The story of mantuu, the AWPer who is reinventing himself

As Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski prepares to make his debut for OG, we talked to two persons who had a big influence in the early days of the AWPer's career.

Exactly a week ago, OG finally went public with one of the worst-kept secrets in esports in recent history: their expansion into Counter-Strike. The famed Dota 2 organisation, the only to boast a two-time — and back-to-back — champion of The International, house a star-studded line-up assembled by Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen and Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt, who were joined by two other players with international pedigree in Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså and Issa "ISSAA" Murad.

The final piece of the puzzle proved to be more challenging — with Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen unable to compete at Majors due to his alleged ties with a VAC-banned account and Valentin "poizon" Vasilev having favored a move to Complexity, OG turned to mantuu, a relatively unknown player outside of Germany, where he made a name for himself playing for PANTHERS and ALTERNATE aTTaX. But who is this Polish-born player who has lived in the United Kingdom since the age of five and has been turning heads in the Counter-Strike scene?

Inside the game, no one knows mantuu as well as Dustin "DuDe" Großmann. The pair played together for over four years and would probably still be on the same team if OG had not come knocking. After getting to know each other online through a mutual group of friends, they decided to team up, initially just for fun, attending their first event together in March of 2016, in the BYOC qualifier for Copenhagen Games. When it came to top-flight Counter-Strike, n0_0rg were as green as they come, but mantuu still held his own during the early stages of the qualifier, even against an Epiphany Bolt team led by veterans Jon "DaY" Thomas Rudstrøm and Kristian "KORN" Hokland, before his team were overrun by the Swedes of Plantronics.

As fate would have it, mantuu and DuDe would be donning Plantronics’ colours the following year in the Danish capital after winning the Team Plantronics Challenge. By the time Copenhagen Games came around, the team had already amassed some experience through competing in online qualifiers, ESL Meisterschaft and ESEA Main, and it showed. Despite going out in the groups, Plantronics raised eyebrows by pushing iGame.com to their limit and taking a map off NRG — two results that put the team on the map and opened many doors.

mantuu is set to play his first event with OG

mantuu left Copenhagen with an impressive 1.20 rating, even making the tournament's stats leaderboards for opening kills per round (0.19) and opening duel success (67.6%). Many were surprised to see a rather unknown player perform so well at this level, but not DuDe, who had been seeing first-hand his friend's steady growth. "I noticed incredibly quickly how gifted mantuu was," the German player tells HLTV.org. "He had never played in a CS:GO team before and had no experience to show for, but mechanically he stood out instantly and, to be honest, I was convinced he had to be cheating when I first played with him just because he was so much better than anyone else we played with.

"The more I got to know him I realized his disciplined mentality and how hard he was working to improve and started acknowledging that he was just really really good at the game. I realized pretty quickly that he had the skills to compete on way higher levels, especially after seeing him perform just as well or even better on LAN compared to online."

Not long after Copenhagen Games, the players were offered the chance to represent PANTHERS, an organisation with a long history in Counter-Strike. Pursuing a career abroad was a natural move for mantuu, who, in an interview with esportmania.pl, admitted that the British scene "is not great" after getting a taste of local CS during his early playing days.

The team brought home a title within a few months of joining PANTHERS, winning the ESL Meisterschaft Summer 2017 Finals, but they struggled to replicate that success during the rest of the time that they spent in the organisation, especially when mantuu stepped down from the roster for nearly five months in order to complete his studies. "He was still studying at university and he finished his degree while still playing a lot with the team, along with managing many other responsibilities at the time," says DuDe. "He’s always been working very hard to make everything work."mantuu's work ethic is also highly praised by Niclas "enkay J" Krumhorn, who coached the player for almost eight months on ALTERNATE aTTaX. "He is eager to learn and to improve, and, most importantly, he is an absolute team player," says the current Sprout coach.

mantuu's transition to ALTERNATE aTTaX, in January 2019, was seamless, in no small part because he continued to operate in a system crafted by DuDe, who joined him in this new adventure. After a year in which he had found LAN opportunities very hard to come by, mantuu exploded on the international scene in 2019 and became a name on many people's lips as he averaged a 1.18 rating in offline tournaments, helping ALTERNATE aTTaX to win three domestic trophies and an international title, at the four-team Esportal Global Finals, in Stockholm.

"He would most of the time single-handedly carry us through the German leagues, and in international competitions he would constantly be our best performing player due to his versatility," enkay J says. "Back then he was not the primary AWPer, he would only pick it up when we were running double AWP setups as CT. We would leave him on one bombsite as an anchor because we knew he would be locking down that bombsite. On the Terrorist side, he would a lot of times function as an entry."

As impressive as his versatility for ALTERNATE aTTaX was, that was not the trait that saw him land on OG's radar. As NBK- and Aleksib were searching for a dedicated AWPer for the team, they were forced to go into unfamiliar territory after dropping their interest in Jamppi and missing out on poizon. mantuu's name came up on the recommendation of enkay J himself, who had worked with NBK- during his time as an analyst for EnVyUs and G2. "I kept mentioning mantuu's potential to him, that they should at least give this guy a shot," he says.

The early signs have been positive, at least judging from an interview conducted by VaKarM with NBK- in which the French veteran admitted to being impressed with mantuu's impact in practice. But the question stands: with a 0.17 AWP kills/per round ratio on LAN in 2019, will he be able to keep up when the going gets tough, considering his lack of experience against tier-one teams and the fact that he has had to make considerable adjustments to his game to fit the profile of the team's needs?

"It is obviously going to be hard for him in the first couple of months, as he was not the primary AWPer for the last year or two," enkay J says. "He will have to work harder in order to catch up with other top AWPs, but with the right guidance and full support of his teammates he can do that. CT sides will definitely not be the issue right away, but T sides will be a challenge for him as he used to function as an entry for quite some time. On some maps, the Terrorist AWPers have to play a pretty passive style and simply hold angles, while on other maps they can do whatever they want, so he has to find the perfect balance.

"He needs to find his own groove as a 'full AWPer' and he needs to work on his decision making as OG will probably play a heavier individualistic playstyle than what he was used to."

mantuu's first test in an OG jersey will come this Thursday, in California. Beyond The Summit's laidback atmosphere will take some of the pressure off the team, making it the perfect debut tournament for a player still trying to find his feet. At 22 years old, he is still a young, developing player who should have no problem to reshape his game once again after playing a variety of roles before. He is willing to sacrifice his jack-of-all-trades skill set, all in the pursuit of the dream he set out to achieve at the start of this year: to finally reach a Major. And what better place to do it than in a team with players who have a collective 22 Major appearances between them?

As the action begins in Los Angeles, all eyes will be on the young Brit, including those of DuDe, who confessed that it was with mixed emotions that he parted ways with his friend and longtime teammate. "Obviously it was a bittersweet situation for me," the ALTERNATE aTTaX captain says. "I’m extremely happy for him but after over four years I will definitely miss playing with him in a team.

"We will not try to replace him with a player with the same qualities. I don’t think that would be very realistic and we’d likely end up with a budget version of him. Instead, we will try to find a player who excels in other areas and perhaps fits the system better to improve the team in aspects we might have been lacking in the past.

"I wish him nothing but the best moving forward and I’m really excited to see what the future holds for him and for us as a team, as well."

Germany Niclas 'enkay J' Krumhorn
Niclas 'enkay J' Krumhorn
Age:
30
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.84
Maps played:
170
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.14
France Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Nathan 'NBK-' Schmitt
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1667
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Germany Dustin 'DuDe' Großmann
Dustin 'DuDe' Großmann
Age:
27
Rating 1.0:
0.78
Maps played:
303
KPR:
0.52
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.13
United Kingdom Mateusz 'mantuu' Wilczewski
Mateusz 'mantuu' Wilczewski
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
299
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
Finland Elias 'Jamppi' Olkkonen
Elias 'Jamppi' Olkkonen
Age:
18
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.14
Maps played:
430
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.10
Denmark Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså
Valdemar 'valde' Bjørn Vangså
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
847
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.14
Norway Jon 'DaY' Thomas Rudstrøm
Jon 'DaY' Thomas Rudstrøm
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
113
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.16
Jordan Issa 'ISSAA' Murad
Issa 'ISSAA' Murad
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
539
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.12
Finland Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
603
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.18
Bulgaria Valentin 'poizon' Vasilev
Valentin 'poizon' Vasilev
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.15
Maps played:
691
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.12
Norway Kristian 'KORN' Hokland
Kristian 'KORN' Hokland
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
178
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.15
#1
 | 
Germany Bundeskanzler 
best UK player
2019-12-12 00:02
No
2019-12-12 00:02
So lucky, he stole YEKINDAR's spot
2019-12-12 00:21
"At 22 years old, he is still a young, developing player" Wtf, since when is 22 young when it comes for eSports lol
2019-12-12 02:04
Since you couldn’t spell esports
2019-12-12 04:25
#73
 | 
Estonia JackReacher 
He will probably receive a slap from redeye.
2019-12-12 05:44
+1
2019-12-12 10:21
+1 <3 3kliksphilip
2019-12-16 22:41
+1
2019-12-12 07:36
"Esports (also known as electronic sports, e-sports, or eSports) is a form of sport competition using video games." Aight kid
2019-12-12 15:08
My point is that even though many people like calling it esports over other names there is still no consensus. Thinking only one form is correct and the rest are spelling errors is kinda retarded tbh
2019-12-12 20:02
100%
2019-12-22 01:47
#105
 | 
United States @FyreCS 
0/8
2019-12-12 22:32
Smoo?
2019-12-12 00:04
ya?
2019-12-12 00:06
na
2019-12-12 02:02
#76
flamie | 
Germany SheevaV 
ye
2019-12-12 07:32
ne
2019-12-16 00:06
ALEX
2019-12-12 00:07
best English igl not player still good player though
2019-12-12 02:02
Smoonay
2019-12-22 01:47
*polish
2019-12-12 00:05
#123
 | 
Poland Prz3m05 
+1
2019-12-16 10:11
>UK >BEST XAXAXA
2019-12-12 00:11
#46
 | 
United Kingdom HLTV_PATRIOT 
Better than Hen1, kng and Fallen combined
2019-12-12 00:32
Hen1 and KNG yes. Fallen No
2019-12-12 00:38
I would 100% say that right now that kng is better than fallen.
2019-12-12 01:52
#77
flamie | 
Germany SheevaV 
i have to agree
2019-12-12 07:33
#131
 | 
Brazil KAUANksS 
in wich aspects kng is better than fallen?
2019-12-19 13:56
Mechanically and intuitively as an aggressive awper understands it better than fallen. Obviously Fallen is a better passive awper and is smarter at positioning himself to gain an advantage. Imo peak fallen would have been better than kng, but peak fallen isn't the fallen we have rn.
2019-12-19 15:24
#133
 | 
Brazil KAUANksS 
i agree
2019-12-19 15:35
spot on
2019-12-22 01:48
#67
dycha | 
Poland Arknes 
polish*
2019-12-12 03:49
#84
JaCkz | 
France Quarovv 
0/8
2019-12-12 08:42
#88
huNter- | 
Poland Szcz 
He is actually good so cant be british Come on dude use some logic
2019-12-12 09:07
#115
JaCkz | 
France Quarovv 
Lol men Alex is better than all Vp
2019-12-14 21:35
#116
huNter- | 
Poland Szcz 
Nice reply after 5 years. Vitality is zywoo and 4 baits.
2019-12-14 22:45
#128
 | 
Poland Prz3m05 
you're right
2019-12-18 18:11
#136
JaCkz | 
France Quarovv 
Nt 0/8
2019-12-20 16:54
#137
huNter- | 
Poland Szcz 
Another reply after 5 years XDDD Were you thinking about sensable argument and after all this time you come out with: Nt 0/8? XDDDDD Well what I said above is true Zywoo is the one who is always MVP No Zywoo No Vitality
2019-12-20 17:00
yep rn he is
2019-12-17 23:22
1. Mezii 2. Mantuu 3. Tudson No other order
2019-12-13 02:23
#122
 | 
United Kingdom zakariin 
we need more polish immigrants
2019-12-16 06:37
#129
 | 
Poland Prz3m05 
Yes, because your native players are too bad. Tudson is 100% Polish.
2019-12-18 18:17
who?
2019-12-18 21:07
#135
 | 
United Kingdom zakariin 
true, idgaf if they're truly British just please be good at the game.
2019-12-20 05:59
After Pasha
2019-12-15 17:48
#143
 | 
Europe laczyslaw 
hes polish player dude
2019-12-24 12:50
Snax better polish
2019-12-12 00:02
#78
flamie | 
Germany SheevaV 
its almost 2020 my son
2019-12-12 07:33
But he's Ronaldinho of cs
2019-12-12 10:14
was
2019-12-22 01:49
#4
kr4sylya | 
United Kingdom Wazerz 
GOD
2019-12-12 00:02
BOT
2019-12-12 00:05
BOTACO?
2019-12-12 01:29
Best German player
2019-12-12 00:02
Ok was on data so page couldnt load fast enough, im basically an IE user
2019-12-12 00:03
#7
 | 
Poland Crai9Xen 
Cool story bro
2019-12-12 00:02
Best Polish player!
2019-12-12 00:02
ez 4 best polish player
2019-12-12 00:03
who
2019-12-12 00:04
#13
 | 
Thailand beam2546 
#1 2020
2019-12-12 00:04
#16
 | 
Finland kkonaa 
Jamppi betterestest
2019-12-12 00:06
Jamppi>
2019-12-12 00:06
mantuu destroyed jamppi when they played
2019-12-12 00:08
poizon raped mantuu men
2019-12-12 00:13
filthy :(
2019-12-12 00:14
i believe in you mantuu future super star
2019-12-12 00:07
who?
2019-12-12 00:11
#23
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
polish superstar.
2019-12-12 00:11
#26
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
Polish but reps UK
2019-12-12 00:14
#28
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
Doesn't rep UK. HLTV Just put flag British, other sites have him as Polish. If he repped UK he wouldn't have a twitter vote "Which flag should i use for attax jersey" 1.Polish 2. UK Most voted : Polish.
2019-12-12 00:15
#30
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
Lived over in UK since he was 5. His career started in the UK therefore UK player. Also reps UK flag on faceit and HLTV. :)
2019-12-12 00:17
#32
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
UK Since 5 doesnt matter cuz he said "im 100% Polish" Okoliciouz career start in german but not german flag? so that logic is flawed. uk flag on faceit so he can join uk hubs. As i said HLTV is only site that has him as british flag. :)
2019-12-12 00:18
#36
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
Check his twitter bio, the UK flag is before the Poland flag. He cares about UK more :)
2019-12-12 00:20
#37
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
0/8 get good at baiting. Its like me eating soup first then 2nd course meal and u saying i care more about soup / like soup more than 2nd course meal cuz i eat it first. Stupid ruski logic bad bait -1000/8
2019-12-12 00:21
#40
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
Tbh I'd rather rep UK than Poland.
2019-12-12 00:25
#41
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
That's just your shitty opinion that goes well with UK's shitty scene.
2019-12-12 00:25
#42
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
How hard it is to understand the man prefers UK over Poland?
2019-12-12 00:26
#43
 | 
Europe Paweless 
How hard it is to understand the man prefers Poland over UK?
2019-12-12 00:27
#44
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
He doesn't. Hence why he done a poll over jersey Flag. How hard is it to understand? Maybe i speak ruskoskos englandos? mantuu dided this poll on de twitteres andes this mens puttin polen and u key in the poll becuz he not preferes Uk.
2019-12-12 00:28
#45
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
He has UK flag on hltv and faceit therefore represents UK. He can easily get it changed but he hasn't because he reps UK > Poorland
2019-12-12 00:30
why do you hate poland so much huh?
2019-12-12 00:40
#53
 | 
Russia (^_^) 
I don't hate Poland, I just hated how this guy always has to say mantuu is Polish.
2019-12-12 00:40
you clearly do and u are bad at hiding it, u still try to prove a point that has no sense at all and this guy told u why
2019-12-12 00:41
#89
huNter- | 
Poland Szcz 
Mantuu : Yeah I am polish (^_^) : U liar!
2019-12-12 09:10
#101
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
he can't change it, its up to hltv to change it lol. also mantuu is polish so what the fuck are u on about? he literally said "i moved to uk when i was 5 but i am *100% POLISH*" can you not read u stupid monkey?
2019-12-12 17:38
#83
 | 
Poland Lukovsky 
> ruskoskos englandos > dided that's actually polakos patologicus englando
2019-12-12 08:39
xD why u do dis mens dont even continue this discussion (or bait) cuz u will lose it anyways
2019-12-12 00:21
Rep both countries, only only polish or british
2019-12-12 00:19
#81
 | 
France LeDiplomate 
How can u change your flag on faceit?
2019-12-12 07:59
out of context, any photos of him actually wearing that jersey with PL flag?
2019-12-12 00:18
#34
 | 
Poland LiquidWater 
no but no british flag either cuz they didn't even get to wear those jerseys. Also how is that out of context lmao? If he repped UK he would've just asked for UK flag and no twitter poll lmao lmao lmao.
2019-12-12 00:19
thats funny a bit tho hahah @e out of context cuz u were talking about something else than i
2019-12-12 00:20
Actually, we talked to him just now and he said that we should keep the UK flag.
2019-12-12 00:35
#117
TaZ | 
Poland Czeczen 
0/8 monki MANTU MOST POLEST MAN ON EARTH
2019-12-15 14:41
lmao BURNED by admin hahahaha
2019-12-12 05:40
#75
 | 
Denmark Sir_Cumcised 
Lol polish dude got smacked
2019-12-12 07:29
#82
 | 
France LeDiplomate 
Haha you got rekt so hard you should quit this account.
2019-12-12 08:01
#27
 | 
Turkey sonbafrali 
mantwho?
2019-12-12 00:15
your nan
2019-12-12 00:39
#70
 | 
Poland rude_wredne 
mantwho?
2019-12-12 04:41
Your nan
2019-12-12 16:01
ez for the best polish and british and german... (oh, okoliciouz is the best german) player
2019-12-12 00:16
#49
 | 
France Uexo 
Hope that he adapts himself for the top tier competition
2019-12-12 00:39
Make OG proud bro
2019-12-12 00:39
who?
2019-12-12 00:51
#56
shox | 
India iejesus 
Who
2019-12-12 01:23
Another Polish but not under PL flag LUL
2019-12-12 01:26
#92
 | 
Sweden Madrigals1 
Polacks are like turks in Sweden, but in every country better than Poland
2019-12-12 11:52
#93
 | 
Denmark ghostan11 
#47 Get rekt
2019-12-12 11:58
#95
Poland wims 
He has Polish roots, but he spent all his childhood in UK. He grew up in UK, what's so strange that he feels British? Fortunately, his parents taught him to remember his native language etc. but it doesn't change the fact that his whole life revolves around UK. It is so obvious.
2019-12-12 12:02
doesn't change where he comes from
2019-12-13 18:59
true but, that it's up to him how he wants to be seen in this situation.
2019-12-14 14:43
objectively it's not up to him
2019-12-22 18:13
Who 🚗🚗🚗🚗
2019-12-12 01:33
who
2019-12-12 02:57
why are polaks getting mad for mantu not having an uk flag??? XDDDD like bruh who cares
2019-12-12 03:25
#108
sergej | 
Poland Noxize 
beacuse poles are sensitive to see polish things outside of Poland u get it mens??? 😎😎👍
2019-12-13 10:26
you mean english?
2019-12-13 11:21
#110
sergej | 
Poland Noxize 
no they think that polish name equals being actually polish mens 😎
2019-12-13 12:09
never saw that logic outside poland tbh, take michu for instance, has a german surname but germans are not calling him german LUL
2019-12-13 12:13
#112
sergej | 
Poland Noxize 
That's what I mean, Poland mountain
2019-12-13 12:27
gg
2019-12-12 04:27
#71
 | 
World Beard43 
Will be interesting to see 'em in action.
2019-12-12 04:55
#74
jks | 
Russia Zel0cE 
Maybe new Star
2019-12-12 06:28
Better than olof and guardian
2019-12-12 08:44
#86
 | 
Austria gex0r 
mantuu really deserved a spot in a top team. hopefully it'll work out for him with this one
2019-12-12 08:48
Smooya not even best UK awper now xd
2019-12-12 08:55
#94
 | 
United States Fr4nki3B 
Whats up with his video, after his kills from 1:48 to 1:55 his crosshair flicks over to where the other guy is before he goes around train to kill him ?.. a little sus to me, for sure!
2019-12-12 11:59
two time - back to back - champion . i caught the reference miraa good one :D
2019-12-12 15:09
#106
Zeus | 
Peru xzjuanc 
he's trash anyways who cares xdxd
2019-12-12 22:40
#118
 | 
Finland J3bediah 
Next zywoo
2019-12-15 17:46
He's not Zywoo, he's Mantuu
2019-12-15 17:48
only guy who has balls to go in tunnel of d2 with awp
2019-12-16 15:24
#127
 | 
Mongolia Sythapilla 
mantuu is good food eat with soup.
2019-12-18 01:17
mantu UK GOD
2019-12-19 18:02
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.