NaToSaphiX: "There has been a lot going on internally"
We spoke with Niels-Christian "NaToSaphiX" Sillassen after Copenhagen Games to talk about Sprout’s performance at the Danish event.
Sprout began their journey through the BYOC open qualifier, sweeping their opponents until reaching the quarter-finals, in which they beat Red Reserve in a three-map series to qualify for the main tournament.
Dust2.us writer Michael "Duck" Moriarty caught with Niels-Christian "NaToSaphiX" Sillassen after Copenhagen Games to ask the team's recent addition about their performances at the event, his role since joining the squad and his thoughts on the update efforts from Valve.
How has Copenhagen Games been for you this year?
As a team, we have had some shaky starts online, but we came here and beat Heroic, but then we lost to Kinguin, which was really bad for us. We then lost to Imperial, a match that we should have won...especially on Train. I am quite happy with the results, but it just hurts to know that we could have gone further.
Despite the delays on the first day, your team qualified through the open BYOC to reach the main stage. Could you tell us if those delays affected your team in terms of qualifying?
I am not the type of player who comes up with excuses, but being tired wasn’t the reason why we lost to Kinguin. I believe we had the upper hand against Heroic because they came into the game ‘cold’, while we had already been playing for so many hours. We did a lot better this Copenhagen Games than last year because we actually got some decent sleep each night. I don’t think it had a major impact since we have had long days here.
Recently, you moved out of the analyst role for various teams and organizations prior to joining Sprout. What was the turnaround point for you in terms of being thrown in at the ‘deep end’ when joining an up-and-coming top team?
Well, I don’t feel like I have been thrown in at the ‘deep end’, to be honest. I have been looking for an opportunity like this for the past six months to a year just to prove to myself and everyone else that I am actually capable of delivering at this level. I was super happy to be given this opportunity to play for Sprout. It has been a nice step up, and I feel like I have gained a lot of new supporters. I am enjoying my time on Sprout, so, for me, this has been a great experience, and I am very thankful.
Recently, your online performances have been mixed, to say the the least. Is that just a general phase of coming into a new team or is that just online games being the way they are?
We actually have a bit of trouble playing against CIS teams. We have suffered a lot of tough losses that we shouldn’t have, but, besides that, there has been a lot going on internally with the team. It has been something we have struggled with, focusing on our performances and getting proper practice. I am hoping that we can ‘grab the reins’ after Copenhagen Games and start focusing on practice and to make sure we fix the issues.
Valve recently updated the game once again, focusing on on Nuke and on and two other maps outside of the map pool, and introducing a trade restriction. Do you feel that the general pace of updates is supporting the competitive players or are they ignoring what the players want?
I think a lot of the changes Valve makes are not about what the community wants and the community can’t really see the idea behind the changes. I remember wanting to quit CS:GO when they changed the AWP moving speed and scope. It seems they have access to statistics that are not available to the public and they are basing the changes on those numbers rather than on community pressure. I believe that is the way to do it, but I don’t agree with all of their decisions.