ALEX: "shox is the perfect fit for what we're looking for"
Vitality are one of the eight teams participating in DreamHack Masters Malmö who are debuting with new lineups, having benched Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt during the StarLadder Major and completed a transfer of Richard "shox" Papillon from G2 at the end of September.
For the time being, we didn't manage to get a hold of shox to ask about his point of view of the exit from G2 and the switch, but ALEX told us about that process more in detail from Vitality's side, explaining why they chose shox over another option in Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey, what solutions the 27-year-old will bring, and what his role is.
Let's start with the whole process of removing NBK and figuring out who is coming in for him. From XTQZZZ's podcast with 1pv, you were already set on changes during the Major, can you tell me about that and how it transpired into the changes?
During the Major there was an incident that happened, that we won't get into like our coach said. In the second week, we knew we were going to make a change. Our coach told us that we were going to have to make a change. From there, we were thinking about some players that were available and, obviously, kioShiMa was available. We spoke to him for a bit, and then we got home and, one day later, shox came to speak to our coach, saying that he was available. For us, he's the perfect fit for what we're looking for. He's not going to solve all of our problems, but a lot of them.
What problems would those be, outside of the co-leadership issues that you've gotten rid of with the removal of NBK-?
It wasn't so much the co-leadership that was the problem, it was the captaincy that was a big problem in the team. The players wanted something and NBK wanted something else, and that's where the rift came between us. In terms of problems, our midrounds were sometimes really sloppy, we tried to go too quickly and we got surprised by the teams that just push everywhere and stuff, so we're hoping that will be sorted now. And having extra ideas - before, it was kind of me that was doing everything, from the start-middle-end of the round, making sure everyone was doing everything in the right positions and stuff, now shox is going to be helping out with that.
Again touching on the podcast, it was said that shox is mostly going to be lurking but some maps he will be outside of his comfort zone, can you speak to his roles?
Yeah, T sides he will be mainly lurking and then the CT sides are where he's going to have some adjustment, he's going to be playing some anchor roles because there are some maps where we are playing decently, we feel, and we don't want to change things around.
I'm sure you didn't have ideal preparation for this event, from what I saw it was about 10 days, but considering a lot of teams are in the same position as you, do you think you have a good chance of making a deep run here?
Yeah, I think we do. Despite only having 10 days preparation, I think we did as much as we could during those 10 days. We're ready to play any team, really, apart from the three big names that are going to be tough to beat now, but anyone else I think we can beat.
The three being Astralis, Liquid, and EG?
Yeah. But I still think we can beat them, it's just whether everything will go well in that particular game because we don't have the experience as a team and the time together.