ropz: "Practice quality hasn't been great, so it feels good to win this tournament and get our confidence back"

We chatted with Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool after mousesports won ICE Challenge 2020 in London 3-1 against Natus Vincere.

mousesports opened up 2020 with a victory at this year's ICE Challenge, the second of its name, which was played at the ExCeL exhibitions center and congress in London and carried a grand prize of $125,000 for the winners. The European combine did so losing only one map in their first three best-of-threes, and dropping only one more in the best-of-five grand final which they won against Natus Vincere.

ropz smiling during a tech pause in the early stages of the final

Following the fourth and final map of the best-of-five grand final as swathes of contractors swarmed the ExCeL exhibition center to tear down the many stands that made up this year's ICE London, ropz took a moment to talk to HLTV.org about the team's preparation going into ICE Challenge, their first matches of 2020—including the final against Natus Vincere—, and not playing BLAST Premier, which is taking place just down the road.

First event of the year ends with a win. Not a stacked tournament, but you had to beat Na`Vi in the final. How do you see 2020 shaping up?

It feels great, I don't think we've had such a good start so far in our mousesports career. It's a great warm-up tournament for us because our biggest focus is now IEM Katowice. We just practiced online for this tournament, now we're going to have a pretty hard bootcamp and that will boost our confidence even more.

You struggled against MAD Lions at moments, and you weren't as sharp perhaps as at the end of last year. You said this is a warm-up event, so what have you seen so far? Things that have gone well, things you have to work on a bit more... What are the first impressions?

It's all about individual shape. I feel like everything is good when we play the matches, and our communication, but during our practice after the break it went pretty bad, to be honest. Everybody was off and the quality of practice hasn't been great, so it feels good to win this tournament and get the confidence back. We were playing really poor in practice, we weren't hitting shots, and we felt not that good coming into this event. I'm glad we won it in the end, I mean even if we just made the final it would have been great, but if we really bombed out here I think it would have kind of destroyed us.

One of the things we saw with Liquid last year is that they struggled after the player break and they were talking about communication not being the same, things not clicking. Can you pinpoint what it was for you?

The way I see it is that everybody has to give their best. I think we didn't have that much motivation going into practice the past few weeks, but we're getting close to our peak. We had a pretty long break, but even then coming back and playing seven or eight hours a day can be pretty tough. I just think we haven't gotten into the rhythm. We can just do better as individuals in practice because communication, in the end, is just about everyone staying focused all of the time. Sure, you can lose focus sometimes, but most of the time you should be on point and that's what communication comes down to. For example, when you get traded or something you should always stay in the round and talk about what your teammates are doing, what they're holding, and I think the biggest thing we're sometimes missing is that when we die we kind of zone off and become unfocused.

Communication is good, in general, but we just need to push it because against teams like Liquid or Astralis, they have it flowing really well and that's what tough matches come down to, they're really tight matches, and if you give your all when it comes to communication you make sure you don't lose the round to something random. I think we're really close to hitting our peak now that we have our confidence back, [we'll hit it] once we start hitting our shots and improve on communication.

Talking about your peak, you ended 2019 on a high winning trophies and getting good results. What are your goals as a team going into 2020? How high do you want to go?

Our general goal is to become number one. Not just by ranking, but actually be the best team. We want to make it the hard way. We don't really have any other goals than that, just to improve and play well in every tournament we attend. We went down a bit in 2019, towards the middle of the season, so becoming more consistent, as well. Becoming top one and gaining more consistency.

The game against Na`Vi went your way early on, getting the 2-0 on Dust2 and Inferno before losing Train and then closing it out on Nuke. There you won some crucial rounds that were quite contested early on...

It started really slow, we had technical issues and pauses, so it was kind of a bummer. Dust2 was a really tight map and winning a few key rounds pushed us over the top. We were really confident on Inferno and I think we just had them down, they couldn't find their groove there.

On Train we gave them the advantage, we gave them the entry frags, basically. They're a team that like to sit a lot and wait out the rounds, we made some mistakes by pushing too much and giving them the entry. It could have gone our way if we played more passive, but well played by them.

On Nuke we started back-and-forth, kind of, but we won some really key rounds. We were in disadvantageous situations a couple of times and came back in the rounds, which is what helped us win the game. We also did some work on the T-side and have some stuff prepared, so we were quite confident after the CT-side.

BLAST Premier is going on here in London now, as well. Are you kind of bummed out to not be playing that right now?

It's sad, in a way, we're one of the best teams in the world right now and didn't get the invitation, so yeah... I'm kind of jealous watching these guys play in a really nice studio and stuff like that. The competition is really tough there, also, so we're kind of jealous because we're missing out, but we still have a lot of things to look forward to. Hopefully things turn around and we can still be a part of it.

Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
866
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Ok
2020-02-06 23:28
2 replies
#43
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Indonesia lumayan
Here we go again... Karrigan = half german = german ChrisJ = swamp german = german woxic = turk = german frozen = ex-german territory = german ropz = ex-german territory = german we smart we loyal we friendly we are germans #vamouz
2020-02-07 07:43
1 reply
Nt , everyone knows Frozen and Ropz are Russians ex Soviet Territory - Russian
2020-02-07 10:14
#4
ropz | 
Czech Republic y0fl0w
nice - #1 2020 btw ty for the interview, was a bit sad there were not much player interviews on cam at this event
2020-02-06 23:30
6 replies
I don't think they can be #1. For that you need all 5 players to go solid in numbers and I can't see karrigan go consistently above let's say 1.05-1.1 rating. Gla1ve can, nitr0 can too. Katowice will show where we all are.
2020-02-07 00:30
5 replies
#30
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Estonia MorsAlbum
karrigans been getting there a LOT of games honestly. with mouz being so fucking good atm and them winning so many tournaments lately i feel like the motivation is sky high rn and even karrigan would work day in day out to improve individually. he has a lot of games where he does really fucking well and does glaive shit like pushes and fucked up entries for the team. he just needs a bit more practice and stability when practicing but i definitely think he can be a solid 1.06 rating consistently. the rest of mouz are so fucking good that karrigan doesnt need to be THAT good. the way i see it is like this: astralis has everyone roughly equal because they have insane communication and strats dont rly need to focus on aim liquid has insane aim but less communication and strats than astralis mouz is bang on in the middle of all of that, they have 3 players that are liquid tier aim, then 2 players that are astralis tier work ethic/teamplay/strats/brains/etc, while those 2 also have solid fucking aim and can even go 20+ really often or get 1v5s lmao
2020-02-07 02:02
4 replies
karrigan just needs to keep flexing in the pick-ban phase. mousesports playing all the maps gives an edge to fuck with teams in pick-ban. I don't recall any other team playing all seven maps
2020-02-07 05:46
I am worried in a sense, that not only I think a) Mouz has a spike in form, b) They were a bit unpredictable before, since before the last events they were not contending for titles and people might not be studying them that deeply. Now they are definitely on the radar and for sure they will be antistratted more. The beggining in karrigan's stint in Faze was awesome, so there is a question if this will last or even elevate too. karrigan's entries when he feels it have been sick, I admit it, but that can't work forever, right? Teams gotta be prepared him running the gun and ramboing for example banana on the T-side. Btw Mouz have been banning Overpass I think everytime, so not sure they are playing all 7 maps with that. Also they were saying Train is their best map and they lost it against NaVi yesterday, so a bit dubious there too. I am curious if they can this keep up, since if they can, with the talent and age, they can reach n.1 eventually. For now, I can't see them beating Astralis consistently.
2020-02-07 12:59
2 replies
#59
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Estonia MorsAlbum
karrigans entries can definitely work forever lmao just look at glaive. karrigan can read the game as well as glaive and would know when and where to go and what to do like glaive pushing ct long EVERY dust 2 game and getting 2-3 kills. its not a thing about form or luck or enemies not knowing about it, his enemies definitely know about it but what are they gonna do? keep 1 guy watching out at all times for just 1 player while the other 4 win the round? the only issue here is his individual skill which has been getting better and better so if he works super hard and gets it consistent then yeah its gonna be a scary team cuz ropz is in it lol
2020-02-07 14:04
1 reply
Entries on long on Dust 2 are ok. He plays on CT the long corners and yes, with good spray and good prediction of the play he can get multifrags and you don't need too much skill to do so. That I get. On the T side I don't think he is the main long pusher? It gets switched here and there. I am pointing more on the ocassions when he is on the T side and comes rampaging with an AK or even a Deagle and turns the round on its head in the first 20 seconds by fragging 2 CTs. That I feel comes out of either little preparation of the opponents or being unfocused cause "it's just an antieco". Since otherwise karrigan can hardly outaim anyone, I don't see him going on mad lurks (that's ropz's job), moving insidiously in smokes to get multifrags around it etc. He is a decent anchor, has great feeling in mid-rounds. The difference for me is, that is Astralis has a guy not playing well, the other 4 still can frag and deliver. Anyone. If in Mouz one of Woxic/ropz/frozen has a bad day, it gets seriously tough and Chris neither karrigan can take it over. Chris maybe. Karrigan also is 28, it's not like his skill is going to go up, but i can see him getting more and more motivated with the results and aiming for that major title.
2020-02-07 14:26
The title feels like "we were shit lately but NaVi is shitter"
2020-02-06 23:30
3 replies
#35
 | 
India _Jazz_
Lmao true
2020-02-07 05:28
+1 true LUL
2020-02-07 06:14
#54
 | 
France Strasbourg
HAHAHHAHAHA
2020-02-07 13:00
ropz <3
2020-02-06 23:30
Mouse not being invited to blast is stupid, sad to hear ropz is disappointed by that. Hopefully it'll give them time to fully focus for katowice.
2020-02-06 23:37
7 replies
+1 blast scared that mouz not good enough
2020-02-06 23:38
#14
ropz | 
Czech Republic y0fl0w
i mean, they'll probably be invited at the showdown and can qualify for the finals, i hope so at least
2020-02-06 23:50
2 replies
#15
 | 
Germany Shackrag
i hope so but i think they will only invite tier xyz teams so that those teams they are partnered with that play below their financial possibilities like c9 and complexity get a boost
2020-02-07 00:02
1 reply
#16
ropz | 
Czech Republic y0fl0w
you really think that? would be bad pr i guess they'll stick to some kind of ranking to determine the invites if necessary there are open quals iirc
2020-02-07 00:08
2 replies
😎 Get BLASTed
2020-02-07 05:04
Rat Blast
2020-02-07 08:56
Robin cool Beast
2020-02-06 23:38
ez for ma boi ropz
2020-02-06 23:48
they should win more tier1 events not tier3 like summit or this one
2020-02-07 00:08
6 replies
+1 everyone cooming on themselves MOUZ WIN 4 TOURNEY ye but all are tier 4000 lol
2020-02-07 00:14
3 replies
#20
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Netherlands Throaky
At least they win them bruh, some good pricemoney as well.
2020-02-07 00:29
1 reply
yeah, but tbh they SHOULD win all of them when they are the new top2 team if they win katowice, then welcome new best team I just have a bad feeling that they wont win another tier1 event
2020-02-07 01:13
expected from sergej fanboi
2020-02-07 00:30
The problem is since csgo asia championships they played only one tier 1 event which is epl s10. But, yeah, they should win tier 1 events as well.
2020-02-07 01:19
Tier2*
2020-02-07 08:56
#21
 | 
Russia LeGoBoys
Smiling ropz is the scariest thing I ever saw
2020-02-07 00:29
2 replies
#28
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Slovakia SLAVak
Ye, I feel like he sees into my soul and unleashes some of it into the limbo where he secretly eats it away piece by piece.
2020-02-07 01:19
1 reply
Excuse me, what the hell xD
2020-02-07 07:04
What ropz mentioned about practice was the thing that broke the old lineup apart. Seems if karrigan takes a small break in his mind the team is done.
2020-02-07 00:32
1 reply
#44
 | 
Israel GrandpaZ
+1. This is why karrigan is such a god at the game...people are too dumb to see that deep, like other aspects of the game and team dynamics and only focus on stats, while failing to realize this dude is a master in taking a team with raw talent and make it legendery. He did the same with faze. If he's gone, mouz is gone as well, the same that happend with faze.
2020-02-07 08:11
#26
 | 
Finland Smoonah
“Navi was so bad, we won without much practice” is basically what he’s trying to say Samantha2k
2020-02-07 01:11
2 replies
No, u are delusional
2020-02-07 09:00
1 reply
#62
 | 
Finland Smoonah
nou
2020-02-07 18:52
Too ez is what he was saying in humble words
2020-02-07 02:55
#32
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Vietnam anncsgo
ropz my favorite player, talented and humble.
2020-02-07 03:33
#40
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Poland SebL
Last 4 tournaments They won 3 and was in final 4 Times.
2020-02-07 07:01
2 replies
5 finals in a row with 4 wins.
2020-02-07 07:29
1 reply
#58
 | 
Poland SebL
Thats insane
2020-02-07 13:54
Mouz top 1 2020
2020-02-07 10:10
playing 8-9 hours is not that long if you are pro.
2020-02-07 11:59
Ropz hard carrying these noobs
2020-02-07 12:50
1 reply
#57
 | 
Slovakia SLAVak
Have you even seen the new mouz play?
2020-02-07 13:31
#55
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France Strasbourg
play more tier 1 pls...prove them you're da best
2020-02-07 13:01
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