Relyks: "We're playing our best CS"
One of our pre-interviews prior to CEVO Gfinity Professional Season 9 Finals is with the up-and-coming North American player, Skyler "Relyks" Weaver of Selfless.
Relyks has now moved into more of a lurking position
Read below to see what Skyler "Relyks" Weaver had to say about the tournament taking place in UK, their team's recent form, and their climb to #20 on the Team rankings.
Have you specifically prepared for CEVO Season 9 Finals? Have you been watching opponent demos and scouting to prepare for the event?
We haven't exactly been preparing specifically for CEVO. Even now, I fly out in 5 hours and we don't know the full roster of attending teams and groups. But, it's more so that we found we were able to attend last minute as originally it conflicted with some ESL matches and we weren't sure we were going to be able to make it.
The tournament only features two teams that are in the top 10 rankings (Virtus.pro and dignitas). Do you feel like this is a good opportunity for your team to get good results and how far do you think your team can go? Do you think a deep run from you guys is likely?
I suppose from one perspective it's a good thing if there are weaker teams at an event, because it gives you a higher chance to place better but I don't really look at it that way. I think the harder the competition the better. It truly gives you a chance to test yourself versus the best. I wish that NaVi didn't drop out because it would have been awesome to be able to get to play against them. We know that we can beat the NA teams (and Tempo) because we've had good results against them before. The unknown is how we'd perform against VP, dig, or HR. I think that if we stay focused and play with confidence, a deep run is very possible.
What do you think about Nuke getting into the Active Duty maps and Inferno going out? Have you touched the new version of Nuke at all?
I think it's a little bit sad; we've seen some really intense matches at big tournaments on Inferno before. A lot of people used to think Inferno was a boring map to watch due to how constricted the choke points were, and with the previous round timers it was just watching CT's cycle utility to burn the clock. I think the extended round timers made it a bit more interesting and I think with some more tweaks, the map could be brought back to competitive play. I'd like to see how teams start playing the new Nuke and how the meta plays out on it, because it seems like Valve made a lot of changes to make it less CT sided. I've played the new Nuke here and there, but I doubt that any teams had put any practice time into it (at least prior to the announcement of the change).
As this tournament will only feature eight teams, the organizers decided to make group stage matches best-of-three while the semis and the grand finals are going to be played as a best-of-five. What do you think about this format and do you think this is a bit overkill?
I think it's definitely a lot of CS to be played. A lot of people seem to complain about BO1s in group play, especially if there is no lower bracket (because you can lose two BO1s and go home). Maybe because there are only 8 teams, they think they have the liberty to let teams play that much and not run into any problems regarding time. Hopefully everything works out.
Losing Koosta was definitely disheartening, but we didn't feel like we were dead in the water. When we were Enemy, most people thought our entire team was based around him and without him we would achieve nothing (similar to KennyS in the old Titan). We were looking at our options among newer young talents that hadn't really had their chance to shine in Professional yet. We tried out several different players, but we found m1tch and Nifty to be the best fit. They had talent, hunger to win, the will to improve, and could accept critcism. (i.e. everything you look for in a teammate).
What is your squad's basic role breakdown with this lineup?
When we had Koosta and Lucky I used to be the 2nd in/support player but we've moved roles around a bit. Mainline is still the IGL, Nifty is the primary AWPer, Uber is the entry fragger, m1tch is now typically the 2nd entry/support and I've moved into more of a lurking position. Our roles aren't super concrete and shift around based on the round sometimes, but that's the jist! They're settling into the team very well.
You have sneakily made your way into our rankings and are ranked #20 at the moment. Your good online form has been a factor but do you think you can take it even further in a LAN environment?
I think it was surprising to many the form that we started to play in considering the loss of Koosta. Actually, in my opinion, with the addition of m1tch and Nifty we were probably playing the best CS we had ever played as a team. This will be both m1tch and Nifty's first LAN (Nifty has been to COD Lans on console but never CS). Hopefully they can quickly adjust to the LAN environment and we can all play with some confidence and I think we'll be fine.
Acquiring players from overseas is getting more and more popular. What are your thoughts about these transfers and the current state of the North American scene?
I think it was simply a matter of time before this trend came to CS (compared to other eSports). I think it's even more likely due to the apparent difference in salary and money orgs throw around in NA compared to EU (as far as I've heard), which would make it tempting for European talent to come overseas to play. I think aside from s1mple, it really hasn't changed the landscape of NA CS that much (and he's already gone). Two UK players were picked up by coL, but they haven't really achieved great results. The next one to watch is mixwell, who seems very talented but I don't know if it's been long enough to see how much he influences OpTic's success.
Despite your better track record than some of the invited teams in both ELEAGUE and ECS, you guys were not invited. How do you feel about this situation?
I tweeted some of my opinions on this (as did many people). There seemed to be a particular outrage with Tempo Storm not being invited directly into either league. I do think it's unfair. It's all decisions made from a business perspective on which orgs will draw the most traffic and have the biggest following versus what teams will make for the best CS to be played/watched (at least that's what I think). There isn't much we can do about it at this point except keep trying to grow our org and keep playing good CS and hopefully catch someones eye. I hope in the future that this process of thought and decision making changes.
What goals have you set as a team for yourselves in the short term (2-3 months)? Will you be attending any LAN tournaments in the upcoming weeks?
Our schedule is actually extremely busy. We're attending the CEVO Gfinity Pro-League Season 9 Finals this Thursday-Sunday. We fly back the following Monday, then we all fly out for Dreamhack Austin the next day. That's the weekend of the 6th-8th. Then we attend the NA Minor on the weekend of the 20th. So within a month, we'll be attending 3 seperate LANs and there might be a bootcamp somewhere in there. Our goals are to play as best we can in these tournaments we're attending, but one of the biggest is to win the minor so we can attend the major qualifier and give ourselfs a shot to attend the next major.
Before we end our interview, is there anything you want to say to your fans and shout-outs you want to give?
I'd like to thank everyone who has supported my team and I. Whether it was since we were Enemy, or you're a new fan of Selfless, thank you for all the tweets, forum posts and love. It means a lot to us and is amazing to see. I'd like to thank my teammates and our org, Selfless Gaming, for the support we get as well. Last but not least, I'd like to thank my family and girlfriend for dealing with my crazy eSports life and supporting me even though sometimes it means little time spent with them. Thanks for the interview!
While you are waiting for the tournament to start, be sure to read Michal "stich" Malachowski's article previewing the $125,000 LAN finals. We have one more interview to come, this time with Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas and Damian "daps" Steele, so keep your eyes peeled for that one as well.
Follow HLTV.org writer BenjaCS on twitter.