STYKO: "Have to man up and deliver"
After we interviewed the organizers of EPICENTER: Moscow, we have another piece prior to the $500,000 event lined up for you. This time we talked to one of the players of tournament underdogs HellRaisers, Martin "STYKO" Styk.
The event kicking off on Monday will also be their LAN debut with Bence "DeadFox" Böröcz, who was signed by the team earlier this month after a three weeks long trial period.
STYKO believes this version of HR is more focused than ever before
Read below to see what he had to say on the topic of HellRaisers at EPICENTER: Moscow and more:
After the smike experiment didn't work out due to communication problems, you trialed DeadFox for a few weeks before signing him. What impressed you about the Hungarian? Has he fully adjusted to the team's playstyle?
We were trying to find a new AWPer basically since June, that is when we had our last LAN with oskar at DreamHack Summer in Jönköping and after long team talks we figured out some names as potential fifth players. After that we decided to go for smike as a temporary pick-up and see what would happen. We realized there is a huge inconsistency in our game and therefore we decided to change smike for someone experienced, someone who played on a good level and what was most important, played in an English speaking team.
DeadFox was part of Escape and his English is much better than were used to with smike. He adjusted well. The rest of the team had to adjust to his playstyle, but we are working on it every day. There is a big gap in some aspects of the game when I compare our previous snipers (oskar and smike) and I have to say DeadFox is better in a lot of aspects than those two combined. People will not see this right away, because they are too focused on stats, but I feel we are stronger team now. This HR is more disciplined, structured and focused than before.
What exactly has changed in terms of the team's playstyle in light of DeadFox's addition? How does his style differ from oskar's?
To be honest I feel like DeadFox can learn new playstyles easier. We can teach him a playstyle that fits our game. That is something we could not do with smike because of his miserable experience. Ironically, we could not teach oskar this kind of stuff either. I do not know why, but I guess it is in his blood to play loose Counter-Strike. He's been playing the game for such a long time and he was always known for his "PUG" attitude inside of the game. That is why he excels in an FPL enviroment and his flashy gameplay is not always healthy for the team. Especially we in HR are now more focused on communication, teamplay and helping each other. We like this way of playing CS (especially me) and with oskar it was hard to achieve. Sure frag-wise he was spectacular, but when your players are on fire you can win anything. Problem comes when no one is on fire and you have to win with good strategy, talking and gameplan.
While we're on the topic of oskar, did it come as a surprise to you to see him stepping down from mousesports' active lineup?
It surprised me because he wanted to play with mousesports. They were friends and I thought he would be taught something we could never teach him in HR (proper communication, diversity etc.) but I guess a lot of issues happened. Once I saw news about him stepping down I was almost sure he would never get back to the active roster. Not in the near future at least. Mouz are also a loose team that is developed on skilled players, but I guess too many playmakers (NiKo, oskar, probably chrisJ) clashed in their game and it was impossible to figure out a solution.
This is your first full season of a top-tier league like ESL Pro League, does facing some of the best teams in the world in official matches regularly help your team improve?
Obviously when you play better teams you learn more even when you lose most of the matches. We went into the league as one of the biggest underdogs and it helped us in some match-ups. When we started playing ESL Pro League, we were a very vulnerable team, we could lose to anyone on any given day, but right now I feel like we are more consistent when it comes to facing tier 2-3 teams. We rarely lose those. Now we need to improve our consistency against tier 1 teams as well and give them good fight whenever we meet. This can be achieved just by playing more against them and by gathering experience.
EPICENTER will be DeadFox's first offline event in over six months
How do you feel about playing your LAN debut with DeadFox among such fierce competition? Would you rather have liked to test the waters at a lower-tier event?
Honestly, playing a lower-tier event would boost our mood but our goal is not to farm those kinds of events. We are here to prove we are able to compete with tier 1 teams and EPICENTER: Moscow will be our first step in doing so. Surely we are a huge underdog and no expectations have been raised, but we have nothing to lose, we want to use this LAN to test our mentality and see how much we have improved lately. I have to say we are really hyped up to be part of this event, we will give everything on the server and upset as many teams as possible. With calm and steady play anything is possible.
You've been assigned to fnatic, Virtus.pro and SK in your group. As it's a round-robin setting, you'll meet all of them by the end of the group stage. Can you go through each match-up and give us your thoughts on the teams?
The group is pretty OK for us. We were able to beat fnatic and Virtus.pro in Pro League, so nothing is impossible against those two teams. By playing our A game we could grab map(s) even against SK despite the fact we never played against them before. Obviously we got matched with the #1 and #2 teams in the world but at this kind of events it is nothing unusual. We will never have an easy path with this competition, so we have to man up and deliver. We are pretty good when it comes to upsets.
There will be two off-days between groups and playoffs due to the venue's availability, making it a week-long event. Do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing?
We will use those two days to maximum potential and we will use it as a small bootcamp before the upcoming EU Minor. Whether it is good or bad is debatable. I have never experienced this gap during a tournament, so this is something I will share after the tournament is over.
Make sure to keep your eye on HLTV.org in the upcoming days, as we'll be rolling out more coverage prior to EPICENTER: Moscow, taking place from October 17-23, including more interviews, a preview and a viewer's guide.