On CLG's day off, we caught up with Chet "ImAPet" Singh, the team's head coach, to learn more about him, his path to CLG and his work with the team.
Chet "ImAPet" Singh, who progressed through CLG's ranks and now hold the title of the head coach, took some time to sit down with us and gave us some insight about himself, his way of thinking and how the team operates on the inside.
How did you get into esport and the analysis part of CS, what attracted you to it, what did you first do?
I watched VeryGames back in the day, I watched as they progressed through DreamHack Winter 2013 and it got me really excited for the game so I started a website called csgopher.com. It was a statistics website, it was a lot of fun to do, I enjoyed all of the nitty gritty of the game through math and stuff. Eventually, I got into analysis work, full time. I did it with a couple of teams, and eventually, I got a trial with pita on CLG. I passed the trial and now here I am, as the coach.
Starting off with the analysis part, when you were working for multiple teams, what did you do for the teams, what did they ask of you?
At my first analysis jobs I did a lot of statistics because that where I came from, my website. So I just gave a lot of statistics, like map wins, map losses, most vetoed maps, where someone plays the most, where someone doesn't play, so people could maximize the kills that they get. For CLG, pita asked me to move more into breaking down their defaults and saying what will work and what won't work. That made me look at the game in a different way instead of just the mathematics part. And then I just started learning a lot from what he told me and I think my analysis got a lot better from then.
When did the move happen, from being an analyst to becoming the coach for CLG?
I'll start from when pita was on the team. He obviously became a player and then I was still doing analysis work for him, and later on him and tarik left the team and grt joined the team as coach. He was, I guess, slacking on his work, so I brought up some complaints to the organization and as they were looking for a new coach they tried me out as a coach for the second ECS season. In that season I made fifth place with the team, so they put me on as stategic coach, and later on, after StarLadder, they made me head coach.
What has the training regime been like in CLG for the last couple of months, how does the training work out, what do you do?
Everyone has a personalized schedule, so before practice starts people have like a gym schedule, an eating schedule, people have goals outside of the game, like gaining weight and stuff like that, and I think that is something teams don't really focus on, they just focus on the in-game when a lot of working out and similar stuff can help you in-game as well, even though it's not directly playing the game.
Talking about playing and in-game strategy, is there anything in that area that separates you from other teams and coaches, at least to your knowledge?
I just watch a lot of demos, I don't know how many demos other coaches watch, but I watch a lot. Sometimes I don't even sleep. I just try to get as much as I can from a demo, I like to write down what other teams do well against a team I'm going to play, so if I ever need it, like in a pause, I can use it. Just in case I have no other ideas. That's probably the only thing I do differently from other coaches.
A topic that pops up every month or two, at least in NA, is Rank S and pros playing it. What is your stance on that, as a coach, do you think it helps a player, are you against it, what is the stance of CLG?
At first, I was advocating for people playing Rank S, but the more and more I saw people didn't like playing it, getting tilted... I thought it wasn't worth it at that point. Because if you get tilted, what's the point? You are not going to try to get better because all the players are not very competitive. If they are not competitive, people will get tilted, so I'd rather if people just watch a demo instead and learn from their demos.
The last tournament you had was the Minor, you finished third, one place off qualifying for the Major qualifier. Looking back, what are your feeling about the Minor, what went wrong?
For the Minor, we definitely knew we could beat any team going to the event, but we obviously have some teams like Immortals, we are like 1-14 against them or something like that, Cloud9, it's the same thing, our record is really bad but it's always close games. So we have a mental block where we can't close out games or get big rounds on them, or they eco us. We've been working on our ecos, and going into other events we are working on our double AWPs on T side. We are trying to add a new style to our playbook for future events.
Two things that you seem to struggle the most with are the anti-ecos that you mentioned, and at least from what I remember, back in Kiev as well, clutching rounds. That happened on Train against fnatic as well, you lost a lot of those 1v1s, 2v2s, what do you think was the problem?
For anti-ecos it mainly is about having a set strategy. We put a lot of emphasis on having set strategies, so we have lost a lot less anti-ecos this event. That has just been our problem in general. We usually just went for picks and tried to get stuff solo, but that was just hurting us, we were losing to Deagles... people have really insane Deagles now, so it's not worth it anymore to take these fights. For clutching, I mean, some players just have the better ability to clutch, you know. Some people make less mistakes, some people make the jiggle peek you need to get info. It's just unfortunate, but there is nothing you can do to fix that. All you can do is watch the VoD and try to improve on it.
Coming here, what was the mentality like, what were you expecting from this tournament?
Everyone was pretty positive going into the event, we knew we could do a lot better than we did at the Minor and we knew we were playing Gambit first. We played Gambit at StarLadder and it was pretty easy to read this team. When we played them here, we played them on Overpass and again, it was the same thing. It was really easy to read them, they did exactly what we thought they would do. It went to OT because they still played well, but we started adapting a lot faster than they did and that's why we won the match.
In terms of preparation, did you prepare specially for the teams in the group? What did you gauge from them?
For everyone in the group, I looked at the two most likely maps that we were going to play and then I prepared a lot, just watching demos on both those maps. So for Gambit, I knew it was either going to be Cobble or Overpass. Because we got Overpass, it was a lot easier for me to win the map. For fnatic, that one I for sure knew we were going to play Train. Obviously, it wasn't a really clean game, but we were still able to close it out, make comebacks in the second half. We had a game plan for every side.
I think fns, in a post-match interview, mentioned that he hopes or thinks you could get the first place here. Moving on to the playoffs, what would you be happy with and what do you think you can achieve? (this interview was conducted before SK defeated mousesports and secured a spot against CLG)
I think we can probably get second place. Obviously winning would be nice but I think second place would be more realistic because right now our map pool is kinda limited. Everyone knows, I'm not going to say what our maps are, but everyone knows what are weaknesses are, so they are going to try pick it on us in a BO3. That is where it's probably going to be the biggest struggle. Other than that, we just have to win our BO3.
What are the goals moving forward? Are you just taking it tournament by tournament or do you have a set goal for the next three or six months lets say?
We are going to try working on our double AWP more, working on more strategies around it, that's probably going to happen going into next events, but we are going to work it tournament by tournament, from now on.