FlipiN: to win, one must learn to lose

We got to talk to Spanish old schooler Antonio "FlipiN" Rivas del Rey after his team of youngsters got knocked out from the ESL Expo in Barcelona. He opened up about his situation, some of his history, the current x6tence squad and the values he's trying to instill in a new generation of players.

The Spanish CS:GO scene has never been one to boast about large ammounts of talent or a great pool of players. However, Antonio "FlipiN" Rivas del Rey was part of a team that made it to the top eschelons of Europe at its peak, and is now trying to help a young group of players with what he has learned through his years of experience.

Let’s start talking about how the team has prepared for the tournament. 

The team has been together for about one month. The last eight or nine days had an intensive practice schedule. We usually play about four or five hours per day, but to prepare for this tournament we added a couple hours per day, to like seven or eight to try and polish our game a bit because we knew we would be facing an incredibly tough challenge.

So let’s get into the games. You mentioned earlier the boys were a bit nervous playing against Astralis, but then loosened up in the last two games, run me through it.

The first game against Astralis… as I put it on twitter they “popped our cherry.” It was the first time we played as a team on LAN… 

And Aaron "nmt" Awad, from what I heard, even had his LAN cherry was popped…

Yeah, so we even had a player who had never been to a proper offline event other than some little party or neighborhood LAN somewhere. But never in national championship finals and much less in an event with top European teams like this. 

So our “cherry was popped,” as a team here, and nmt had the unique experience of being able to have it happen at such a spectacular event as this one.

There was a lot of nervousness during the first match. We didn’t play our game. When that game was over, I asked for more intensity from the players, and I asked them to communicate more and play like we do at home. Truth be told, after that match the team really answered well. It didn’t show on the scores, and we played against teams that were just much better than we are, but in the server and on teamspeak there was a huge change. 

We could be losing 10-0 and everybody was still keeping up the energy, high fiving their team mates, communicating, trying to play our game. At least trying. And that’s the best thing we did here, that’s why I’m proud of the team because they knew how to hold their own when confronted with a very tough situation. 

Players who aren’t worth it, they have this problem, and they can do it over and over again for their whole careers. New players that may be worthy have to know how to overcome problems, and these kids have done that.

So speaking about experience. Many people have probably heard about x6tence, as the name carries a lot of weight from the past from its time as a top European team. Now the project is completely different. You’re at a later stage in your career, and what you’re trying to do is pass on your knowledge and your experience to these youngsters. Tell me a bit about how the project was born and how you selected the players that form part of it.

On one hand, because of old mistakes or failures, or because of bad management—not the organization's, but our own. I decided firstly to play with old friends and colleagues of mine with experience, even having a gaming house and competing in Europe. The gaming house ended up dividing the team, though, because even though we thought we were ready for it, once we got there we found out we weren’t. I think this has even happened to top European teams who wanted to take this step but once they got there, weren’t so sure, and maybe one player left the team, or they just decided to bootcamp for longer periods of time but not as a place to live full time as we tried. That was the beginning of x6tence in CS:GO.

After that, I decided to play with a European team to try something new. I had two Spanish players in my roster that I thought were very good, but for one reason or another, that team also failed. The club then decided not to renew the contracts with the players, who even had a salary [something uncommon in Spain], because we hadn’t been professional enough.

Finally I just thought to find proper motivation with a good work group, and I thought to bring together four young players full of excitement and motivation despite their lack of experience. I think there are more important things than experience. I could help them gain experience, or we could gain it together, but that’s the key, together.

Win or lose, we need to learn how to take a loss, and with time and consistency try to become big. That’s the objective of the team.

Tell me a little bit about the players themselves.

Miguel "Blastinho" Llombart and nmt are 18 years old, Rajohn "EasTor" Linato is 22 and Alfredo "enanoks" Alvarez is 21. They are really young, and I knew most of them from the local Spanish scene. I first contacted Blastinho, and with him we built the rest of the team. I really liked EasTor, too, and we came up with enanoks next. Finally, we decided on nmt as a fifth. It was mostly the guys who told me about him, as I didn’t really know him. As we said earlier, he has barely any LAN experience, but what they did tell me is he had 7000 hours played, was a really nice kid, and he could play the game well. So we decided to bring him on, and that’s the story about how the team came to be.

There’s Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo who has been a sort of Godfather for the Brazilian scene. Do you think you could be a similar figure to these kids, and maybe eventually in Spain?

Well, there are some big differences because what FalleN has done in Brazil is amazing, and he’s doing better every time and I could even see his team going on to win a big tournament like MIBR did back in the day. I would actually love to see that. I didn’t think about that when I created this project, but there is some hope in the fact that the future is about the youth. Older players who have been active a certain amount of time have it harder and harder. Our sell by date is closer because of age, or life, or whatever it may be. The youngsters now can play for 14 years, so these players are the future of Spain, I think.

So yeah, in a way I want to work with these youngsters and I trust these youngsters and I think that while it may take a lot of effort and dedication, in the long run it will yield much better results than any other kind of team.

The goals you have with these guys, what are they in the short and long term?

In the short term? Losing. We have to lose. Not because we’re losers or have a loser’s mentality, but because to know how to win, one must first know how to lose. So in the short term, we need to learn how to lose as a team. In the long term we need to be the best team in Spain. And at an even longer term, when we can be the best team in Spain, we can think about our next goal. 

Finally, what do you think about the local scene, and what do you think it needs to grow and be able to compete at a higher level?

I think the Spanish scene has always been full of potential, we have a lot of good players, this weekend gBots showed they can do some damage, or teams like k1ck, or the old Spanish lineup of x6tence. There’s potential, the problem is the mindset. When people ask me “what makes us different than Sweden? Denmark? Or even France, which is right here next to us?” The answer is the mindset. The European mindset is about being consistent, being able to last, learn, and be motivated. The Spanish mentality is about wanting to triumph in the short term. 

And if you don’t triumph in the short term, it’s seen as a failure and players are changed. Lose one tournament? Change players, dissolve teams… that’s not how it works. If you want triumphs, you have to earn them. Back in the days, when we were the old school x6tence, we lost for three years before we went out to Europe and beat teams like NiP, Team9, Asylum, and other teams from all over the world. We were a bunch of friends that just wanted to play together and we all had the same goal, to be the best. That’s how you triumph.

And do you still want to triumph?

Yes, I do, but with the youngsters.

Any last words?

I want to thank all my followers, the people who support me from home, the fans, and all the people who show up at the LANs and show their support here as well. It means a lot to see all this affection.

Spain Miguel 'Blastinho' Llombart
Miguel 'Blastinho' Llombart
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Spain Antonio 'FlipiN' Rivas del Rey
Antonio 'FlipiN' Rivas del Rey
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Spain Alfredo 'enanoks' Alvarez
Alfredo 'enanoks' Alvarez
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Spain Rajohn 'EasTor' Linato
Rajohn 'EasTor' Linato
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Spain Aaron 'nmt' Awad
Aaron 'nmt' Awad
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
North America pikL 
wise words
2016-02-20 22:00
Moldova s4tanaxxx 
"lan cherry" virgins? wtf
2016-02-21 13:50
to win, one must get 16 rounds
2016-02-21 14:10
lol kek he got rekt hard
2016-02-20 22:00
The title was catchy enough. Good Read 10/10
2016-02-20 22:00
Certainly on the right track then.
2016-02-20 22:01
to win one must learn to play.
2016-02-20 22:01
hahahah +1
2016-02-20 22:15
youll learn fast then
2016-02-20 22:02
allu | 
Finland Fherrera 
wise guy
2016-02-20 22:02
Good guy :)))
2016-02-20 22:03
2016-02-20 22:04
Spain Ayrr 
RiP. Your old gold days in 1.6 were a pleasure for us to watch bruh, ESL Barcelona was such a fail but kinda understandable with that team. GL m8.
2016-02-20 22:08
Argentina ECSBOX 
x6tence 2014 was a good team aswell
2016-02-22 13:42
nt, gBots got 13 rounds against Fnatic, you got 2 against Vexed m8
2016-02-20 22:08
Denmark Houlden 
So how to lose they learnt a lot. Maybe time to win at last?
2016-02-20 22:08
lose must you learn to win
2016-02-20 22:09
but they still lose every single game, so he are Einstein from CS right now Kappa
2016-02-20 22:18
that's my man
2016-02-20 22:12
shots fired at nv
2016-02-20 22:14
Portugal Cyborgy 
the "veteran" was their worst player..i mean wtf that guy has been playing competitive for ages xD
2016-02-20 22:15
Spain HolaBuenas 
He was just playing for the team, focusing on the youngsters,probably every single move of their's and correcting them in everything, i guess. He was not at his 100%.
2016-02-20 22:16
Spain Ayrr 
Honestly, I wouldn't look at the scoreboard when you are getting stompped 16-2 twice and 16-3. That big difference means that all of them played equally bad.
2016-02-20 22:20
so why are you not highly intelligent then, FlipiN?
2016-02-20 22:31
Finland Brjw 
Like they wouldn't have lost enough by now?
2016-02-20 22:31
2016-02-21 12:40
to lose you just need to lose that's more easier
2016-02-20 22:33
Spain HolaBuenas 
Damn hltv kiddos have absolutely no respect rip...
2016-02-20 22:37
what is the general opinion of the spanish community on flipin? and what about the other teams, do you guys think that gbots can progress from what they showed, or have they hit their skill ceiling?
2016-02-20 22:40
Spain HolaBuenas 
Lets see. Our community is still growing and as any community we have smart people and a big bunch of non constructive shittalkers. Many of them do have credit for FlipiN's job as he didnt find himself comfortable playing with the EU players (the roster they had before), he decidad as he knows that he is truly a veteran and his competitive career is not far from ending, to bring together a few of the younger national talents to teach them, more than pure gameplay, an attitude. He is one very experienced man and the job hes doing is very very important. Most of us respect that. Others, they don't, as it's said in this article spanish failure is due to short term and egoist goals, we need to grow together, and I hope we'll learn that. And gBots, theyve only been together for one month, bootcamping for one week and we saw the damage theyre capable of doing. Their skill ceiling is far from reached. Our community really do have faith in this guys. And there are a lot more good teams, such as k1ck, who haven't been playing that well recently, and we all hope that what gBots did this event trully inspires and motivates them, and all of our national teams. Cheers fellow!
2016-02-20 22:57
Hey, thanks for the answer, solved my doubts about the spanish scene, really appreciate it, gl :)
2016-02-20 23:12
United States MAY0 
Gbot have potential but they need to qualify for more international Lans and make it to pro league to get international expirience
2016-02-20 23:32
Spain Ayrr 
They are about to upgrade to cevo pro and esea premier for the next season on each platform. Pretty respectable imo, considering esea announced that they will host premier on lan finals as well.
2016-02-20 23:49
Europe Kqlyjumperino 
There is no general opinion about flipin, the Spanish Scene has been divided for 1 year or so and either you like flipin or you hate him because you follow the "other" spanish team (not gbots, k1ck). So it will depend on who you are asking for the opinion. On the other hand, gbots hasn't hit their ceiling and you can see that in rounds like that antieco against dignitas, which is lack of experience. EDIT: I hope gbots will continue together but if another youngster or oldschool guy (dumbazo, xhiroz) returns to the scene and show some skill, I think torpe will be kicked sooner than later. gg<3
2016-02-21 08:51
xhiroz won't comeback, confirmed by musamban1 who has been trying since forever to make him comeback.
2016-02-21 23:12
I know, but who knows, life changes in a moment.
2016-02-21 23:13
I don't expect xhiroz to be good anymore if he returns. He haven't played in ages, he is just chilling with LoL nowadays.
2016-02-21 23:14
#92 and show some skill :P
2016-02-21 23:15
you have to play to win. but you also have to win...to play....
2016-02-20 22:51
Lol nice point
2016-02-20 22:54
cogu | 
Brazil delfs 
Learning to lose since 2005
2016-02-20 22:54
Denmark geerZo 
nt 7-1
2016-02-21 04:45
Spain Donra 
Mistake mate. Since 2007 at least. In 2006 x6tence was for sure a top 10 team, even a top 5(it depends who you're asking. Deny this, it means that you have 0 knowlegde about cs 1.6 in 2005-2007 period.
2016-02-21 06:40
cogu | 
Brazil delfs 
I remember that period, Musamban1 was a beast at the time but I think FlipiN should coach young spanish players, instead of playing competitive because of his age. Sorry about the trash talking m8
2016-02-22 00:49
No offense but havent they learned that already?hasnt it been years? Time to move on gl
2016-02-20 23:04
Reunion fnxLQK- 
To win you need to lose less than 5 rounds.
2016-02-20 23:07
Thank you sensei
2016-02-20 23:23
ooh so that's what cloud9 is doing
2016-02-20 23:33
Sweden BBW 
2016-02-21 00:34
definitely not Nietzsche...
2016-02-21 00:15
Norway JorgyZ 
Cloud9 is taking flipins tip on their t side it seems, they must be learning a lot!
2016-02-21 01:49
2016-02-21 02:35
Chile MOUZ_16_EG_0 
2016-02-21 02:25
Finland Salm 
didnt read. but just here to say. Flipin stop playing cs, u wont never ever achieve anything. just get a some kind of degree and do someting
2016-02-21 02:31
he's been losing since the oldschool 1.6 days, when does the winning start happening?
2016-02-21 02:32
Finland Salm 
never. have u seen the old guy with impotence get a boner? no
2016-02-21 02:34
x6tence top 1 NA
2016-02-21 03:11
Great read imo, all the best flipin.
2016-02-21 03:32
so deep
2016-02-21 03:40
How many times have they lost already lol
2016-02-21 06:23
retire already
2016-02-21 07:18
2016-02-21 07:37
well thank you for the daily zen. bruh you just got fucking rekt from behind some boxes.
2016-02-21 07:26
2016-02-21 07:35
So wise and deep, you will never achieve anything anyway
2016-02-21 08:09
Norway Lykd 
to win, one must win.
2016-02-21 09:17
Barcelona.. -34 Rating 0.33 Not his best performance :')
2016-02-21 09:57
xosht | 
Georgia xosht 
This guy seems to be pretty clever. :) Keep going, best wishes to you.
2016-02-21 10:31
flipin aka lao tzu aka sun tzu aka the wise one
2016-02-21 11:10
great interview :)
2016-02-21 11:30
be serious flipin ,u cant win tier1,tier2,tier 3 ever.
2016-02-21 13:32
It's naive to think that you just need to play some more high level tourneys, and then you will start winning. I've seen your matches, and x6tence wont ever get close to winning. The players in the x6tence team is simply not good enough as it is, lacks experience and practice to win an event or even a map for that sakes. Please don't join a tournament until you are better prepared, leave the room for keener teams.
2016-02-21 15:19
Germany No_Kappa 
2016-02-21 15:46
Argentina atriX^ 
Lucky for you.
2016-02-21 20:41
Don't deserve for rekt
2016-02-21 23:08
Venezuela pontiuss 
South america has betters players than SPAIN. so sad our INTERNET is so bad, but we have good talent.
2016-02-22 01:42
Argentina ECSBOX 
why cant you play in sao paoulo servers with 90/100 ping? same happen with uruguayans, thy need to play in na servers to have a decent ping
2016-02-22 13:44
Venezuela pontiuss 
thats true, we can play only on NA server. FK THAT, if we has a server like LAN to southamerica will be better the QUALYS and everyone show his potential.
2016-02-24 22:36
Spain akproxx 
2016-02-23 18:03
wise words
2016-02-22 13:35
2016-02-23 19:15
This guy is a flipin loser hue
2016-02-24 22:37
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.