Hiko: "American teams are dependent on the momentum they gain"

September 4th, 2018 20:24

We sat down with Spencer "Hiko" Martin before the FACEIT Major Challenger Stage kicks off tomorrow to talk about his team's preparation and expectations for the Major.

Hiko is happy to be in London after a tough period since he left Liquid, and to have the opportunity to be back in a Major cycle at the age of 28 with his Rogue teammates, with whom he qualified after taking second place at the Americas Minor. Rogue will face off against Space Soldiers in their opener tomorrow at 11:00.

Hiko will be back at a Major for the first time since the ELEAGUE Major in Atlanta

In the interview, the North American player talks about the team's bootcamp in Denmark ahead of the Major, not playing enough during the break, and the evolution of the team from a bad showing at the CPH Games main tournament to a second place at DreamHack Austin and qualifying for the FACEIT Major.

This is, of course, your first Major cycle in over a year and a half, so what is it like coming back to this stage?

It means a lot, not only for me as an individual but also for the team, too. The past year and a half has probably been the hardest point of my entire career as a player, even if we go back to when I started playing CS. I'd like to say it has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs but it has pretty much just been downs for the past year. When I first joined Rogue I knew their number one priority for picking me up as a player was to actually make the Major. Unfortunately, the roster I first made the team with was not up to that level, but when we picked up cadiaN and Sick, and now after we got Rickeh, I think this is the best lineup Rogue has ever seen, and it's definitely the best lineup I've been in since Liquid.

It means a lot to me as a player to come through and prove that I still have it. Hopefully, it says something that I'm on this team, still. I'm 28 and I'm still in the Major cycle. On my team there are several players who have been around a long time and haven't had a chance to have their sticker in the game and to be at a Major stage, so yeah, it means a lot to both me and my team.

Over 2018 you've kind of stepped it up. You made it here and before that, right after bringing Rickeh you made second place in Austin, so there's been some improvement. Can you talk to me about this year in particular and getting over CPH Games?

I think CPH Games was just really unfortunate for us. I don't know if it was the first time in Europe for a couple of my teammates, I think they had been to London once, so it was their first time for them outside of London at a tournament that doesn't have perfect standards, with delays, and although the computers were good, the venue itself is not... it just wasn't a good showing of us, or of our skill, and we even had a different lineup there.

Before we had Rickeh we had gMd. I still think very highly of him. He's very talented, very gifted as a player, he just doesn't have the experience to be at the level that we needed, so we got Rickeh and initially just put him in the roles that gMd used to play and told him to deal with it for the short term until we could find the spots for him. With him playing most of gMd's role we made it to the final of DreamHack Austin, and although we didn't play many Tier 1 teams it definitely showed that we have the potential and the skill to upset some teams that don't really expect us to.

Moving on from there we've had two or three bootcamps and a bunch of online qualifiers, but also a month off, so it's kind of hard to judge where we're going to be for at this tournament. It seems like a lot of American teams are dependent on the momentum they gain, so if American teams start 6-0 or 7-0 up they can pretty much steamroll through it. Even Liquid and C9 are the same way.

You had a month off and haven't played anything since the Minor, since you placed second and made it to London. You touched a bit on the preparation saying you had several bootcamps, can you touch on what you did before coming to this tournament?

We bootcamped in Denmark for a week before we came to London, and like you said we had almost over a month off because our Australian and our Euro wanted to hang out with their family, so coming back was pretty rough. We definitely didn't do ourselves enough justice, we didn't play enough hours during the break. I think a lot of people did that, too. If you look at DreamHack Masters it seemed like everybody was kind of off. I think the bootcamp we had in Denmark last week was very important to get us back in the groove of things. Everyone is putting in the hours, we're playing against the best teams, and we're going toe-to-toe with most of them. I'm confident that we won't go 0-3 and I'm half-confident that we can make it past this stage.

So you're not afraid that you're not going to be able to get into it?

I guess both personally and as a team, it felt like the rust was gone after the second or third day of the bootcamp. We've had 6 or 7-hour-days of actual team practice and then people have been deathmatching here and there. I don't think I could say if we do bad it's because of being rusty. We did ourselves justice at this bootcamp to make sure this won't be an issue.

You talked about being half-confident about making it to the next stage. What are the expectations and what will have to go right for you to make it through?

Expectations, as a team... we'd be happy of making it out of this stage and into the group stage. That would be an accomplishment in itself. I know a lot of people are already counting us out, so as far as pressure goes, we don't really have any pressure on us because everyone is already expecting us to be bad, so It would definitely be an accomplishment to say we made it out of this stage.

United States Spencer 'Hiko' Martin
Spencer 'Hiko' Martin
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Russia notBaitzera_SK 
NA CS LUL xaxaxaxaxaxa
2018-09-04 20:24
suNny | 
Finland jakem0n 
2018-09-04 20:25
na is shit anyway
2018-09-04 20:25
United States KylieJenner 
America needs guns, change my mind
2018-09-04 20:27
im gay, change my mind
2018-09-04 20:27
United States KylieJenner 
Traps are gay... You want to be a trap??
2018-09-04 20:29
sure why not
2018-09-04 20:29
United States KylieJenner 
Then I can't change your mind
2018-09-04 20:31
NA convo
2018-09-05 01:34
United States KylieJenner 
Holy land. Please launch a crusade q.q
2018-09-05 01:35
Will fail anyways
2018-09-05 02:13
No but you need to change your gender lol
2018-09-05 00:43
suNny | 
Finland jakem0n 
Not totally tho. Liquid is quite strong and there are lots of talents in NA scene.
2018-09-04 20:27
Sad that nrg isnt in major
2018-09-04 20:33
NRG -everyone +astralis ez major ez stickers
2018-09-04 23:04
2018-09-04 20:28
NT fake America. You're just sad you have 1 star and we have 50.
2018-09-04 22:40
nt liberia
2018-09-05 00:45
device | 
Brazil korazin 
ur a nerd
2018-09-04 20:25
2018-09-04 20:27
Hiko dependant on the weight he gains And that he was on a decent NA team like 100yrs ago and because of that people thinks he's decent
2018-09-04 22:11
Pretty sure Hiko is a liberal SJW who supported Hillary.
2018-09-04 23:46
Australia AU_CS_LUL 
2018-09-05 06:16
tarik | 
United States Unluko 
2018-09-08 23:45
I expect much from Rogue and CoL actually, ofc, they are NA, but still, wouldn't surprise me, if the upset some games
2018-09-04 20:25
yah they've really improved their lineups in the past few months. the worst i can see rogue doing is 2-3, which isn't too bad.
2018-09-04 21:18
totally agree
2018-09-05 10:52
Slovakia SLAVak 
Rogue should upset SS at the very least.
2018-09-04 21:21
yeah if they want to win something , they need to beat ss first , but ss still have a huge chance even without engin
2018-09-04 22:58
well idk man, SS is really good, but I never saw them doing really good on LAN (besides WESG, which is ez money for teams that play together for years)
2018-09-05 10:52
2018-09-05 10:53
well yeah, but look at the teams participating. Like I said, SS is really good, you could really see that in EPL last season, but when the entered the EPL Finals (LAN), they totally sucked and now they even have to play with their coach. + Name me 1 really good team in Dreamhack Austin :D not meant to be salty or so, but there really hasnt been a tier 1 - 2 team
2018-09-05 10:57
Same here. I almost put both of them going through to groups but I decided on coL only.
2018-09-05 00:25
Estonia ropzsports 
2018-09-04 20:25
and Rogue's momentum has ended long time ago
2018-09-04 20:25
they had?
2018-09-05 00:09
hiko still alive?
2018-09-04 20:25
Brazil celowdrums 
The lack of skill is noticeble!
2018-09-04 20:25
2018-09-04 20:25
Hungary StraYzie 
Let's go Mr. King of Clutch :)
2018-09-04 20:25
2018-09-04 20:26
Sweden yayer 
WRONG with trump´s voice
2018-09-04 20:26
Finland EdiEz 
2018-09-04 20:26
Indonesia Konerd1 
2018-09-04 20:26
2018-09-04 20:27
ez for gade-ian
2018-09-04 20:28
United States crulix 
2018-09-04 20:28
well with space soldiers with their coach as a stand-in, Rogue has a chance.
2018-09-04 20:32
Shut up you fat BOT
2018-09-04 20:34
Doesn't really make sense considering C9's reverse sweep but whatever. Also Liquid this year has been stout. Go out of a tournament in groups then right back in the finals. If they can get the Astralis monkey off their back they could finally win a major. Not saying they are the favorite or anything but certainly one of them.
2018-09-04 20:36
Australia DubL 
They should easily make top 4 or at least top 8, assuming they stay in good form.
2018-09-05 04:07
vberg | 
North America Mang0 
Easy for him to speak of momentum when he weighs over 300lb
2018-09-04 20:41
2018-09-04 20:45
2018-09-04 20:47
hiko is the same as niko and coldzera, going from fat to slim = losing skill rip carreer
2018-09-04 20:48
nice bait xD
2018-09-04 21:34
thats true tho niko and cold fat > abism > them now lol
2018-09-04 21:40
Czech Republic Argeras 
Hope we see him meet up with simple on major <3 <3
2018-09-04 20:53
American teams are dependent on the European players they sign. But not eUnited! #STANDUNITED #NATEAMNACOACH #REALEAGLESANDMAPLELEAVES
2018-09-04 20:57
2018-09-04 21:16
Tarik is turkish Tarik carried c9 to a major win +1
2018-09-04 23:06
who is this bitch
2018-09-04 21:10
suNny | 
Vietnam Oida 
What a cute way to say that NA teams don't put in the effort of hard work.
2018-09-04 21:30
ropz | 
France trgls 
EU'll got this major, no chance for NACS
2018-09-04 21:35
2018-09-04 21:46
HIKO all the way.....whoooohooooo!!!
2018-09-04 22:33
NA CS = 💩
2018-09-04 22:33
2018-09-04 23:06
do people still pay attention to hiko?
2018-09-04 23:43
United States subzera 
gorilla gang is the highest ranked all american team btw
2018-09-05 00:03
Canada VeryMightGuy 
washed up shitter
2018-09-05 00:29
eZ For clutch god and best player in the world Spencer "Hiko" Martin
2018-09-05 00:48
Hiko still plays? damn he became irrelevant as fk
2018-09-05 01:03
Australia y23rcmtm 
Good Luck Hiko and Rogue team, you deserve to be here, you can certainly win this thing and you are worth it!!!
2018-09-05 01:31
n0thing | 
United States hleev4 
2018-09-05 02:41
Hiko is dependent on the amount of mcdonalds he gains before the game.
2018-09-05 05:57
2018-09-05 06:29
Team Spirit 0:3
2018-09-05 09:56
Come on Hiko,by that logic u should be able to build a lot of momentum. p equals mv and u have a lot of m u fat Neil
2018-09-06 09:28
Finland spin-o 
They're my favorite lineup in the event but it really doesnt sound too professional in this interview :S
2018-09-07 06:32
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