NBK: "shox will have two weeks off at the very minimum"
On the semi-finals day of IEM Katowice, G2 came by the press area and Nathan "NBK" Schmitt gave us an interview about the team's recent struggles and how Richard "shox" Papillon's surgery will affect them in the near future.
G2 finished February with a group stage exit at IEM Katowice, continuing their streak of disappointing results dating back to their triumph at DreamHack Masters Malmö in September last year.
As the Frenchmen now have about a month and a half of no offline tournaments ahead of them, we asked Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt about how the team will tackle their issues and how Richard "shox" Papillon's surgery will affect their attempts to find a way to better consistency.
We naturally also asked him about the Krieg, his weapon of choice on the Terrorist side in recent times, so NBK- told us about his reasons for using it and about its advantages over the AK.
There's really no denying that you have struggled recently, particularly here at IEM Katowice but StarSeries didn't go well either in the playoffs. Obviously you haven't been able to figure out what it is that you need to fix, how are you going to tackle these issues?
It's going to be a bit of a wide answer, but it's going to be the same thing over and over again - we're going to try to find out what's going to be the thing for the future. Gaining more stability is the most important, I think, because we're trying things, it's not working, we try something different, it's not working... When we find something it doesn't hold, so there is always something that is missing. We have to go back, we have to work, we have to figure out what the actual solution is. It's always the same thing, go back and work, there isn't anything else.
The biggest change that you guys made lately was shox going back to lurking, why do you think that hasn't worked out?
I think it helped a bit with the individual level in general, but it also made us a bit more split as a team. It was a bit harder to focus on some very specific things in Counter-Strike and it kind of detached shox from the group, being more strict in the game in that sense, respecting crossfires, making sure that we take zones in a map with all the smokes and flashes...
So we gained on one side, we lost on the other one, so that's what we tried for these tournaments, playing a bit more loose and having players being a bit more free. For teams that are trained to set up a very structured gameplan, it's hard to play against them now, they have the motivation of being a new team on the first hand, and on the second hand they have a very clear gameplan, so they're going to follow this stuff 100%. And that's why it's hard for us right now to play against them.
You have about a month and a half before DreamHack Masters, quite a bit more time than normally given that you've been going more or less from tournament to tournament, do you see having such a long time as a good thing?
It's kind of good, because we have online games we will have to take seriously anyway, those are big leagues that we have to play, so you can try things online and see if the adaptation works. So I think it's not a bad thing to have time to actually figure out what can make us more consistent. shox is going to have his surgery, so it's going to be a bit more loose, so maybe it's going to help us in that sense to feel more free and enjoy playing Counter-Strike more together.
How much is it going to affect your practice, is shox going to have multiple weeks off after the surgery?
Yeah, for sure he'll have two weeks off at the very minimum, if the healing goes perfectly well which you can't really count on, you'd rather take more time and be sure to be healthy than the other way around. We're counting on at least a month or two to make sure that he comes back at a 100%. How we're going to adapt, I don't know, we don't really have a specific plan, we're going to try to first fix the team and then we'll see how we do when we arrive at that point.
Is SmithZz going to step in for online games in the meantime?
Yeah, correct, he'll step in for online games for the whole time where shox is going to be absent.
The last thing I'd like to talk about is your weaponry choices, let's put it that way. Especially the Krieg, that's the most prominent that you've been using...
What is the reasoning behind that?
Yeah, the base reason for it was just because I felt like it. There was really no reasoning behind it, I just felt like playing with this weapon. A bit of a change is never bad. I play a lot of other games, Call of Duty, Overwatch, and it helps me keep my mind open to anything. I don't give a f*ck if the idea comes from other games, but for instance when I became very good with the Deagle at some point it was because I was playing Overwatch a ton. I'm not closed to those kinds of things, so the Krieg to me is just a fun way to come in and play differently and it makes me happy to play with that.
If you want to get a bit more technical, I think it's an insane weapon to peek angles with and to peek some specific positions, snipers, to hold angles as well. f0rest knows that it's very bad against USPs, because he just destroyed me in a 1v1 aim battle with a USP (laughs) and I had a scoped Krieg. I think it's just great, I think it's a very viable weapon, it's got a higher fire rate, all that kind of stuff, there are so many good things about this weapons and it's only $300 more expensive, only!
Have you noticed any significant changes in your playstyle because of it?
I'm more confident in my peeks in general, especially mid distance against rifles I know that I'm going to destroy the guy against me. If you go in with that mentality you're going to win 70 or 80% of the duels in those kinds of positions. And aside from that no real change, I'm not changing the way I play because of that, it just makes me a bit more aggressive because I feel more confident. Whether it is scoped or not scoped, I'll go ahead and use it, because this weapon is just too good. It's too good!