XANTARES: "We're on the right track"
Can "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş shared his thoughts with HLTV.org on a variety of topics, including his team's recent performance and their expectations, the Turkish CS scene and his personal performance on LAN.
Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş is considered by many as the best Turkish CS:GO player. Although he has the best rating among all the players, XANTARES has rarely seen top-notch competition. His showing at Copenhagen Games 2016, where his team reached the semi-finals, was promising for the youngster.
We got in touch with XANTARES to talk about his first meeting with Counter-Strike, his practice routine, what his goals are, and more:
When did you start playing CS and how did it change your life? How much time did it take to go pro for you?
My first encounter with CS was in an internet café via my friends. Back then, CS 1.3 was being played and I was really impressed when I first played it. I didn't have a computer at home but despite our economic situation, I convinced my family to get me one. After that I started playing CS every time I got back from school until I went to bed and the game became a part of my life. My professional career started in 2012.
How many hours do you practice every day and does that much work wear you off from time to time? Are you and your team fully committed to CS or do you guys have other jobs?
I practice at least eight hours every single day on my own and then we have our team practice. If we don't have any official matches this is what my schedule is for five days a week. I never want to take time off from the game because I always want the next best thing so I work a lot to achieve this goal. Our team members play CS:GO full time.
Who was the toughest player and the team you played against in your career and why? How did such an experience help you become a better player?
The team now known as Astralis was the toughest one and device was the hardest player to play against. We played them last year at Copenhagen Games 2015.
XANTARES believes the Turkish scene has a lot to offer
Many people found your performance at Copenhagen Games 2016 very compelling. How does it feel to prove those who called you onliner or a cheater wrong on LAN? Do fans' opinons affect you much?
Going to LAN tournaments isn't up to you like it was before. To play in LANs, you first have to qualify online and earn the chance to go to LAN. Turkey's internet infrastructure developed in a huge manner in the last years but the inferiority of upload speed compared to the download speed makes these online qualifiers quite challenging. And about the fans, I always respect everyone's opinions and people can think or say whatever they wish to. Playing on LAN has always been my priority and will continue to be so.
What is the condition of the Turkish Counter-Strike scene right now and what do you want to do to develop the scene? Do you think there are other players that can make their mark in the international scene?
Essentially we can say that professional CS in Turkey is very new. The approach of the organizations is slowly changing and things may get better in the future but we still have to develop and adapt a great deal. I plan to help develop our scene by sharing my experience and I believe there are Turkish players that can absolutely compete in the international scene and I trust we, the Turkish players, will show how talented we are.
In our latest team ranking, you made your first appearance in top 30 and were ranked 26th. How challenging is it to rise in the CS:GO food chain? Is it exhausting trying to climb the ladder step by step as the best teams keep getting stronger?
We are still at the start of the road. Getting into the top 30 surely makes us proud but our plans in the longer term is much bigger and we put a lot of effort to get to where we want to be. As the bigger teams get better, we also get better and we're aware of this situation.
Your run to the semi-finals in Copenhagen Games 2016 was the biggest achievement in your career. Do you feel like your team's rise will continue? What do you think your newest players, Ahmet "paz" Karahoca and Engin "ngiN" Kor, brought to the table?
The rise will definitely continue. paz and ngiN have recently joined our ranks but we found a great synergy in a short amount of time and everything is going great in our squad. With these two changes, our game plan is headed to the way we want it to. When we're talking about player changes, chemistry between teammates is crucial. CS is mostly based on shooting your opponents but that's not all there is to it. It is a game that you should play with logic. If you are not on the same page with your team and can't execute accordingly, you will experience troublesome scenarios. So, with our two new players, both our firepower and our game plan is on the right track.
What goals have you set as a team for yourselves in the short term (2-3 months)? Are there more LAN tournaments on the horizon?
We want to attend as many LAN tournaments as we can. Also, I got invited to HTC Invitational 1v1 by PGL and I'll be travelling to Bucharest this month.
Some of your fans think that you would do better if you played for an international team. Is it possible in the future or are you completely ruling that out?
I respect their thoughts but everything is going great in Space Soldiers and I'm happy. I want to succeed with my team.
Before we end our interview, is there anything you want to say to your fans and shout-outs you want to give?
I want to thank everyone that supports me and our team. Feeling that they are by my side gives me strength. I want to thank Space Soldiers' management for their endless faith and support, we are an enormous family. Last but not least, I want to thank you guys for the interview I'm honored that you spared the time.
You can see XANTARES in action tonight as Space Soldiers will take on Wildfire in a best-of-three matchup in Global Offensive Champions League Season 3 quarter-finals. For the lineups, the streams, and more click here.
Follow HLTV.org writer BenjaCS on twitter.