denis: "We didn't play so good lately, but I wasn't worried at all"

In our next interview from the ELEAGUE studios in Atlanta, Denis "denis" Howell talked about joining up with his former teammate kRYSTAL and issues the team faced at the beginning, as well as about Sprout's first match against Space Soldiers and their chances of making it through to the next stage.

In their first match at the Main Qualifier, Sprout took down Space Soldiers on Cobblestone, in large part thanks to dominating on the Terrorist side to close out the match 16-11.

denis would like to meet mousesports in their future matches at the qualifier

After their opening win, we sat down with Denis "denis" Howell and quizzed him about all of the above and his experience as a new leader.

Let's start with how you and Spiidi ended up in Sprout, how did that come together when you two left mousesports?

I got cut from mousesports in July and, for me, it was clear already, because I was playing with Spiidi for like two years, that I want to play with him again. Basically because mousesports bought suNny and HS went to OpTic, we just approached kRYSTAL and offered him the idea that maybe we can make the old team again that we had back in PENTA in 2015. He talked with innocent and zehN, we played some games and we thought it was a good idea to do that.

Like you said, you have some history, at least with kRYSTAL. How quickly were you able to start meshing together in the fairly short time that you've been together?

Well, honestly I thought it would be easier, but in the beginning kRYSTAL was calling and we changed to me as the in-game leader. Also, in-game-wise, because we played two years with mousesports and we had a different style, we played more of a loose style on individual skills because we had really good players.

Now it was something different for me because kRYSTAL called a heavily tactical style, but I still thought that because Spiidi and me played like this for a long time at a high level and because kRYSTAL and the other people have enough skill, we just play kind of a mixed style, some set rounds and some loose rounds where we just play default and I just make the mid-round calls.

Can you elaborate on the in-game leadership, how have you been able to adjust to it? Do your teammates have a lot of input?

As I said, in the beginning it was kRYSTAL but we changed to me. I have the advantage that I played with leaders like gob b for example for a really long time, I also learned a lot from lmbt and even when NiKo was an in-game leader, or when chrisJ was the in-game leader. I learned a lot from them and because I played at a higher level, I just kind of know what to do mid-round most of the time.

It took a long time, but also our coach tow b helps a lot in that, he analyzes opponents and he fixed every role for us, he fixed a lot of tactics. He was searching the whole day through demos to see what kind of style fits us and what we should play, so we definitely put in a lot of work to find the right style and the right roles for the players.

Speaking about putting in the work, tell me about your preparation specifically for the Major.

We did a bootcamp at the end of November and the start of December, then we went home and played two or three days during Christmas to maintain the shape, and then we started from January 2nd until the 7th and played about 10 hours a day. We just practiced with two little breaks per day. It was, like I said, finding new styles for us and seeing what works, and then just practice, practice, practice.

What were your expectations going into the match with Space Soldiers and how did it go in the end?

We thought it would be Cobble and, in my opinion, we had an advantage against them that we have players like Spiidi and me, we played like seven or eight Majors or something like that, it's their first Major now and maybe they're a bit nervous, they're not so used to that. So I think in terms of experience we had the upper hand, maybe in terms of individual skill they have a bit more firepower.

As CT we had a slow start into the game, we made some mistakes because they played a contact-heavy style, but in the end as T I think the experience and that we stayed calm in crucial situations helped us outplay them.

You had a little bit of a rough patch in the online matches you played, were you at all worried that you wouldn't be able to show up in form here?

Well, of course I had it in my head sometimes, because I was coming from mousesports where we played Pro League and now I was playing MDL and losing against lower teams so to say, but nowadays we cannot underestimate anyone. Everyone in MDL is playing really well and like I said, we just had some problems in finding the right roles and the right playstyle, we had a really slow start online.

We didn't play so good lately, but I knew that when we come to LAN especially kRYSTAL is much better on LAN than he is online, so I wasn't worried at all and I still think we will qualify for the Major.

Are there any teams in particular that you'd like to avoid, or that you would like to play in the next rounds?

Obviously I wouldn't prefer to play FaZe. Actually, I'd prefer to play mousesports, we also pracc against them. I just want my revenge on them... [laughs] no, they're just good friends of me, I just want to play against them, I think it just has some extra fire in there if I play against mousesports and it would definitely be fun. But if you look at opponents, I obviously wish we get the lower opponents to go further.

What do you think it is going to take for you to qualify and get to the next stage?

I think we just have to stay calm and we have to play our tactics, we just have to play like we have been in practice online and just do everything that we've gained, use the experience we gained over the last months, and I think we'll be just fine.

Germany Denis 'denis' Howell
Denis 'denis' Howell
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
2018-01-13 00:31
Germany H4xxFl3isch 
Ja man :D
2018-01-13 00:51
Germany Sabba1 
+1 too much maul
2018-01-13 01:04
2018-01-13 01:16
lul fakeflagger
2018-01-13 01:16
darth maul?
2018-01-13 01:58
Poland FilipHERE 
2018-01-13 12:42
2018-01-13 16:19
Austria SPatrick_ 
2018-01-13 00:31
Ireland morrmaniac 
2018-01-13 00:38
hahahaha humiliating SS, what a headline
2018-01-13 00:31
2018-01-13 09:40
Sweden yayer 
2018-01-13 00:31
Australia USTlLO 
meh bad
2018-01-13 00:31
kNgV- | 
Portugal ArturS 
2018-01-13 00:31
Poland Snacer1337 
Khrystal? Hltv plz
2018-01-13 00:32
you beat ss m8 a lot of teams can
2018-01-13 00:32
Romania Nigger1234 
Not even online
2018-01-13 00:43
ya exactly... imagine if this was online? SS woulda beat that ass
2018-01-14 00:49
Poland mamba99999 
Who from what team ?
2018-01-13 00:32
Sprout is winning the major 100% confirmed
2018-01-13 00:32
since thieves cant make it who else would be ;)
2018-01-13 14:22
Eu english
2018-01-13 00:32
Europe BanMeIfYouCan 
Na european
2018-01-13 10:29
Denmark JustYes 
2018-01-13 00:37
Sweden zZzlatan 
this guy is so handsome would fuck
2018-01-13 00:48
Finland Smoonah 
vomiting intestines, the final phase
2018-01-13 01:00
Portugal Cyborgy 
god he is so full of himself "higher level than..." "i used to play in EPL" wtf
2018-01-13 01:09
Germany DieS0nne 
he is not full of himself if its true
2018-01-13 01:56
Portugal Cyborgy 
ye but i mean its mentioned way out of context
2018-01-13 01:57
South America IFK 
That caught my eye as well. ”I played Pro League, I’ve been at the majors and they haven’t” and so on.
2018-01-13 02:37
Germany NiceC 
2018-01-13 01:57
Du bist der Deutsch. Die Deutschen sind slawisch.
2018-01-13 06:56
Europe tweekzter 
rush b?
2018-01-13 07:55
Switzerland Infi2k 
Haha of course they did`nt play so good lately... they got rekt by random globals in MM^^ never forget these bots...
2018-01-13 03:55
Tbf 100theives (4 of them) lost in faceit against some latvian mix.
2018-01-13 10:28
Brehze | 
Poland wawywo 
After long trip
2018-01-13 12:36
shut up medkit
2018-01-13 10:43
zehN | 
African Union slcwpcke 
So if krystal is not fucking leading kick him or late him be the fucking support plz
2018-01-13 06:36
how to win: 1) don't worry 2) be happy 3) profit
2018-01-13 10:38
Finland saunamdma 
-krystal +ottond please??
2018-01-13 11:04
keev | 
Germany _PH1L 
WHO is that?
2018-01-13 11:33
Finland saunamdma 
He is the next allu.
2018-01-22 10:37
Brehze | 
Poland wawywo 
2018-01-13 12:40
Damn they played nice But lol space soldiers were so nervous to even make a play they literally shat against sprout I wud call it an upset lol ss only onliners
2018-01-13 11:10
Romania ASTiX 
they dont have a god awper paz is a rifler for sure
2018-01-13 11:43
Majer does awp
2018-01-13 13:21
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.