short amount time we have played as a team, but we did not have the time to bootcamp, so we have just practiced online.
Knowing that this is your first tournament, do you feel ready for the competition?
I think we are ready for the competition, if you make a new team there is always a first time for a LAN.
For those who do not know your team, can you talk about your team-mates and explain what everyone’s ingame role on the team is?
Well, that is kind of difficult because the roles on each map are different. I can say that strux1 is our caller and Toni and myself support him a bit. Toni and fl0w are our awpers and strux1, cLy and myself are playing rifles.
What are your expectations for Mad Catz? Who do you consider to be the strongest three teams going into the event?
This is a very hard question, but I think we can make the top five. I would say the three strongest teams in this tournament are NiP, VG and n!faculty if they can show the same results on LAN that they have been showing online.
stavros confident ahead of Mad Catz
NiP were the dominant team in the first five months of CS:GO. Do you think that the winter break has given other teams the time to catch up ?
I don't know, I think we should wait for the next events. Online matches are closer than they were two months ago, but everyone knows that this is not the same as on LAN. I think this domination will end in the coming months. Maybe not now, but it will end.
We have a lot of LAN events coming up in the next months, like Copenhagen Games, ESEA, SLTV and EMS. Do you think that CS:GO is finally starting to gain some steam?
Of course, the game is getting more attention, and I hope it will continue like this so that we can have a game that can compete with games like Dota2 and SC2.
Your team will not be playing in EPS, nor in any of the big leagues out there. Do you think that this may be harmful to your team’s growth?
No, I think this is better for us at the beginning. We are a new team so it was obvious that we would not get invites for these leagues. First of all, we want to improve our teamplay and all, which is very hard if you have to play that many official games like it happens in EPS, because you cannot really practice as effectively as we can now.
You made some negative remarks against mousesports, particularly Troubley, after leaving them. What do you think that went wrong with that team?
Almost everything went wrong with this team. I do not want to talk about that again. I spoke a bit about it in this interview at Northcon, but in the end you can say the players did not blend in well together - inside and outside the game.
mouz spy on NiP
mouz were mere spectators in Paris
TORNADOTONI was a controversial figure in the CS:Source scene, with many accusing him of skipping as many LAN events as he could. Aren’t you perhaps worried that people will want to see how he performs, and that it may add some more pressure to his game?
First of all i have to say he just skipped two ESL Intel Friday Night Games because he lives in Austria, so he would have to travel almost 1000km to Cologne for one single EPS match. Besides, had to work on those days since they were on Friday evening. He played at DSrack with SK and iSeries with mTw and at both events he was one of the best on his team so I can't understand why people still say he is an onliner or something. I don't think it will add pressure to his game since he played well at all events he has attended and he knows that we all stay behind him. I have known him for like two years now and I am happy to play with him in the same team.
Are there any other events in the pipeline for your team?
Yes, we plan on attending events like iSeries, Copenhagen Games, DreamHack and other interesting lans.
Thank you for this interview. Is there anything that you would like to add?
It was a pleasure. I want to thank TCM-Gaming and all of our sponsors for being so generous and for helping us to make attending this event possible and hopefully more in the future.