ave: I regretted that I stopped playing

Dust2.dk sat down with former 1.6 player Alexander "ave" Holdt, who recently made a comeback to the scene as a coach for North Academy.

Alexander "ave" Holdt is by many regarded as one of the best in-game leaders of 1.6 after helping NoA/mTw to secure countless international titles, especially in 2008, when the Danish team won KODE5, ESWC Masters of Paris, WEM and WCG.

After a failed attempt at making a comeback with his former mTw teammates, ave recently made headlines by joining North as the coach for their academy team, who have had some good results in recent weeks. 

Alexander Holdt, better known as ave, recently joined North Academy as a coach. This came after a failed attempt at making a comeback with the old mTw guys, which sadly never got realized due to zonic getting an offer he couldn't refuse as a coach for Astralis.
He was a distinct profile in CS 1.6, where his first big team was SoA. After that, he joined NoA and ended up in mTw, where he also ended his pro-player career.
We sat down for a talk with the former World Champion, who is considered by some as one of the best in-game leaders of CS 1.6. 

ave as he looks today

In the interview below, which was conducted by Dust2.dk, ave talks about retiring as a player, his transition to a coaching role, and more. 

Why did you return to Counter-Strike?

CS has always been a big part of my life. I have followed the scene for the last 2-3 years, since CS:GO started to rise, and I had an itch to become part of the scene again. It's great to see how good the conditions for the players have become - it's night and day compared to when I played professionally. 

What caused the timing?

After the turn of the year, I looked into possibilities to rejoin the scene, either as an analyst or a coach. Luckily, North wanted to start an academy team, and they needed a coach.

Did you ever regret stopping when CS:GO came out and 1.6 died in the competitive scene? 

In hindsight, I may have regretted it a bit. Back when I stopped, we were in our sixth month without a paycheck, and we had lots of money prizes to claim. But as I got older, I had to set different priorities, so I chose to pursue an education and get a job instead. It was really hard because I still loved the game and especially the community around it, but I couldn't justify all the time I was spending on it anymore.

Did you try to come back as a player before you started as a coach for North Academy?

We tried back in December 2015 to gather the old mTw again (zonic, sunde, trace, minet and me), but the attempt failed pretty quickly when Astralis picked zonic uas a coach. We had around one month of practice, and it was obvious it would take months or even a year before we could have any noticeable results.

How did you end up as a coach for North Academy?

I wanted to try coaching a team, and an academy team is a good place to start. The deal with North is also that I analyze upcoming opponents for their main team, so I am actually working as a coach and an analyst, even though most of my time is spent on my coaching role. Besides that, North's headquarters are at Telia Parken, in Copenhagen, and that is five minutes away from my home, so it is practical as well. 

You have been the coach for around two months now. Are you fully into the CS:GO mechanics yet?

There are, of course, map-specific scenarios that I am constantly learning and a few map callouts that I am a bit behind on, but besides that I feel pretty much up to date on the game.

How big is your impact on North Academy's game?  Do you come up with their tactics and coach them while they are playing, or is it more about communication and mental preparation? 

At the beginning, it was primarily me learning their tactics. I joined them at a time when they had already been playing for a month, so they had most of the groundwork laid out. Right now, my main focus is on improving the players individually and the team as a unit. For the players, it means cutting out bad habits and helping them with new ways to play positions as CT. For the team, it means adjusting the tactics they had and coming up with new ones.

Do you ever see yourself coming back as a player some day? 

No, I think that chance is gone. I have a family life now, with a wife and two kids, who I want to spend time with, and I don't think it's possible to close the gap in terms of playing time.

What are your ambitions with this? Is it going to be a hobby or do you see yourself coaching a top 10 team some day?

Right now my focus is on improving the academy team, then we will have to see what happens down the road. This is my full-time job, and I try every day to be better at my role. I never played on a team with a coach, since those did not exist when I played professionally, so it is a process.

What did you do between retiring as a player and taking up a coaching job?

I took a software engineering course, with a focus on game development. I worked full-time in that field for around nine months, until I was offered a coaching position at North.  

In Astralis we have zonic, another 1.6 legend. What it is that veterans like you can contribute with?

We, of course, have a lot of experience from our 1.6 time, and the task of getting a team to do their absolute best and follow all the steps that it takes has a lot of similarities from our time as pro players. On mTw, we focused a lot on the tactical aspect and we talked a lot about what we would do in different situations. I try to take that with me in my role as coach. 

Why do you think we do not see more former 1.6 players be successful in Denmark? 

I am not really sure how many of them are still playing ambitiously. A lot of the former 1.6 players are like me, older and with other priorities, so I think that might be part of the answer.

Who is the most talented player you have ever played with?

That's a hard question. I think that, looking at aim and reactions, that would be trace, but if you are looking for a complete player, that would probably be zonic or Sunde. 

So far, ave has been doing a great job with North Academy, who recently won their third consecutive Dust2.dk eOddset Masters title and are on an 11 game winning streak. 
Denmark Alexander 'ave' Holdt
Alexander 'ave' Holdt
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Belgium JvRcs 
2017-06-27 15:28
Portugal LuisMRamos 
Awesome fragmovie, legend.
2017-06-27 16:23
tnx 4 posting
2017-06-27 18:01
its gud
2017-06-27 18:34
tnx (:
2017-06-27 19:16
sick fragmovie, i orgasm when i get to see the old m4a1-s highlights, the gun was so sick back in 1.6, the silencer effect and sound was awesome, now its so boring.
2017-06-27 19:03
2017-06-29 14:33
Great frags and player, but holy shit what a horrible edit...
2017-06-27 22:33
youre the first person i saw say that since 2011 when i made it, so whatever :)
2017-06-28 11:33
Sorry, I just think the music is so off-putting in a csgo movie. Too much going on in the music compared to what you are watching. The edit itself is actually good, disregarding the choice of music I think. I was just fast to type it..
2017-06-28 19:49
ye not everyone likes darkpsy, i'll get over it :) i disagree ofc but i see your point
2017-06-28 20:21
2017-06-27 23:54
Russia telosll 
shit frags lol
2017-06-28 19:58
Brazil coldzao2 
yeah when big money came to cs he regretted Xddd gold digger
2017-06-27 15:51
no shit lol. He wasnt getting paid. He couldnt keep playing CS and not getting anything from it. Hes a grown ass man. Hes not like you who can play CS all day because your mom feeds you and keeps the roof over your head and all you have to do is go to school. Those days are behind him. He had to get his priorities straight
2017-06-27 19:17
i agree zonic is the best player i ever played against in 1.6 and earlier
2017-06-27 16:56
Well yeah now you're not going to get your piece of the cake. But maybe you would have been too bad to earn anything also
2017-06-27 15:29
sooner or later he will be replacing ruggah as the coach of the main team. gl
2017-06-27 16:32
Sweden Flukey 
I was thinking the same thing! :)
2017-06-27 16:52
France Static2k 
2017-06-27 15:28
CIS TajMajal 
2017-06-27 15:28
India TYZ4 
Who is ave?
2017-06-27 15:28
XeqtR | 
Hong Kong wqnxy1 
best cs1.6 danish igl
2017-06-27 22:39
shox | 
Norway fen0m 
2017-06-27 15:29
Brazil LIPE1 
2017-06-27 15:29
Ukraine ConTriiD 
2017-06-27 15:29
I bet most ex-pro's do.. ave <3
2017-06-27 15:29
2017-06-27 15:29
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
Then start again? Just create a random mixteam with some other "older" ex-pro`s or pro`s.
2017-06-27 15:30
AM | 
then get rekt by 16 year old onliners
2017-06-27 15:33
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
No? He could make a team with DevilWalk, Gux and Walle etc. And no, i am not saying that these guys will play ESL Cologne 2022 finals, but it would be fun to watch them play smaller tournaments etc :) Would be fun seeing Carn as well.
2017-06-27 15:36
Norway Stealthbomber 
team with devilwalk, ave, gux, walle etcXDDDDDD ok are u kidding man? that would be t599999999
2017-06-27 15:58
zonic | 
Denmark Phoey 
He tried to do it with Zonic, Trace, Minet and Sunde. But Zonic became coach for Astralis, so they quitted the project.
2017-06-27 16:08
Devilwalk... really??
2017-06-27 16:14
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
Why not? And as i clearly wrote "And no, i am not saying that these guys will play ESL Cologne 2022 finals, but it would be fun to watch them play smaller tournaments etc :) Would be fun seeing Carn as well."
2017-06-27 17:44
Aleksib | 
Europe samje 
Do you ever see yourself coming back as a player some day? No, I think that chance is gone. I have a family life now, with a wife and two kids, who I want to spend time with, and I don't think it's possible to close the gap in terms of playing time.
2017-06-27 15:35
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
I know. But if he "regrets" his decision then just start a smaller team with other friends / retired 1.6 pro`s as a "hobby/fun thing" and play some smaller online tournaments / LANs. I am not saying he should return to Tier 1-2 CS ^^
2017-06-27 15:38
...and that's exactly the point. his "hobby/fun thing" is called wife and 2 kids.
2017-06-27 15:46
Argentina ivanpb 
He regretted in terms of money, not playing for fun at all
2017-06-27 16:00
Jesus stop with the stupid "pro`s". It's pros and ex-pros ffs. People like you who rape languages like that should go to jail.
2017-06-27 16:44
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
pro`s pro`s pro`s pro`s pro`s pro`s I can typ anything i want mate.
2017-06-27 17:44
And you make youself look unintelligent in the process.
2017-06-28 11:10
Sweden 4Sweeeden 
Pro`s Pro`s Pro`s Do you think i care? ^^
2017-06-28 13:34
Finland kappaboi 
amazing player like robban and zonic was back in the days
2017-06-27 15:30
ave was better that those 2
2017-06-27 15:33
Brazil vass28 
zonic was better than ave
2017-06-27 15:44
And trace was better than all them together.
2017-06-27 16:11
2017-06-27 16:26
India nicebaitm8 
2017-06-27 16:28
zonic had slightly better aim. But overall ave was better and more consistent than zonic
2017-06-27 16:27
Good interview
2017-06-27 15:31
Why people are loling?? The guy is true Legend, one of the best. I miss this Guy in competitive scene. Goodluck ave, i would like too see you playing again!
2017-06-27 15:32
thank you man, the amount of hate towards such a respected player a few years ago is unbelievable. People in here should at least google the player's liquipedia page before posting.
2017-06-27 20:07
fuckin legend man
2017-06-27 15:33
United Kingdom Jonty04l32 
Absolutely amazing. A true legend in his prime back in the day, ave is an incredible player. Awesome news. :D
2017-06-27 15:34
jonty i love u, dont care about shitpost u get from time to time. Ur good guy
2017-06-28 10:46
United Kingdom Jonty04l32 
Oh, thank you, TarjaTurunen. :D I too think you're an incredible user who gets unnecessary hatred thrown at you. I've seen your posts and you're a very knowledgeable and kind individual. Have a good day, friend. :)
2017-06-28 11:30
Thanks mate! Have a good day bro, well im just kind of a normal user. Im here for a long time, i can say early days of "HLTV" :) So thanks also for good words my friend. See you around :)
2017-06-28 11:54
ceh9 | 
World mukas17 
He should come back. The scene is shit atm anyway, He could get back in ez.
2017-06-27 15:35
2017-06-27 15:36
shroud | 
Canada sukuful 
who is he?
2017-06-27 15:36
1.6 legend from Denmark who played alongside sunde, trace, zonic, Arcadion and minet. He was a kickass IGL Edit: stupid typos
2017-06-27 15:41
Lol adding arcadion and minet but omitting whimp and mJe :D
2017-06-27 16:27
I did consider them but mentioned the ones people would tend to remember more as MTw's last roster.
2017-06-27 16:39
They were more successful tbh with whimp and MJE
2017-06-27 19:13
yep that mtw of 2008 was something insane
2017-06-27 23:58
wasnt Arcadion the IGL of that mTw lineup?
2017-06-27 16:50
He was but he went full time IGL midway when ave decided to give it up.
2017-06-27 16:52
FalleN | 
World Vechnyp 
i bet if prizepool would be 10k max he would wish csgo burned in hell
2017-06-27 15:39
Ave the legend!!!
2017-06-27 15:39
2017-06-27 15:39
TraceFFF was a monster!!!
2017-06-27 15:39
China DaRk_EdGe 
the old legends are coming back! That's so coooooooooooooool!
2017-06-27 15:41
roman | 
Palestine ndr[o] 
ave's headset > all
2017-06-27 15:43
cyx | 
Europe still_sdl 
haha, indeed
2017-06-27 19:29
So cool! GL HF, ave! I wish all the 1.6 legends could have returned to the scene.
2017-06-27 15:44
Brazil akak1 
2017-06-27 15:44
Denmark Skejzen 
2017-06-27 15:46
Moldova OptimusBlyad 
2017-06-27 15:48
Brazil zer1n 
mTw l MJE-.-
2017-06-27 15:50
Turkey huth 
I don't even know how many of their strats/setups I've tried to copy. It's nice to see him back in the scene.
2017-06-27 15:54
DK scene needs ArcadioN as a coach.
2017-06-27 15:59
Brazil mth^ 
Would like to see questions "Is there any team you like in this CSGO Era?","Players you like watching" and stuff like that
2017-06-27 16:07
He calls himself old with 28 years... I hope that he is using "old" as an expression for "family father", because 28 years is not old...! This kind of ex-top players deserve a professional spot on the CS:GO scene, good luck!
2017-06-27 16:14
Portugal Death_Hack 
2017-06-27 16:17
CS 1.6: final WCG 2010 ave vs NaVi - 3 deagle headshot de_tuscan youtube.com/watch?v=BExf1Y21k6w
2017-06-27 16:18
I will never forget it
2017-06-27 16:24
These prefires were insane!
2017-06-27 16:31
tuscan ;-;
2017-06-27 19:14
NEO | 
Brazil tegin 
ave!! Legend of 1.6! Success !!
2017-06-27 16:22
zonic | 
Denmark mainz 
Too many new kids here to realize that this was one of the best callers back in the day. Miss those times <3 Ave
2017-06-27 16:23
lol just another 1.6 fag like fROD who sucks at the game and wants to use his status as a legend to earn a bit of money lmao
2017-06-27 16:24
It was a pleasure to enjoy your amazing time in the scene. I've never seen a team play better CS than mTw (not even nowadays), one of my all time favs. Please don't quit this "world", the ones who loves the game appreciate you and your work so much.
2017-06-27 16:29
The fuck is he talking about? He's 28, he still has 2 years to play or even more, like who said that when you turn 30 you can't play CS? Ofc it was a STUPID mistake for 1.6 legends to retire when they still were young enough, how couldn't they have understood that CS:GO would've risen because 1.6 literally had died, so it wouldn't be like with CS:S. If NiP managed to be that dominant, I think mTw could also be among the best. Or not xD Looking at Na`Vi, I'm not sure xD
2017-06-27 16:32
WTF are you talking about? How does he even get to the level of a decent Premier player without putting in thousands of hours into the game? How do you expect him to do that with a wife and kids and no decent teammates to play with? When CSGo first came out, the game was absolute fucking trash. Nobody wanted to play it and it was considered worse than CS:Source, if that is even possible. Everyone retired because the game literally had no future until Valve stepped it up and changed it dramatically. One of the reasons NiP went 87-0 is because nobody wanted to play CS:BLOW so they have literally no competition. It's not like NiP was all 1.6 players too. The only players from 1.6 were Get_right and f0rest, the other 3 were from Source (goes to show how 1.6ers thought about the game). Valved revived CS finally in late 2013/early 2014 with massive updates to GO after they were one of the first ones to destroy the game with the horrendous game that was Source. If Source never came out, CS would have been a huge eSport 5-10 years before GO made it truly mainstream, but Valve released the game and refused to update it properly. A lot of the new CSGo players have no idea how dark the times were for CS when 65% still played 1.6, 35% played Source and the Sponsors were pushing for Source to be used in tournaments because it required upgrading hardware by purchasing their products. 1.6 was and always will be the superior game because of the high skill cap required to play the game. Graphics aside, the mechanics, movement, aim, spray patterns, and strategies could always be improved upon. The skillcap ceiiling in this game is very low, that is why you always see random teams taking maps off the top teams. You think a random tier 2/3 would ever take a map off VP/mTw/SK/NaVi in 1.6 online or lan? NEVER!
2017-06-27 19:27
First i took your post serious but after you call xizt as saucer you dont know shit and your long post is useless
2017-06-28 16:37
sad gaming
2017-06-27 16:35
fnx | 
Portugal lovessd 
god ave
2017-06-27 16:36
Moldova victor_csgo 
Actually I like all Danish Players from 1.6 scene, I remember Trace, Friis, Sunde how they were playing 1.6, bad thing is that we see now only Xyp9x and Friis more than others in CS:GO, but here is the thing "ave" is telling us, people get other priorities in real life, the best period of gaming was 1.6 when everyone was young, now CS:GO is a new "Era" where 1.6 players get retired soon because of their age or life priorities, new players are coming so, at least we had a great childhood and we watched a legendary game sports including these amazing players.
2017-06-27 16:41
Wish we could turn back time, to the good old days
2017-06-27 16:46
Estonia teremartin 
ave desotrys HLTV gg
2017-06-27 16:46
Spain SR4 
ave Kreygasm
2017-06-27 16:50
Zeus | 
Other Chuckeee 
2017-06-27 16:50
He chose fault priorities imo, but it is his life.
2017-06-27 16:55
ye a family and a stable job is so much worse than playing 1.6 without getting paid what are you talking about kid
2017-06-27 17:01
Family is better? Stupid kid spotted. When you have someone to poo, scream and cry on you it is obviosly better, isnt it? Just need a job and some hours for CS you stupid boy, look at Shroud, he almost never practice but earns lots of money and have many spare time. He is not good at cs, but still he earns lots of money.
2017-06-27 17:05
Oh, you 3rdworlder, did not notice that... now i know why poopers and fat mad carga is the best for you.
2017-06-27 17:07
i think a cs career is better than cleaning up shit and vomit every day, but the circumstances were different at the time when ave left the pro scene (he wasnt getting paid, there were no indications a new version of cs would provide decent jobs for the players etc...) but as i know youre just baiting, congratz on succeeding
2017-06-27 17:30
Also, "old". F0rest is 28, Neo is 30, Pasha is 29, RpK/Karrigan is 27, Fox is 30 and they'r all still playing at high level. He just chosen a boring way of living. ant that is all.
2017-06-27 17:00
These are just the very few players leftover from 1.6. Everyone else retired or became a coach (Robban/zonic). CSGo was very very bad and had no future when it first came out, the players had to figure out what to do, and anyone betting on the future of GO would have bet against it 99/100 times.
2017-06-27 19:29
Denmark mindgames 
Dude, I have seen you several times now saying there are only few 1.6 players left. What are you on about? There are actually more than you know, I can see. One of the best being olofmeister.
2017-06-27 20:34
Are you braindead, if you go look at every roster on the top 10 right now, I guarantee you the amount of 1.6 players that played in and won professional tournaments is very low. If you played 1.6 for 2 hours a week when you were a little boy and are now pro, it doesn't mean you were a 1.6er. Jesus christ
2017-06-27 23:58
Denmark mindgames 
You are obviously the one being braindead if you are saying there is only "a few left". I'm not talking about players who were unknown in 1.6. The list in #159 gives you just a little indication of what's left in CS:GO - and that list is very small. Wake the fuck up and stop acting like you know everything about the 1.6 days, because obviously you don't. I have played CS since the betas in 1999 and followed the scene since then. I know all the names of those who came from 1.6.
2017-06-28 16:55
robban zonic (carn and pita i guess were coaching before too). Moddi friis neo taz pasha fox guardian edward gtr forest xizt fallen fnx.. a lot of players. And xyp9x was playing in anexis or some danish team with colon. There is a lot of players bro
2017-06-28 00:16
Not one of those players play cs at a high level. Maybe karrigan
2017-06-28 06:08
fer | 
Austria neodan 
why you comeback? cause its easy $$$
2017-06-27 17:09
Macau Bent0 
wish the team they form before zonic when to be a coach is successful so more 1.6 legends will try to comeback to play again gl to ave, his team is sickk
2017-06-27 17:21
fuking legend!!!!!!!!!
2017-06-27 17:35
2017-06-27 17:52
I imagine if trace never stop playing... This guy was insane with any rifle... Sad, everyone thinks that cs dead that time
2017-06-27 18:01
2017-06-27 18:12
Sweden crindz 
wooa, ave was so good back in the days! i admired him af, a very all-around player.
2017-06-27 18:14
ZywOo | 
France 1zn0 
nice note at the end, very complete article
2017-06-27 18:16
Dear kids and new audience, i present you the best IGL that CS has ever seen who would make all the teams' strats useless...
2017-06-27 18:40
Was he really the best IGL in 1.6?
2017-06-27 19:01
Yes he was the best IGL. The thing is that VP changed their IGL throughout 1.6 many times. It was Kuben for a while, then TaZ, then Looord, then Kuben again. fnatic.cArn would probably be #2 right after ave.
2017-06-27 19:31
I started to think about coming back again too. Because it is really waste of time to aim for 4year university. Even if I success to transfer to 4year university but that doesn't guarantee to make lots of money. Still many people get 20k or less per year. I think I'll be like that kind of person. I'm thinking about to come back too. I never played cs everyday for 24/7. I'm thinking that too. I never had chance to play much in a short time to reach higher skills..... I have been like play one day like 3hours and don't play for few days or up to weeks..... which means no chance for me to reach higher rank.
2017-06-27 19:04
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
nice interview man, really nice, u should try! Good luck in your future! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-06-27 19:16
2017-06-27 20:01
I admired him a lot during 1.6 days. Great T entry fragger and very good with pistols.
2017-06-27 20:47
Holy shit, mTw tried to make a comeback in 2015 and I missed it? That's what I get for not following the scene for several years...
2017-06-27 22:05
Denmark McMuffin 
Funny headline since AVE, actually didn't say directly that he regrets stopping as a player.
2017-06-27 22:10
2017-06-27 23:20
Spain ATTARx 
i just - karamed you, am i getting banned?
2017-06-27 23:58
2017-06-28 11:01
Great interview :)
2017-06-28 09:33
Nice interview, I really feel him, I think a lot of the 1.6 players did what he did when the new game came out.
2017-06-28 10:21
I miss him as a player, also sunde was great
2017-06-28 10:55
stopped reading at (I still loved the game and especially the community around it)
2017-06-30 07:49
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