Calyx: "Nobody knows the scale of the problems we had in Space Soldiers"
We caught up with Buğra "Calyx" Arkın following his decision to part ways with ex-Space Soldiers to ask him about why he is leaving, his prolonged underperformance, and the effect of Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş' departure.
The 20-year old rifler had been part of the Turkish team since the start of 2017, picking up a handful of international titles and attending two Majors while playing alongside XANTARES and Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli - two players who have also jumped ship.
Let's start with your decision to start a new chapter in your career. What were the reasons behind this decision? Have you been practicing regularly with the team and how did things like salary affect you?
We were not part of an organization for almost seven months, so we did not get any salary. This situation severely affected us and we were not fully motivated. And this affected our results as well.
Even though we left Space Soldiers, our practice sessions continued as usual. But, like I mentioned, because we didn't have a steady income and because the things we had gone through last year (which we didn't share) affected us psychologically, we were not able to get any good results and found ourselves in a vicious cycle.
When did you realize that your path didn't align with that of the team? Did it happen when XANTARES left or did you think then that the team had a future?
We thought we could continue after XANTARES left but we didn't have an organization supporting us and we couldn't get the results that we wanted. After a while, MAJ3R had to go as well because he now has a family to feed and he wasn't able to continue without a steady source of income. In short, I didn't come to this decision because our paths didn't align, but because we didn't have an organization.
Do you hold XANTARES responsible for what happened? Or do you understand his decision to leave for BIG?
We were in talks with a lot of organizations when XANTARES left. Unfortunately, the sad part here is that XANTARES had a certain salary expectation and the negotiations were being held with that expectation in mind. Just when we were going back-and-forth with organisations about salary, XANTARES suddenly accepted BIG's offer.
If he hadn't made this move, we would be playing for an organization at the moment. This sudden move caused a roster change a week before the Minor and made our bad performances in Katowice inevitable. After that, organizations ended negotiations with us. For those reasons, I can't justify his departure one week prior to the Minor. But I would have supported him if he had left afterward.
Do you agree with XANTARES' criticism that some of the other players on the team were not as committed as he was?
XANTARES really invested lots of hours into the game and he was very ambitious. But he can't expect everyone to spend as much time as he does because it could have a negative effect on others. To give you an example, we would practice six to eight hours a day. Then we would sometimes play FPL. XANTARES, on the other hand, would get into FPL every day without exceptions. But I have seen him change this behavior recently, so his opinion and perspective regarding this matter might have changed.
You have stated that you are still practicing with the team. Could this mean that we will see you at ESL Pro League Relegation if you don't find a new home by then?
The team is currently in a revamping process. If we can build up some sort of coherence, I would like to take part in EPL Relegation to stay close to the professional scene while my search for a new team continues.
Many looked at you as a rising star and as the next XANTARES, but many believe you have not been able to reach the same heights, especially after 2018. Do you agree with that? What are the reasons behind this?
Nobody actually knows the scale of the problems we had in Space Soldiers and we don't share them. These issues had an impact on our motivation and we had to shift our attention to a lot of unnecessary details outside of the game. Our personal levels dropped because of this and also because we were not able to find a new organization. But this is not an excuse, I will work harder to come back better than ever before.
Let's talk a little bit about your future. What do you look for in a team? Do you expect it to be in Top 30, for example? Anything else?
The lineup is the most important thing, rather than world ranking because the offer could come from a team forming a new roster. If I have faith in the lineup, we can climb the rankings together.
You said that you were open to offers from both EU and NA? Would you prefer one over the other if you received similar offers from both regions?
If I get similar offers, I would pick the team where I think I would be more successful. By the way, I have a ten-year US visa.
Lastly, how is your English?
I believe it is in good shape.