NBK: "Poor individual decisions and not playing like we do in practice are the things holding us back"

We caught up with Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt ahead of Vitality's LAN debut to discuss their preparation for DreamHack Atlanta and the team's struggles.

Vitality will make their first LAN appearance on Friday as they will be attending DreamHack Open Atlanta after securing a spot at the North American event via the European closed qualifier.

The $100,000 tournament will come after a rough first few weeks for the French team, who failed their first three attempts to claim a spot in the closed qualifier for the Europe Minor and parted ways with coach Philippe "faculty" Rodier in the run-up to the Atlanta event.

NBK- says that his team will aim for the gold in Atlanta

In this interview, conducted before the announcement regarding the French coach, NBK- opens up about the team's current issues, their expectations for DreamHack Atlanta, his thoughts on star player Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, and more.

This will be your first LAN event since IEM Sydney, six months ago. What is the feeling to be packing your bags for an event once again?

It has been a long time, that is for sure! But it is not like I have forgotten the feeling at all. We have been looking forward to that first offline event wearing the Vitality jersey, and it has finally arrived. I am just excited to play again!

How would you sum up this first month under Vitality? Results have certainly not been what many had expected. Did you expect things to go much smoother?

Yes and no. “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst”, as some would say; we expected more, but it will take longer than we anticipated to reach our best level in official games. Our general level curve has only gone upwards, which is positive. The one thing blocking us is that glass roof that we can’t go through during official games, which is replicating exactly what we are doing in practice.

Is it possible to draw some parallels between the team’s current situation and the troubles that your G2 team had during those first months?

I think the problems that team had and the ones we’re facing currently are very similar, indeed. The main problem is how to solve them, and the answer is different with this roster. We’re still on the path to figuring ourselves out, but, to me, it is just a matter of time before we manage to overcome it.

How have you prepared for DreamHack Atlanta and what have you been focusing on in practice?

We bootcamped in Paris for 6/7 days. We tried to use that time to focus on the basics, winning advantageous situations more often and adding structure to our CT side, which is what we were lacking. We are also trying to be better at individual decision making.

What are your goals for the event? Will you be more interested in seeing where you stand as a team or will you be aiming for the title?

It’s rather interesting for sure to judge ourselves in a LAN tournament, but we are coming for the win. We have not performed up to our expectations so far, so maybe a LAN win could change that? No idea, but we are competitors and will only aim for the gold. It is not going to be easy as all the teams there have the same goal because it looks achievable for everyone. It should be a good and entertaining brawl.

A lot of eyes will be on ZywOo, the team’s main carry. What are your thoughts about the player? Do you think he will be able to handle the pressure?

I think having some sort of pressure and goals is good for him, but he is fully focused on the game and on being a good member of the team. I am really happy about his spot and what he’s giving to the team, his raw skill is insane and so is his decision making. I think he can still become more efficient in our system by positioning himself better and knowing how to balance his aggressiveness and passiveness better.

Aren’t you afraid that the team might become too one-dimensional by relying heavily on his fragging ability?

I do not think that it is the case, or at least that’s not our goal. He’s the obvious heavy-hitter of the team, but our approach goes deeper than just, “ZywOo go kill”. But it is a real gift to have a player who is able to win crucial rounds/clutches out of nowhere, it makes our games easier.

How are you handling the IGL role? Is it just you making the calls, or do you get help from Happy?

I see the role as a direction giver. I set up the general game and I give the direction in game, I do not want to restrict any of the players. I generally have a plan, and when things are not going well I get some outside ideas from apEX and Happy, and we shift our game and adapt our style. I think our balance is in a good place right now, and I think the whole team is happy with how the in-game leader role is being handled and the direction in which we are going. Poor individual decisions and not playing official matches the same way we play practice games are the things holding us back. We are trying to take the steps to fix these issues.

LDLC far exceeded expectations at the recent IEM Chicago event. What are your thoughts on their results, and do you think that this puts more pressure on other French teams, like G2 and yours, to perform?

I think that it was amazing! I am really happy for them and what they have built together with their whole group (coaching staff + players). They have always worked in their corner and they are now exploding and showing their full potential. I also think that it is a great way to lift the whole scene up. When one team hits a high level (whether it is a new team or not), it generally brings the whole scene to a better level as everyone wants to catch up because of the rivalry inside of the country. It is a “If they have made it, we can do even better", sort of rivalry/mentality.

France Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
France Philippe 'faculty' Rodier
Philippe 'faculty' Rodier
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
s1mple | 
Lithuania Gigska 
Poor nbk
2018-11-16 01:15
Where is that Macau guy who keep sucking NBK"s dick where is he now that fucking pussy. Name is "never get tired" right?
2018-11-16 01:43
2018-11-16 19:16
havin happy in Team good team Chemie Pick one
2018-11-16 09:48
who wonna some snus
2018-11-16 01:15
Kyrgyzstan KNEEGGER 
U got some
2018-11-16 01:34
Calling them win DH
2018-11-16 01:18
United Kingdom Crypt1cSV 
i pray
2018-11-16 01:27
They will also win Dreamhack winter 14 after that
2018-11-16 08:18
Sweden NahZ 
Are they qualified?
2018-11-16 09:42
Pogba | 
France uria64 
2018-11-19 02:06
:D and he was the 3rd highest rated player
2018-11-19 02:12
France root270 
no question on faculty???
2018-11-16 01:18
The interview was conducted before that announcement. When I approached him later about it, he said he did not want to comment on it.
2018-11-16 01:19
France root270 
Ty for your answer !
2018-11-16 14:37
tarik | 
Thank you for the answer
2018-11-16 15:18
Indonesia raihanarch14 
ZyWOo > coldzera
2018-11-16 01:18
2018-11-16 01:18
2018-11-16 05:37
nt kane top 1
2018-11-16 07:59
France iNolake 
2018-11-16 09:48
ZywOo go kill
2018-11-16 11:54
2018-11-16 12:30
Italy steven513 
2018-11-16 01:18
Tier .... ?
2018-11-16 01:20
Tier 2 pushing 3 if they don't step up their game soon. If they go out early this tournament, sadly definitely tier 3
2018-11-16 07:01
2018-11-16 01:20
2018-11-16 01:22
biceps maybe yes, cs no
2018-11-16 01:56
Yeah maybe biceps maybe Ofc biceps and skill Zywoo down Papito top1
2018-11-16 03:49
not even google translate can help me translate this shit
2018-11-16 04:09
2018-11-16 05:20
Muscle mass yes, cs no
2018-11-16 06:16
Cs pashA
2018-11-16 13:39
France Dov 
Get rid of RpK, happy and add real fraggers
2018-11-16 01:21
Australia WaxNWayne 
-happy -rpk +amanek +devoduvek
2018-11-16 02:31
Saying good player's names doesnt make you smart. Why would they leave LDLC and join Vitality?
2018-11-16 02:35
Australia WaxNWayne 
Never said they would. Was theorising the best possible outcome for vitality, not that it'd actually happen.
2018-11-16 02:50
Twistzz | 
North America f^rax 
if it did happen that lineup would be insane, at least to me i think it would
2018-11-16 04:55
Why would they leave top1 FR team for this shit?
2018-11-16 19:17
2018-11-16 03:25
Denmark MakeItHappen 
Prolly not winning the event. I say vitality will got 3-4th place
2018-11-16 01:23
France OtelloO 
Happy will rise again in 3 months, you read it here first
2018-11-16 01:28
Rise from that double chin
2018-11-16 06:22
France OtelloO 
Lmao +1 he's a fat ass now
2018-11-16 09:30
ropz | 
Argentina rawe1337 
2018-11-16 11:57
Top kek.
2018-11-16 19:18
Zeus | 
Finland Olter 
Vitatality so bad, disband already
2018-11-16 01:31
Poland Aloes 
After, Open Quali #4 xd
2018-11-16 01:32
Inb4 NBK kicked out of Vitality
2018-11-16 01:34
''holding us back'' = this team won't do anything important (._.')
2018-11-16 01:36
well,you did something "important" for CS?
2018-11-16 14:11
I don't know what my life has to do with the article tho. If I did or not is irrelevant to the matter and won't change the fact that this team won't achieve anything (._.')
2018-11-16 14:24
plz -happy
2018-11-16 01:37
Sage words from 2 major winner
2018-11-16 01:39
JW | 
Sweden Yupp17 
Where is other major winner oh you meant to say 2 time major winner
2018-11-16 02:30
France Kabby 
3 of these player won majors, and 2 of them won 2 majors actually
2018-11-16 10:43
zywoo go kill
2018-11-16 01:57
Pogba | 
France uria64 
Ez win
2018-11-16 13:47
2018-11-16 01:57
China yry666233 
expected from FR scene
2018-11-16 01:58
ZywOo vs NiKo fragging inc
2018-11-16 01:59
Indonesia Elce 
2018-11-16 01:59
shox | 
Sweden okaynoyes 
Shitty IGL and happy is the problem.
2018-11-16 02:13
Any roster with NBK+Happy duo is rather a joke than a team.
2018-11-16 19:21
NBK- 2 Majos, NiKo 0
2018-11-16 02:14
Pogba | 
France uria64 
2018-11-16 13:47
Indonesia EvilPolish 
N Bot K
2018-11-16 02:43
Thailand fsjp 
You and your team suck -end of. No need to explain anything.
2018-11-16 04:08
2018-11-16 19:20
2018-11-16 04:58
Croatia Makz_CRO 
Let's just be real. French cs is not what it used to be. NBK had a far more competitive lineup in G2 and they were trash. One player can only carry so much. Look at s1mple, the moment 2 of his teammates show up NAVI is winning tournaments. The moment he is the only light in the team they don't reach far. Unfortunately, everyone except zywoo and sometimes apex is clearly not good enough. They won't qualify for the minor, that is just fact. And that is coming from me, who at a point in time thought of NBK as the best support player in the game. Times have changed, some players are in decline and some people just can't accept that.
2018-11-16 05:20
Good old CS is dying. All the greats from France and Sweden die out, just to usher in a new breed of players D:
2018-11-16 10:09
-Happy. +ex6tenz. happy steals ex6tenz two major, without happy ex6tenz could have win two majors. ex6tenz deserve more. also because we had IGL now, so -NBK too. +bodyy.
2018-11-16 05:27
Sweden NahZ 
Dumb idea
2018-11-16 09:52
Lmao Notice how Happy is the MVP for one of those majors, he didn't steal shit. +bodyy You have to be trolling.
2018-11-16 13:44
Im sure staying in the french scene was the problem.
2018-11-16 06:15
France France98123 
This is what is kinda dislike about the french teams lacking real igl, this mean that, someone i think can do well as igl, like nathan, try to lead, but then other people chip in, give ideas, lead at times ect... you gonna tell me it's good to have people involved in the leadership, and i agree, but maybe not while on the server (this can result in "too many cooks in the kitchen" and take over coms, wich result in poor individual decision as well because other players than the igl are not focused 100% on what they are doing. i wish french team spent more time outside practice debating thoses kind of things, rather than doing it on the server
2018-11-16 08:19
Other TapioKuusela 
Somehow it feels like we've heard this same shit from nbk before
2018-11-16 08:30
Namibia banned_so 
„Zywoo go kill”
2018-11-16 09:05
k0nfig | 
Denmark strogie 
Excuses... Why do the big orgs still believe that this guy can compete in tier 1 or even 2.. unbelieveable, but i must say he was gooe once and got a spot named after him in the game so thats something
2018-11-16 09:09
"Poor players are the things holding us back ... like me NBK-, wait!" - Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
2018-11-16 09:15
lul already excuses...stfu and deliver.
2018-11-16 09:37
nbk igl omegaluk
2018-11-16 09:40
India Smauxx 
Good Zywoo, Go kill mf. Yesterday i saw 10 recent matches results of Vitality. And Zywoo was top fragging in 8-9 matches from them. New KennyS in scene confirmed.
2018-11-16 09:55
you being complete trash is the thing which is holding the team back
2018-11-16 10:02
NBK, Vitality just needs more time with newer/younger players. The old French scene is over and way past its peak point, and I don't see it returning until new players breakthrough.
2018-11-16 11:24
United States Grabboid 
Liked a gun when it was fiscally stupid and still sucks w/ it now that it isn't. NBK ladies and gentleman. You basically got talked about for having purple hair when no one had it. Truth is you aren't "unique". You just suck. Let a real pro rise.
2018-11-16 12:11
they barely played & are crying already ? Such a shame that the skill level of the french scene is way beyond the mental fortitude of the players
2018-11-16 12:25
malta | 
Malta vfXy0 
They are shit though so they have to cry :)
2018-11-16 14:27
malta | 
Malta vfXy0 
Washed up... -Happy & rpk +ex6tenz & someone who can actually be good
2018-11-16 14:03
Indonesia FinZzz 
2018-11-16 18:35
malta | 
Malta vfXy0 
if you want to add him then yes
2018-11-18 14:40
Shox, Zywoo, KennyS, Apex, missing FR IGL
2018-11-16 15:08
United States kraziie 
What happened to France?
2018-11-16 15:52
French always try to avoid the fact that it's the end
2018-11-16 18:03
Indonesia FinZzz 
ex6tenz kennyS Shox Zywoo NBK make it happen.
2018-11-16 18:35
Europe thaifinnen 
ex6tenz kennys shox nbk apex and french cs is back
2018-11-17 17:46
2018-11-17 20:10
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