STYKO: "We are skilled enough to bridge the gaps on the fly"
As the start of DreamHack Masters Malmö nears, we managed to catch up with Martin "STYKO" Styk to hear about his transition from HellRaisers to mousesports and how his new team feels coming up to the tournament in Sweden.
Martin "STYKO" Styk is on his way to the first LAN he will play in a mousesports jersey after spending a long period in HellRaisers, where he made his international breakthrough. The Slovakian's new team has been placed in group C, alongside NiP, Gambit and FaZe.
You have officially joined mousesports a bit over two weeks ago, what are your first impressions of the new squad?
The first impression is tough to describe. In all fairness, we have had only a few days of practice, few official matches and that is it. Gamewise I feel comfortable within the team, we are players with high skill ceiling potential and if at least 2 of us are having a good performance we are very annoying to play against I would say. As a team, we attended GamesCom in Cologne for 5 days and we decided to use this trip as a team building activity, we got to know each other, how we behave outside of the game. I think this aspect is very important as well, at least for me. Making some kind of an inside jokes within the team is something that can ease the pressure during hard games and busy schedule.
Coming from a team you spent almost two years in, how has the adaptation to mousesports been going for you personally? Has your role changed a lot in comparison to what you did in HellRaisers?
My roles changed on some maps more than on others. When I was joining mousesports I understood that I will be taking spots that are left, mostly, I even said to lmbt that I don't want to ruin the gameplan so I will adapt to any role/position he assigns me to. It may take few days or weeks for me to adapt but I will get there, slowly but surely. Watching demos of previous mousesport members and other pro players help in this matter.
This year, you’ve only had two events with an above-average rating. Was it just a poor run of form, or did you feel "trapped" in HellRaisers’ style? Do you believe that mousesports’ style suits you better?
In my previous statements, when I left HellRaisers, I said that I was uncomfortable so that might have had something to do with poor runs aswell. I felt overplayed, we practiced a lot of hours per day and the joy of playing CS was slowly fading away. After the players break I caught a new breath, I was having good individual performances in practice matches, aswell as in FPL games. I felt on point despite low hours invested into the game.
I feel that the fact that ropz is still in school will help me personally, after summer holidays we will adjust to his schedule and play a bit less probably. But I am just guessing, we will have to see and wait how it works out.
In the signing announcement, the team's coach lmbt mentioned that you "will be able to support chrisJ with calling". How has that part been developing, have you accommodated yourself to the lineup enough to give input on how the team should play?
In all honesty I did not have that much time to help chris. I realized that the reason why I helped angel in HR was that I was his teammate for almost 2 years and during this time I understood his tendencies in calls, so it was easy for me to assist him from time to time with some quick input. With chris I did not have this time to learn how he is calling yet. We will need few months to figure this out as he is learning this new role aswell.
Me and Sunny are trying to implement some stuff to the team from our previous rosters and other guys are teaching us things that worked in mousesports before, so we are still in learning phase. Good thing is that if we even forget some details to the round we are skilled enough to bridge these gaps on the fly.
You will attend your first event with mousesports next week, DreamHack Masters Malmo. What has the team focused on in preparation for this event and how did it go?
Preparation was pretty standard. We tried to go over multiple maps, discuss our ideas, gameplan and starts. We feel comfortable, if we will have good day I think we can rely fully on our aim and clutching abilities to outplay most of the teams. I understand that consistency will have to do a lot with this, and I am not really sure how consistent we can get on LAN, so we will see on upcoming tournaments how to be more effective LAN team aswell.
But we have also the backup plan for the times where we will simply fail our duels. Obviously with hitting our shots and good communication everything would be much more easier and more ideal.
At the event, you are placed in a group with Gambit, FaZe and NiP, which looks like one of the toughest ones on paper. How do you see it playing out, especially considering the roster changes Gambit and FaZe undergone recently?
Indeed, the group looks scary but at the same time we knew we will not have an easy time at this tournament. Roster changes will make our opponents more unpredictible, but we know that even the FaZe superteam is not unbeatable as we showed in Pro League already. We were not very far from taking both maps away from them so that gave us a little confidence boost. I think the toughest matchup in this group for us might be NiP, their map pool looks solid in my opinion. And the fact that tournament is in Sweden will obviously help them.
Even though you mentioned that the issues within HellRaisers lead to a roster change being the best option for everyone, that was still your first professional team - and one you spent a long period in. What will you miss the most about not playing with your former squad anymore?
Thats a good question, I am not really sure. I think mostly I will miss the personalities. We were good friends, we still are. I am very bad at making enemies so I try to get along with everyone (haha). Some tournaments will be forever remembered, our first wins in international tournaments like CPH Games last year, also deep runs like the one at StarSeries S3 in Kiev. It's nothing specific, just the overall atmosphere in the team was fun most of the time so I look forward to meet them somewhere soon.
After your departure and bondik's benching, HellRaisers picked up woxic and ISSAA. Some roles changed and potentially the team's playstyle, how do you see them faring moving forward? What do you think needs to go right for them to be at the level of the former HR squad - or surpass that?
It is pretty bold move from them to pickup wo players with little to no background on the professional level. But hey, it (sort of) worked last time they did it, when they picked me and oskar, so why not try it again?
So far I did not really follow them and I didn't see their results so it is hard for me to judge their playstyle and giving them tips. I will be just very general on this matter and give them some obvious tip - if things do not go your way at the beggining do not give up easy, rather work it out together as a team!
DreamHack's new rules allow coaches to talk during freeze time, finding a middle ground between the new and the old Valve rules. What do you think of this approach, and in general, tournament organizers having different rulesets on matters like these?
I usually like the changes, I like when we have to adapt to something new. This is fine middle ground and I look forward to being able to get more in contact with the coach. I also want to see how it will work live on the server.
Usually, from my own experience, the tournaments where the coach is not allowed to talk during the game had some troubles with unmuting coach microphone when he was actually allowed to talk. I do not know how they prepared for this scenario but I am sure DreamHack will figure something out, they have a good reputation in making smooth tournaments so they should deal with muting/unmuting responsibility well.