Cooper-: "I definitely think that picking up swag and markE was the right move"

Before Swole Patrol depart for Moscow, where they will play the EPICENTER 2018 Wild Card Qualifier, we spoke to Austin "Cooper-" Abadir to hear what his team has been up to recently.

Swole Patrol has been on a steady rise since this core was assembled at the end of 2017, peaking at #32 of our rankings last month after they added Edgar "MarKE" Maldonado and Braxton "swag" Pierce to their lineup.

Cooper-'s AWPing will be crucial to Swole Patrol's success in Russia

The squad has been close to qualifying for ESL Pro League and participated in the Americas Minor, but didn't capitalize on either opportunity. However, after some roster changes, they overcame North American opposition and grabbed a spot at the EPICENTER Wild Card Qualifier, giving them a shot at participating in what would be their first Big Event - EPICENTER 2018.

You started rising in form with the turn of the year, and have been putting up consistently good numbers since. Has anything changed in your game that allowed you to perform to a higher level for the last six to nine months than you have been doing in the past?

CS:GO is the first Counter-Strike game that I picked up and I have only been actively playing for a couple of years. I started off as a rifler but eventually picked up AWPing and just continually did everything I could to improve my game. I haven’t changed much, if anything, of what I’ve done in the past. I just think it takes time and effort to be able to be good enough compete at higher levels.

The core of the team has been together for a while and managed to attend quite a few LANs, but since the start of the year, the offline performances have been lacklustre. What attributed to the drop off at offline events?

Most of us on the team had never been to real LANs or competed at a high level until this team. I think it just takes time to be able to consistently perform against higher ranked teams. Missing out on Pro League obviously sucks and was the main goal of our team but everyone was still focused and just looked to the future because we know we’d get another chance.

The few months before we picked up markE and swag our team were a bit of a mess and when we talked to them about joining we instantly felt it was the best thing. I definitely think that picking them up was the right move and has only made our team better, consistently, over the last couple of months.

Despite a fairly high ranking and some decent results, you are still orgless and are playing under the name Swole Patrol. How come you didn't sign for an organization yet? Do you feel that signing for an MDL-level organization wouldn't be worth it for you?

We’ve talked to a few orgs before but nothing has really worked out. We are open to any offers but we do feel as if making Pro League and making LANs is the best route to finding an org.

Seeing his brother compete with Cloud9 inspired Cooper- to take CS more seriously

A lot of players were inspired to play CS by their older brothers, but not many have actually played in serious teams with them. What is the experience like for you? Is freakazoid the protective type, or does the closeness allow him to be more critical towards you than he perhaps is to other players?

I never played CS actively or competitively until I saw Ryan (Ryan "freakazoid" Abadir) competing on stage for Cloud9. After that, I knew I had to make it and haven’t looked back. It took a while before I was able to make it to a level where Ryan could be confident in me being a good teammate. We definitely are close and are 100% more critical of each other than anyone else, but it’s good to be able to have someone tell you that you messed up and then the next round be able to focus on the game again.

What was it like to beat NRG in the EPICENTER Closed Qualifier and to clinch the LAN spot, especially with the last map being so close and going to overtime? What were your first thoughts?

That was one of our first main qualifiers with our new roster and it felt good to be able to qualify for an event and beat some good competition. I am just happy to be able to have a chance to compete against very good players and to travel the world doing something that I enjoy.

For the people that will see you play at EPICENTER for the first time and would like to know what to expect: What kind of an AWPer are you? Is there a pro player you model yourself on, someone you can compare yourself to?

I’ve tried to develop my own style over the years, but I have watched a lot of different players and definitely try to incorporate different things into my game. I try to be as consistent as possible but will definitely do everything I can to help my team win.

HellRaisers, and 5POWER are in the Wild Card qualifier along yourselves. There are two teams higher ranked than you and only two spots for the main event. How do you see the obstacle you have ahead, do you see your team as a big underdog in Moscow?

I haven’t followed those teams as much until recently but I feel like if we come ready to play and stay focused that we could win. I haven’t put much thought into us being underdogs but we do have the least international LAN experience so this is definitely good for us, especially if we can go home with some wins.

What do you think it will take for you to successfully punch above your weight and qualify for the main EPICENTER event? Either from a team or individual perspective.

We’re all playing the same game and as long as we stay focused and take it round by round I think that we could surprise some people.

Back in February you were eliminated by 5POWER at the Legends Cup in Santa Ana, a smaller international tournament. The rosters were significantly different then and a lot of time has past, but is there still a desire to face them at EPICENTER and "settle the score"?

No, I think that was one of my first real LANs ever and as a team, we haven’t put much thought into it since.

United States Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Mexico Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Braxton 'swag' Pierce
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Austin 'Cooper-' Abadir
Austin 'Cooper-' Abadir
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2018-10-20 20:43
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
2018-10-20 20:44
Denmark Twick_ 
Go copper boy
2018-10-20 21:12
Malta SS_ArT 
OMG Shaakeh is alive!
2018-10-21 00:42
2018-10-20 20:43
2018-10-20 20:43
Europe sldwinchester 
considering u replaced silent and lilman i would say every player would be an upgrade
2018-10-20 20:44
Sweden Unluko 
any player > lilman
2018-10-21 00:16
Malta SS_ArT 
Wasn't LILMAN in Poutine Warriors just recently playing at some Canadian LAN with TenZera?
2018-10-21 00:43
Sweden Unluko 
Probably, wouldn't surprise me at all.
2018-10-21 00:50
Sweden meistr0 
Well, sure. But tbh they could have picked up better players. I mean -MarkE +someone else
2018-10-20 20:44
theres not a lot of equivalently skilled players in NA who would sign for an orgless premier team. just9n is the only other player that comes to mind
2018-10-20 23:49
Canada Skadiddle 
just9n LUL
2018-10-21 02:09
Its quite likely they will qualify for EPL tho
2018-10-24 03:19
rise nation, soar, and bmc all had to qualify for epl before signing with an org, even though they were crushing in premier.
2018-10-24 08:37
Finland lasarus 
MarKE tho
2018-10-20 20:44
Laz | 
Denmark Verix 
2018-10-20 20:44
Coopers legit
2018-10-20 20:44
2018-10-20 20:44
High expactations for MarkE doing good. Think this team can qualify tho
2018-10-20 20:47
Keiti | 
Canada Lizzie 
lets go!
2018-10-20 20:49
But u can't play major xaxaxaxaxxaxa
2018-10-20 20:49
Finland Smoonah 
2018-10-20 20:57
United States AproximateCS 
Yea it's a real shame that swag isn't realistic for a org that wants to go far
2018-10-20 21:05
United States flyflit 
I feel like at this point the majors lost some of their significance. Maybe keeping swag and missing majors is a good idea? I mean they can play at like 90% of the larger tournaments. Cologne/Katowice (on years they aren't the major) NY/Eleague/DH Stockholm, Valencia, Starseries, ECS, ESL Pro League, the list goes on.
2018-10-21 08:32
United States AproximateCS 
Freak might be fine with that for himself, but he'd want his brother to go far.
2018-10-21 13:32
United States flyflit 
Again, they can go far. They just can't go to the major.
2018-10-21 19:34
Finland Smoonah 
well see haha
2018-10-20 20:57
nice hairline cooper
2018-10-20 21:00
Tony | 
Iceland SproNNi 
Stupid comment
2018-10-20 21:26
why it was a compliment (xd)
2018-10-20 21:38
Korea yuh 
2018-10-21 19:08
Israel xpicyyy 
2018-10-20 21:01
s1mple | 
Europe netowx 
my boy coop
2018-10-20 21:04
United States MATT_HARDY 
not if u want to play majors
2018-10-20 21:08
United States Nohj_10years 
2018-10-20 21:08
I think MarkE is the most underrated player in NA
2018-10-20 21:16
I think BlackExtincion is the most underrated play in NA
2018-10-20 21:32
Netherlands PugCS 
expected from mexico
2018-10-20 21:32
flag checks out also streamsniper is underrated?
2018-10-21 06:17
we´ll see it in lan
2018-10-21 18:31
they will not qualify for the real tournament tho. mark this post.
2018-10-20 21:18
France StickyRice 
HR and Swole to qualify ? That would be my prediction.
2018-10-20 21:40
United States gtmaniacmda 
Austin "No_tan" Abadir
2018-10-20 21:33
North America nastyadeadly 
cooper really unlucky freakazoid is good looking (nohomo) and has perfect hair. cooper looks below average, and has really bad hairline
2018-10-20 21:41
Sir Dont be shallow Thanks
2018-10-20 22:47
Awe I'm guessing you look like cooper too.... :(
2018-10-21 00:34
2018-10-21 05:20
Btw its spelled 'Aww' when you have pity on someone. Its spelled Awe when you have 'awe' of something like smoking a good joint and you're amazed by how good it is. In awe of the joint. You're'rere'rr're'rr'e'r'ee welcome
2018-10-21 05:33
And thus why I use see. I was in awe of u.
2018-10-21 18:55
1337 24/7
2018-10-22 01:31
Yeah, he naturally has more testosterone than douchezoid ;)
2018-10-21 11:44
Korea yuh 
how does freak have perfect hair, and why does it matter
2018-10-21 19:10
Cooper is actually really good, I just wish they could get a good solid org
2018-10-20 21:36
Too bad they'll have to use a stand-in for the major qualys ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wanna buy the best apples in HLTV? call me NOW: 011-1337-APPLE and get an 80% discount on your first 5 kilos!
2018-10-20 21:39
ZywOo | 
Portugal VascoRB 
gl qualifying for the major oh no, nm
2018-10-20 22:00
kennyS | 
United Kingdom Pex15 
Why do this?! Why bullying, everyone’s asking
2018-10-20 23:03
ZywOo | 
Portugal VascoRB 
sorry man, atleast USA have players in the major
2018-10-20 23:52
kennyS | 
United Kingdom Pex15 
fox’s team can’t qualify for any tournament.
2018-10-20 23:58
ZywOo | 
Portugal VascoRB 
2018-10-21 16:59
United Kingdom Deymosmeister 
So smooya and dephh are not players anymore
2018-10-21 14:01
ZywOo | 
Portugal VascoRB 
It wasn't my intention joke with UK, sry mate. I was only talking about swag's country. (and sry for my englando)
2018-10-21 17:04
young guns!
2018-10-20 22:05
ez for bullyzoid
2018-10-20 22:29
Ez for the Bullies
2018-10-20 22:50
method | 
United States f0xes` 
joke patrol
2018-10-20 22:52
ez stream snipe
2018-10-20 23:04
Who the hell cares about an another NA meme team?
2018-10-20 23:19
Poland marryme312 
same MarKEE: ???????????
2018-10-20 23:57
Myanmar xdcc 
yes. he played with steel too XD
2018-10-21 00:41
Poland marryme312 
noo MarKE is a cheater :
2018-10-21 00:04
Myanmar xdcc 
now just add Forsaken and rename to Throw Patrol
2018-10-21 00:40
Argentina roulettesoad 
marke the backstabber
2018-10-21 00:51
United States xiquo 
i don't understand orgs like if a team who couldn't attend a major won 50% of the other tourneys they would still make way more money. tho tbh they haven't even made it to pro league yet so i get it.
2018-10-21 05:38
swag in 2k18 omegalul
2018-10-21 06:12
Indonesia Exodd 
Let’s go Swole, hopefully this will be the breakthrough they need
2018-10-21 07:08
kNgV- | 
Brazil vicTHOR 
you are nothing than a shit player cooper pls prove me wrong but i'll always bet against you just because you are tied to the loser side
2018-10-21 12:33
Czech Republic C9in2015 
Holy shit you're so salty
2018-10-22 13:33
Let's go Swole, the storys behind these individuals are soo sick actually that I want them to suceed so badly!
2018-10-21 14:21
Other Onizuka_go 
swag is the most overrated player. nice picking
2018-10-21 16:29
Aleksib | 
Finland Mitzu Old, but it's not like he forgot how to play. If he can get to even half he was he'd still be one of the top players in NA.
2018-10-21 19:18
China yry666233 
swag & freak omegalul ez tier 1
2018-10-21 19:27
India g0bl1n 
promising team
2018-10-22 12:14
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