shox: "We were really excited going into the tournament since we finally got some good preparation"

Kicking off our coverage of EPICENTER 2019 is a post-match interview with Vitality's Richard "shox" Papillon, who is now through to group A's winners' match after a 2-0 opening series against EHOME.

Vitality commenced their campaign in Moscow with a 2-0 victory against EHOME, where a tight 16-12 affair on Inferno was succeeded by a confident 16-1 performance on Nuke. The team will now face the winner of Natus Vincere versus Heroic in looks to advance straight to the semi-finals of the $500,000 event.

shox says the team's aim is to hoist the trophy in Moscow

Following their successful series against the Chinese underdogs, we caught up with shox, who gave some insight into his progress since joining in late September. The Frenchman also spoke on the practice achieved between Beijing and Moscow, as well as his adjustment from an in-game leader mindset to a player-focused one.

Vitality last played on LAN at the ESL Pro League Season 10 EU qualifiers, since then you've had a decent block of time to practice. How prepared does the team feel going into EPICENTER 2019?

Past events were pretty hard because we were just surfing off of the only bootcamp that we had before Malmö. It was like 10 days of practice, and after that we did not have any time to practice.

Coming here to EPICENTER we were really happy because we definitely had decent preparation. We had 10 days of bootcamp, plus something like five days of online practice, so we were pretty confident coming here, and everyone is feeling good because we finally managed to come to an event with at least some preparation.

Considering that the team is happy with the level of preparation, what are the projections for the tournament? What would be a good result for Vitality to achieve in Moscow?

We didn't really discuss goals that much, but we all feel confident and we know that we had good preparation. We are definitely going for the win, that's what we are aiming for.

You were added to the roster late-September. Would you say your role within the team has adjusted since arrival?

There have definitely been some changes since September. When we came back from Beijing I changed some positions to ones where I feel more comfortable. Since we finally had some time to practice, I'm just getting used to how we are playing and getting a better understanding of what's happening on the map and how we are playing as a team; I'm feeling better and better. It's all positive and I can feel that I'm progressing day by day.

Previously you mentioned that it was difficult for you to move away from an in-game leader mindset that you had to assume during your time on G2. How has that been progressing for you?

Yeah, I have definitely become more comfortable as a player right now. It took time, but I'm feeling better. The only thing that remains, I would say, is that I still need to understand what we are doing, why we are doing it and stuff like that. When I don't really understand what's going on is when I get in trouble, especially individually.

Since we had time to prepare and I had the time to think about everything and ask questions when I didn't understand why it has definitely gotten better, I'm fitting into the team better and feeling confident as a player.

Could you give specific examples of some of the things you didn't understand?

It's questions that I ask when I don't understand specific things about the game and what we are doing. Sometimes it's even about tactics because we didn't have the time to practice. We only practiced before Malmö for one week, and it was quite difficult to remember what I should do in certain situations. It's all about clearly understanding my role, my positions and what we are doing as a team.

In the series against EHOME Inferno saw a confident 12-3 CT half, but on the T side you really seemed to struggle. What were the difficulties on the offense?

They were playing an aggressive style, and they caught us off guard a lot of times. We weren't as prepared as we should have been against this kind of style. Once we set up a plan to calm down and be ready for something really aggressive, everything went pretty well.

Also, I think we are all really excited going into the tournament since we finally got some good preparation. We are really excited to play, and I guess we also needed to get comfortable at a LAN event since our last was Beijing. It's fine since we managed to close out the game and show a way better face on Nuke.

Lastly, the team is now through to the winners' match of group A, where you will face either Natus Vincere or Heroic. Any preference regarding your opponent?

We don't have any preference at all, as I said, we are aiming for the trophy coming into Moscow, so whichever team we play, we are ready to face them and put up a good fight. We want to reach the level we expect of ourselves.

France Richard 'shox' Papillon
Richard 'shox' Papillon
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
GOD shox!
2019-12-17 14:32
France LeDiplomate 
Shox:"It feels good to be carried by ZywOo"
2019-12-17 14:39
Shox: "I'm taking over as IGL this event"
2019-12-17 14:47
2019-12-17 14:49
France LeDiplomate 
Everything explained now lmao.
2019-12-17 14:54
Sweden Waduhek 
2019-12-17 19:28
nice preparation shox, couldn't even get 1+ rating vs tier4 team kkkkkkkkkkkkkk
2019-12-17 14:32
+1 hahahahahahah
2019-12-17 14:43
+1 lmao
2019-12-17 15:31
NiKo | 
Croatia mimi031 
He makes space for his team and he is moral support like stewie in liquid
2019-12-17 15:32
wtf? so rude! why you disrespect shox like that? hes bad but better than bot2k at least
2019-12-17 15:34
NiKo | 
Croatia mimi031 
"We prepaired for..." i think the way he said it that he himself knows that "We" is not the truth.
2019-12-17 15:45
Shox noob
2019-12-17 14:32
Portugal NabasKi 
Let's hope we see some results this time
2019-12-17 14:32
2019-12-17 14:33
Xyp9x | 
China Autumn7 
Picked shox for fantasy and was so disappointed :(
2019-12-17 14:33
Navi 2-0 Vitality
2019-12-17 14:33
Colombia MonstarX 
Win 16-12 vs a Tier 99999999 team, Good preparation :(
2019-12-17 14:35
16-12 with zywoo magic they should never get any T round on this map
2019-12-17 14:49
Colombia MonstarX 
+1 And rn they're destroying NaVi
2019-12-17 18:58
Shoxx in 2020?
2019-12-17 14:38
We??? You mean Zywoo.. Because as far as i can see, only him got prepared.
2019-12-17 14:41
> Good preparation > Carried by Zywoo Choose one.
2019-12-17 14:46
2019-12-17 14:47
I choose good preparation
2019-12-17 14:47
> Good preparation > Carried by Zywoo
2019-12-17 14:47
Good preparation 16-12 vs nonamers
2019-12-17 14:53
Won versus tier 100 , excited ? LUL
2019-12-17 14:54
By good preparation he means good preparation of zywoo or what?
2019-12-17 14:54
shox: "Zywoo was really excited going into the tournament since he finally got some good preparation"
2019-12-17 14:57
+1 lmao
2019-12-17 15:06
Preparation for this tournament: Zywoo go DM
2019-12-17 15:16
Nothing was showed. Shox bottom fragger in a team with full of bots.
2019-12-17 15:29
Get carried against no namer Good preparation Pick one
2019-12-17 15:36
preparation: strats: "zywoo go kill"
2019-12-17 15:38
Croatia MgK1nG 
2019-12-17 15:42
Absolute no chance against NaVi
2019-12-17 15:43
f0rest | 
France Kiirua2 
2019-12-18 00:00
saju | 
Poland momtr 
Nt 13-2
2019-12-17 17:17
Shox is so bad lurker
2019-12-17 17:44
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