ruggah: "The former North players need a strong leader"

We talked to the newly-appointed OpTic coach Casper "ruggah" Due ahead of the new lineup's first LAN showing to discuss his job of managing big personalities on the team.

In April, OpTic became an all-Danish squad with former Heroic players Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer and Jakob "JUGi" Hansen replacing Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan and in-game leader Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz.

Ruggah is coaching the new OpTic squad

The roster changes were marked by their fair share of drama as stanislaw went public with allegations of problems with "punctuality" and clashes between himself and the Danish players, René "cajunb" Borg, Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke and Nicklas "gade" Gade, who quickly took to Twitter to defend themselves.

Since then, the new OpTic lineup has been practising intensely for the ESL Pro League Finals in Dallas, where they will attempt to prove that the decision to go with an all-Danish roster was the right one.

Ahead of the event, we asked coach ruggah how he will face the challenge of avoiding these sorts of conflicts in a star-studded team:

How and why did you end up signing with OpTic?

I have stayed in touch with most of my former players. Some of them have needed personal coaching regarding personal issues. I have close a relationship with both the old North players and some of my former teammates and, luckily, they still want my input and advice. So that’s probably a part of why I was chosen when OpTic decided to go with an entirely Danish roster. I’m obviously really happy about that.

What’s your take on the drama in the former lineup, with stanislaw opening up about problems in the team and the Danes firing back on social media?

I know my players well, and, like k0nfig has publicly said himself, there’s some truth to what he wrote. My players aren't saints and they know they’ve made mistakes. But when it’s only one player’s perspective, things tend to be painted with a broad brush, and his picture isn’t one hundred percent accurate. I know the players and their personalities, so I can see how things can go off on a tangent when you have a leader who’s maybe a bit quiet and introverted. In those situations, the former North players definitely need a strong leader who can show the way.

So, are you that leader?

I am, and so is Snappi. And I think the whole situation with stanislaw is what made the boys look at what other possibilities were out there in cased they wanted to go with a full Danish roster. I also know their former coach [Chet "ImAPet" Singh] and he’s a really good coach, but he has a totally different approach. He’s much more analytical and I’m more of a manager who tries to change and improve stuff through player management.

Do you think that's what this lineup needs?

It’s no secret that there are some big personalities on this team, and that’s how it should be at the top level of the scene. So there are bound to be disagreements, and that’s where it’s important to unravel the knots and that the players know how to talk to each other in the right way. That’s what we’re working on now, learning to properly take in criticism instead of shunning it and starting fights. And that’s my biggest skill.

Like you said, the team has some pretty big profiles in k0nfig and JUGi. How far do you think this team can go?

It goes without saying that if those two hit their prime, we can beat anyone. It might be a cliché, but it’s not often you have two huge talents like that on the same team. Looking at Astralis, they have dev1ce, who stands out, and now maybe Magisk as a sidekick, and that’s sort of like how we do it. But traditionally, Danish teams haven’t been built around star players like this. I feel like, maybe apart from Astralis, we have the most stable foundation around our stars. From what I’ve seen, I’m confident in the team’s abilities and I only see positives in terms of making it work.

Talking about having a strong foundation - one of your players is still pretty unproven. We haven’t seen that much from gade yet - looking at his lack of experience on the big stage, does he fit in the team?

I've actually been pretty surprised with his stability. I was expecting several blunders and wrong decisions from him, but he’s much further ahead in his development than I thought. But of course he needs more experience with top teams, and that’s where he’ll show what weaknesses might be hiding. Then you have Snappi and cajunb, with Snappi being probably the IGL with the highest skill floor individually, and cajunb, who’s always been Mr. Consistent, no matter his role. But gade shouldn’t be forgotten in this team. He’s been flying under the radar for a while, he’s gotten his lucky break in OpTic and, so far, he’s really taken to the role and has great motivation to learn.

Your first test will be the upcoming ESL Pro League Finals in Dallas. What are your expectations for your performance at the event?

We are competitive and ambitious, so we always aim to win, of course. If we didn’t have Astralis in out first match, I'd think a spot in the playoffs was a possibility. They’re probably the best team in the world right now, and, if we lose, we only have one more chance in the lower bracket. And with the matchups we see in the first matches, anyone could be dropping down there. So if we can win one bo3 in the lower bracket, I wouldn't exactly be satisfied with that, but I would say it's realistic.

United States Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Shahzeb 'ShahZaM' Khan
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
956
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.10
United States Chet 'ImAPet' Singh
Chet 'ImAPet' Singh
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.00
Maps played:
0
KPR:
0.00
DPR:
0.00
APR:
0.00
Denmark René 'cajunb' Borg
René 'cajunb' Borg
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
1452
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.13
Denmark Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Kristian 'k0nfig' Wienecke
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1051
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.13
Denmark Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Marco 'Snappi' Pfeiffer
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1110
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
Denmark Nicklas 'gade' Gade
Nicklas 'gade' Gade
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
643
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
Canada Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Peter 'stanislaw' Jarguz
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1009
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Denmark Casper 'ruggah' Due
Casper 'ruggah' Due
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.92
Maps played:
68
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.03
Denmark Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
Jakob 'JUGi' Hansen
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
875
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.61
APR:
0.10
#1
 | 
United States bigsex69 
cool edit: drop gade and cajunb please, you won't be top5 otherwise
2018-05-11 19:35
#9
 | 
Palestine zwe 
NORTH DISBAND
2018-05-11 19:42
Cajun definitely could play on a top 8 team as a 4th best player Gade is the biggest question mark for me If they wanted to replace both of them with 2 players from the shit show that is north they probably could, but I think the team has potential as it is
2018-05-11 20:01
#19
 | 
Denmark iaintnojoke 
Why are people so desperate to get rid of Cajun? He's one of the most solid and experienced players in the Danish scene. He's not a star player but he's not meant to be. Gade is the unknown quantity here, if a highly skilled Danish player becomes available (like Valde) then I would swap him but I think he has room to prove himself. We'll see, he could be a total flop, I don't know.
2018-05-11 20:17
#33
flusha | 
Brazil Riiko 
I’ll explain to you what will happen in the future. OpTic wont achieve anything special with this line-up, and OpTic is a really hungry org for trophies, so they will make changes. Once again they will go after North and pick Valde or Kjaerbye (probally Valde), and replace cajunb. Gade will stay. He is young blood for the team while cajunb is a old fox of csgo and have nothing new to bring to the table. Later, MSL will use his psychic powers to persuade OpTic’s CSGO Manager (just as he did with North’s Manager to keep him in the team) and will join OpTic. Their line up will go as follow: MSL Valde k0nfig JUGi gade
2018-05-11 22:39
#34
 | 
Denmark iaintnojoke 
All of what you wrote is entirely unfounded. CajunB doesn't have anything "new to bring to the table" because he doesn't need to. That's not his role. His role is to be a consistent backbone for the team as a solid rifler and a good secondary caller. He is not supposed to be a madfragger or some crazy star. That's up to K0nfig, Jugi and to a degree, Gade. Snappi and Cajun work as a foundation for a solid team. It's up to the remaining three to be the high skill playmakers.
2018-05-11 23:00
#37
 | 
Denmark WeiZy0 
People forget what he brings to the team.. You Can't argue with People like this :)
2018-05-12 10:13
#40
flusha | 
Brazil Riiko 
Solid rifler ? LUL Where ? When ? 2 years ago ? Second caller ? Maybe. its been a long time cajunb is playing like shit, since the last North days. Well just look at his matches with OpTic, in 90% of them he was pushing the team down, even with k0nfig dropping 47 frags. So please, dont come up with this "PPL DONT KNOW WHAT CAJUNB BRINGS" because he actually brings nothing.
2018-05-12 14:22
#41
flusha | 
Brazil Riiko 
You want a solid danish Rifler ? Ok, go for Valde or es3tag.
2018-05-12 14:28
Valde better .. and still imo valde and es3tag (especially es3) are both pretty inconsistent. Valde back in Heroic had much more consistency than rn imo
2018-05-14 01:19
#47
flusha | 
Brazil Riiko 
Well, he's much better/consistent than cajunb. This is fact.
2018-05-15 14:04
cajunb > msl
2018-05-12 12:25
Lol MSL
2018-05-13 12:33
Nice analysis as he ended being the highest rated Optic player for the whole ESL Dallas event ! :)
2018-05-18 22:14
#58
 | 
United States bigsex69 
overperformance
2018-05-19 08:32
Why cajunb?Should go for -gade -K0nfig -snaippi +MSL +aizy +Kjærbye
2018-05-19 02:37
#57
 | 
United States bigsex69 
retard
2018-05-19 08:31
north = tier4
2018-05-11 19:35
#22
 | 
Denmark Notallama 
What does North have to do with this article
2018-05-11 20:35
everything
2018-05-11 21:46
#28
 | 
Denmark Notallama 
How so?
2018-05-11 22:05
#3
 | 
Brazil stewArt1 
MSL top1
2018-05-11 19:36
i hope u kidding
2018-05-12 12:00
Agree
2018-05-19 02:37
#4
jks | 
North America xdrax 
yes
2018-05-11 19:36
#5
kissmyass | 
Denmark raaVz 
ok
2018-05-11 19:36
#6
zonic | 
Czech Republic Murina 
#truth
2018-05-11 19:36
#7
 | 
Oceania Bumperer 
All hail the bearded god
2018-05-11 19:37
#8
 | 
United Kingdom InsCS 
This was posted on the 8th, why am I seeing this now?
2018-05-11 19:40
It was drafted there, it was just released now, was mistakenly still set to the creation time of the post.
2018-05-11 19:48
#13
 | 
United Kingdom InsCS 
Understandable, have a nice day.
2018-05-11 19:49
#10
 | 
CIS LRtx 
top2 denmark
2018-05-11 19:42
-msl +acillion
2018-05-11 19:47
-Gade +Valde ez major EZ clap Kappa
2018-05-11 19:53
+rep
2018-05-17 03:29
#15
 | 
Hungary kNnc 
Greaaatt
2018-05-11 19:56
This team could honestly be top 8 If they wanted to drop gade for someone from North I think they could, but I respect their decision to make this team work I'll be very interested in their matches
2018-05-11 19:58
- gade / cajunb + valde
2018-05-11 20:10
"and cajunb, who’s always been Mr. Consistent, no matter his role" he means consistently not hitting his awp shots and being bottom scoreboard :D
2018-05-11 20:26
#21
 | 
Canada PwnNewb 
what is the ** after the gade part...is there more he said about gade lol like about how shit he is? "he’s gotten his lucky break in OpTic and, so far, he’s really taken to the role and has great motivation to learn.**" usually ** means something else about that below
2018-05-11 20:35
My guess is, that it's either a note from the reporter, that hasn't been removed before publishing. Or it's been editted. Twice.
2018-05-11 21:22
I liked optic. not anymore
2018-05-11 21:38
#26
 | 
United States AmericaIsBest 
No one cares for your opinion burger boy.
2018-05-11 21:50
Do I smell a fake flag here?
2018-05-11 22:04
DEPORT AMERICA BEST rip daca! maga 2020
2018-05-11 22:08
Shouldn’t it “Keep America Great” in 2020?
2018-05-19 02:40
#30
 | 
United States AmericaIsBest 
No fake flag.
2018-05-11 22:10
>Looking at Astralis, they have dev1ce, who stands out, and now maybe Magisk as a sidekick, and that’s sort of like how we do it yea and xyp9x and gla1ve you know...
2018-05-11 22:14
#32
trace | 
Argentina rodrigao 
> Cajunb >consistent Lmao. Overrated player
2018-05-11 22:27
"quiet and introverted" another way of saying stanislaw is BETA AS FUCK!!
2018-05-11 23:39
kick MSL ffs
2018-05-12 00:47
#42
 | 
Finland Taynz 
-Gade -Snappi -Cajunb +Valde +Kjaerbye +Karrigan Tier 1
2018-05-12 16:56
KJAEERBYE LUL
2018-05-13 17:40
-valde -karrigan -k0nfig +aizy +MSL +cajunb Karrigan is impossible,pick another danish IGL please.Also,valde is trash and they don’t need 2 AWPer
2018-05-19 02:42
#59
 | 
Finland Taynz 
In english
2018-05-19 20:02
THE KING OF THE NORRRTH!
2018-05-15 02:43
“The former North players need a strong leader” 16-3 lol ofc they do
2018-05-15 21:57
#49
 | 
Indonesia autumnleaves_ 
Full of arrogancy
2018-05-17 03:24
cry is fr33
2018-05-17 19:28
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