autimatic: "I was going to take a break from the game until the Major"
Earlier on Friday, we spoke to Damian "daps" Steele about the creation of the new roster, but we also caught up with autimatic to get a perspective from the only remaining member of the previous lineup.
The 22-year-old told us about his original plans after the disbandment of the former lineup and what sold him on joining up with daps's new project, as well as his return to rifling:
Let's start with where you left off with the former Cloud9 team and how this new team came together from your perspective. Did you ever have a different plan when you realized your previous lineup wouldn't work out?
Well, after France, I knew that the team wasn't going to continue together. I obviously started looking at my options because I didn't think that we could even have a team on C9. Once Soham and Jack presented this team to me, I was definitely interested because I know daps is good at starting from scratch and really good at building teams. I talked to daps, we had like a four hours long conversation about CS, and I agreed with a lot of things that he was saying and the way he viewed the game. From that point on I decided that was going to stay on the team.
daps said he was adamant about you not AWPing, did you share that sentiment? Did you plan on coming back to rifling?
I think the main thing for me was that I was just so used to AWPing because, for me, when I initially switched I never saw myself as a rifler that is AWPing. I tried to make the full transition to just being an AWPer. But there were definitely times on my old team where I felt like we would have won if I had the rifle because I could have had more impact in certain areas of the round. daps was definitely adamant about me being a rifler. At first, I was a little defensive just because I was like 'I think I'm doing a pretty good job' (laughs), but no, in the end, I definitely agreed with him that I should be rifling and that I have more impact. Right now it's just getting into the groove of things again because, as a rifler, a lot of things have changed in terms of how you use your utility and things like that. I view it completely differently than I did a year ago. There are a lot of things I've learned about rifling from flusha, as well, that I'm still trying to implement into my game. Right now it's just a completely new learning process, I'm not doing the same things I did before when I was on the old C9.
Going back to the disbandment of the former team, was there ever any other option that you were seriously considering outside of this new lineup?
I was going to take a break from the game, I was going to take maybe a month or two off until the Major. And then after the Major I would see what was happening because I didn't think any teams would make a big change right now, so I was just going to see after the Major which teams were looking and go from there.
Tell me about your initial thoughts on the team and how it's been working together.
It's been going really well. Obviously we aren't winning every scrim, we're not destroying in scrims or anything like that, but the main thing is that I think we're learning every day, which is really important. Right now, we're just feeling it out, seeing how everyone plays and how we can fit in with each other, that's a huge part. I think the thing that daps is doing really well is he's kind of letting us fail at times because every time we mess up, as long as we correct it or we're aware of the problem for next time, I think that's the biggest thing. It's also really good that we're not immediately implementing structure with the brand new team just because I think that sometimes when you have structure you rely too much on it. And then you lose the X factor.
How does daps compare as an in-game leader to Golden?
The problem that we had with Golden was that he was Swedish so sometimes it was hard for him to articulate his thoughts to the team, whereas daps is obviously a native speaker. It's a lot easier for him to convey ideas and concepts to us and overall, I think the big thing with him is that he's a really good communicator. That's been huge for our team in the early stages so far.
Can you give me your thoughts on JamezIRL?
What's cool about Jamez is that he's always learning, or he's trying to learn, that's really cool. He's also a super-hard worker, he takes notes on like every round of every scrim and he can tell us exactly what happened, what the call was, what the mistake was. Sometimes it's a lot for the players if we're just looking at the notes, but for him, if he's able to see all that information and come out of it with a general idea of what's going on that we can improve on, I think that's really huge for us. So far I really like working with him, he's a cool guy and I think he's very perceptive. He's just here to learn about Counter-Strike and to get better as a team.