neptune: "I think we can be top two in NA if we keep putting in the work"

Following Ghost's exit at the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals, we sat down with the team's newest addition, Jason "⁠neptune⁠" Tran, who talked about their skill ceiling and what the lineup needs to work on going forward.

Joshua "⁠steel⁠" Nissan's men came very close to making it to the playoffs in Odense, but ultimately lost a close battle with Natus Vincere in their lower bracket group final after beating ORDER and taking down their fellow North Americans in NRG along the way.

neptune is learning

neptune was brought in in September to replace Ghost's temporary fifth, Kevin "⁠kRYSTAL⁠" Amend, after being on the roster last year, where he was forcibly moved to the bench after it was revealed that the American had not yet turned 16 and as thus wasn't eligible to play.

In the interview, the neptune opened up about the time away from the squad, their run at the EPL Finals and his predictions for the team's future:

Before this event, did you guys prepare in any way, did you bootcamp or anything, to get ready to come here?

For this event, we had a bootcamp. It wasn't exactly too long, it was around four days, and I think in the beginning it was a bit rough, when we were just getting started, but towards the end of the week it started getting better. Coming into the event, we were just looking to show everyone that we can be a top team, that it's not a joke, we want to be up there. I think we placed really well, just comparing ourselves to last season where we were almost relegated and got fourteenth place in North America. We also beat NRG in a close game here, that really just was a confidence builder.

Yeah, that's something I wanted to touch upon too, the NRG game. It's a domestic rival, you played them a couple of times. How did you feel going into that match, cause they were definitely the favourites, right?

On paper, we honestly feel like we have a better overall map out of the game, and against them, our map pool is just better. But it's up to us to stay composed and play our game in those close mid-rounds, not losing those close 1v2s and 1v3s, cause in the first game, that's what happened. We lost two 1v3s and two 1v2s and in the end we just slapped ourselves in the face and said to ourselves that we couldn't be losing those rounds. In the first map, we were already dominating, so we knew that in the [third map], we just had to do the same thing, so we did.

You also beat ORDER and took a map versus Na`Vi. Rounding out the tournament, how do you think you guys did, did you live up to your own expectations?

Well coming into the season, it was just about making to the event itself. And I think we surpassed our expectations greatly. Towards the end of the Na`Vi game, we were getting a little bit burned out, cause we sat there playing two best-of-threes that both went the mile. So in the future, I think we're going to try to get better at that and build up our stamina. But this just shows that we can play against the top teams, and with more practice and prep, we'll be up there.

So what do you think is the ceiling for this team, how far do you think you can go?

I think we can be top two in NA, if we keep on putting in the work. We've only been together for like two months, and fixing attitude problems, and trying to be more of a family together are things we have to work on. I just joined and everyone in the team is so much older than me, with Kenneth playing for years, just like Josh, and I just have to get used to it, and they'll have to teach me, and we'll have to come to understand that we're on the same level and are all equal.

Yeah, how is it coming in, for you, as the new guy, the youngster?

With Wardell, it's easy for me to just talk to him, but at the same time, it's hard for the others to talk to him, because they're new, where he's been on the team for two years. I'm trying to just go in, learn everything, take in everything I can from steel, koosta, subroza, and just have a great attitude and I think that's going to help us, having a great attitude, not getting mad, not raging at others and teaching each other instead.

This is the last event of the year, so have you talked about what the goals for the next year might be?

Our next goal is really to just practice more and get into the Pro League playoffs again, that's a huge goal. And then we have the Minor qualifier coming up, so hopefully we'll go through, and if we play really well, we can get to the major. We have to use all the time we have for next year to get better, because we've only been together for three months, which is hardly any time at all. I'm curious to see what we can do in six, nine, twelve months or so.

This past year, you had the spot in Ghost, but had to get off and play in other teams. How has that been, how have those trials gone?

So, about the age thing... It was a year-long break pretty much, and the first team I played on was Ghost Academy, which was a fun team, but we really didn't practice too much and were only using our skills to beat other MDL teams. That team, I really love them, they were really great people overall. Even if our roster wasn't on par with other teams, together we were positive enough to just play our game, and I learned that you need a really good, positive aura on the team to play well.

Then I ended up playing on some meme teams, like FeelsUnderAgeMan, a young team, and I actually ended up having to IGL there. It was fun, they listened most of the time, but some of them didn't listen. I wouldn't get too mad, it was just cause we were all young. From there I was just waiting on the news from Ghost and then I tried out, they liked me, and I joined up. They were trying out a bunch of other people at first, and I was told they didn't really want me, so I was just doing what I could, learning what I could, and eventually I joined in and, we had a good start to the season.

Germany Kevin 'kRYSTAL' Amend
Kevin 'kRYSTAL' Amend
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Canada Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Joshua 'steel' Nissan
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United States Jason 'neptune' Tran
Jason 'neptune' Tran
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2018-12-10 13:24
2 replies
nep is a god
2018-12-10 13:29
1 reply
+1 :)
2018-12-10 14:02
2018-12-10 13:24
2018-12-10 13:24
United Kingdom OneBinG_
Shame they won’t attend any majors though
2018-12-10 13:24
6 replies
Steel can't attend a major, with a stand in they can try but it's still very unlikely
2018-12-10 16:51
2 replies
Igl stand in? Maybe not.
2018-12-10 18:33
1 reply
Myanmar xdcc
what about Jack "zinc" Nestle?
2018-12-11 02:25
United States Boogal00
Steel should be the only iBP player unbanned. He actually puts in the work, donates, and is able to compete at the top level. Every other member either is retired or can’t (Swag)
2018-12-10 17:23
2 replies
No he participated in win trading so he should be punished as the rest of the ex ibp team, ibp is the perfect example of what will happen in such circumstances.
2018-12-11 15:04
1 reply
United States Boogal00
What about the Dota 2 team that only got a 12 month suspension? Or the two NA players Cardiac and Effys only getting a year ESEA ban for rigging games more than iBP? Either Everyone should be subjugated to the rule, or nobody does. You cant meet halfway
2018-12-12 15:24
2018-12-10 13:25
2018-12-10 13:25
1. Liquid 2. NRG 3. Ghost
2018-12-10 13:25
8 replies
Italy Fil0Nerd
2018-12-10 13:27
2018-12-10 13:28
6 replies
No man.
2018-12-10 13:31
forgot about m16r
2018-12-10 13:32
Brazil nakTriceps
I think he is not counting MIBR like NA.
2018-12-10 13:35
Only 2 from NA
2018-12-10 13:36
1 reply
Still Playin on NA and have some NA players
2018-12-10 16:06
2018-12-10 15:38
Lol top 2 can't even compete in majors ex dd
2018-12-10 13:25
China yakmonster
thats ture if -NEPTUNE ghost always play like 4v5 cuz this guy and how he not shame that and talk about this OMEGALUL
2018-12-10 13:26
4 replies
yep bring in some washed up old player like every other na team instead of using up and coming talent that has promise
2018-12-10 14:46
3 replies
Neptune wasn't good before his breal and isn't good now, not saying they should pick up some old person but unless he shows something -neptune +freak (if he wants to)
2018-12-11 01:34
2 replies
hes been >A+ 15+ rws while shitting on premier teams since he was like 14. he did look a little out of his depth against eu pro league teams, but it's undeniable that he's stupidly talented at csgo. i think ghost should at least give him at least a year of playing full time to see how he develops as a player.
2018-12-11 05:25
i dont think freak would leave swole patrol tbh since they made it to epl, unless they legit get relegated next season
2018-12-11 21:08
Zeus | 
Finland Olter
Top two na, cant play at major LUL Also neptune overrated like pretty much all 16yo
2018-12-10 13:27
United States noCap
They gotta a really good team on paper, just need more experience and they’ll be a top team in NA.
2018-12-10 13:30
1 reply
NAF | 
Denmark Bekkr
They wont be if they cant attend majors
2018-12-10 13:36
liquid,nrg,c9,complexity,envy,rogue can argue with that btw sad for steel, when they will become better he will be kicked from team
2018-12-10 13:33
9 replies
Myanmar xdcc
c9 EU now. unless you consider them based on location but then its also mibr, renegades, intz etc.
2018-12-10 13:37
1 reply
ye ye forgout about last changes
2018-12-10 13:39
Envy omegalul
2018-12-10 14:04
United States STERBENVII
nice joke.
2018-12-10 15:32
rogue omegalul envy omegalul col omegalul c9 not even na anymore omegalul
2018-12-10 19:59
4 replies
all of them can atleast dream about major what about steel?
2018-12-10 19:59
3 replies
rip steel :(
2018-12-10 20:00
2 replies
yeah saddest part is that hes doing everything to put them on another level but they will get rid of him even no chances for being a coach i guess with that rules
2018-12-10 20:02
1 reply
honestly expected dazed to be in steels position when they got unbanned but steel has been doing an amazing job considering his situation, gained a lot of respect for him
2018-12-10 20:02
Sweden Beaneater
Yes after ur kicked Sry
2018-12-10 13:34
1 reply
2018-12-10 17:25
2018-12-10 13:41
I’m wondering how he expects to attend a major
2018-12-10 13:53
yeah good luck passing NRG and Liquid soon
2018-12-10 13:55
toxic blobfish
2018-12-10 14:05
koosta and wardell is awesome
2018-12-10 14:22
2018-12-10 14:41
2018-12-10 14:52
United States xiquo
"...and I was told they didn't really want me..." oof
2018-12-10 14:56
Europe crosst
lmao look at him and he is toxic all the time XDDDDDDDDDDDD
2018-12-10 15:03
Libya nanaichini
yeah ghost<swole patrol nt
2018-12-10 15:29
“And then we have the Minor qualifier coming up, so hopefully we'll go through, and if we play really well, we can get to the major.“ Kid too young to know his IGL has a lifetime ban from valve and will never see a Major?
2018-12-10 15:42
i think they jusut need to work on their map pool and LAN experience. they can take bo1s off top tier teams. id like to see this roster stay together for a bit longer. definitely potential to be a top 10 team.
2018-12-10 15:42
1 reply
Uh, nah.
2018-12-10 15:44
2018-12-10 15:49
Europe hashh07
Top 2 in NA, very high hopes...
2018-12-10 16:12
2 replies
how, they just beat NRG who are top 2 in NA, i dont get people on here
2018-12-10 17:22
At least he's realistic
2018-12-11 05:29
when the guy who says this is .9 in 45 maps, i want to disagree, kid blows
2018-12-10 16:43
C9 is the best lol gotem
2018-12-10 16:48
yes if they buy nrg players
2018-12-10 16:58
Brazil fuNNa
LOL TOP2 NA CS on drugs
2018-12-10 17:36
Top 10 if lucky
2018-12-10 17:59
Brazil thinking_
i agree. They look really strong team and steel is a great leader. I hope the best for this team
2018-12-10 18:05
i arent think this
2018-12-10 18:07
neptune aka Mowgli
2018-12-10 19:06
2018-12-10 19:45
neptune is learning
2018-12-10 21:17
Denmark pistolen
If you aim to be top2 why the hell would you keep a banned player and block yourself?
2018-12-11 15:00
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