loWel: "If we can mirror what we did in practice during our matches we’re going to surprise a lot of people"

The StarLadder Major, which is set to kick off later today will mark HellRaisers rifler Christian "loWel" Garcia Antoran's return to a Major since the PGL Krakow Major in 2017.

We caught up with loWel before the StarLadder Major kicks off in Berlin, where he will be back at one of Counter-Strike's most prestigious events for the first time since 2017. The Spaniard and his team are set to kick off against FURIA at 14:30 and will fight for one of the eight coveted spots at the Major's New Legends Stage.

loWel will be back in action at a Major with HellRaisers

We started the interview with loWel going over the 22-year-old's career since his breakthrough with mousesports and followed it all the way to HellRaisers' preparation at the organization's Kiev offices over the past few days, tackling some of his personal highs and lows, his and the team's current form, and what led him to once again make the jump into an international team competing at a Major.

You played your first Majors with mousesports back in 2017, Looking back, how do you remember that period?

Signing for mousesports was incredible since it was the breakthrough that I had always wished for, being able to play at the most important events. I was able to compete at two Majors with great players from whom I learned a lot both inside and outside of the game. It’s a period that I will never forget and for which I’m incredibly thankful.

After a bad result at PGL Major Krakow two years ago you left mousesports. Can you tell us a little bit about how that all happened?

A few months before the Major I was quite uncomfortable and lacking motivation because of things going on in the server, especially after NiKo had left. I wasn’t happy in my role and with the general atmosphere. When we were knocked out of the Major I sat down with the management and we agreed that I should look for other options, which was good for both parties as they got two great players in suNny and STYKO.

What plans did you have when you left the team?

My plans were to take some time off, to rest, and to explore my options, but always with a positive mindset and with the goal of going on to become a better player in a new team.

You then played for Dignitas, Tempo Storm, and the Spanish WESG mix-team Wololos. How do you remember that part of your career?

To be honest, that was one of the hardest periods of my career, especially with Dignitas and Tempo Storm because we never managed to have a big impact on the scene. We had good teams on paper, but we were always lacking something to keep growing, especially an IGL that could lead us. I don’t regret that time at all, though, since it was a great learning experience and it made me stronger mentally both as a person and a player.

Playing with Wololos was a very beautiful experience because we were able to show that there is enough talent in Spain to make some sort of breakthrough, and we made the whole country proud with our effort and were able to reach heights that no other Spanish team had reached before.

That set the foundations for Movistar Riders. How was that project born?

mixwell contacted me asking if I wanted to be a part of the project while I was still in Tempo Storm, which was disintegrating at the time. After the Wololos run I had no doubts that creating one of the best possible Spanish lineups was the way to go.

How was your time there?

Other than everything that happened when I left to HellRaisers, it was an incredible experience, and I will never forget all of the moments lived with that team, good and bad. I think we had a great team but we weren’t able to reach our full potential when it really mattered. I have no regrets because creating a national team and giving the Spanish scene some hope was one of the highlights of my career.

loWel at the WESG 2018 World Finals in Chongqing, China, with Movistar Riders

It didn’t quite pan out and you decided to leave. What was your thought process when making the decision to move on?

The decision was simple. My goal is to be the best, win the most important tournaments, and to keep growing day by day. We didn’t have any notable results after nine months and I knew that with HellRaisers I would have more opportunities to attend the tournaments I have always wanted to play in and gain the experience I need to keep getting better. This is the type of opportunity that doesn’t come around every day and after a lot of thought I felt like I had to leave Riders. I told this to my teammates and the organization before leaving, and there had also been some things happening in the team that I wasn’t happy with.

There were some roster changes in the works without me or the organization knowing that I didn’t agree with and I thought removing a player wasn’t the solution while some of the other players weren't working as hard as they could. Instead of changing our structure or trying to change our roles, they decided to take the easy way out and use changing a player as an excuse. After saying I didn’t agree with this, there was a bad atmosphere in the team, people weren’t communicating well, morale was low, etc. Even without any of this happening I would have probably left the team because my goal is to be the best and fulfill my dreams, but us choking during important moments and our inability to fulfill our potential were the extra factors that pushed me to finally leave Riders and join HellRaisers.

You received some harsh criticism from fans when you left. What would you say to them so they understand your wish to go to HellRaisers?

Honestly, I don’t care about the critics. I could have explained everything that happened openly but that’s just something that doesn’t go with me or who I am. My former teammates, even though we aren't on speaking terms at the moment, are still people I appreciate, and I don’t want to talk poorly about our situation. I’ll be there for them if they need me.

The people close to me know how I am and what really happened in the team, but at the end of the day to become the best and keep improving you have to leave team-mates and people you appreciate behind. They’re hard decisions to make but you need to go down certain roads sometimes. Some people will understand better than others, but at the end of the day, you have to watch out for your own happiness, no matter what the rest say, and make your own path.

Why HellRaisers?

HellRaisers is a team that I’ve always respected. When they put in work, they can be at the majority of big events, and that’s what I had always wanted since the day I left mousesports. I had not been able to live certain experiences since then. Another reason for joining HellRaisers was ANGE1, he's a player that has been an example for me since forever and I really wanted to play with him. He’s making me grow as a player and I’m already learning a lot from him and the rest of my teammates.

This HellRaisers lineup started out with some rocky results. How do you see the team as it currently stands?

We’ve had a lot of problems when it comes to getting results. I couldn’t tell you why because we have a roster that is quite good on paper. I think that starting out on the wrong foot hurt our motivation. We weren’t able to show how good we can be at first, but we were able to beat some really good teams during our recent bootcamp in Kiev and to play quite well, which was surprising. That’s the level we have to play at in tournaments. I’m very excited for the Major because if we can mirror the way we played in practice during our matches we’re going to surprise a lot of people. We have a bright future ahead of us if we play the way we did at the bootcamp, but we have to show it when it really matters. Everything will become clear after the Major.

What did you practice during the bootcamp and how’s the atmosphere in the team?

We worked on our map pool and on polishing a lot of the details that made us lose rounds, especially in tight or clutch situations and I think we’ve become better at playing many situations we would typically lose in the past. The feeling is great outside of the server, I get along really well with all of my teammates and we don’t have any issues.

Is it hard for you to go back to playing with a fully international lineup?

Sure, it’s harder when compared to national rosters because if players are all speaking in their native language then the in-game communication is much more fluid. Having five people speaking the same mother tongue does make a difference during the most tense rounds and moments of a match.

What are the fondest memories that you have of your career?

I’ve had a lot of great moments, but without a doubt the best have been with mousesports. I met great players who have become friends and thanks to them I’ve lived incredible experiences, especially playing at the Majors, which had always been a dream. I’ve had some good events, but without a doubt the best was the ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals where I got an EVP mention after we made semi-finals. That was when I realized I had the potential to play against the best teams in the world.

loWel remembers his time in mousesports fondly

What about the hardest?

When NiKo left mousesports and joined FaZe. He had supported me a lot in every sense of the word, I had learned so much from him and had so much confidence, which is very hard to replicate these days. He was also a really good friend and when he left I was shuffled into a support position that was very hard for me to play because I was completely inexperienced. I tried to learn it by playing and did as best I could, but I just couldn’t play as well as I did in other roles.

Your first Big Event since leaving Riders was the ESL Pro League Finals in Montpellier. How was it to play against the best teams again?

It was incredible, that’s where I want to be, especially when we got so close to beating Liquid. We lost the decider 14-16, I can’t wait to play teams like that again and hopefully beat them.

Where do you see yourself individually?

I think I’m at my best, especially after our bootcamp. I’ve been trying to work on my movement, on closing out rounds and trying to be smarter than my opponents. I think I’ve become much better in that sense, which helps me not have to try and always rely on skill.

How confident are you in your team? What are the goals for the Major?

I’m very confident after our bootcamp. As I said, we beat very good teams, so if we can play like that I’m sure we’ll be able to qualify for the New Legends Stage, but we have to show it in the server. Our goal, without a doubt, is to move on to the next stage.

Spain Christian 'loWel' Garcia Antoran
Christian 'loWel' Garcia Antoran
Age:
22
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
785
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.14
Would like to see HellRaisers playing on an acceptable lvl.
2019-08-23 10:50
#10
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Banger
2019-08-23 10:51
Would like to see some Polish cs on an acceptable lvl.
2019-08-23 11:16
Yup, same for me.
2019-08-23 11:22
#53
 | 
France LeDiplomate 
That counter bait D
2019-08-23 11:53
#53
 | 
France LeDiplomate 
That counter bait D
2019-08-23 11:53
oskar can carry them to an acceptable lvl
2019-08-23 11:45
I wanna see HellRaisers playing well not oskar carrying them every match.
2019-08-23 11:49
all we need is ISSA playing at 85% of his old self and we must hope nukkye plays well under the pressure of a major
2019-08-23 11:53
imo loWel and nukkye should be replaced.
2019-08-23 11:53
i mean -lowel +styko good be a major improvement
2019-08-23 11:56
true
2019-08-23 11:57
#65
 | 
Switzerland Alpollo 
Nukkye I agree but lowel has been a really good addition-
2019-08-23 14:34
idk i feel like loWel really underperformed, but i didnt watch that much games from HR so u can be right.
2019-08-23 14:38
+1
2019-08-23 11:59
#2
dennis | 
Latvia De1Co 
gl
2019-08-23 10:50
#2
GuardiaN | 
United Kingdom B41N 
FURIA 2 stronk
2019-08-23 10:53
good luck! I actually think HR has a decent team.
2019-08-23 10:51
expected
2019-08-23 10:50
5th one! Best record
2019-08-23 10:50
#9
 | 
Finland Kickincoe 
+1
2019-08-23 10:51
#7
 | 
Turkey leame 
2 days later; Hellraisers got 0-3
2019-08-23 10:50
#24
 | 
Switzerland kruSTaJik_ 
HLTV confirmed
2019-08-23 11:04
Kapp. Shitty team, shitty player. Nothing will change.
2019-08-23 10:51
WHAT DID YOU SAY ABOUT GODWEL?
2019-08-23 11:00
#63
 | 
Spain Zhalos 
Hay que aceptar que loWel no es tan bueno como se creía que era antes... triste pero cierto. Aunque sigue siendo bastante decente
2019-08-23 12:57
fan of forZe
2019-08-23 11:32
fan of HellLuzers and NOchance? I see...
2019-08-23 11:43
gud teams men)
2019-08-23 11:44
#11
 | 
Sweden RoyceSW 
nice
2019-08-23 10:51
#12
 | 
Spain iamF1XEN 
I hope so
2019-08-23 10:52
Tf is this mix team
2019-08-23 10:53
sure OMEGALUL this line up has been dead since they made it
2019-08-23 10:54
i feel like they can do it
2019-08-23 10:54
...says every team ever
2019-08-23 10:55
#17
 | 
Switzerland x676 
What a washed up player, hope HR get rid of him after Major.
2019-08-23 10:58
-Oskar after the major
2019-08-23 11:06
#30
 | 
Switzerland x676 
hope so, HR is dead and Riders were so lucky that loWel left ( I am sorry loWel fans, you guys still live in 2016 ), the team was playing around him ( they even have Dust2 as perma ban because lowel hate this map ^^ ) which did not suit their style at all but played pretty well to raise his stats, after he left they were able to play under their coach system which actually worked pretty well and they could give DeathZz a chance who is 2nd best spanish player nowadays and someone who was intended to replace loWel when Mixwell formed the team initially. You can see this here where Mixwell clearly states lowel used and lied him, that everybody told him to not pick up loWel ( he is well known in Spain for acting this shady and nasty way as he did in x6tence and many other clubs ) when he created the team but he did not listen the others and instead gave him the chance to join: youtu.be/toBNm348IrE?t=70
2019-08-23 11:21
Aight. I’ll watch that.
2019-08-23 11:22
Would like to see this team play well but i doubt it
2019-08-23 11:00
#20
 | 
Slovakia Ayyzicle 
ez for HellRaisers - Berlin Major winners
2019-08-23 11:01
men
2019-08-23 11:33
#43
 | 
Slovakia Ayyzicle 
men
2019-08-23 11:43
thats me men
2019-08-23 11:43
#47
 | 
Slovakia Ayyzicle 
hi men
2019-08-23 11:45
ez 3-0
2019-08-23 11:01
#22
 | 
Sweden Trkmag 
Liquid shivering rn
2019-08-23 11:03
#23
 | 
Serbia midafi 
stfu lowel you dont deserve that spot. dolboeb
2019-08-23 11:04
#26
 | 
Switzerland x676 
+1
2019-08-23 11:06
Oskar was in a good form probably :/
2019-08-23 11:05
#28
 | 
Poland ruhoks 
thats the hardest part to do the same like on practice
2019-08-23 11:09
"We had good teams on paper, but we were always lacking something to keep growing" Is he talking about HR? Jokes aside, they have roster which should qualify, their problem is ange1 playing too agressive on CT side without having enough skill vs solid players (works vs tier3 ofc) and that pretty much noone shows up to help oskar, IF hes on the server. ISSAA especially comes into mind, but others aswell. So if oskar and angel play above their standard, they beat almost anyone, if not, its loss, other guys are more like so-so. I feel like nukkye is doing better and better lately. GL to them.
2019-08-23 11:13
+1 ange1 maybe good igl but not fragger
2019-08-23 11:28
cmon loWel!
2019-08-23 11:28
#36
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy 
omegalul
2019-08-23 11:31
#38
 | 
Turkey sonbafrali 
I believe they can upset some powerful teams
2019-08-23 11:33
#51
 | 
Germany PeKay 
Syman and dreameaters
2019-08-23 11:51
#40
puTa | 
Argentina Alutobi 
OMEGALUL SHIT TEAM
2019-08-23 11:36
#41
 | 
United Kingdom INGEMARSSON_ 
Who’s LoWeL?
2019-08-23 11:40
#46
 | 
Switzerland x676 
A liar and a washed up player.
2019-08-23 11:44
They said to ANGE1 to stop rushing alone and everything started to work
2019-08-23 11:47
but you can't
2019-08-23 12:01
#60
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
looks like they are in good form, s1mple and magisk picked hr in pickems
2019-08-23 12:21
typical practice bla bla lmao
2019-08-23 12:24
#62
 | 
Malaysia jskhoo 
IF
2019-08-23 12:47
#64
 | 
Spain WindowsVista 
i dont think Hr will make it to the major, but i hope lowel shows the best level he can reach playing
2019-08-23 13:17
#66
 | 
Switzerland Alpollo 
They already are at the major
2019-08-23 14:34
#68
 | 
Switzerland x676 
As Fallen said, this can't be called the Major, this is the latest qualifier.
2019-08-23 15:07
#69
 | 
Switzerland Alpollo 
I dont care what Fallen says. This is the Challenger Stage of the major. After this comes the Legends Stage and then the Champions Stage.
2019-08-23 16:05
#70
 | 
Switzerland x676 
Cool man, I don't care what a nonamer says, cya!
2019-08-23 16:13
#72
 | 
Switzerland Alpollo 
You dont care what Valve says? Valve changed the major format.
2019-08-23 17:20
#74
 | 
Switzerland x676 
You clearly don't get the point.
2019-08-23 17:30
#76
 | 
Switzerland Alpollo 
I think its the other way around. Stop living in 2015 and accept the change.
2019-08-23 17:41
#77
 | 
Switzerland x676 
Just to put you on the map, Fallen statements were said in 2019, so check yourself in the mirror, you are so lost in this conversation :) For me this is over, good bye mr. nobody.
2019-08-23 17:42
-good player -styko choose one
2019-08-23 16:15
:D
2019-08-23 17:29
#75
ZywOo | 
Europe PowwneD 
Nt Low well
2019-08-23 17:30
Typical before the game speach just to hype shit up? Not impressed
2019-08-23 17:42
You can't.
2019-08-23 17:43
#80
 | 
World nakTriceps 
OMEGALOWEL
2019-08-23 17:47
WHAT A JOKE loWel
2019-08-23 18:49
Well I thought they might go okay so yeah, I'm surprised.
2019-08-23 18:59
today i shocked
2019-08-23 18:59
#84
 | 
Israel TheLoveGuy 
LOLLLLLLLLLLLL
2019-08-26 06:23
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