faveN on ESL One Cologne: "Online CS is more random than LAN; let's see how much damage we can do"

With ESL One Cologne Europe just around the corner, we caught up with Josef "⁠faveN⁠" Baumann to discuss Sprout's preparation going into the stacked event and how the Polish duo Paweł "⁠dycha⁠" Dycha and Michał "⁠snatchie⁠" Rudzki have settled into the team.

Sprout claimed a spot in ESL One Cologne in May with a shock win over BIG in the ESL Meisterschaft Spring grand finals, with faveN spearheading his team to 2-0 victory with a 1.30 rating. The $325,000 event features the best teams in Europe and will stand as this Sprout team's greatest test to date.

faveN and company will square off against BIG — who have shot up 20 places in the rankings to No 1 in the world since their last encounter — in their opening match on Tuesday at 15:00 .

Sprout will look to show what they're made of in ESL One Cologne

In this interview, the 20-year-old spoke about the mental state of the team going into Cologne and their expectations, the rebuilding process after the departures of Florian "⁠syrsoN⁠" Rische and Nils "⁠k1to⁠" Gruhne, the decision to turn to international recruitment, and his thoughts on up-and-coming national players.

Sprout will be playing in ESL One Cologne in a great opportunity for the team to prove themselves against the best in the world. What do you expect to get out of this event? And what would you consider a successful outcome considering you’re one of the the lowest-ranked sides attending?

First, when we qualified for Cologne it was still on LAN with the play-in stage, and our goal was to succeed and qualify for the main stage. Sadly, it is online again and we are automatically in the main tournament; now, the goal is to just to show some good CS. I mean, we are the underdog against every team there and nobody will expect anything from us, so we will do our best and see where we can go.

A successful outcome would probably be to win one match. We are facing BIG and then we will face either NiP or OG, so we're talking three really good teams. If we win one BO3 against any one of them, it's already good for us, but let’s see how much damage we can do. Online CS is more random than LAN so it probably gives us a small advantage.

You qualified for ESL One Cologne by winning ESL Meisterschaft Spring at the end of May after defeating BIG, who were ranked 21st at the time. You are now set to face off against the No 1 seed BIG in your opening match in Cologne. Are you confident in repeating your previous success?

Local head-to-heads are way more "random" than any other match. Most of the time, the worse team will win because it is more of a mental challenge than when you're facing a team from another country. Also, when we played against BIG they were not the No 1 team in the world, so we will definitely see another team on the server [now]. I think the matchup for us would be much worse against a team like Vitality, we would have it much harder because the mental challenge will benefit us more against BIG. Anyway, I think it will be a good and entertaining match and hopefully both teams will see each other in the grand final again [laughs].

You are leading the way in terms of statistics for Sprout in the last three months (1.14 rating), including a 1.30-rated performance against BIG in the Meisterschaft Spring grand finals. What do you attribute your upswing in form to? Do you think you can perform to that level once you meet again in your Cologne opener?

To perform well I just need to feel comfortable and I need the trust from my IGL when I do some moves. Changing my mindset has also helped me a lot; at the beginning of Sprout I used to change my whole equipment (keyboard, mouse, mousepad, etc) even though I hadn't done it in EURONICS. It was a thing in Sprout, but I have stopped it completely. Now I have a set training routine and set sleeping schedule and it helps me a lot individually. I hope I can show the same performance vs. BIG like at ESL Meisterschaft and I will give it my all to take a win, even though it will not be easy.

Have you changed your preparation for a tier 1 event like this or have you followed the same routine as any other tournament? Is practice considerably more intense?

On Saturday we came back home from a one-week bootcamp and it was very impactful. Every day before practice started our coach took our mobile phones and gave them back only when practice day was done, so everybody was on the same page and had 100% focus on the game and not on something else. Moreover, we were also given homework prior to the bootcamp which we had to present and we did some "experiments" during the bootcamp in order to improve our communication.

We didn't change much in terms of preparation because we want to have the feeling that ESL Cologne will just be "another tournament" so people won't be nervous or stuff like that. On the other hand, I played more individually and looked more into demos than I did before, but also just because I always want to be the best version of myself.

You have been with Sprout since September 2018 and experienced numerous roster changes. What has it been like for you to go through so much change? And how has it affected your individual development?

I really hate to change, I would only change if it’s really necessary, for example, when a player is really toxic, doesn't improve or isn't willing to. Also, players getting picked away has never been easy for me, they were not only teammates but also good friends. You need to accept it and continue improving because this is just how it works. It sucks to start all the time from zero when a new player joins, you start all the way at the beginning where you are going over the callouts again and you can't really improve quickly because of these roster changes. Still, you always need to keep grinding, if you don't want to improve or are lazy, someone else will grind all night and overtake you and that player is going to replace you in the end. So even though it was not that easy, I still tried to improve myself.

syrsoN and k1to were key players for Sprout before they joined BIG. What was the rebuilding process like? How big of a hole did they leave in the team?

syrsoN and k1to leaving was like a punch in the face. I can understand their decision, but it was just again a shitty situation for us, we tried our best to rebuild everything. We had a one-week bootcamp with the new guys and worked really hard to get back to the success we had with syrsoN and k1to. Obviously the process wasn't that easy, and one reason was the language barrier. Let's say, one-hour theory in the German team was like two hours with the international team only because of the language barrier. But I think we've made some really good progress despite the issue.

How did the decision to go down an international route come about? Did the team want to stay as an all-German side or was it your intention to look for players outside of the country?

When we learned that syrsoN and k1to would leave, we tried to think of German players [to replace them], but there was no one at their level at that time, so we instantly knew we needed to go international. We really wanted oskar and he was also ready to join and it was a done deal. About the rifler, we were testing some players, but the decision to get dycha was pretty clear. Then we kicked oskar and took snatchie into our lineup; at that point it was obvious that we would look for an international guy. It was really fitting that snatchie is from Poland so dycha also can talk Polish sometimes and feel more comfortable. To go full German [again] was never the intention and I think it's good like it is right now.

What happened with oskar? He's a very experienced and naturally gifted player, but things obviously didn’t work out.

I don’t really want to go that much into detail, but it just didn't work out with him. I don’t want to say that he wasn't motivated, but we had different views on the game and also some other stuff happened. I think this is not meant for the public.

What has it been like for you to play in an international lineup, especially since you’d only been in German teams before? What do you think that opening your lineup to foreign talent brings to the team?

To be honest, whenever a new player from a different country came, I instantly learnt something new about CSGO, so this is a nice thing. In the beginning, I had problems to communicate in English and to perform well at the same time, but I've got used to it and I know that I can still play way better than I currently do. It's not a secret that I feel more comfortable in German teams and I perform better in them, but I am really happy with snatchie and dycha and they always bring some new ideas into our game. Also to communicate in English just gives us way more options, we have a much bigger player market now and if there will be a roster change in the future it will be easier to find a replacement than if we only had to look in Germany for players.

With BIG ranked as the world’s best team and both Sprout and ALTERNATE aTTaX on the cusp of the top 30, do you feel German teams are living up to their potential? What’s the limit for this Sprout team?

German CS currently is probably the best it's ever been since CS:GO came out, but I'm a bit sad about our ranking because we know we can be way higher than that, it just isn't meant to be right now. Still, I'm happy that German CS gets recognized now and I am pretty sure sooner or later we will also reach the top 30. We actually don't set ourselves a limit, we will give our best and see where we will land. Obviously we want to get back into the top 30, but we don’t have a real "limit".

Also, I need to say that smaller German teams are playing pretty well. For exmaple, BIG Academy did pretty well in NineToFive and players like Krimbo or PANIX have a bright future, so I think we currently have some nice talents in Germany. Maybe in the near future we will have a fourth good German team, who knows?

Poland Paweł 'dycha' Dycha
Paweł 'dycha' Dycha
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
363
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.67
Germany Florian 'syrsoN' Rische
Florian 'syrsoN' Rische
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.10
Maps played:
1278
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.64
Germany Josef 'faveN' Baumann
Josef 'faveN' Baumann
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.07
Maps played:
816
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.66
Poland Michał 'snatchie' Rudzki
Michał 'snatchie' Rudzki
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
995
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.68
Germany Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
810
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.69
Time is adjusted to your selected timezone
#1
 | 
Germany Germania
Top 2 world soon
2020-08-18 11:30
6 replies
#6
 | 
Finland AleksiBOT
0 DAMAGE DONE by faven this Tournament
2020-08-18 11:33
3 replies
With 0-0-0 stats And sprout made second place
2020-08-18 11:52
1 reply
nice excuse after losing to AGO with map advantage
2020-08-18 12:02
#84
 | 
Netherlands JUNG13
Yes
2020-08-19 03:51
0-3 vs polaks yesterday, nice damage
2020-08-18 11:35
+1! German cs scene will be back at the top!
2020-08-18 11:43
They're gonna win it
2020-08-18 11:31
#3
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Nais
2020-08-18 11:31
#4
 | 
Poland wojtixxx
The answer is: zero.
2020-08-18 11:31
#5
 | 
Poland Yomenik
go sprout
2020-08-18 11:32
They gonna win against Big again
2020-08-18 11:33
17 replies
i actually think so too, but regardless BIG will probably reach playoffs while sprout will lose every other game
2020-08-18 11:34
2 replies
where are you?
2020-08-23 16:05
1 reply
still here
2020-08-23 17:01
#16
 | 
Germany Germania
hahahaha classic NAVI fan who has no clue about cs BIG will trash sprout
2020-08-18 11:40
13 replies
hahahaha Classic Big fan who always takes everything on this site seriously 0/8
2020-08-18 11:44
6 replies
#22
 | 
Germany Germania
2020-08-18 11:46
5 replies
2020-08-18 11:46
4 replies
#26
 | 
Germany Germania
Wages in Ukraine averaged 2674.62 UAH/Month from 1996 until 2020, reaching an all time high of 12264 UAH/Month in December of 2019 and a record low of 115 UAH/Month in January of 1996.
2020-08-18 11:48
3 replies
What? How is it related to the theme?
2020-08-18 11:50
2 replies
Argument desperation lmao
2020-08-18 13:10
Dead answer
2020-08-18 14:41
xd
2020-08-18 17:37
This didn't aged well m8 sorry
2020-08-18 17:44
2 replies
#75
 | 
Germany Germania
well fuck
2020-08-18 17:45
1 reply
Np bro :)
2020-08-18 17:50
#78
 | 
Denmark dyinbyran
KEKW
2020-08-18 17:56
Ahahaha, big ahah
2020-08-18 23:03
my man couldnt even get one map in a BO5 against AGO, just yesterday they will upset BIG today and then they will lose 2 games, goodbye while big reaches playoffs
2020-08-18 11:34
2 replies
where are you?
2020-08-23 16:06
1 reply
am here, people can be wrong you know i'm happy for sprout that they reached playoffs and i hope they can reach the finals but i'm pretty sure they will not be able to replicate that after cologne
2020-08-23 17:00
#9
 | 
Belarus ChecksOut
Budget FalleN
2020-08-18 11:34
ez for russian german
2020-08-18 11:35
overrated bot
2020-08-18 11:35
0 Damage
2020-08-18 11:35
#15
 | 
Netherlands Sem0733
Last place.
2020-08-18 11:38
3 replies
#30
 | 
Germany X5ander
or maybe 2nd place (because BIG is in the grand final too good)
2020-08-18 11:50
2 replies
#49
 | 
Netherlands Sem0733
Or maybe last place after getting hammered by Big and then losing to chokers OG.
2020-08-18 13:06
1 reply
where are you guys?
2020-08-23 16:06
nice damage vs ago yesterday 0
2020-08-18 11:42
zero
2020-08-18 11:42
after they lost to mhl, no damage
2020-08-18 11:46
Who ?
2020-08-18 11:48
absolutely no damage, as always
2020-08-18 11:48
2 replies
where are you?
2020-08-23 16:06
1 reply
in Cologne, hltv.org/events/4939/esl-one-cologne-202.. Germany BIG 13-16th $2,750
2020-08-23 19:27
t o o // m u c h // d a m a g e //
2020-08-18 11:49
#29
 | 
Ukraine Lonkich
0-3 AGO AHAHAHAHAHHA
2020-08-18 11:49
Please don't win against BIG but everything else 🌱
2020-08-18 11:53
he was born in taldykorgan? like AdreN
2020-08-18 11:56
why random in online? what difference in the game betwen lan and online? in online have cheating or something what ?
2020-08-18 12:00
6 replies
some players cant handle pressure playing in front of crowd
2020-08-18 12:03
#38
 | 
Sweden mielito1
Online you feel more relaxed and more home then in Lan. i kidna know the feeling to switch computers i have 2 computers in each parent and even if the settings and everything is the same it feels not spot on. it is a bit harder i would say to go to new computer every week but you get used to it after some days
2020-08-18 12:07
1 reply
Coaching bug exploit
2020-09-02 11:04
Yes especially BIG top 1 outta nowhere
2020-08-18 13:53
2 replies
nt socene but BIG are in top 30 for over a year now. Prolly even longer but I cant be asked to check. XD
2020-08-18 14:23
1 reply
top 30 but not top 1 =]
2020-08-21 08:50
Bro if you cant hit shit online and your team doesnt play together it wont change at lan.
2020-08-18 12:21
#40
Jame | 
Poland SebL
faveN is a great player. It's hard to not agree that online CS is way more random than on LAN. Sprout is a really good team, and I think they will surprise a lot of ppl in ESL One Cologne.
2020-08-18 12:23
1 map advantage vs AGO still lose 3-1 XD
2020-08-18 12:24
Answer: not much damage, probably won't take a map
2020-08-18 12:27
2 replies
where are you?
2020-08-23 16:07
1 reply
yeah yeah, i accept it. Faven was right, only cs is random af, anyone can win
2020-08-23 20:59
WHY he is crying :D
2020-08-18 12:34
Enjoy your money against ago yesterday fixers
2020-08-18 12:36
#45
smooya | 
Switzerland x676
you just lost 0-3 against AGO, not much damage I suppose
2020-08-18 12:46
#46
 | 
Poland Hanse
Mad respect for not talking shit about Oskar
2020-08-18 12:51
1 reply
why would he
2020-08-18 12:59
#48
 | 
Latvia Phenomennn
Germany GOAT country. The Heart of Europe.
2020-08-18 13:03
secretly hes flaming BIG=onliners xDD my mann <33
2020-08-18 13:15
Und das von jemanden, der seine besten Ergebnisse auch nur online erreicht hat 🤣
2020-08-18 13:41
1 reply
? das heißt, dass er das spiel versteht
2020-08-28 12:18
Lol he spelled "online cs is more matchfixing than usual" wrong
2020-08-18 13:51
Sprout is the new BIG
2020-08-18 14:12
MUH ONLINE Excuses excuses...
2020-08-18 14:15
#58
 | 
United States BigYass
Bro you can't do shit. Just loose 2-0 to any tier 1/2 team please.
2020-08-18 14:17
>get absolutely sweeped by ago >take a map off big (not mindblowing but still) i trust faven with my life
2020-08-18 16:23
2 replies
*2-0 BIG
2020-08-18 17:32
1 reply
indeed wtf online cs is coinflips
2020-08-18 17:39
GL king faveN
2020-08-18 16:23
#64
 | 
Czech Republic adabroz
what a savage
2020-08-18 17:32
Apparently a Crap TON of damage POG
2020-08-18 17:32
And then this happened
2020-08-18 17:34
AGED REALLY FUCKING WELL
2020-08-18 17:40
Man’s not a lier
2020-08-18 17:41
that's a lot of damage
2020-08-18 17:42
#73
 | 
Latvia YungPan666
DELUSIONAL BIG FAN IS CRYING
2020-08-18 17:42
yeet
2020-08-18 17:50
#79
 | 
Poland JaCoBHo
BIG FANS CRY Sprout 2:0 win
2020-08-18 17:57
#80
 | 
Denmark dyinbyran
Thanks for the money faven
2020-08-18 17:57
ONLINE CS IS MORE RANDOM THAN LAN; LET'S SEE HOW MUCH DAMAGE WE CAN DO" does this meen BIG is not the real nr 1
2020-08-18 18:13
7 replies
#100
 | 
Germany Kexor
i mean tbh BIG improved a lot since the roster chance yeah but for real i don't think that they would've made the same results on lan as they did online
2020-08-24 14:55
6 replies
I Think so 2 but lets see when corona is away someday
2020-08-24 19:44
5 replies
You mean never.?
2020-08-26 22:11
4 replies
when we someday return 2 Lan
2020-08-27 19:17
3 replies
Will never happen sry. The effects of the corona will last tens of years
2020-08-28 05:15
2 replies
U do they are Working On a vaccine fight? This is Young People not the elderly ones Next we be back On Lan
2020-08-28 11:15
1 reply
These are all ages. Vaccine maybe in a 12-24 month, and still most wont take it
2020-08-28 12:03
1 reply
#85
 | 
Turkey AmIKebab
lol
2020-08-19 15:36
this aged well
2020-08-19 18:04
god sproots
2020-08-19 23:53
so far so good
2020-08-24 11:37
Well this results only prove he was right... cs online is diferent
2020-08-24 14:53
12 replies
Sprout top2 though
2020-08-24 19:47
11 replies
i didnt watched their games but if they beated OG and BIG they need to be good
2020-08-24 21:09
10 replies
Didnt watch*
2020-08-26 22:10
8 replies
yeah I know but I cant edit the comment rn
2020-08-26 22:11
7 replies
right now *
2020-08-26 22:12
6 replies
its the same shit now stop being a grammar nazi please
2020-08-26 22:14
5 replies
reported for calling me nazi. cya in 10 years.
2020-08-27 11:46
4 replies
lmao kid cringe
2020-08-27 13:05
3 replies
dont talk to me animal
2020-08-27 13:13
2 replies
sometimes i forget im in hltv and need to deal with this kind of sh#t anyway
2020-08-27 13:14
1 reply
Sh#t?
2020-08-28 05:14
i recommend you to watch nuke of sprout vs og
2020-08-27 00:45
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