shox: "I'm still working on the switch from being the IGL; I didn't think it would take that much time"

Our first interview from StarSeries i-League Season 8 is with Richard "shox" Papillon, who talked about the struggles of switching from an in-game leading position, Vitality's results in the first few weeks together, and about the Turkish tournament itself.

The French star discussed his new role in Vitality, moving away from in-game leadership, as well as the newfound combination and chemistry between himself and the team's superstar, Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut, in clutch situations.

Vitality are aiming for a top-three finish at StarSeries

shox also commented the team's surprising run to second place at DreamHack Masters Malmö and their struggles in the first group stage of ESL Pro League, where the French side missed out on a direct ticket to the finals due to a one-sided loss to NiP, before moving on to the Turkish tournament and talking about how Vitality are balancing the enjoyment aspect of it.

Touching on your exit from G2, was it expected ahead of the Major that changes would be happening if the result wasn't up to par with your goals?

No. No, at least not from the players' point of view, we didn't know anything about it.

In your interview with 1pv you talked about not being sold on G2's two ideas of either going international or trying to stay with a French lineup. Do you think they will be able to solve their issues with the roster they put together? What do you think about that move?

I think nexa and huNter are two great pickups, definitely, because in G2 we had the problem with the captain and in-game leader role. Having a proper one as nexa is definitely a good thing for them and huNter is definitely a good player, so they are definitely two good additions, but as I'm not in the team anymore, I don't know how it's going with communication and stuff. But, for example, at ESL Pro League, they came second in the group stage and they almost beat Na`Vi, so it looks pretty promising for them so far.

Going over to Vitality, XTQZZZ spoke of your role in a podcast, saying that you would need to adjust on some maps and that you'd be more in your comfort zone on others - how do you see your fit in the team in terms of roles?

I really enjoy the role that I have in the team at the moment, but it's still not something natural for me. I think being the in-game leader since 2016 makes it harder and slower to just switch as a player. Yesterday I had a talk with the coach about this specifically, he still thinks that I'm thinking too much as still an in-game leader, trying to help the team with tactics and stuff like that. The objective is to just focus on myself and to be the best I can individually. I do agree with them that if I'm in my game and just focusing on me, then I will be good. And when I become good it will just come naturally for me to help with my calls and not doing the opposite, always helping the team with calls, tactics, and stuff, and not really focusing on myself. So yeah, I'm still working on that switch with the coach and also with ALEX. To be honest, I didn't think it would take that much time. We're not talking about playing together for six months or whatever, but I was thinking to myself that I would have to adapt for two or three weeks, but it's still not natural and that's one of my main objectives individually coming into this tournament.

shox and ZywOo have already found chemistry

From we've seen so far, your role allows you to have some combinations with ZywOo, especially in clutch scenarios, and in Malmö we saw the two of you win some big disadvantages together. What do you think about this newfound combo?

It's really cool because, when we are together, it's really funny how we play it. It's like we forget everything that happened in the round and we are just having fun like when you are playing on a retake server with a friend, that's kind of how we play it. We are just talking together, having fun, and it works, so it's really nice.

What did you make of your showing in Malmö overall and the result, was it a surprise to reach the final with just a week of practice with the new lineup?

Yeah, definitely, it was not our expectation. Our expectation was to at least go to the playoffs, but we didn't see ourselves going into the final and putting up a good fight in it. That was definitely a good thing, but the thing is that we can't take it as "okay, it's going to be easy" because, as we could see, we had a lot of trouble in the ESL Pro League group stage. We got crushed by NiP and the two games we won against Heroic and Sprout were really hard to win. We are just suffering from the schedule, I would say, as we don't have any time to practice between events. When we came back home we had two or three days maximum and we have a six-map pool. I don't know what the word is in English, but we are making do with what we have and trying to just make small adaptations from one match to another because we don't have the proper time to practice and to work, which is definitely something we are not happy with, but we have to deal with it. We know it's kind of going to be like this until the end of the year with the schedule we have. It's going to be all about fighting, being really strong mentally until the end of the year because the proper work will begin in 2020, I would say, when we have more time.

What are your goals here at StarSeries, then?

For this tournament, of course the first one is at least to go to the playoffs, but we are aiming for a top-three finish.

The way this tournament is set up, being in a holiday resort, it lends itself to slacking off, enjoying the free time at the beach, and makes it look not so serious. But at the same time, there is $500,000 on the line, which is more than most tournaments have, and it is very hard to win due to the extra long, fully best-of-three format. What do you think of this dynamic and how are you going to approach this aspect with Vitality?

Actually, we are enjoying it, but in the good way. We know we are in a place that is really enjoyable and you can have a lot of fun, and we are just taking the good vibes from it. You always have some time off in a tournament between matches, or some day off or whatever, and sometimes there are plenty of events where you don't really know what to do. It's really important to just reset between matches and have a fresh mind, but with the environment a lot of the time you are just locked in the hotel, which is not really anything cool because it makes it hard to reset. We are just taking it as: okay, we are in a f***ing nice environment, so we're going to use it to reset. But it doesn't mean we're just going to enjoy it at 100% all the time, we are here for the tournament, we know what we want to do here and we want to do really well. So we just take it as a bonus and an advantage because having the sand beach is really nice for your mind, it's proven scientifically that being in the sun gives you some vitamins and stuff like this. You just wake up and you naturally have a smile. So yeah, it's pretty good, but we know the balance we have to have here.

Your manager, Matthieu Péché, seems very hands-on with the team, doing things in the background like pushing you to do physical training. I'm not sure if you've experienced that sort of management before, what is that like?

Yeah, it's something new for me, but I'm really enjoying it because I think being fit makes you feel better, and if you feel better in your body and in your mind, it will definitely be better on the server. Plus, there are a lot of good things, being more healthy and stuff, that can help, and you can just be more focused and more ready when it comes to the game. Having good sleep, having good food, having time to rest and stuff like this, there are a lot of benefits to that. On top of that, when we are at a tournament, we are doing it together, which is also something good for the team spirit and team building, so definitely a lot of good stuff that I like.

France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Singapore Blloopy 
2019-10-21 13:33
-ALEX in 2 months max
2019-10-21 13:34
Germany MackyGee 
2019-10-21 13:34
Spain N0Love 
1 month and 30 days my friend
2019-10-21 13:53
Shox you ego maniac diva bitch you've never been an Igl you were only a failed dictator
2019-10-21 15:12
fan of autist xaxaxa
2019-10-21 15:19
shox is insain if hes not igl
2019-10-21 19:44
2019-10-21 21:28
So true
2019-10-26 20:26
Germany Trax_ 
shox goat igl
2019-10-21 13:33
Spain N0Love 
Yes, a literal goat would do a better job than him at IGL
2019-10-21 13:55
Goat igl cause he leads them to slaughter
2019-10-21 14:08
Germany Trax_ 
no, he is the IGL for literal goats. They follow him
2019-10-21 14:19
Turkey yasiN_ 
I can approve
2019-10-21 16:57
Spain N0Love 
So that means then NBK is the black sheep? Can I call him the N word? :o
2019-10-21 23:19
Germany Trax_ 
cant argue against
2019-10-22 08:25
arT | 
Lithuania SiK_ 
gl with that
2019-10-21 13:33
Shoxie <3 GL
2019-10-21 13:34
NiKo | 
Israel soez4niko 
2019-10-21 13:34
Good, stay away from IGL, you suck at it and your level is terrible when being IGL.
2019-10-21 13:34
How did you know?
2019-10-21 14:05
United States ComplexCS 
Do you play on a pro level?. No Did not think so. Go back to esea open.
2019-10-21 15:10
United Kingdom HG_J0X3 
Not being a pro doesn't steal the right to criticize. Nice logic.
2019-10-22 05:26
United States ComplexCS 
It does beacuse you have never played on pro team or ever played on pro lvl.So keep playing free faceit.
2019-10-22 16:32
Brazil kaaim 
2019-10-23 22:34
United States ComplexCS 
2019-10-25 15:47
2019-10-21 13:35
United Kingdom _xC4ctus 
2019-10-21 13:35
France Vipair 
Liquid lul
2019-10-21 14:11
shox | 
Europe Toxic91 
you mean lulquid?
2019-10-21 14:58
France Vipair 
I forgot yep
2019-10-21 15:12
planing to kick alex soon?
2019-10-21 13:36
At least they know were the problem is, hopefully will be fixed soon
2019-10-21 13:40
LUL shox igl, trying to kick Alex
2019-10-21 13:41
fnx | 
Portugal lovessd 
he was such a bad igl i hope he can get his skill back & be at least a decent player
2019-10-21 13:43
He already is
2019-10-21 14:44
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
"vitality -alex +smitzh, shox takes igl role" when?
2019-10-21 13:52
Kazakhstan ezBORAT 
nice try shox, u boyfriend smithzz is a bot
2019-10-21 19:28
Brazil fuNNa 
imagine shox want IGL again and kick alex
2019-10-21 13:56
Maka | 
France Barburo 
ITW where shox is saying he is trying his hardest to quit IGL role, HLTV plebs : "He is trying to be the IGL again"
2019-10-21 13:56
cyx | 
Switzerland HUFTGOLD 
^ this
2019-10-21 14:04
Well tbh he has a horrible history of kicking the IGL from his teams to take over himself. Significantly dropping both in individual and team performance each time.
2019-10-21 14:13
How many IGLs has he kicked?
2019-10-21 14:33
Ex6 in G2. Also tried but failed with Happy in NV.
2019-10-21 18:39
South Africa nimmaJ 
Uhm no. Ocelote and management kicked ex6tenz in G2 with smitthz. Shox wanted to keep ex6tenz and rebuild
2019-10-24 20:23
Greece Petsos 
He only did that with nbk
2019-10-21 14:37
Because nbk is a shit igl and toxic so good decision
2019-10-21 15:06
No, same with ex6 in early G2. Also tried to do it to Happy in NV, but NBK and Kio supported Happy.
2019-10-21 18:39
France Zangtar 
hltv brain
2019-10-21 14:15
Hltv is full of teenagers never forget that
2019-10-21 15:21
shox: "rush B"
2019-10-21 14:00
United States keebler 
“it's proven scientifically that being in the sun gives you some vitamins and stuff”
2019-10-21 14:10
shox | 
Serbia nzzm22 
2019-10-21 16:24
Made me laugh as well.
2019-10-22 05:33
Europe Skraj 
Must be so hard to just sit there quietly and listen what your igl tells you to do
2019-10-21 14:10
France LeDiplomate 
Mathieu Péché pogchamp
2019-10-21 14:16
Europe loonek4 
+smithzz when
2019-10-21 14:19
Hopefully shox will never IGL again. He literally sucks at it
2019-10-21 14:23
He doesnt like and others are better that is true, but in french CSGO he had the best result after happy, so you cant say that
2019-10-21 15:09
shox | 
India iejesus 
2019-10-21 14:26
After the next major goodbye apex and rpk !!!
2019-10-21 14:35
Germany ToiletShitter 
He is useless half of the t rounds because he usually lurks too passive. Players stopped lurking this passive 4 years ago. He has been pretty bad on ct side too. Gotta get it going, Zywoo needs some help to win tournaments.
2019-10-21 15:01
shox | 
Serbia nzzm22 
for T side itd true. But thats the role they want him to play. For ct, he needs time to adjust if thesr will be his final roles. Because he is literally just playing every single NBK anchor position as CT. Either put someone else there or be aware that shox needs time to find his groove he didnt play as an anchor for a long time, and apex is good as a B rotator so i guess they didnt want to switch atleast yet
2019-10-21 16:27
Germany ToiletShitter 
Even when they lose players with the main entry squad he just chills at his lurking spots and pretty much gives up on the round with that. They need some aggression from him.
2019-10-21 18:25
South Africa nimmaJ 
I agree he needs to take initiative and create space as well at times
2019-10-24 20:22
Jesus you have been IGL not HEROIN addicted wtf
2019-10-21 15:05
haha +1 shox just trying hard to tell people that he's born to be an igl. since the apex interview, he probabbly trying to force a reality where he does not suck being igl, but this reality never existed
2019-10-21 18:07
Finland rolezK1 
Lul rip alex soon :(
2019-10-21 15:48
2019-10-21 19:17
Rip Alex lmao
2019-10-21 19:34
Singapore FallBlade 
Everyone in Vitality wants to be captain lol
2019-10-21 20:02
"play for yourself" says the coach. No way that is true. Also, no one wants to be captain of this team. Your head is the first to cut. NBK was the captain but not IGL. Now it's Apex or Rpk. Alex isn't going anywhere, his stats, strats, and calls match the coach. If they don't secure a big win in four months, I'd expect another head for the block.
2019-10-21 21:53
Nepal ramann 
IF shox becomes IGL, Apex is fucked :D
2019-10-22 08:12
Turkey PhauX 
Why is Vitality making alteration like this? They was good.Dangerous changes for team play.
2019-10-22 18:36
United States reddzera 
Bc NBK toxic
2019-10-22 19:24
AZR | 
United Arab Emirates VinceVibe 
Yes, we saw that when he streams that he's toxic (training for DH Winter BYOC for fun with body and some famous french streamer)...
2019-10-23 22:02
not toxic at all compare to apex for exemple, he is very professional, people just like to overrate shox and let him destroy teams because their brain are stuck in 2014
2019-10-29 15:08
United States reddzera 
shox cant be the only thing destroying teams, it could be many things like they're a bunch of toxic players.
2019-10-30 12:51
flair checked out... But yeah, the french scene is just a bunch of drama queen with terrible mentality, so much potential wasted and it won't change any time soon, only zywoo is giving some hope
2019-10-30 12:54
United States reddzera 
i recognize shox is also apart that problem I am just saying he cant be the only reason, if he were the only reason Vitality wouldnt have even bothered looking into him as a player for their team.
2019-10-30 13:06
Both Shox and IGL mentioned in a news article makes my heart skip a beat.
2019-10-23 03:16
Turkey berkovic 
kawaii shox :D
2019-10-31 18:16
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