Cooper-: "As much as I wanted to like VALORANT, I realized I wanted to stay with CS"

We spoke to Austin "⁠Cooper-⁠" Abadir to learn more about the disbandment of Swole Patrol and how the team's core came back together in Ze Pug Godz to seek success once more.

Cooper- has had a turbulent year so far in 2020. His and his brother Ryan "⁠freakazoid⁠" Abadir's team was let go by eUnited in March following the restructuring of ESL Pro League, which left the organization without a spot in the prestigious competition, and the lineup resurrected the famed Swole Patrol tag to continue to play while looking for an organization.

The squad went on to compete in ESL Pro League Season 11 nonetheless, as a result of the league's temporary return to regional divisions amidst the pandemic, but despite impressing with wins over FURIA and Liquid, Cooper- and company could not secure backing over the next two months. "We did talk to some organizations, but we didn't come to agreeable terms with any," the AWPer told HLTV.org about Swole Patrol's failure to find an organization, admitting that the pandemic played a part. "The current global environment, COVID and such, played a role in many orgs being reluctant to sign new teams at the time."

Almost five months have passed since eUnited dropped their lineup

It wasn't only the global situation that prevented Cooper-'s side from generating enough interest, however, as the arrival of VALORANT shifted the focus of some North American organizations towards Riot Games' first-person shooter. And to make matters worse, it also made most of his teammates try their luck in the new game, with Victor "⁠food⁠" Wong, Jordan "⁠Zellsis⁠" Montemurro, and freakazoid all deciding to call it quits in Counter-Strike, resulting in the disbandment of Swole Patrol in May.

A move to VALORANT wasn't out of the question for Cooper- himself, but he quickly realized that he simply liked Counter-Strike more: "I did give VALORANT a try for about a week or so, but I knew very early on that I didn't like that game as much as Counter-Strike," he said. "As much as I wanted to like it, I realized I wanted to stay with CS. I personally really felt like I wanted to continue pursuing my goals in CS because I enjoy the game so much as well as competing in it."

Having decided to stick with the game in which he had spent the last three years making a solid name for himself, the 26-year-old was on the lookout for a spot in an established team. However, despite some promising openings in teams like Chaos', who had just lost their AWPer, Owen "⁠smooya⁠" Butterfield, nothing worked out. "I was contacted by and talked to some teams about a potential move, but nothing came to fruition," Cooper- shared.

He was left with nothing but creating a roster out of the players that were still undecided about their futures, stranded with no contract in either CS:GO or VALORANT. Reuniting with two of his former Swole Patrol teammates, he joined up with Edgar "⁠MarKE⁠" Maldonado, Zellsis, Bradley "⁠ANDROID⁠" Fodor, and Gage "⁠Infinite⁠" Green to form a new iteration of Ze Pug Godz, an organization-less tag ANDROID represented in 2016 and earlier in 2020. "We all found ourselves not committed to any teams and wanting to compete in some tournaments to get some competitive games in, rather than just regular pugs and FPL."

Cooper- is back with MarkE and Zellsis

Although it didn't start out as a particularly serious project, it seemed to click immediately. With Cooper- and MarKE putting up some fantastic numbers, Ze Pug Godz rallied through the open and closed qualifiers for DreamHack Open Summer in late June, beating even Chaos and TeamOne in the latter without much difficulty — a feat the star AWPer attributes to a combination of solid individuals and the random factor of a new team.

"I think it's a mix of the talent of our team and the randomness of playing against a group of people who haven't really played together as a five all that much," Cooper- explained. "We have all competed against many of the NA teams, so with our combined experience we played pretty well and got some wins."

One month later, the brand new lineup remains undefeated after winning the Mythic Summer Series Cup 1, in which they took down North America's most promising up-and-coming team, Triumph. The next step is to take things to another level as Ze Pug Godz prepare for DreamHack Open Summer with hopes of making an impression against the region's best and once again attracting the attention of team-less organizations.

Given how hard it was for Swole Patrol to find an organisation, Cooper- knows it will take some effort to land a home for Ze Pug Godz, but he's hopeful that things will work out better this time. "I know we've generated some interest, but with the way the NA CS landscape is looking right now, we know it will be a process," he admitted. "We are here to do our best and win, and hopefully that brings good news for us in the future. I see this team being able to compete and win as long as we put in a lot of effort. We will have to work hard not only on maintaining our skill but also on our synergy in order to bring ourselves up to the level of all the other teams that have been working hard on that for a long time now."

United States Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Ryan 'freakazoid' Abadir
Age:
27
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
868
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
United States Jordan 'Zellsis' Montemurro
Jordan 'Zellsis' Montemurro
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
597
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.15
United Kingdom Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Owen 'smooya' Butterfield
Age:
20
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.16
Maps played:
548
KPR:
0.78
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.10
Mexico Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Edgar 'MarKE' Maldonado
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
576
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.15
Canada Bradley 'ANDROID' Fodor
Bradley 'ANDROID' Fodor
Age:
26
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
835
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.13
United States Victor 'food' Wong
Victor 'food' Wong
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
456
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
United States Gage 'Infinite' Green
Gage 'Infinite' Green
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
530
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.65
APR:
0.13
United States Austin 'Cooper-' Abadir
Austin 'Cooper-' Abadir
Age:
26
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
558
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.09
#1
JA | 
Poland tobiii
good
2020-07-25 21:48
Any normal person would.
2020-07-25 21:58
traitor interview kkkk
2020-07-25 22:03
because I suck at both
2020-07-26 09:38
traitor
2020-07-25 23:30
#2
 | 
United States Cesperus
Get him on a team
2020-07-25 21:49
#23
 | 
United States bleghfarec
he already is on a team but ok
2020-07-25 21:58
An actual team, Cooper is such a good Igl. He was able to beat liquid and almost beat EG.
2020-07-25 22:26
i would love to see him beat the shit out of stanislaw
2020-07-26 00:47
I don't understand why many NA players won't give it a go in EU international rosters... there's potential but I understand NA's level and total number of teams is lower
2020-07-26 02:24
#108
 | 
United States ItsImpact
A lot of NA players are scared to leave the U.S and go to another country where they don’t know anyone or speak their language. That’s why
2020-07-26 03:20
Pretty much the whole got damn continent of Europe speaks english. Are you for real?
2020-07-26 07:57
+1
2020-07-26 08:51
#156
 | 
United States ItsImpact
It’s still scary for them. Sure people speak English but doesn’t mean they want to move countries. Not as common in Us as in eu
2020-07-26 21:38
Likely the point where they don't know anyone. However, those who do take the plunge to move elsewhere can have amazing results e.g XANTARES
2020-07-26 11:23
Only reason NA players don’t want to leave the US for teams in Europe is that they are going to be away from family and they are going to be in a new country. It’s like Obo and Rush When they left the US to boot camp in Europe, but they had a management to adjust and help them their. But the NA players your talking about don’t have management or anyone. They are own their own.
2020-07-26 16:44
#123
 | 
United States Cesperus
+1
2020-07-26 05:38
you think beating one snowflake team once makes you a good igl??? then what about steel?
2020-07-26 22:39
#154
 | 
Brazil Fauchard
Shut UP you are sux
2020-07-26 19:10
This Popeye dude will be a future champion. Dedication and spinach will help him.
2020-07-26 22:26
#3
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Actual respect for this guy
2020-07-25 21:49
+1
2020-07-25 21:57
#46
 | 
United States Festive_
+1
2020-07-25 22:20
+1
2020-07-25 22:30
lmao he just came back to cs because he couldnt make big money of valorant
2020-07-25 23:02
He never left cs
2020-07-26 00:01
he can't make big money at csgo either, so he just think that csgo is better than valorant
2020-07-26 01:58
+1
2020-07-26 09:37
+1
2020-07-26 09:47
+2
2020-07-26 10:33
So you didn’t read the post? Hahaha
2020-07-26 06:36
+1
2020-07-26 01:35
#134
 | 
Bulgaria gosholin
+1
2020-07-26 08:27
+1
2020-07-27 23:17
+1
2020-07-27 23:31
Nice
2020-07-25 21:49
#5
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy
LoOooOOl
2020-07-25 21:50
OMEGALULKEKWLULW
2020-07-25 21:50
#7
BnTeT | 
Indonesia 9uesz
Cooper alpha male
2020-07-25 21:50
#74
 | 
Germany Jermen
When Cooper is more alpha than Freakazoid ahaha
2020-07-25 23:30
more like money wasn't showing itself in Valorant
2020-07-25 21:50
it will show itself soon enough. in 1-2 years the game will have 250k+ tournaments no doubt. Riot doesnt halfass things. he just realized valorant is a badly balanced dumbed down trash version of cs thats only fun for a little while, thats all
2020-07-25 21:58
If somehow the scene was already blooming with these type of tournamentes and he had a deal in some org I doubt he'd come back. In 1-2 years we won't see changes from cs to valorant because of the curve already being way ahead tho.
2020-07-25 22:01
if he only played for like a week i highly doubt that its a clear indicator he hates this fucking trash game
2020-07-25 22:04
yeah my bad, I thought he had been in Valorant for a while now It's hard to keep track of all these NA players making the switch.
2020-07-25 22:06
me neither i just skimmed the article and it said "tried for 1 week but didnt like it"
2020-07-25 22:13
maybe actually read the article next time
2020-07-26 00:47
lmao of course cs is the best shooter ever
2020-07-25 21:51
its the ONLY good one and thats just sad after 6 years
2020-07-25 22:14
#61
 | 
Singapore Nephalith
It's true CS is the best FPS in the market right now. But you could hardly blame their competitors because CS players (excluding professional players) in general would just shut down any new FPS games without even giving them much, if any thought at all. "Oh a new fps game? IT SUCKS! CS IS THE BEST!" People seem threatened and go full defensive mode for their beloved game whenever there's a new game out. I don't really enjoy Valorant either, but I have massive respect for game devs that do listen to feedbacks from the community and pro players alike. For a game that made Valve into the company it is today, I'm still salty that CS is not given the same treatment as Dota2. With the existence of Valorant or any other worthy competitors out there, I think Valve might (I hope) do something to keep the IP fresh and pump in more money into the pro circuit.
2020-07-25 22:45
yeah uh idk about that i give new shooters a thorough look and it always starts at the basics: balance, netcode, performance, skill ceiling. no game has matched or beat csgo in even just the basics.
2020-07-25 22:51
#112
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek
You don't try a lot of games then lul
2020-07-26 03:43
alright hit me with all the great shooters you have in mind
2020-07-26 03:46
#115
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek
Escape from tarkov, squad, arma 3, planet side 2, hell let loose, post scriptum, bf3, bf4, insurgency
2020-07-26 03:50
i guess i should have specified competetive shooters, I thought it was obvious since I am comparing them to csgo. besides from that list only insurgency and bf meet my criteria but they still cant replace csgo: lower skill ceiling, less polished gameplay loop.
2020-07-26 04:10
From what I remember insurgency is way worse when it comes to performance than csgo
2020-07-26 07:04
#170
 | 
Brazil dkf
The guy asks for a CSGO competitor and you give him battle royales and games with vehicles.
2020-07-28 02:28
#172
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek
FPS /closed
2020-07-28 04:54
Liking a certain game and having preferences doesn't mean one's defensive or biased. But OK
2020-07-25 23:20
+1 about the defensive part. but opinion is bias so i dont agree with the second part
2020-07-26 00:22
Opinion about an open ended subjective thing isn't bias tho, liking vanilla over chocolate isn't vanilla bias Bias would be when one ignores objective facts while forming their opinion. Bias would be saying the vac is better than valorant's AC It's not biased to say you like cs as game better than valorant cause that's purely subjective.
2020-07-26 06:15
I just replied the same thing twice. Stupid internet
2020-07-26 06:17
Roses are red, car is move
2020-07-26 06:18
#137
 | 
United Kingdom Cosharek
No brakes on car, car is no stop
2020-07-26 09:14
almost 20 years, with the exception of q3 and ut99 just a different level of game
2020-07-25 23:51
q3 was one of the best shooters and still is a fucking awesome game to play in 2020
2020-07-26 00:23
aint sad, sad would be if we didnt have CS
2020-07-26 00:19
Yo les noobs, We clearly know who got given all the braincells in the family.
2020-07-25 21:52
expected
2020-07-25 21:51
#12
 | 
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
I hope you find a good future in CS:GO, Cooper. :) Have a good day.
2020-07-25 21:52
#14
 | 
Czech Republic Fugabarba
Coopah BibleThump
2020-07-25 21:53
Valorant is actually dying already, game is stale and has no personality. 0/8 cheap copy of CS, if this game is made by literally any other game dev that is not called Riot it would of been shitted on day 1
2020-07-25 21:54
its not really a copy of CS but yeah, the game is not ready. They clearly wanted to profit from the beta hype and just released it. Imagine releasing a game with 4 maps, 1 of it completely untested, 1 untested new hero and not even a dm / tdm mode in 2020
2020-07-25 22:33
+1 no DM in 2020 omegalul
2020-07-25 23:02
#81
 | 
United States kami917
+1
2020-07-26 00:12
+1 i think most of the maps are trash, and not well thought of, just simplistic, full of corridors, huge walls, and closed spaces. Except the new map that apparently its slightly better. The rest is unfinished, and its beyond close to being a competitive shooter, spray control is random, hitboxes are badly made (head hitboxes are much bigger)., the abilities some are broken while others are useless.. and it just started the game, i expect Riot to pump in a new character every month, minimum. Which will make the game a complete mess and disaster They want to copy CS, but then want to do their own thing. They will fail hard at both lol
2020-07-26 00:16
all moba style is aids, no real shooter for me
2020-07-26 23:49
no dm mode, no stats, scuffed elo system, trash maps, bad game design, bad balance, complete lack of utility, dumbed down mechanics.
2020-07-26 04:20
It doesn’t even have a vote kick feature. I tried one game of valorant where my teammate ulted himself and all my teammates on round 3. Once I realized I couldn’t kick I decided valorant wasn’t the game for me.
2020-07-26 05:52
+1 its immaturely released
2020-07-26 10:01
good. Best awper in NA
2020-07-25 21:54
#24
 | 
Europe 230IQUSER
cerq?
2020-07-25 21:59
the best awper FROM NA
2020-07-25 22:02
#51
 | 
Europe 230IQUSER
Then that would be different.
2020-07-25 22:27
nitr0? NAF? autimatic?
2020-07-25 23:25
better than all of them
2020-07-26 01:44
he doesn't have enough tier1 experience to prove he's good though, the other 3 are proven t1 awpers nitr0 may be slumping now but in 2018/19 he was a good awper
2020-07-26 02:00
WARDELL BEST AWPER WHO DOESNT MISS #AWPCADEMY
2020-07-26 05:06
doesnt miss cs lul
2020-07-26 10:02
#17
CeRq | 
Netherlands Y0r1ck
This is the case for 90% of the valorant players, including me
2020-07-25 21:55
-Stew +Cooper
2020-07-25 21:56
-99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999. Stewie is really doing better as IGL. I don't think its the players that are the issue its coaching. Move AdreN to analyst and bring on kassad and that team is set. If things dont improve -Nitr0 +Smooya just bc of the age different and liquid could use some louder players
2020-07-26 04:05
As much as I wanted to get paid playing VALORANT, I realized no one wanted to do it so I had to stay with CS
2020-07-25 21:56
+1
2020-07-25 22:11
Think he would play for more than a week if he’s actually interested getting paid in the game...
2020-07-25 22:26
#94
 | 
Austria SplasJ
+1 people always hating everyone for everything and don't even actually read or think before doing so. Playing for a week and not liking a game -> oh you just weren't good enough or couldn't get signed
2020-07-26 01:10
#83
 | 
Philippines EDBX
You could say that for Zellsis or others who actually played valorant awhile, but Cooper never made any announcement about leaving csgo. He has been grinding awhile.
2020-07-26 00:13
MASSIVE RESPECT
2020-07-25 22:02
PRESS F TO PAY RESPECT
2020-07-25 22:04
#31
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
[Spams F on the keyboard]
2020-07-25 22:05
Hes really good. i remember when they won Liquid and he carried, he deserves to be in better team
2020-07-25 22:06
coop€r
2020-07-25 22:06
Good Luck to ZpG's guys, at least they learned of their mistakes and realize that valurant is poop (Zellsis and infinite) And cooper is insane, great awper from NA I hope for a bright future
2020-07-25 22:07
#37
 | 
Sweden godname
lol this says all, valorant is the new Cs we all know it
2020-07-25 22:07
valorant died before quit open beta
2020-07-25 22:10
Cooper is the best awp in na btw
2020-07-25 22:11
same here I were playing only Valorant for like 3 months, but I realized that CS:GO is much more better game for me and much more enjoyable
2020-07-25 22:13
How to get hltv to love you:
2020-07-25 22:15
Valorant hype is going down
2020-07-25 22:22
respect coming back to csgo
2020-07-25 22:27
he never quit tho, since the first day of swole's disband he was the first staying in cs
2020-07-25 22:44
Finally someone in NA have brain
2020-07-25 22:27
VAL LUL RANT
2020-07-25 22:31
bruh this headline
2020-07-25 22:39
#62
 | 
Russia ToughGuy
OMEGALUL RANT gained more respect for johnny sins
2020-07-25 22:46
yeah!! :D
2020-07-25 22:48
hi foxy
2020-07-27 18:51
hewo my zephhy!! <3 :D
2020-07-28 06:38
roflmao no shit sherlock. Others will follow
2020-07-25 23:03
Respect. No shame in trying different things if you want, but CS is simply a god tier game.
2020-07-25 23:12
#78
 | 
Netherlands itsm
Cooper loyald bald
2020-07-25 23:56
>valorant >relevant pro scene 8/8
2020-07-26 00:13
Lmfao no shit sherlock , expected , only idiots gave up on CS to play this dog shit no skill CS copy
2020-07-26 00:46
This roster is better than Orgless TBH. TSM should sign them 100%.
2020-07-26 00:46
Cooper- has the potential to be TOP 20 player at some point. Ze Pug Godz is insane, and I think it's just the matter of time before they will enter TOP 30. I like VALORANT to, but it's same for me, this game will never compete with CS in my heart. It's nice game to play for fun sometimes, but nothing more for me.
2020-07-26 01:00
Even the guys who left like CSGO more, they left mainly because cant find a proper team to play on best tourmanents where the money is, if not a team at all. Thats all about Valorant.
2020-07-26 01:08
#96
 | 
Slovakia Daev0n
respect
2020-07-26 01:38
#98
 | 
Chile esanchez47
Ze Pug Godz could make some noise, give them time... Also, i still don't get when people calls Valorant a copy of CS, when in reality they are WAAAAY different... The only thing they share is "being a fps", but a clone? wtf?
2020-07-26 01:50
I Feel this just a useless article, this same story applies for a lot of people, including pros but doesn't change the state that cs is in
2020-07-26 02:25
#122
 | 
World Beard43
I feel that this just a useless comment, this same comment applies for a lot of people, including fools but doesn't change the fact they didn't read the article.
2020-07-26 05:27
valorant is for kids
2020-07-26 02:26
and noobs
2020-07-27 23:53
......d
2020-07-26 02:30
it would be stupid for him to retire from cs since he is rising and he is one of the best na players but he have shit team . him,grim,xeppa have great future even if copper is 26
2020-07-26 02:38
Cooper, Grim, Floppy +2. 3rd NA powerhouse?
2020-07-26 02:42
#107
 | 
Asia Blitzer
good luck
2020-07-26 03:06
i believe they can find an org. Just need some time with covid
2020-07-26 03:23
respect for staying with cs rather than switching over to shitlorant
2020-07-26 03:29
+1111
2020-07-27 23:53
so he was even worse at Valorant.
2020-07-26 03:42
#113
 | 
Australia csRIOTgo
Maybe get FunPlus Phoenix to buy you for the next season of Flashpoint 2
2020-07-26 03:43
Could be something...
2020-07-26 04:34
#121
 | 
World Beard43
He's a great player, I hope he can find a stable team. It really was a bizarre situation they found themselves in.
2020-07-26 05:24
#125
 | 
United States Rambeard
I feel it in my jellies that this team can go far
2020-07-26 06:08
+respect
2020-07-26 06:47
#132
 | 
Finland Costeri
Expected
2020-07-26 07:36
I actually agree, even though idea was good, I couldn't like it
2020-07-26 08:47
where's the freakazoid?
2020-07-26 09:36
Too old.
2020-07-26 09:47
cooper who?
2020-07-26 10:33
<I know I suck at CSGO, but I suck in Valorant even more, so I'll just stay in tier 3 CSGO>
2020-07-26 10:45
feels bad for you man, Valorant will kill csgo next year
2020-07-26 11:34
Sorry to say but they will remain org less for pretty much ever. No na org will want such randomness at all. If they are going to make it, it’s going to be self-funded which can actually happen and honestly should. Just stick together and stop worrying about a paycheck and watch what happens. They can make enough thru winnings to stay afloat if they really mean it and stick together for more than a month. Na scene is in a dead place right now and with Valorant taking such a chunk of attention right now, it’s hard for any org to take na Csgo seriously as a money maker. For them to have even a remote chance at an org, turnys need to be won right away, even then it will be hard to pull an org to even give them a 1.5k each check monthly. Csgo in na is slowing dying on the tourney side. Well besides the established teams anyway. Most t2 and under will be self funded for quiet sometime from now on. It really depends if Valorant actually picks up steam or not, if it does Csgo in na is in trouble. If it doesn’t it might bounce back within a year or so. It’s all depending on what happens with Valorant, plain and simple. Sadly.
2020-07-26 12:16
#152
 | 
Taiwan Rav3nEz
Cooper for President.
2020-07-26 14:58
Cooper i love u!
2020-07-26 19:17
Not sure about his age, but looks like in his mid 30’s. Too old for learning a new game, so good decision
2020-07-27 14:14
USA MAKE ME LAUGH
2020-07-27 15:31
#162
 | 
Brazil zzzzzzznt
Already washed up in valorant gigakekw
2020-07-27 16:46
He never even had a chance in valorant lul
2020-07-28 04:09
Respect+++
2020-07-27 23:21
respect coop, Ze godz will get an org soon. gl guys!
2020-07-27 23:52
much love and respect to Cooper, he is the only one who will save NA CS
2020-07-31 00:28
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