pronax: "I think we won the lottery when the chance to sign the SMASH lineup fell into our laps"
pronax, who hung up his mouse in May, tells HLTV.org that he has found it hard to adjust to life after retirement but stresses that he feels that his personal success is now tied to that of GODSENT, which has become his sole focus.
The three-time Major winner and former fnatic in-game leader will be keeping his distance from the CS:GO team for now, giving coach Jonatan "Devilwalk" Lundberg the freedom to operate, but he does not close the door on the possibility of helping out the players if they deem it necessary.
You officially hung up your mouse in May, announcing that you were "moving on to something bigger than yourself". Was that a hint at the GODSENT project? What have you been up to, what kind of work has been filling up your day-to-day since then?
It was indeed a hint that I was about to relaunch GODSENT, at the time I did not really know how I would do it but I knew I would not be able to do it alone, so my day-to-day for a very long time was just me talking to different people, having a few meetings and trying to find the correct people to relaunch GODSENT with. And lately, I had been in charge of finding us a CS:GO lineup that we could work on a long term project with.
GODSENT was merged with The Final Tribe, who were mostly known for their DOTA 2 team. You were mentioned as the second-largest shareholder of the new company. Can you tell us a bit more about how this came to happen and how the two brands will work together moving forward?
The Final Tribe heard the rumours about GODSENT relaunching, which made them contact us to set up a meeting. We realized very quickly while talking to them that we shared a lot when it comes to vision and we shared the same ambitions on where we wanted to take this company. They had a lot of the things that you need to be able to call yourself a tier 1 organization already up and running, like the bootcamp facility in Malmö. Moving forward, all of us are working under the same company, and we will work with the brand GODSENT, and in the future, we might do some legacy things with both the TFT brand and the Ancient.
How do you define the role you have in the organization right now? Have you found yourself in your new role, is stepping back from a player role to this one something that suits you?
My role within GODSENT right now is to be in charge of our CS:GO section. In the future, I definitely want to be more involved in the creative part of the organization when it comes to clothing, product development and stuff like that, but for the foreseeable future I will focus on the CS:GO section and myself. The transition from being a pro player has been a lot harder on me than I thought it would be since I was used to waking up every morning with a set goal on what to do. Right now I’m kind of figuring out stuff by myself in terms of the direction I want to take my life in the future, but GODSENT is obviously a big part of that, and in my eyes I succeed as long as GODSENT succeeds.
It seemingly took quite a bit of time for GODSENT to sign their CS:GO team. Why did it take so long, what was the process of finding and deciding on a team like?
It took a lot of time because we wanted to make sure we signed a team we could work with on a long-term project, and that did not seem possible with the way the Swedish CS:GO scene is today. But I think we won the lottery when the chance to sign the SMASH lineup fell into our laps, as this is a team that has been together for about 10 months, playing without salaries, and they have been able to bring themselves back after every setback they have faced. I think they are perfect to represent GODSENT.
There were some rumors about you targeting a Swedish team, but you ended up signing an international roster in SMASH. Was going international deliberate, or a consequence of the teams that were available at the moment?
I would say that it was a consequence of the teams/players who were available at the time, but also a realization from our side on how many doors open up when you have an international squad instead of a national roster.
How deeply and in what capacity will you personally be involved in the operations in the CS:GO team?
Right now I won't be super involved in the day-to-day operations of the CS:GO team, I will definitely have some oversight but I have full trust in Devilwalk as a coach and the team in general. They are one of the hardest working groups that I have seen in esports, and as long as they are progressing and getting better as a team I won't involve myself too much. As an organization, we want to provide them with tools and experts that can help them improve even more. But if they want my help I will definitely help them, and it’s not impossible for me to take a more hands-on approach in the future.
In an announcement following the merger with The Final Tribe, it is mentioned that the move was made with "the aim of becoming a Swedish world-class tier one esports powerhouse". How do you plan to catch up on the already established esports brands? What will differentiate GODSENT from the rest?
Our goal is to create the best possible atmosphere for our teams so that our players can develop their skills as gamers, but also give them tools and experts to improve themselves in life in general.
We will also put a lot of emphasis on interacting with our fans. But in general I don't think we will be doing anything super different from other organizations, but I do believe that if we continue doing what we are doing we will slowly but surely catch up with the more established organizations.
Talking about the CS:GO team specifically, what are your expectations from them? What goals were set at the start of your cooperation?
My own expectations for the CS:GO team is for them to be a stable top 20 team within six months, I think that's a reachable and very realistic goal, and from there another goal would be for the team to claim a Legend spot in a Major.