Following Rogue's victory over Rise Nation which secured them another season of ESL Pro League, dust2.us talked to Spencer "Hiko" Martin about the difficult start the team had, playing with European players and his former teammate Sean "seang@res" Gares.
Rogue's season featured a lot of roster instability, which showed in their results and left them fighting for their EPL spot in the relegation tournament that was held on LAN, alongside the MDL Global Challenge Finals. Despite losing to Ghost, Rogue managed to stay in NA's top online league with wins over GX and Rise Nation.
dust2.us's Joe "tolkienfanatic" Cardali talked with Spencer "Hiko" Martin in the aftermath of the ESL Pro League Relegation, with the North American player admitting that he has fallen a long way from his early-CS:GO status.
Read the outtakes from the talk below, but be sure to check out the full interview on dust2.us for more details.
You guys just successfully re-qualified for EPL, how does it feel after the myriad of issues with your roster during the season?
Obviously it feels good, nobody wants to get relegated — that would be a huge embarrassment, not just for me but the whole team. It sucks we had the problems at the start of the season, having to use three or four different people for the last two spots. It's unfortunate we were in relegation, a bit bittersweet that we had to fight for our spot.
It's definitely the lowest point of my career, but we can only really bounce back from here. We've shown some promise, I don't think we've looked that bad. We'll see what happens with the team and the roster in the future but the main goal and purpose was for us to qualify. We've done that and now all we need to do is work to get better.
If you were to rewind back to the start of 2017, would you think that out of the original compLexity/Cloud9 core that Sean "sg@res" Gares would be on the highest ranked team out of you all right now?
That's a loaded question. He's definitely one of the better IGLs [in NA] in terms of preparation and overall knowledge, it's not that surprising. I'm more surprised that Mike "shroud" Grzesiek has retired to become a streamer and that Jordan "n0thing" Gilbert is kind of in limbo between being a caster or wanting to return as a player. It's kind of weird that things have turned out the way they did.
You've had a lot of experience with European players, more so than many other NA players. What are your thoughts on the divide and the differences between the two regions?
I've always been a player that's thrived under a non-super structured playstyle. Even at my peak, I was never the kind of person who was throwing flashes, if you go back to my Cloud9 days I knew no smokes. My role was to stay alive until the end of the round and win clutches and that's what I was good at. It's unfortunate that the kind of lurker, slower playstyle got sort of phased out somewhat. I always know playing against Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund, Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer that you always expect them to be behind you so you always wait an extra second for that lurk, that time that you wouldn't wait if you were playing someone else.