shox: "I didn't expect that I would need to work so much on myself, especially on the mental part"
Following his team's victory over mousesports, we quizzed shox about practicing since ECS, the lack of official matches to play and the mental barriers he has to overcome after coming back from a three-month break.
Starting with ECS, that was your first event, pretty early in. What was the feeling like after it, what were you focused on after the first outing?
Basically... everything. Because we had four-five days of practice before ECS, we were happy with how many rounds we managed to put together at the ECS Finals, we just played like a mix, we tried to do our best. Talking about the future, we just started working on every map, taking it map-by-map. Talking to each other about how we want to approach the map as CT and as T. And basically, just starting to work.
How happy were you with the practice you got in between the two tournaments?
The first two weeks were really interesting because we could definitely see that we were improving and learning every day, day by day, and even practice to practice, it was really good. The second two weeks were a bit harder because we started to have a basis of our game style, so it was really working on some details and it's definitely harder to practice the details. Overall, we definitely didn't have good results in practice (laughs), but we learned a lot and what we said to ourselves before going to Cologne is that even if our practice results were kind of bad, at least we experienced almost everything we could. So we are definitely not afraid if we are losing like against Na`Vi, 9-0, that was something we have experienced in practice. (laughs)
Is it hard to practice considering there are almost no officials to be played? All of the leagues are done and the qualifiers as well?
It could be, but actually, it's not because we are at the beginning of the team so we have a lot to work on. We know that Cologne can be one of our last tournaments before the holiday break in August so it was definitely our challenge to come here as best as we can and see how far we have come with our preparation.
You often ask players what their goal is for an event, but what I'm curious about, especially as you already reached the playoffs, is if there something in your game that you wanted to see click or improve at this tournament, some small goals that you have?
I would say to be calmer, find serenity. For example, during the BO3 against mousesports we lost a lot of force buys, and of course, that annoys players and it makes you feel really angry about it. When you lose one it's ok, but when you lose every one it starts to affect you more. So I would say the goal is to not lose to force buys and try to not get annoyed as much when you lose them. It happens, we will work on it after, but just focus on the match.
Just to touch on the mousesports game, for your pick you went for Dust2 - they played Dust2 in the tournament as well, they are kind of fresh now with Snax. Tell me about the decision to pick Dust2, is it something you picked because of yourself or because you already saw how they played? A bit of both?
I can't fully answer this question because Ex6TenZ did the veto by himself, but from what I can know and from what we talked together I just think it was because we were just feeling good on Dust2.
Lastly, you obviously went through surgery. How is your hand feeling? Are you fully back, can you play as much as you did before?
Definitely, I'm fully back, I don't have any pain when playing. I still have some when I'm deathmatching for more than 30 minutes, I start to feel some pain, but I think it's just because I lost the habit to play a lot.
I can still feel that it's in me, somewhere, that I have the level to be a really good player, but honestly, it's still not there, I'm still fighting myself. I lost a lot of confidence and I have an individual plan to get a mental coach because I know that this three-month break was really hard for me. I try to come back the best as I can, but I didn't expect that I would need to work so much on myself, especially on the mental part. I can see that even here, when I play or whatever, sometimes I feel really scared and that is something I was not used to feeling. So yeah, basically a lot of psychological stuff which I will try to handle individually by talking to a mental coach and working on it.