Sonic: "We put the name of South African CS on the map"

Max Melit sat down with Aran "Sonic" Groesbeek and coach Tiaan "T.c" Coertzen after the DreamHack Winter final to reflect on Bravado's dream run in Jönköping.

The South African side had to settle for second place at DreamHack Winter as they were defeated 0-2 by ENCE in a one-sided grand final.

Still, Bravado can only be happy with what they achieved in Jönköping, with this being only the team's second LAN event of the year, the first for which they have qualified since moving to North America.

Sonic discusses Bravado's runner-up finish in Sweden

In this interview, Sonic and T.c discuss the team's performance in the title decider, the differences between European and North American Counter-Strike, and the impact that this second-placed finish will have on the South African scene.

While the event overall has been an immense realization of effort for you, in the final itself you pulled up short against ENCE. Was the grand final what you were expecting or could you have hoped for more?

Sonic: To be honest we got the maps we were hoping for. We just fell short in the end. We didn't play our own game and they played theirs. We fell into their trap. So the result is unfortunate, but we tried our best. We got this far and we're proud of where we have come.

What was your game plan heading into this match-up against ENCE? What was your game and how would it have looked if it went your way?

Sonic: If things had gone our way, the scoreline would've looked very different. We expected to play a solid T-half on Inferno. But, unfortunately, it didn't happen. We hoped to bring it back on the CT side, but their game is really solid, so it was so hard.

What does this result mean for the future? This event is clearly the culmination of months of effort, the extension on Project Destiny and the realization of potential. What's on the horizon?

Sonic: We're never going to stop grinding. This is only the start of something big. Especially for everyone here and South African esports. We can only hope we can replicate this result in the future and take the trophy next time.

I was talking to Fadey earlier about the bootcamp scrims you've had here. From your perspective, how did the scrims translate to LAN games?

Sonic: When we came here, we decided to come a week early so we could scrim these European teams and all. That gave us a better idea of how we were against these teams and the kind of standard we were playing. It allowed us to set a level for our game and have a better expectation heading into the LAN. So it really allowed us to be better prepared and more confident going into the games. That played a big factor.

T.c: It really allowed us to test our map pool before coming here. Because obviously the maps we play in NA have different playstyles and approaches than here in EU. We weren't sure coming here what our strong maps were going to be. We kind of play all the maps and are comfortable on them, so coming in earlier and getting scrims on the maps allowed us to see which maps we wanted to play in the tournament and which we wanted to avoid.

That's one of the more interesting things about the difference between online NA and LAN EU competition, right? That difference in playstyles and map approach. How did you see the difference and plan to counter it?

Sonic: I see the difference, I think the Europeans teams are very solidified in their structure and gameplans. They play a much more proper version of Counter-Strike. We find the NA teams to have a lot more different styles but all these EU teams kind of play a similar style of CS, which is more of a proper style. So I think we can take that back to NA, grind it back into our game.

T.c: We play a more structured brand of CS, we play a very European style. And that kind of makes it easier for us to play against that style, whereas when we come to NA and all these teams are kind of just rushing us, bursting us, we are kind of like "what the f*ck are they doing?" a lot of the time [laughs]. But then at the same time, we are like, "that also works" [laughs]. So right now we are at a stage where we are trying to play a mixture of the two. So I think the main thing going back to NA will be not getting caught off-guard by that play is what we need to work on, mostly. Once we can avoid 'that' style of play, and counter it in our game then we will be able to put up a solid showing against NA sides.

One of the sub-storylines here for you was how well individuals like Fadey performed on a big stage despite being inexperienced. How important are players like him in your overall game plan and transition back to online NA play?

Sonic: I'm really proud of my team and especially Fadey. I expected the kid to be great and he's proving that. This tournament gave him a lot of confidence. He is young and this is his first international LAN, it's really important and I believe it will transition into further gameplay and really help grow the team to a new level.

T.c: I think it's really going to help with our confidence. I mean we've only had one international tournament before this, back in March, which was the first international tournament for both Fadey and J.T We didn't really have a lot of confidence in that first tournament, but everyone saw what it was about and how you sort of have to rush setting up and play. It's a quick thing where you have to get comfortable as quickly as possible. And I think now that everyone has built some confidence, heading into future tournaments and online matches I think it will be different.

While this result will clearly benefit you in terms of confidence and experience, how will it translate to benefiting the South African scene as a whole?

Sonic: I believe it's just the exposure we give the scene and the fact that we put the name of the scene on the map. We represent South Africa, and, hopefully, a lot of big organizations will see that and pump their investments into the country.

T.c: And also for the people back in South Africa, just to help keep them motivated, showing them that they can do it. Even if you are in a such an isolated scene, if you want to do this for a living, if you keep pushing, keep working hard, it is possible. It's always possible. You can make your dreams reality.

Max Melit covers DreamHack Open Winter 2018 for and can be found on Twitter.

South Africa Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek
Aran 'Sonic' Groesbeek
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
South Africa Tiaan 'T.c' Coertzen
Tiaan 'T.c' Coertzen
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2018-12-02 19:31
Denmark Twick_ 
2018-12-02 19:30
South african team "Bravado" who almost beat finnish superstars "ENCE" in a final of Dreamhack Winter.
2018-12-02 19:33
Denmark Twick_ 
They have in term net in afreeca?
2018-12-02 19:34
Elon musk invented the internet and he is south african
2018-12-02 19:35
Denmark Twick_ 
He did?? Wow, I didn't know that, but Africa have tech know logi too?
2018-12-02 19:39
2018-12-02 19:40
elon wasnt even born when the internets were invented
2018-12-02 20:14
2018-12-02 23:15
Sakura | 
Japan Ron1E 
Lose to unbeateable ENCE isnt bad
2018-12-02 19:35
"Almost beat" they lost 2-0
2018-12-02 19:39
Europe UhddiS 
2018-12-02 20:00
yes | 
Europe Yes_Bot 
1 tournament final lol still trash scene
2018-12-02 19:30
who cares about 3 world cs
2018-12-02 19:31
FNX 6 major, 3rd world CS player LUL
2018-12-03 01:06
1 major in 1.6 2 on csgo typical br brain
2018-12-03 14:28
better than NA scene
2018-12-02 19:31
Sweden Unluko 
2018-12-02 19:36
2018-12-02 19:39
Said the guy who has 1000 profiles all hating on MIBR lol. Attention whore or just plain retarded? Both???
2018-12-02 21:42
2018-12-02 19:30
2018-12-02 19:30
tabseN | 
North America Dictat0R 
gj sonic
2018-12-02 19:31
Czech Republic QuertyX 
Next tournament out in groups
2018-12-02 19:31
Czech Republic Charlie13 
2018-12-02 19:36
still better than g2
2018-12-02 19:39
Czech Republic QuertyX 
Thats true. ZywOo, apEX and a guy who is at least gn1 (better than bodyy) need to save us
2018-12-02 19:41
frozen | 
Czech Republic PlaSSma 
Top jmeno :D
2018-12-02 20:01
thanks :)
2018-12-02 20:34
Yeah, totally +1 :D
2018-12-02 21:19
2018-12-02 19:31
2018-12-02 19:31
Bravado is a dutch team
2018-12-02 19:32
North America Fule 
How so?
2018-12-03 00:56
South Africa was a Dutch colony. 'afrikaans' is also almost the same as dutch. South Africa is very different than the Netherlands though. Been there twice and there's definitely a cultural difference
2018-12-03 08:51
Boers have lived in South Africa since the 17th/18th century. Though they certainly aren't "native" to South Africa, saying that they are culturally identical to the Dutch is pretty goofy.
2018-12-03 10:01
Netherlands ZoMilan 
The only dutch players that are better than Bravado players are chrisJ and Crucial probably :(
2018-12-03 21:46
How do you think guys, was this one tournament fluke or they gonna be consistent contenders from now on?
2018-12-02 19:32
I think they can do pretty good on tournaments of this caliber. They are still far from top tier teams tho (._.')
2018-12-02 19:35
They can definitely compete against T2/T3 teams.
2018-12-02 19:38
ZywOo | 
France kyojiNs 
I asked the same question to the French esl casters, and they said they're not gonna be constent because they are massive individual monsters but their teamplay is too low, so now they're going to be observated on the scene every team's gonna anti strat them so they'll have no chance, the only thing we can hope from those guy is to have players on the international transfer list like Fadey or sonic^^
2018-12-02 19:39
Yeah, but if individual skill is there then teamplay is something you can work on, right? But yeah, I dont really see them making long run again, sadly.
2018-12-02 19:43
ZywOo | 
France kyojiNs 
Yeah sure they can work on teamplay now everything depend on them, are they strong enough to build the teamplay they need? Do they wanna keep together to make it constent? Will they disband for other international/na teams? Nobody knows only time will tell , the only sure thing is they have got a huge individual skill potential, the only one I'm scared about is Detrony due to his age (28)
2018-12-02 21:43
South Africa Wick_ed 
I think they need to fix some of their mistakes decisionmaking wise then they should already be more consistent.
2018-12-03 08:49
2018-12-02 19:39
Vegi | 
Poland Alone01 
I wonder it will be their biggest success
2018-12-02 19:33
Well done! I hope it is the start of something bigger (._.)_b
2018-12-02 19:34
nt weasley
2018-12-02 19:34
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
2018-12-02 19:35
Israel TheTechnixian 
South African CS was on the map back in 2014's Dreamhack Winter Major, where Bravado actually got to groups. However, it was pushed down by European CS for a long time.
2018-12-02 19:37
Bravado didn't participate in Dreamhack Winter 2013, probably you confused it with the 2014 event, but still in that one they placed 13-16. This is their first good result on an international lan event (._.')
2018-12-02 19:45
Israel TheTechnixian 
Edited after I realized my mistake. Oops. Anyways, yeah, basically the Vega Squadron of their time lmao.
2018-12-02 19:48
Didn't even notice the edit. Yeah they can kind of relate to Vega in that case hah (._.)_b
2018-12-02 19:51
they got to dhw 2014 by getting a direct invite. no qualifiers of any kind. they werent on the map as they only won 2 rounds in 2 maps. only detrony remained from that roster. one of those players racno was playin na main a couple of seasons ago. also they lost to c9 at the majpr. so no eu teams pushing down.
2018-12-02 19:55
Sweden Dino1 
If i remember correctly they didn't qualify for the major. In those times every major got "Wild Card invitations" I remember they got one of those and another Indian team that played NiP on d2
2018-12-02 20:46
no black players? nice eu smurfs
2018-12-02 19:37
MSL | 
World Houzzy 
2018-12-02 19:39
African CS vs Indian CS
2018-12-02 19:39
Yea, can’t even win 10 rounds in 1 map against ence
2018-12-02 19:40
Singapore Trisha 
considering they had 1 hour before their match after ex6tence galaxy to keep their mental and prepare i think its a good result either way
2018-12-02 19:44
2018-12-02 19:42
waka waka
2018-12-02 19:46
World breezy0 
2018-12-02 19:50
Finland Smoonah 
2018-12-02 19:51
wasn't Bravado on the map back in 2014? lol.
2018-12-02 19:53
shox | 
India iejesus 
+10000 Well done
2018-12-02 19:56
Spain Dicraftio 
GL Bravado, looking forward to see what you guys can do
2018-12-02 19:58
Europe UhddiS 
NT Bravado
2018-12-02 20:00
Europe Skraj 
"We represent South Africa, and, hopefully, a lot of big organizations will see that and pump their investments into the country." Roflma0
2018-12-02 20:02
no just no
2018-12-02 20:08
Not even an african team have black ppl playing cs LUL
2018-12-02 20:22
yes games is for white people sports is for black.THats why france has all black players.
2018-12-02 20:29
They are Afrikaners just like me :)
2018-12-02 23:18
dont | 
Czech Republic @me 
budget zonic
2018-12-02 20:33
Poland blokzieNTC 
2018-12-02 20:35
never forget that time when they upset na tsm in a bo1. the jumpstart to my betting success
2018-12-02 20:40
Brazil hugoooo 
Congrats to Bravado 👏👏👏👏👏
2018-12-02 20:50
South Africa DFox7 
Making South Africa proud :D
2018-12-02 21:02
2018-12-02 22:35
South Africa jacques_vw 
2018-12-02 22:43
Brazil gux4 
nt Bravado making South Africa proud!
2018-12-02 22:53
Why people hating them? I mean arent u tired of watching same players/teams throughout Cs go era? Ggwp keep doing what u do best, and hope to see more of you. Bravado
2018-12-02 23:53
African Union mikecool 
Seth afrikinssss CSGO pogchamp!
2018-12-03 01:06
African for sure just look at him he looks like white salah with ginger hair and beard xDD
2018-12-03 01:55
SAR is European country in Africa Thx colonisators
2018-12-03 06:54
good showing
2018-12-08 03:36
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