We caught up with TyLoo's AWPer Kevin "xccurate" Susanto to hear about the changes in the team's leadership, his AWPing and more.
TYLOO was one of the surprises of the group stage, as the Chinese side beat SK, Cloud9 and Renegades to advance directly to the semi-finals of IEM Sydney 2018, building onto their win at the StarSeries Invitational and QI Invitational earlier this year.
On their day off, we spoke to Kevin "xccurate" Susanto about playing against top teams and how the communication in the team has been developing.
You are obviously no longer in-game leading, something that BnTeT mentioned when we had the interview at the beginning of the tournament, so tell me how does that play into you AWPing? Some players like to call while they AWP, so they can set everything around themselves, is it different for you to play now because of it?
Now that BnTeT is the in-game leader and I'm the second in-game leader, I need to adapt to the playstyle, the tactic, anything. I'm still be adapting, I didn't find my comfortable position yet. Maybe for now, I'll be a more of a support AWPer, I'll flash for my teammates and stuff like that.
Playing at a tournament like this, with a lot of good teams, it is to be expected that your stats are not that good, but how do you see playing against these teams. Is it a mentality thing that you struggle with or is it their style of play, the tactics, flashes, that make it harder for you?
From my opinion, the mentality is a thing, of course. If you can play with full confidence maybe you can play really well. About the tactical part, maybe because we already practiced a lot with European teams and we know how they play, how to counter that, [it's not a big issue]. I think right now it's all about the mentality.
You made top 4 here already, at a $250,000 event, the best result a team from your region ever had. How does that feel, give me a general overview of making it so far into the tournament?
Of course, we feel really excited and happy. Actually, this is the first time I will play in front of such a big crowd, in Australia, and it's in the playoffs, the semi-final. I lacked some experience [in the first games], but I think now for the semi-final I will just play with my full confidence.
As you mentioned before, you played a lot of European teams, recently you won the StarLadder Invitational, and you played in Europe at the QI Invitational, where you placed second, and you also participated in DH Masers Marseille. Do you think that those tournaments also had an impact on you playing well, getting the experience you needed for a good result here?
Yes, of course, because from those tournaments I got a lot of experience and I saw a lot how pro players are playing. I tried to copy the AWPers' style, so if you are an AWPer you should play like this or like that. There are different AWPers for defensive, aggressive styles, but I'm an aggressive AWPer so I will try my best to learn more.
Are there any names you can mention in particular?
I like to watch s1mple and FalleN, they have a lot of aggression in their AWPing, they are confident. About the skill, I would choose s1mple because he is hitting a lot of insane shots. As we know, he is maybe the best player right now so I really want to [reach that level].
You are communicating in this combination of Chinese and English, how has that been developing, is there a push towards moving the whole team towards one language or something like that?
Actually, since BnTeT has been calling, we are still calling in a mix of Chinese and English, but we usually use English for tactics. The spots we still call in Chinese, because many Chinese players don't know the English spot names, but for the tactics and other we speak in English.
Are you happy with how the communication is right now?
The communication is still tough sometimes, but I think it is improving. Sometimes we still have miscommunications, for example right and left in Chinese is similar, so when I play and the Chinese players report something being left or right, I have to think a bit before figuring out which side he meant. (laughs)
Recently the Flash.VG roster came together. TyLoo wasn't really contested for some time in the Chinese region, what do you think about this new team, will it be a good contender in the Asian region?
I think that the new Flash.VG roster is pretty good because now they have a lot of aimers, but I don't know who the AWPer is in that team. What I know is that they are all good aimers with the rifle. I think they will be a good team if they practice, but we won't think much about them, we are just going to play our game.