oskar: "I was considering whether it was still worth it to keep playing, but I decided I wouldn't give up that easily"
The AWPer was recently announced as a new addition to Sprout, as the German organization has returned to an English-speaking lineup for 2020 after parting ways with Florian "syrsoN" Rische and Nils "k1to" Gruhne in December.
In our interview with him, oskar talked about the offers he received since his stint with HellRaisers ended in October, revealing that a move to North America is not an option for him, and explained what helped him make the decision to join up with Sprout.
The 28-year-old also touched on the topic of his poor reputation, which became a point of discussion in the post-StarLadder Major period, and reflected on how his decision to leave mousesports at the beginning of the year affected his career.
Can you first talk about what has been up with you since the end of your stint with HellRaisers? Were you looking to get another break before deciding on your future or did you plan on getting back in the saddle as soon as possible?
I'm not going to lie, I immediately wanted to return and play, but I didn't play as much CS as I would have imagined, I'd be surprised if I played more than 30 hours after the Major. It was a tough period, I even had a plan that took a surprising turn, and that took away a lot of my motivation to come back. I was considering whether it was still worth it to keep playing, but I decided I wouldn't give up that easily. I still like to play and I want to give it my all. Worst case scenario, I was thinking about putting together a Czech-Slovakian team, but I'll have to put that off for now.
Can you tell us about the offers you received after you became a free agent? Was a move to a different region (North America, Asia) a possibility at all?
I can't talk about specifics, but I think I had two offers to go to North America and that was it. I've said it before, I can't go to North America and I don't want to. If I were 20 and if I had no roots, I'd go immediately.
What did you see in the Sprout team that helped you make the decision to join up with them?
As I said, I wanted to play, and creating a local team was the last resort. When Sprout came with the offer, I considered it for about a day. I just wanted to play and Sprout are in the top 30 at the moment, and I think we have what it takes to reach the top 20 and slowly start threatening some of the better teams. I'm not going to lie, I'm really happy about the opportunity to play with the guys, there's an experienced coach here, the talented faveN, and two legends from mousesports. I think it's going to be a good experience for everyone and I'm looking forward to getting it on the road.
How is communication going in this short amount of time you have spent together?
Actually, I'd say communication has been on a surprisingly good level, people give quick info and react in time, all of that has been there from the start and that's important. It'll take some time to sync up and perfect communication, but, all in all, I was positively surprised.
Karrigan recently said in an interview with Rivalry that you, ropz, and suNny didn't want to play with him when he got benched in FaZe. Why not? Is there a sense of "what if…" when you think back to that period? How would you reflect on 2019 as a whole for you and how your decision to leave mousesports at the beginning affected it?
That's true. I think we had different ideas about the team at the time, plus we already had two other names in mind. That's life, people unfortunately make wrong decisions and you can't take them back. I was thinking if I had played with ropz, suNny, and karrigan, how it could have worked or might not have worked, but I think it just had to be and I'm glad that ropz, chrisJ, and frozen are doing well. It wasn't the greatest period for me, I was just trying to stay in shape, I really wanted to take a break but then HellRaisers came with the offer, so I squeezed out what I had left and wanted to do well at the Major, which unfortunately didn't work out. 2019 didn't go very well for me, but I'm thinking positively and I hope 2020 will be a lot better. To be honest, I think my decision to quit mousesports really affected my career, but, as I said, everything has its reasons and people just sometimes make bad decisions.
Your reputation for being a bad teammate became a hot topic around the second post-Major shuffle period, which caused some of your former teammates to come to your defense on Twitter. What do you have to say on the subject of your reputation and motivation?
I think I know how and where it came from, but I'm not going to air it or go over it. A lot of things are said and they aren't always necessarily true, few people know me well enough to say that I'm a bad teammate. I don't let everyone close, I don't open up to everyone, and someone probably didn't like that, which caused all the drama. I'm just tired of it, so I'll leave it be and focus on my next team and the people in it. I just want to say that no one is perfect and I'm not either, but I always treat people with respect and humility, which some people might not realize.
A lot of attention is also directed at your age, do you believe you can compete at the top level at 28 years old in the same way you did in previous years?
Age is just a number. If I play as much as I used to I definitely believe I can and maybe I could even get better than that with all the experience I gathered.