MAJ3R: "Everything is for the Major, the main goal is the Major"

Joe "tolkienfanatic" Cardali sat down with Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli after his team's run in New York, where they finished in second-place in the ESEA MDL Season 26 Global Challenge and played their first match of the ESL Pro League Relegation.

The Turkish squad's demise in the MDL Global Challenge ended up being AGO, who they lost to twice—both in the group stage and in the grand final. Space Soldiers also played the first match of the EPL Relegation, where they lost to Natus Vincere, but they will still be fighting for a spot in the league, with eXtatus or GODSENT waiting in the next matchup.

In this interview, however, Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli states that it was a good experience for his team, adding that Space Soldiers used their period in New York as a bootcamp for the upcoming Major.

MAJ3R's Space Soldiers are thirsty for the ELEAGUE Major 2018

Read our interview below to get to know more about MAJ3R's opinion on several topics, including his view on Space Soldiers' run in New York, their chances of making it into the ESL Pro League and even the Turkish scene.

After playing the ESEA MDL Finals and the ESL Pro League Relegation, your run in New York is now over. In general, how do you think the events went for you?

We lost the [ESEA MDL] final versus AGO. It was a little disappointing, they played very well and we did a lot of mistakes, but it is all OK. After the New Year, the goal was to do a bootcamp before the Major, but when we got to know the date of ESEA MDL, we thought that it would be a good bootcamp for us since it had a real LAN environment and it could be a good training and experience.

I think it was a good event because although we did a lot of mistakes against AGO, that might pay off in the most important matches of the Major. Generally, I am not sad, it was a good training. Everything is for the Major. The main goal is the Major.

Before you played AGO, you had a semi-final against eXtatus, which you basically pulled out of thin air at the very end. What do you have to say about that series?

We won on Inferno, especially because near the end they did a lot of mistakes like we did versus AGO, probably because they lack some experience. However, it was a difficult match against both of them, AGO and eXtatus. In our opinion, it was good for us because we are not at 100%.

We are practising as we are used to, of course, but, since the New Year, we are still trying to get to our Europe Minor shape. I think that in the end, generally, it was a good thing for us, even if we lost [a map] against eXtatus. We won some experience here, so I hope it will pay off in the Major.

What is your itinerary after leaving New York?

We have a flight to Atlanta tomorrow, and then I do not our schedule, not even when is our first match. But yes, we are leaving New York tomorrow.

What do you think about the Major happening right after the player break? You have been at this event, but most of the teams have been off for a while now.

I do not think everyone has problems with that. Everyone celebrates Christmas, New Year's Eve… but as far as I can tell from what I check on Twitter, teams are doing like a 10-day bootcamp in January. I think that each team has its own preparation, we had a good one and I think that every team will do the same. For me that it is not a problem because we are all on the same page, it is not like someone has a better situation or not. The date is the date, and I think there is no problem with that. 

You were also here to play the ESL Pro League Relegation, but unfortunately, only one match was played because of weather issues. What do you think of the teams in that event, and how do you see your chances there?

I think we did our best versus Natus Vincere. Of course we did a lot of mistakes, but they played very well and deserved to win. In my opinion, we have a better chance to win against GODSENT and eXtatus. I do not know if the matches will be played on LAN, but it would be better for us. I also do not know the date, only that it will be after the Major. I think that we can do it although GODSENT is a very good team. They beat us in Spain [WESG Europe & CIS Finals], so we need to do our best to win that match.

What do you think of the fact that every team on the Major main qualifier has stickers now?

Some top players are saying that it loses its value, especially since now every team have stickers even if they are tier 2 or 3. I do not see it through this eyes, although I can understand their point, because if you see it from the other perspective, it is a boost of motivation for young players, and even for their own economy.

It is good for the community, for Valve, for the fans who can buy the stickers they want, everybody wins. For me it is a good thing, but, once again, I can agree with pro players that might say that it can be a bit unfair. But it is ok.

Earlier in the event, GruBy from AGO said that the European Minor is harder to get through than the Major qualifier. Do you agree with that?

I do not know if I agree, but yes, the Minor in Europe is very, very difficult. For example, when you see teams like NiP and OpTic not even in the Major qualifier… especially if you look at NiP losing against PRIDE in the Europe Minor closed qualifier, and then winning IEM Oakland.

There is a little chance to make it to the Major qualifier. I am glad that we did it this year, but maybe there is something to be done, maybe mix some regions or add some more slots. Everyone has his own opinion on that, but I think that the last decision has to be one made by a group of people that are able to come up with a fair system.

You spoke about motivation earlier, so, if you make it to ESL Pro League, how are you going to ensure that your team stay motivated?

We want to play against the best teams in the world, and that happens in ESL Pro League. Every week you play and that is a good thing. There, it does not matter if you win or lose. It is always about winning experience, and if we want to play against the best teams in the world, we have to be in EPL. It is as simple as this.

Earlier in 2017, you were using DESPE instead of paz because the latter had some personal issues. Can you go into any detail about what happened there?

paz had some personal issues, but now he is back. He did not play for two months, which is a lot of time. For him, here, it was a long break return. DESPE will remain as our sixth player, so when someone has some personal issues or can't play, we can use DESPE whenever we need. That is a good thing for me as a leader because he knows everything about the team and my strategy. For now, we are with paz, which is good. We are motivated and we will do our best in the Major because that is our most important goal.

We do not really see teams with six full-time players. How do you make sure DESPE is in the loop if he does have to fill-in?

It might be something very difficult for other teams, but in Space Soldiers it is all the person who did that, our manager Canpolat "hardstyle" Yıldıran. He created the team, but first he created a link between the players. When ngiN was the sixth player, or DESPE now, they completely accepted it. When our manager says that they have to play, they will give their best for the team. We are all a family, and it was him who put us together.

He is very talented, especially as a psychologist. I am glad that I can work with him, but the fact that we are six players and that everyone gives their best is all because of him. hardstyle managed to turn everyone into true professional players.

We saw DarkPassage disband recently. Do you think there are still enough players in Turkey to create a viable Turkish team?

We have recently created the Turkish Pro League alongside FACEIT, and there was a lot of players joining. I still have not checked enough of the Turkish community, but I know there are a lot of good players. Still, the main problem with Turkish players is that they still do not know how to play like a team. They do not know about that because it is not cultural, Counter-Strike in Turkey is not like in Denmark or Sweden, where when you play you think more about your team.

But TPL is a good thing. We can see if there are any upcoming players, or maybe they will just win some experience when they play against or with Space Soldiers players. They can win some experience as the main goal of the league is to play as a team, more than when I play FPL or ESEA. It is a good thing for Turkey, and I hope that in the future there will be another team like Space Soldiers to represent our country.

After the Major you have the WESG World Finals. What do you think about that event in general? Do you feel like the fact that being able to use your core line-up gives you a leg-up on a lot of the other teams?

Yes, it is an advantage for us. In Barcelona [Europe & CIS Finals], we lost against GODSENT and beat fnatic, so I think it was a good thing since we had not played a lot with DESPE. I like the idea of WESG making a tournament with one-country line-ups. Looking at our five players, we have an advantage and of course we are going to use that. Last year we were on the top four after losing against Virtus.Pro and EnVyUs if I recall correctly, so we have a pretty good chance to shine there.

Turkey Engin 'MAJ3R' Küpeli
Engin 'MAJ3R' Küpeli
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United Kingdom Tendies 
That's my boy, good luck, you guys'll do sick Also Joe Cardali on the interview game hell yeah
2018-01-11 12:03
China o_O 
maj3r major major maj3r
2018-01-11 12:02
Europe _EpiC_ 
SS is good. They have to play like they did in late 2017 and they will qualify ez.
2018-01-11 12:03
China o_O 
ok i was not ask for this information
2018-01-11 12:03
Hes not gonna win anything at least with that hair no
2018-01-11 19:54
Azerbaijan Talley 
2018-01-11 12:02
Argentina NoRiskNoGain 
2018-01-11 12:02
Europe Skraj 
2018-01-11 12:02
2018-01-11 12:02
United Kingdom ChrisFroome 
2018-01-11 12:02
Turkey vortex1g 
i see a misspelled right here. do you mean 3-0?
2018-01-11 18:52
Poland Hell2k 
0,01 second and 10 comments yet lul
2018-01-11 12:03
tldr: The goal of Maj3r is the Maj0r
2018-01-11 12:03
gl MAJ3R. to be honest SS are getting better and better.
2018-01-11 12:05
In god, we trust maj3r.
2018-01-11 12:04
Brazil Setrock 
I hope MAJ3R wins the MAJ0R
2018-01-11 12:04
2018-01-11 12:05
2018-01-11 12:11
everyone knows to reason why people writing 0-3 about ss , dont worry we got this
2018-01-11 12:13
Twistzz | 
Poland XowXot 
After the Mdl league I had to remove ss from pick em cause they are so much worse than in the Minor, replaced then with Renegades way better team atm
2018-01-11 12:30
Oh , write this post then you can understamd why ss was like that om mdl
2018-01-11 12:32
Oh , write this post then you can understand why ss was like that om mdl
2018-01-11 12:32
I use cell phone too
2018-01-11 12:43
I use cell phone too
2018-01-11 12:43
Turkey orox2 
2018-01-11 12:55
Norway Noreg 
2018-01-11 14:07
MAJ3R all in for that Major
2018-01-11 12:05
Major plays by Maj3r in the major
2018-01-11 17:02
United Kingdom Fizzhaz 
2018-01-11 12:06
After recent MDL matches, I'm totally in doubt that SS will be able to pickup even 2 wins. 1-3 and out of quals.
2018-01-11 12:08
Syria Asiimov 
they might have focused on the major instead of MDL. Tbh if i were in the major qual and had a small event like MDL, I wouldnt care to much about MDL and put in all the work for the major
2018-01-11 12:13
ESL pro league is very important too, and they were not good against Navi in quals
2018-01-11 13:46
Syria Asiimov 
Would make a little more sense trying as hard as possible to qualify for major and maybe even top 8. That would give them a lot of experience and publicity
2018-01-11 15:17
he said multiple times that they only focus on major
2018-01-11 12:18
It's not really wise to fuck up ESL pro league spot
2018-01-11 13:46
Turkey dogboi2001 
its their first chance on major ffs. ofc its 10x more important... and they can go pro league easy again they defeat nip every time
2018-01-11 16:52
AM | 
rofl even the TITLE is "EVERYTHING IS FOR THE MAJOR, THE MAIN GOAL IS THE MAJOR" and you say this. ok
2018-01-11 12:20
Flag checks out. ESL pro league quals for MDL champs very important too, sad if turkish can't understand that
2018-01-11 13:47
ago match has nothing to do with it dumbshit. only matters was navi and they didnt play bad. they can still beat godsent and extatus and go pro league anyways you arrogant fuck
2018-01-11 16:57
>they didnt play bad their game vs navi was terrible. Navi was in a bad shape too, but SS showed literally nothing. Boring game, mediocre performance from both teams.
2018-01-11 17:52
they were last mdl champion. its not important for them
2018-01-11 12:22
Turkey orox2 
i mean they did not even tried. they just played normal game and still finished second. why the fuck everybody is so mad
2018-01-11 12:57
didnt tried pasha london school?
2018-01-11 13:43
Turkey orox2 
xantares feeling skool
2018-01-11 14:31
2018-01-11 16:35
But what about ESL relegation? Pro league is the same about money as major. And it's a great place to train yourself against tier1 teams
2018-01-11 13:49
1-2 vs navi is not very bad. and its not over u know extatus and godsent matches inc
2018-01-11 14:31
1-2 is a score in a vacuum. Seen that match, and performance was terrible from both teams.
2018-01-11 16:16
I hope u are right. But except losing the EPL Relegation, which was indeed not a clever move, they did pretty good lately. :/
2018-01-11 13:50
We'll see soon :) PS: they still have a chance to promote for league, but looks like they decided to drop ESL out of their plans
2018-01-11 16:18
Albania VeryBadGuy 
nice guy
2018-01-11 12:08
very good english i hope decent na/eu team can elevate their to good cs
2018-01-11 12:11
2018-01-11 12:11
Seem like a horrible person
2018-01-11 12:12
why? lol
2018-01-11 12:28
I dont trust him.. I feel like he is trying to pull something.. + i heard Info about some x gf..dont trust this guy.
2018-01-11 12:29
lol k
2018-01-11 12:31
Zeus | 
Russia Klugervl 
Lol kek cheburek))
2018-01-11 13:01
Maj3r Major Maj3r Major Maj3r Major Maj3r Major Maj3r Major Maj3r Major
2018-01-11 12:15
Netherlands Deji 
After losing against tier 5 teams he says this
2018-01-11 12:15
Saving strats for the major
2018-01-11 13:51
I'm sure they won't rush through smokes on major, unlike this last tournament. They played it like a dm and still finished 2nd.
2018-01-11 16:53
Netherlands Deji 
Not bad still
2018-01-11 17:57
World waltsuu 
G2 MAJ3R pls, save the frenchies
2018-01-11 12:20
0-3 ok,ok 1-3
2018-01-11 12:30
cant even win MDL and they expect to do something at the major? lol be surprised if they even get more than 1 map xD
2018-01-11 12:50
Turkey orox2 
why would they care about MDL?
2018-01-11 12:58
why wouldn't they? it's not like the major coming up is going to prevent them from caring about other tournaments, use your brain
2018-01-11 13:01
Turkey orox2 
yeah they are about to play their most important tournament in their career. Hey why dont we leak our tactics that we prepared for major against shitty teams at MDL and let the Challanger teams know what we gonna do at Qualifiers. G E N I U S
2018-01-11 13:05
you do know that the pool of strategies that can be employed at such an event (where the teams aren't exactly SK or Faze level) is still immense, standard things are plenty for such a small event, yet they still failed...
2018-01-11 13:06
Turkey orox2 
that was probably the most important tournament for AGO and they probably analysed SS the biggest favorite of tourney for days and AGO is already a decent team. SS didn't give a single fuck and they still make it 2nd and you call it a fail? ok
2018-01-11 13:11
considering the tiers of the teams at that event wasn't exactly special i do think it wasn't a great placement for them
2018-01-11 13:14
Turkey orox2 
ofc they underperformed but there was lots of factors like they was inactive for a while and paz did not played for 2 months also they didn't show any tactic. we gonna watch a different SS at major i believe
2018-01-11 13:40
ago is better than those major teams
2018-01-11 14:35
Not saying this because i'm Turkish but SS did not played it how they would play it normally. You can see how they rush through smokes blindly and risk every 1vs1 trying to get kills. I'm sure they won't play like this in major, they are not that stupid.
2018-01-11 16:59
Good luck my friends
2018-01-11 12:52
Maj3r is a humble guy ^^
2018-01-11 12:58
Macedonia EXTOL[t] 
Your to ez my friend if xantaras doesent move his monitor little bit backwards
2018-01-11 12:58
Happy | 
Kazakhstan broomz 
MAJ3R talked about Major
2018-01-11 12:59
Turkey orox2 
imagine if major talks about maj3r
2018-01-11 13:06
Turkey lulpump1 
2018-01-11 14:51
majer the major winner pls
2018-01-11 13:11
CIS Ga2z 
maj3r to the major
2018-01-11 13:13
Poland Kamfeth 
I like Space Soldiers, they are these guys with passion and determination to reach their goals and to be better, better and just better each day. I hope they will raise someday like SK gaming boys did in 2016.
2018-01-11 13:15
Sweden lagcats 
all for the major
2018-01-11 13:14
Brazil ibra_84 
2018-01-11 13:36
Austria I_love_Hltv 
2018-01-11 13:41
2018-01-11 13:48
woxic | 
Turkey razendd_ 
2018-01-11 14:06
France 2Ez4MaBoyZ 
Ez for the baguette kebab
2018-01-11 14:07
they will loose ez
2018-01-11 14:14
Other VladimirLucas 
ez major for majer
2018-01-11 14:14
Turkey Ch0p$1sh 
Maj3r in major lul
2018-01-11 14:29
Space Soldiers LAN Pick one.
2018-01-11 14:32
2018-01-11 14:55
Turkey darknight53 
They will pick both
2018-01-11 17:42
Turkey Mustafa- 
Ez for DESPE
2018-01-11 14:32
Turkey jakrak 
-maj3r +good igl -ngin +good awper all situation that.
2018-01-11 14:34
maj3r good igl? you must be kidding..the reason they've gone so far is because they have great aimers, xantares aim and ngin great awper that's true. But have you seen their shit tactics and LOTS of stupid mistakes and moves that a pro team wouldn't do. sorry but IMO their IGL is shit, even though Maj3r is great aimer he is bad at igl'ing and imo that's main reason they struggle for 2 years already
2018-01-11 15:20
this guy is retarded
2018-01-11 20:17
me? I stated the truth.
2018-01-11 21:27
dont invest in SS stickers , 95% of turks ar poor so no profit
2018-01-11 14:38
nt arab
2018-01-12 07:49
Expected from Engin TwoFace Kupeli
2018-01-11 14:38
Turkey orox2 
>Gabriel Kupeli >Engin Toledo pick one
2018-01-11 16:04
s1mple | 
Turkey tugi 
I hope they reach their minor form
2018-01-11 14:49
HEN1 | 
Palestine S1rEz10 
Lol OK kebab boy
2018-01-11 15:02
Good luck at the major maj3r
2018-01-11 15:15
United States SladesterG 
Maj3r won't be at the Major OMEGALUL
2018-01-11 15:19
omegalul optic at minor i think
2018-01-11 15:22
United States SladesterG 
It was optics first lan as a team now Optic>SpaceS>Envyus OMEGALUL NO SCENE SPANISH MAN
2018-01-11 15:27
idc about spanish scene hamburger boy. we have flash avangar quantum bellator fire at major i can't see your mixing tier3 team.
2018-01-11 15:29
United States SladesterG 
It's because they give 2 spot 2 Asian and cis scenes which have no talent except bntet and Navi while Europe has 2 spots for like 6 possible different teams and optics first lan together as a team was the major qualifier and optic would crush those three teams u named they are literally trash and will go home 0-3 or 1-3
2018-01-11 15:40
you are right about slot bs but you said ' Maj3r won't be at the Major OMEGALUL ' who EU minor champion team's igl. They rekt every team in quaifiers without any promise.
2018-01-11 15:47
United States SladesterG 
Ah not really optic beat them in the groups and the maps were close with nV and optic and when I said that is was a joke because of the play of words
2018-01-11 15:49
2018-01-11 15:20
2018-01-11 15:25
United States SladesterG 
Major is trash igl he doesn't understand that you need to do this -Ngin +Woxic
2018-01-11 15:41
how can they bring woxic if he doesn't wanna come ffs
2018-01-11 16:40
United States SladesterG 
I didn't know he didn't wanna come but woxic is 100 time better that ngin
2018-01-11 16:44
It's obvious that he's better but he won't join SS unless calyx is replaced with someone else. Woxic and calyx have problems between them because they were in a Turkish team before and the goal was to make the team one of the best teams in TR but when SS wanted calyx, he left the team without hesitation. So woxic is mad at calyx and won't play with him soon imo.
2018-01-11 17:03
United States SladesterG 
Oh that sucks they should just be adults
2018-01-11 17:09
Yeah, apologizing shouldn't be that hard. If the goal is to create the dream TR lineup than i would totally apologize if i was him, but i wonder if woxic would leave his team in order to join SS or not ?
2018-01-11 17:23
United States SladesterG 
He probably would stay on he because they are better imo
2018-01-11 17:27
nice guy gl
2018-01-11 15:43
GL my boi <3
2018-01-11 15:51
2018-01-11 16:06
2018-01-11 16:19
2018-01-11 16:22
I hope dat SS gets deep in the Major so we can actually see Xantares perform against the best. GL
2018-01-11 17:25
Turkey darknight53 
I believe you devoted igl
2018-01-11 17:39
You might even say. everything is for the... maj3r.
2018-01-11 18:00
-maj3r +gob b
2018-01-12 07:32
L.K.S | 
Turkey xAiakos 
2018-01-23 19:40
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