iBP: "Must play our best at all times"

We spoke to both Braxton "swag" Pierce and Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham from iBUYPOWER regarding the $250,000 CS:GO tournament of DreamHack Winter.

iBUYPOWER made their way to their fourth major event by once again topping the North American qualifier, but have since then made a roster change, swapping two players.

After failing to advance from groups at three majors in a row, the North Americans made the grand final of FACEIT Season 2 Finals before adding Derek "desi" Branchen and Nick "nitr0" Cannella.

swag is iBUYPOWER's clear star

How well prepared do you feel for DreamHack? Did you change a lot of things in how you play or simply focus on refining your current style? Did you take part in the official Inferno Online bootcamp, considering the problems having all teams on-site might bring?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: We got to bootcamp at Inferno Online for 5 days which has definitely helped a lot, though we would like more given the short amount of time we’ve been a team for. We won’t try to change too much, we just want people comfortable in what they are doing and I think we will be fine. The good thing is since we are a new team, people aren’t sure what to expect out of us and I think thats what is going to help a lot.

What’s your stance on the stickers? Were you surprised at how much money teams made from them for ESL One Cologne? Do you think more of the money should be allocated towards prizes? As things stand, the Legends capsule pays (per Cologne) more than winning the event.

Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham: I agree with everything Valve is doing with the stickers, I am though surprised on how much teams are making from them but I also hope they continue with this for future events. I don't think the money should be allocated towards prizes because the sticker money can help teams with future travel cost to more events and sticker money alone will motivate more teams to train hard for the DreamHack qualifiers.

How do you expect your group to play out? Can you talk about each of the teams in your group in detail, what you expect from your potential match-up against each of them, and how do you expect to fare?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: I'll start off with dignitas, these guys are very solid and will be our toughest oppenent I think, although I do believe we can beat them depending on the map we play. Next is Copenhagen Wolves who just got a spot from winning the qualifer, I think we will match up well against these guys, they are all good players but we just need to play our game and we should be fine. Last but not least PENTA, I'm not to familiar with these guys but I think they will be our easiest game during group stage, but we can't underestimate anyone and must play our best at all times.

Our recent article “Major problems” brought up multiple issues such as the online qualifiers (cheating, DDoS), inconsistent format (best-of-one groups) with very few matches, etc. What is your stance on the qualification system and the tournament format? How would you like to improve the majors?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: I think you guys make a lot of good points. Qualifiers are always strange if they are online due to the DDoS issues and possible cheating, LAN qualifers should be a must, especially if it's a big tournament like this. I really think Valve should copy the format they do for The International in Dota, seems like the best way.

Skadoodle's AWP will be a huge factor in iBUYPOWER's performance

Another big issue for debate right now is the CZ-75. Suggestions for it have ranged from altering its rate of fire and damage, to even making it an SMG while upping its price. Do you think it should be changed, and if so, how would you recommend Valve do it?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: This gun is definitely too strong right now and needs a change, I would say either one of those would be a big improvement. It’s really annoying when someone can play aggro/make mistakes and not get punished due to the fact of having this gun as backup.

Obviously going into the event the favorites are fnatic and LDLC, but so far the favorites have never won a major. Is there someone else who you think could surprise us and win it all? Who do you expect to place in the top four?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: I really want to see how NiP does with their new roster. I expect to see fnatic, LDLC, Virtus.pro and Na`Vi in the top 4.

What do you make of this cheating scandal? Were you surprised players might have been cheating at tournaments, or did you expect it? Do you believe the players caught cheated in LAN tournaments, and do you believe more players cheated who simply haven’t been caught, yet?

Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham: The cheating scandal is a huge surprise for me personally because I would have never thought that some of these players would even consider cheating in tournaments. I can not say whether these players were cheating at LAN tournaments but nonetheless cheating in anything is wrong and especially if you're cheating players out of big money I believe their punishment should be bigger then a VAC ban. Now that this whole scandal has happened it's definitely changed my perspective on things and I think we should take a bigger leap towards preventing this.

Who will be leading the team now that DaZeD is gone? Can you introduce your new players to the fans who may not be aware of how they are as players, and tell them what to expect of them?

Braxton "swag" Pierce: Keven "AZK" Lariviere will be taking over as the in-game leader, although we all tend to give input and help out. nitr0  is one of the younger team members who has been playing CS for a very long time and is looking to make an appearance at this DreamHack. desi is more of a methodical player and tends to stay alive in late round situations, and is very excited to show what he can do at DH Winter.

iBUYPOWER have been placed in group B, where they will take on Copenhagen Wolves in the opening round. They will face either dignitas or PENTA in round two.

United States Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
Tyler 'Skadoodle' Latham
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Nick 'nitr0' Cannella
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Canada Keven 'AZK' Lariviere
Keven 'AZK' Lariviere
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Derek 'desi' Branchen
Derek 'desi' Branchen
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2014-11-26 11:53
2014-11-26 11:57
getting old.
2014-11-26 11:59
Don't worry they will refresh it in no time.
2014-11-26 12:01
Not as old as them going 0-2 in major groupstage XD
2014-11-26 12:06
they should just disband if they'll lose their first match against CPH Wolves and later on against PENTA
2014-11-26 13:23
Both Danish teams will go through that group, trust me.
2014-11-26 15:11
lmao "in memory of KQLY"
2014-11-26 12:38
Kids can't do it on LAN
2014-11-26 12:07
faceit + eswc talk shit loser. and ESEA
2014-11-26 13:55
They can only win in NA. Once they win overseas I'll shut up.
2014-11-26 16:26
are you dumb? Faceit and eswc were in europe
2014-11-27 05:56
I know that, iBP didn't win either of them.
2014-11-27 07:00
You don't have to win a tournament to do well at one. Look at c9, they haven't won an event in forever, but people always hype them up because they do well at majors. The only team thats winning events right now is fnatic anyways.
2014-11-27 14:04
Ibp got this
2014-11-26 11:53
Sweden DIOdorant 
will get rekt in groups, sadly :/ Denmark will prevail
2014-11-26 11:53
2014-11-26 11:54
IBP gonna win kappa
2014-11-26 11:55
2014-11-26 13:02
2014-11-26 14:46
2014-11-26 11:55
Portugal gkkk 
nice, GL.
2014-11-26 11:55
Swag install hax or its all over ;( BTW iBP should make out of groups this time the teams in their group is really shitty.
2014-11-26 11:55
2014-11-26 11:56
hope ftb
2014-11-26 11:56
Cool to see all these interviews before DHW.. makes it more fun to watch the games and think back on this, for me at least :)
2014-11-26 12:01
azk ign? now he can't carry
2014-11-26 12:01
These guys rly think they have a chance without dazed and steel .... so sweet.
2014-11-26 12:01
"we all tend to give input and help out." yea sure lol
2014-11-26 12:05
Skadoodle might need to learn how to call 5 rushed down secret before he learns how to have any team input.
2014-11-26 12:53
Faceit finals vs fnatic I was laughing my ass off when he didnt even open his mouth, and they had no clue that fnatic took lower.
2014-11-26 14:15
AdreN | 
Russia cripdogg 
their lineup?
2014-11-26 12:08
AZK, Swag, Skadoodle, desi, nitr0
2014-11-26 12:15
Wait SWAG can speak? Since when?! I seriously only ever see him just looking at his monitor...
2014-11-26 12:08
2014-11-26 12:23
[I kill vem all]x2
2014-11-26 14:18
Steel is easily replaceable with a lot of talent in NA, because his still are average-high for top NA pro scene which is average in euro pro scene (speculation). However his nature does not go so well with the team, and he is better suited with personalities who can take criticism and not let it go to their head. Dazed has great game sense, but I'm curious to see who else is ready to step up and lead the team, we won't know how good they are until we see them in the hotseat. AZK, SWAG and Skadoodle played amazing at ESEA lan and I expect a lot from them, especially AZK.
2014-11-26 12:09
Steel isn't an average player, he's actually extremely skilled. He just couldn't play his way on iBP.
2014-11-26 13:11
Steel and Dazed where the only guys with some backbone in that team, imo. The rest are all shy introverted kids lol, they don't even call properly/talk in the team during matches as suggested by both Steel and DaZed. Getting rid of those two was a huge mistake.
2014-11-26 13:53
TLDR: What DaZeD said was blown out of proportion and they all make calls in-game. I'm pretty sure when DaZeD said they don't talk properly he meant they don't give him input. AZK and swag most definitely make calls in the game and I think Skadoodle does as well. If you watch any of their streams then you will realize that they all make calls. I've seen AZK, Skadoodle, and swag make calls in 10 mans, pugs, and matchmaking. Back when swag was in coL he actually made some very notable calls. For example, during the first major at dreamhack winter 2013 when coL was playing against verygames; in the last round they did a huge fake and won them the game and placed them top seed in groups. youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailp.. steel was going to leave iBP two months before the whole roster change with steel/DaZeD. If you ask steel if he was cut from iBP he will tell you he wasn't cut, instead he left on his own. twitter.com/joshnissan/status/5315957857.. As for the reasons for cutting DaZeD.. I don't know why, but it seems they did not like his leadership and wanted a more calm environment. If I had to guess AZK was probably the person who made the decision to kick DaZeD. youtube.com/watch?v=8VzOmyS3SLk
2014-11-26 14:51
Good luck. OMG you'll need it.
2014-11-26 12:11
High hopes! :D
2014-11-26 12:11
desi and nitro are noobs, this team will not move to play-offs again.
2014-11-26 12:19
no you are
2014-11-26 12:48
ofc i am
2014-11-26 13:14
even if you will play your best...you won't pass the groups =)
2014-11-26 12:29
Australia 5N0 
swag is 2tryhard
2014-11-26 12:43
no you are
2014-11-26 12:48
Australia 5N0 
:'( pls
2014-11-26 12:50
Gl nitr0
2014-11-26 12:43
thanks :)
2014-11-26 12:50
I think out of all the player replies to the Sticker Money question, Skadoodle's response: "sticker money alone will motivate more teams to train hard for the DreamHack qualifiers" has been the best. Sure Orgs can come in and finance a team, but the "cash reward" for making it to Dreamhack will help drive the professionalism forward!
2014-11-26 12:45
World srxz 
now that steel is out I can cheer for IBP
2014-11-26 12:57
iBUYPLANETICKETS confirmed !!!
2014-11-26 13:03
ibp retards from good team to shit
2014-11-26 13:06
Swag's answers were edited. There's no way swag expressed like this, he's not that articulate. :)
2014-11-26 13:41
+1, agreed LOL
2014-11-26 14:52
Lol he was probably like "yea I think we can win our group. We are good....." And then some awkward silence before the next question. Still best player in NA. He has to play well for iBP to have a chance.
2014-11-26 17:28
0 chance of getting through the groups
2014-11-26 13:52
gl ibuypower
2014-11-26 14:34
gl iBP you'll need, without DaZeD and steel, imo it'll be difficult...
2014-11-26 15:00
gl guysss!
2014-11-26 15:21
iBP will win DHW 14!
2014-11-26 15:54
swag is OP
2014-11-26 16:14
They hate communicating so much that it took two of them to do the interview.
2014-11-26 17:03
method | 
United States f0xes` 
First time I've ever rooted for iBP to get out of groups. Steel is such an annoying cunt.
2014-11-27 04:36
They got a shot this time but first lets see shall we
2014-11-27 06:20
Russia Ou7bReaK 
2014-11-28 12:55
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