GeT_RiGhT: Maikelele has grown a lot
Leading into EPICENTER: Moscow, we've managed to get in touch with Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund to hear his thoughts on Maikelele, GODSENT and fnatic, as well as to learn about how NiP is adapting to the coaching change.
NiP have been without their newest addition - Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi for over a month now due to his injury, and have also been hit with the Valve coaching rule change that forced Björn "THREAT" Pers to pull out of the IGL role.
After using Joakim "disco doplan" Gidetun for a short period of time, the Ninjas took in Mikail "Maikelele" Bill, who was a part of the team more than a year ago, and went on to win the first event they attended - SL-iLeague StarSeries Season 2.
A week ago, NiP announced that, due to pyth still not being able to play, Maikelele will be attending three more offline events with the team: EPICENTER: Moscow, ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals and the ELEAGUE Season 2 group stage.
Maikelele had a good "second debut" for NiP, helping them win StarSeries
Maikelele has been standing in for your team for over a month now, can you compare this period to the original Maikelele lineup that lasted from late 2014 to early 2015? What do you feel are the biggest differences in the team and in Maikelele’s play as well?
He’s grown a lot since last time we played with him, he’s been building like 2-3 teams on his own and became “a bigger” person in real life as well. He’s been through good, but also bad times during his career and personal life... Which, sometimes can be good for a person but also bad... But looking out of different point of view (me personally) I think everything that has happened to him made him better as a player and in real life.
He’s grown (like I said) so much that I’m impressed by him, sometimes I remember when we played with him before that he stressed a lot, which affected me when I played, and now he’s the guy actually calming people down when it’s getting stressful ingame, which makes me calmer. And and I’m happy with seeing that someone that has been getting a lot attention, for different reasons and for any team he’s been playing with - how much a person that never gives up rises from the ashes bigger and better than before. It amazes me.
Adding on to that, how did you adapt to Maikelele - an explosive playmaker, replacing pyth - a more passive and stable player? How much did you work on adjusting roles and position to accommodate Maikelele in the team?
It wasn’t hard at first, since we ‘kinda’ knew what we would get from Maikel when he agreed on being a standin for us, which we are still very grateful for, that he’s still helping us out. Since we had like 5-7 days before the Starladder & I-league finals with him... It was “fast and easy” tactics and we, the rest, adapting to him and trying to give him as much space as possible, since that’s the best way to go instead of trying to get him to be “What we want him to be”. Even though, he said like 100x times that he can do what we want to do instead of him saying what he wants to do... But I believe we found some sort of middle ground on that area.
Going to present, we have now had longer time to play with him since pyth still isn’t ready to be playing with. So, we're going through a lot things for him and us personally. THREAT has also been giving us some new things ingame so it’s a lot better then it was before SL-iLeague StarSeries Season 2 Finals!
Talking about roles, due to the Valve coaching rule you’ve had to move away from THREAT being the IGL for your team. First of all, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the ruling, and then I’d like to expand on how the calling and coaching works for you at the moment. What does THREAT do for you and will we be seeing him on future events, starting with EPICENTER?
Xizt took back the ingame leading role after they ruled that we can’t use our coach as a ingame leader anymore. I do think we felt it would be a lot worse for us since we had “created” this team for 2016 with having THREAT as a ingame leader full time. But, after the swap I believe we have found something that’s nice for everyone and people have a more “free” role in the team and can give input on what they believe is good for the team - while THREAT took care of everything before for us... We did give him input on what we believe was good/bad etc., but in the end of the day it was THREAT who had the call on everything when he was leading the team.
When hearing the rule about VALVe making teams who have coaches (who are in game leading), I thought it was some sort of a “joke”. Even though, they had already been giving a lot of pro players feedback about this regards back in Columbus. Since we had the problem with pyth who couldn’t attend the major we had a long discussion with them if we could use anyone else then just THREAT for example on the competition back then... Which people already know we couldn’t use anyone else since u have 6-man lineup for a major and it’s usually a manager/coach taking the last spot for each team, not a player.
THREAT is doing more of a “layback” coaching now, he’s helping us out with adding new things to the game, looking over what we are doing wrong/good ingame and trying to help us out as much as possible from home. I’m not sure if he’s going to attend any tournament soon enough for us, since he has a lot on his plate at school still and he’s going to finish that up before we’re going to have a new talk about if he feels that he’s doing his work and we feel the same for him. We do miss him having around on tournaments since he’s a super positive guy and someone who has an incredibly deep understanding on how CS:GO is supposed to be played (at least in my opinion).
NiP expected that the coaching rule would affect them more than it did
One of the criticism of the THREAT era of NiP has been the predictability that came with the tactical style. Do you believe that predictability was the cause of somewhat underwhelming results after winning Malmö, and if so, what are you currently doing to avoid being predictable?
I think we have always been one of those teams that people are saying “NiP is always doing this” / “Or NiP is always doing that” - I believe it’s always been like that for any teams I’ve been playing for. So, it’s not something “new” in my ears if you ask me personally... Even though, I believe sometimes we haven’t been that predictable... But apparently we have! However, since then we have mixed up a lot of things with having everyone being more into the tactical side and how they think the game is supposed to be played, with THREAT saying small things and looking around if it works with that nade/flash/smoke etc. - I believe we have found something that’s working for us for the moment.
We need to be alert of adapting faster ingame, something that we had as our strongest card before and having that small “NiPMagic” that shows through sometimes.
I just hope we can continue to do what we want to do and that’s playing cool/amazing CSGO and “#MakeNiPGreatAgain” :-D
You’ve recently decided not to participate in WESG, even though the final tournament has a massive $1,5 million prize pool and the qualification process is a lot shorter than for leagues such as ESL Pro League or ECS. Can you share your thoughts on the decision?
We had just came back from Kiev from SL-iLeague finals and we didn’t really talk about it before. Xizt said something about that tournament, we had a small voting inside the team and we felt we didn’t want to attend the qualifiers, since we had too much on our plates when we discussed the whole thing... We have that, if we want to play anything in NiP - everyone has to agree on it, or at least 3 out 5 people in the team, and this time it wasn’t enough people saying yes to it.
We are closing in on two months since GODSENT and fnatic shuffled players to create their current lineups. While GODSENT have been struggling, fnatic topped the ESL Pro League standings - but failed to impress at ESL One NY. Both teams have dropped in rankings, leaving you as the most prominent Swedish team at the moment. What are your thoughts on the shuffle and the teams that resulted from them?
Hmm, I have no idea what I want to say about it. I believe it was a weird decision of them to break up like they did. But, then it comes in. I have no idea what happened in that team, since I wasn’t a member of that team so I can’t really say anything regarding it. That’s their business and nothing more to that. Regarding the results, I’m not surprised at least on how it went. Even, though a lot of people felt (I probably did as well) GODSENT was the “winner” of the trade, looking at it afterwards I’m not sure. I just had a weird feeling it would take time for both of the teams to get to “their” standard and I believe it’ll take a little more time than they thought it would.
Even as I’m a Professional Player - I do enjoy watching a lot of tournaments on my spare time and seeing both of them attending tournaments here and there. It’s been fun as a “fan” to see what they can do and are trying to achieve with both of their lineups.
Finishing off with your thoughts on EPICENTER: Moscow - the tournament itself is pretty stacked, with Na’Vi, G2, SK and Virtus.pro all in attandance, but, you’re a team that always expects themselves to win. Does playing with a (long term) stand-in lower your expectations for this tournament?
We’re always going into a tournament to give our 110% best to do what we want to do (To win, just like everyone else who are attending). Now we have had a longer time with Maikelele then we had with him for the SL-iLeague StarSeries Season 2 Finals since he jumped in like pretty much last minute for us. I do believe we have a good chance to play well, but I will not go and say like “Hey, we’re going to win it since we are the best!!!” since it’s so stacked with great teams and if X or Y team is on their best day, they usually win... I just hope and going in with the mindset to do our best and take one step at a time and that’s the best we can do.
You have to also remember that most of the teams attending this (at least us) are going to be traveling for like, around 3ish weeks now with EPICENTER to be the first tournament, ESL Pro League in Brazil second and last but not least ELEAGUE Season 2 Groupstage. So it’ll be a hard task to win all of them, but we’re are going to do our best and hope we can do our own fans proud.
Before EPICENTER: Moscow starts on Monday we will be bringing a detailed preview of the event, so stay tuned to HLTV.org for more content regarding the upcoming $500,000 tournament.
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.