We caught up with Ricardo "fox" Pacheco after dignitas' announcement of their new Counter-Strike team and picked the Portuguese veteran's brain on the creation of the roster and what lies ahead.
Earlier on Monday, dignitas confirmed their return to Counter-Strike with an European roster featuring former FaZe trio Ricardo "fox" Pacheco, Mikail "Maikelele" Bill and Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad, in addition to Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel and Faruk "pita" Pita.
The team's first official tournament will be the third edition of the Esports Championship Series (ECS), with dignitas retaining their spot in the league despite losing their previous roster to North.
Read on to find out what fox, who has taken over as team captain, had to say about linking up with dignitas, his expectations for the roster, his plans for the future and more.
How did this team come together? Whose idea was it? How do you feel to play alongside Maikelele and jkaem once again?
jkaem and I stayed in touch and remained friends even when we were no longer teammates. As such, the idea of playing together had always been up in the air. Then we decided to speak with Maikelele, and we took it from there.
You are surrounded by Scandinavian players. Aren’t you afraid of feeling like an outsider?
That will not be an issue. They re used to playing on international rosters, and so am I. But the most important thing is that they wanted me to captain the team, which shows that me being an outsider because of my nationality will never happen.
Prior to joining dignitas, you played for PENTA. Did you think about signing for them?
Yes, PENTA made me an offer at one point. I ended up following a different path, and I would like to thank all the patience and professionalism shown by PENTA’s management.
dignitas had said that they wanted a North American team. How did their offer come together?
jkaem and I are friends with one of the people running the organisation. We talked to him about this project, which at the time was still in the embryonic stage. They liked what they heard and then they made us an offer.
In September, dignitas were acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers. What kind of conditions can the organisation provide?
The conditions we are offered are excellent and match the team’s ambition, which is crucial. We do not feel the need to have a gaming house, but we always have a bootcamp place available.
What are your first impressions of this team, after the first weeks of practice?
My first impressions are very good, but they mean very little for now as we have only practiced online, despite having already faced some of the best teams in the world. We will only be able to truly assess the team’s value after start playing in tournaments.
What are your expectations for this team, in the short and medium term?
Right now, our main goal will be to qualify for the next Major. That comes before all else.
jkaem's form took a dive in 2016. Will fans be able to watch jkaem’s best version once again?
What happened with jkaem is something natural. He is someone who cannot perform to the best of his abilities when he is not comfortable on a team, when he plays in a style that does not suit him. In our practice matches, we are already trying to make him feel comfortable in the game so that he can be the best possible version of himself.
You are already 30 years old and about to become a father. What are your plans for the future? Did your performances at the last Major change them in any way?
My age does not worry me, and the fact that I am about to become a father does not change the way I think. My future is all about representing dignitas at the highest level and doing my best for this organisation. My performances at the ELEAGUE Major did not change the way I think at all. They only confirmed what I thought. Despite everything that people said about me, I never stopped believing in myself. The day that happens will probably be the day I will think about hanging up my mouse.