ropz: "Once we start losing, we go into this deep state that's hard to come back from"

We sat down with Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool after MOUZ' semi-final loss to Astralis at the EPL Season 8 Finals, where the Estonian opened up about the team's problems with keeping their heads cool in big matches.

At their last LAN event of 2018, MOUZ started out strong by beating Ghost and the No. 2-ranked team in the world Natus Vincere, before being sent to the lower bracket by MIBR. They then made it to the semis by rallying back from 0-1 against Renegades, but were sent packing by Astralis after narrowly losing Mirage and getting dominated on Inferno.

ropz believes mousesports have to work on negative thoughts during important matches

Mirage looked like the most likely way to pry open the Danes' otherwise impenetrable defences, but the map came down to a few key rounds in which MOUZ couldn't stay composed. In the interview, the 18-year-old explained how those slim round losses take their toll on the team, and also shared his thoughts on how they can strengthen themselves psychologically.

The third round on Mirage, where Xyp9x got one of you guys through the smoke and killed two more on A site... it seems like Astralis often only need that one single round to take the psychological advantage. Do you feel that also, losing to them today in this fashion?

Yeah, it's pretty surprising. We have a lot of matches against them that end like 16-13 or 16-14, and we often think back 'if we had just won that one round, like the 1v3, we could have won the match'. Taking a look at it later just makes you mad sometimes, when you look at it much more calmly. In those pressured situations, we really try to take them as a unit and win them without giving any chances, and I think that's why Astralis are so good right now, if you give them just any sort of chance they'll just capitalise on it. And that's what we will probably work on much more.

So, how will you do that? I mean, it's difficult if not impossible to be a team that never gives away a single chance...

Well, if you're against someone in a clutch situation, let's say the guy is alone, you usually just try to stick together as a team, so you can guarantee the refrag, cause that's like the only way of not giving him any chances. If he has like three people in his crosshair, he can't kill them all at once, so that's kind of like the only solution to play against clutches.

You've found yourselves in a lot of playoff matches all through the year and also won ESL One New York. But it has to be difficult to keep your composure in important situation like these, where you know you'll eventually meet the likes of Astralis. Is there anything you can do better team-wise on the psychological level?

There's still room for improvement, always. If we're going into matches like this one against Astralis, I mean one day, we know we'll for sure beat them, it's not going to stay like this forever. We're just kind of like hoping that... something clicks, so we can play as a team. It's pretty hard to see what the result is going to be, but psychologically, the team really needs to be in a good mood to beat these kinds of teams. If anyone is just a little bit down or has a little bit of a bad day on a match day like this, then it's pretty hard to win against the current top teams. You're always going to have some kind of stress in your life that's going to affect you, but I think everyone should have a clean sheet and be on the same page on a day like this.

So, why do you think that doesn't happen for you? I mean, is there anything you can pinpoint that makes it so that you don't keep your heads cool?

Yeah, I think a problem in our team is that we're from different countries and we obviously don't share the same culture, so I think what's obvious compared to other teams is that we spend less time together, going out, eating, just doing the normal things. That's definitely something we can work on. And also, once we start losing, it's also pretty hard for us. We go into this deep state that it's hard to come back from, and no-one is really saying good stuff, we just hope that we'll comeback and I think we can work on some positivity, it could really help us.

You talked about everyone having a lot of stuff going on in their life. The big thing about you, which was especially clear after the Major profile video is the fact that you're still in school. I read somewhere that you actually changed the way you go to school, can you expand on that?

This year, the school year started round around the time where the Major began, and I realised that nowadays, it is pretty easy to live off of esports with the way the scene is going. Our conditions as players are getting much better, so I decided to work out something with school, I told them that I'll have a much better chance of doing well and win if I can focus more. So they proposed to me that I could do one year of school over two years, stretching it out so I can spend more time playing tournaments and then do my school work whenever I want to, and it doesn't pressure me as much.

You obviously have to finish school, but since you said before that your problems stem from not being together as a team as much as other teams, do you see yourself moving away from Estonia or take other measures to have you guys be close to each other?

You're hinting at gaming houses here, and I think they're not very good for a team like us. With the differences in our personalities, it just wouldn't work out. I have no idea which teams could actually do it, it could work for some teams, but definitely not for us.

Moving on to your individual level, you obviously had the big breakout year last year and some very good runs this year. But this season, I won't say you've fallen off, cause you're always above average, but you haven't really posted as many huge numbers as we've seen before, like earlier in the year. How are you feeling about your individual play?

I always try to be very consistent, and I think that's the number one thing you should prioritise as a player in every match. Do your thing, be there for your team, and above all do not drop off. Even though I'm not having these huge matches every tournament, or putting up big numbers at events, I think I'm always doing a good job for my team, and that's my number one focus.

Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
It's ok, ropz
2018-12-09 12:13
10 replies
Poland Unluko
2018-12-09 12:13
9 replies
finally I got no.1 MOM are you proud of me?
2018-12-09 12:13
8 replies
Your mom died in your birth, you are adopted.
2018-12-09 12:16
7 replies
oof :(
2018-12-09 12:17
5 replies
2018-12-09 12:17
4 replies
I am about a typical 16 year old internet forum user. I'm also highly socially awkward like most. I temporarily live with my parents as I recently lost my home (long story). Turns out I have a total crush on my sister and tend to get raging hardons when she's near, but she doesn't seem to care. One night my mom and dad go to their school reunion (they both met in school). I sat down watching T.V. while my sister is upstairs doing whatever. Out of no where, sister comes into the living room wearing barely anything. I got so fucking hard. She sits next to me, my boner showing no signs of stopping. I can't help it and keep staring at her boobs, they're so fucking huge. So I talk to her about her day and, just casual . When out of nowhere she rests her shoulder on me and strokes my hand. I stare at her in the eyes and smile. She smiles back. I've been drinking a bit, so I try and make a move, knowing I can blame it on the vodka I've been drinking. Funnily enough she fucking let's me. I begin groping her boobs and I swear - I'm about to cum in my fucking pants. She pulls away and says she can't. I ask her if it's because we're brother and sister. She says no, because she needs something first. "Anything," I say grabbing both of her hands. She stares deeply into my eyes and in the most seductive way. "I need about tree fiddy." I recall my first time with a condom, I was 16 or so. I went in to buy a packet of condoms at the pharmacy. There was this beautiful woman assistant behind the counter, and she could see that I was new at it. She handed me the package and asked if I knew how to wear one. I honestly answered, ‘No, this is my first time.’ So she unwrapped the package, took one out and slipped it over her thumb. She cautioned me to make sure it was on tight and secure. I apparently still looked confused. So, she looked all around the store to see if it was empty. It was empty. ‘Just a minute,’ she said, and walked to the door, and locked it. Taking my hand, she led me into the back room, unbuttoned her blouse and removed it. She unhooked her bra and laid it aside. ‘Do these excite you?’ She asked. Well, I was so dumb-struck that all I could do was nod my head. She then said it was time to slip the condom on. As I was slipping it on, she dropped her skirt, removed her panties and lay down on a desk. ‘Well, come on’, she said, ‘We don’t have much time.’ So I climbed on her. It was so wonderful, that unfortunately, I could no longer hold back and KAPOWWWWW WWW, I was done within a few moments. She looked at me with a bit of a frown. ‘Did you put that condom on?’ she asked. I said, ‘I sure did,’ and held up my thumb to show her. She fainted.
2018-12-09 12:37
3 replies
At start i belived story but i knew its fake when i heard about pharmacy and thumb. But start was nice
2018-12-09 14:03
1 reply
Austria shaak!
Imagine posting copy paste stories below news posts LUL
2018-12-09 17:00
I aren't read that.
2018-12-09 14:08
2018-12-09 12:44
2018-12-09 12:12
2018-12-09 12:13
2018-12-09 12:13
Poland DYSKREje
so snax is still the problem? they started losing with him keppo
2018-12-09 12:13
2 replies
lol you know that last event they won was with snax
2018-12-09 14:23
Yeah Snax was so good that teams are lining up to take him after mouz let him go...:p
2018-12-09 17:11
Portugal MSANTOS
2018-12-09 12:14
2018-12-09 12:14
ropz needs a better team, he will be next big thing in a year or so. Guaranteed
2018-12-09 12:15
Ropz believes in deep state, massive conspiracy and illuminati. Get your tinfoils, oskarsports fans!
2018-12-09 12:19
2 replies
The deep state in cs is real. Hltv valve and astralis are secretly working together
2018-12-09 12:24
1 reply
Yes the final proof will be removing Cache (permaban of Astralis). It's just sickening to watch this conspiracy unfold and nobody is doing anything about it. WAKE UP FFS!
2018-12-09 12:36
Astralis are SUPER good in those weird 2v3 3v3 midround slow situations where they just lurk around map. It is visible that opponents are scared, because they know they can come from anywhere. Also very good postplant coordination, both T an CT side, which is something that mouz costs a LOT for example. Also everyone is talking about device, but what xyp9x is doing for them is unreal from what ive seen. Its clutch after clutch. Their consistency accross the board is also amazing, which is very rare nowadays (look at navi, faze, mibr, liquid, mouz... usually at least one player have weak performance in close important match). Hopefully team like mibr/faze/liquid%mouz will raise their level. Or navi get some decent upgrades finally?! OTherwise this ERA will continue...rightfully.
2018-12-09 12:38
2 replies
A wall of bullshit, could u summarize this?
2018-12-09 12:57
1 reply
2018-12-09 17:00
Ropz is really impressive. Anyone who hasn't watched his Major profile video should do. Genuinely amazing to be playing consistently at his level, constantly travelling the world and still keep on top of your school work and actually do well. And that's on top of the tragic stuff with his dad etc. Seems like a cool dude, hope mouz get a bit better as they're the most exciting top team to watch for me.
2018-12-09 12:41
3 replies
+1, I love watching mouz, their style of playing, the ability for everyone to step up massively etc
2018-12-09 13:20
+1 though FaZe is hands down the most exciting of all the top teams. When they're not choking team-wide, they're like mouz on steroids.
2018-12-09 15:49
1 reply
This was true a year ago but definitely not anymore. Rain has been crap/average almost the whole year. Same for Karrigan. Niko is always brilliant and Guardian usually too but mouz are a better team nowadays and their 3 top stars are just as good if not better than the Faze guys now (NiKo perhaps the exception)
2018-12-09 21:48
2018-12-09 12:46
Czech Republic PaYaB
good interview godz
2018-12-09 12:47
2018-12-09 12:50
Myanmar xdcc
ropz will drain the swamp
2018-12-09 12:58
Libya nanaichini
not ur fault astralis just simply 2 stronk
2018-12-09 13:12
2018-12-09 13:16
I like how in estonia things like stretching one school year are possible, unimaginable in germany. Also Im hyped to see ropz when he is finally finished with school and hopefully unfolds his massive potential
2018-12-09 13:26
Algeria FATALSki
i would love to see -Styko +ScreaM this will fit perfectly to their roster and gameplay.. better than Snax before
2018-12-09 13:30
1 reply
scream???? wtf
2018-12-09 13:40
I can't believe there's no better player than Styko out there.
2018-12-09 13:31
9 replies
On this tournament. was for me worst player, chrisj, he is so overpeaking, forcing and then buying mp7 or scout, while his team has normal buy. Strongest thing of mouz is double awp set up.
2018-12-09 13:41
hard to find Tier 1 support players, I guess?
2018-12-09 15:49
7 replies
k i o s h i m a
2018-12-09 18:12
6 replies
shit I forgot about him but he's with C9 rn, no?
2018-12-09 18:26
5 replies
he is now but he was free when they kicked snax and didnt bring back styko just yet
2018-12-09 19:14
4 replies
well it made sense seeing how they still had styko under contract + team synergy
2018-12-09 19:17
3 replies
yeah team synergy after getting kicked lul they even said that they kicked him cuz they feel like they cant improve anymore with him and become top1
2018-12-09 19:22
2 replies
better than with snaxbot
2018-12-09 19:26
1 reply
i cant disagree
2018-12-09 20:54
2018-12-09 13:58
Sweden highfield
Yeah, cause you have a depressing lineup, yall dont even have any fun when youre playing, not cheering at all. A few smiles sometimes from chrisJ and not much more.. and the coach is more depressing...
2018-12-09 14:05
1 reply
Other Phinks
Agreed.. bunch of beta fucks. Oskar seems like a guy who puts alot of negativity on the team by the way he behaves. At least non verbally. Styko looks angry all the time but who wouldn’t if you get called back after being fucked over. Sunny never seems happy. Only guys with some fire are ropz and chrisJ
2018-12-09 15:10
Ropz the blatic criminal
2018-12-09 14:07
2018-12-09 14:59
Sounds like the US Democrat party.
2018-12-09 15:59
Romania Mas0cial
Where is n0thing when you need him ?
2018-12-09 17:22
Everyone think mouz is trash after niko leave How ironic because now mouz>faze after their star player leave haha
2018-12-10 05:47
lets go ropz&mouz
2018-12-10 08:29
they call this liquid choke syndrome
2018-12-10 15:50
1 reply
I call it the OG NaVi Syndrome Symptoms include finishing second at big events and increased temptation for roster changes
2018-12-11 14:44
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