smooya: "If XANTARES improves his English, he will at minimum be a top 5 player in the world"
HLTV.org caught up with BIG's colorful AWPer, Owen "smooya" Butterfield, to discuss an array of subjects, including the addition of Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş and the challenges with the language barrier.
After the series, smooya, who sat at the top of the scoreboard against Complexity, expressed his excitement about working alongside the Turkish star, offered his view on his new teammate's adaptation, and shed some light on the future of the line-up.
At the Pro League Finals, gob b hinted that some news would come soon after the event. Give me some details as to why XANTARES was picked up over others.
Just because it's XANTARES! Dude, XANTARES is the best player... literally in the entire world... I swear it! He and tabseN will be top 25 players this year. I think we're going to win will many events and do well at both Majors this year, but XANTARES alone, if he improves his English, he'll at minimum be a top 5 player in the world. His skill is just so undeniable. In practice so far, he puts up a minimum of 35 kills in every game. That sort of stuff you can't teach, you know? So, hopefully, gob b brings him into the system and shows him some things. I am really excited.
You mentioned the challenges with the language. The team now consists of three Germans, a Brit, and now a Turk. How is XANTARES adapting with his English?
He's doing a lot better than I thought he would. His English is still very rough, I'm not going to sit here and lie during an interview and say his English is really good or whatever because it's pretty bad. There are times when we call certain things and he completely misunderstands us and does something else, which is pretty annoying, but it's one of those things that just come with it, right? It was the same when I first joined because my teammates had to adapt and speak English. So, it's the same with him. In like three or four months, everything will be fine. I think we will be playing really well by then.
After the official announcement, XANTARES' former captain MAJ3R criticized him by saying he didn't do his part in terms of improving the team or helping the new players. What is your take on the matter?
It's hard for me to say since he just joined our team. He moved to Germany full-time and offered to learn both German and English at the same time while also going to school. He is constantly motivating everyone to play deathmatch because he is playing it himself all the time, so it makes us join the server. He gets like over five thousand kills a day, so why not join him because we aren't doing anything else? He is always learning grenades, constantly going over our strats to relearn them. I don't know how he wasn't a good teammate before, he's been perfect.
Following the announcement, nex stepped down to undergo wrist surgery, but he then appeared as the team's coach for the Major. Can you tell me what's going on with this situation?
The idea is... Well, I can't remember exactly what was said. I think if nex is ready to play then gob b would move to the coaching role, and nex would play. So, the lineup would have nex instead of gob b... Imagine the firepower we would have! We would be pretty damn good. I think that's the plan, but it doesn't seem like it will go that way because his wrist isn't recovering as fast as we would like. It's still going really well, but not fast enough to play at the Major. So, it might happen or it might not, we aren't sure quite yet.
Let's jump into the game against coL. The game was pretty much in your control across both maps. Walk me through Overpass and Cache before the series wrapped up.
Overpass was weird. It's been a really good map for us during practice. Our T side has always been pretty strong. So, what actually happened was that we lost a few rounds after being up 8-1 because my jump bind stopped working. I hit my jump bind while trying to flash for my teammate, but the flash didn't go as planned and my teammate peeked and died. I couldn't fix the issue, so I didn't throw grenades properly for the rest of that map. That was really annoying (laughs).
Our CT side was kind of shaky, even for myself. I don't know why, but I guess after not playing on LAN for a while I got really nervous... That was probably the most nervous I've felt playing on LAN in a while for some weird reason. I just wasn't playing the way I have been during practice, but we managed to recover and show our true colors towards the end. I need to go back and watch my demos and improve. The second map was just everyone hitting their shots, and compLexity simply didn't play so well.
Tomorrow [today], your team will face Cloud9...
Oh! I'm an excited man! I'm super excited!
Give me some insight on what the expectations might be like going into that series.
We don't expect too much from [Cloud9]. I am just happy to play against kio... I want to smash him! I won't even lie, I'm going to headshot him every round. That's my plan. That's my strat (laughs).