NaToSaphiX: "I desperately miss playing top-tier teams every day of the week; it's up to only me to make that happen"

The Danish AWPer looks to reignite his career with Lyngby Vikings as he battles back to the top of the competitive ladder.

Niels Christian "⁠NaToSaphiX⁠" Sillassen has struggled to find the stability he desires to showcase his abilities and climb his way back to the upper echelons of professional Counter-Strike. The 24-year-old's stint at the top with Heroic in 2019 has left a hunger that can only be satisfied by taking on the best of the best. "My five-month tenure with Heroic makes me miss the feeling of playing the big tournaments," he said. "My dream is definitely to play in the LANXESS Arena in Cologne."

After leaving the Danish side, he went on to join a hopeful Nordavind rebuild in order to take the first steps in getting back to the position he yearns for. The lineup immediately hit roster issues and NaToSaphiX subsequently took up IGL responsibilities, but the instability soon took its toll. Deciding to look elsewhere, he set his sights on Lyngby Vikings after some deliberation. Now, with a stable roster and role familiarity, the Dane believes he can perform to the best of his ability - something he said he had lacked since his time with Sprout.

NaToSaphiX has his eyes locked on a return to international LANs

Speaking to HLTV.org, the 24-year-old explained his experiences with his past teams and why they did not work out, how he has raised his performances, the value of his stand-in appearances with the likes of Complexity and mousesports, and what he feels he brings to teams, among other topics.

You left Heroic, your last big team, in July 2019 after a five-month tenure. Why do you feel you haven’t been able to find a stable team since then?

I think Nordavind was somewhat stable, that is at least the main reason I chose to play with them. Unfortunately, shortly before I was going to sign a contract with them, the lineup I had been expecting changed. But seeing as I was eager to play CS:GO again, I decided to still commit to the team. My playstyle and that of the rest of the team were too different, and I always felt like we had a different vision. I think not having a very stable team in Nordavind was sort of unlucky, as RUBINO left the starting roster only one-and-a-half months or so after we had got together. I immediately offered to take up the IGL role, which I did for two or three months after Ruben left. The IGL role, as any role, was juggled around so much in this lineup that we never found our identity as a team. I wanted to be the IGL, but due to differences in playstyle, I gave the role up on multiple occasions. And without a dedicated IGL, it was impossible to find stability. After Nordavind, I had a few great teams that my agent was chasing and I definitely could have ended up on a top20-15 team with a bit of luck.

I am currently in a stable project, even though the majority of us don’t have contracts, and I am enjoying it so much! I have needed this stability as I did not have it in Heroic or Nordavind, constantly changing roles. People don’t know it but I was not under contract for a single game during my time on Heroic. That was also the main reason I gave the AWP away after just one month on the team, as I was afraid for my future if I said no. Every day I was worried that they’d tell me to stop playing and they’d find someone else. It was hard for me to perform with no sense of security. I ended up being put into roles I was not comfortable in, which I did not dare say no to, and was later removed from the roster anyway. I signed my contract shortly before I was removed, which was in the player break and after my last match with the team. I signed with Prodigy Agency shortly after this incident and have had no such problems since, which I can’t thank them enough for.

When was the last time you felt truly comfortable in a team, with each player knowing their roles and having a full strat book?

That would have to be Sprout. We had the best coach I have ever worked with in tow b, a guy I had a close friendship with and who simultaneously felt more like a dad and a mentor than a friend. It was great, he always pushed me to succeed, questioned my plays without being aggressive or demeaning and was the most hard-working coach I’ve ever met. I think that’s why I always put up the numbers as well. It was a very tactical team, thanks to sycrone and tow b, exactly how I like it. We tried to win on strategy more than aim, and, in my opinion, that’s the best way to get consistent results.

I really miss those days.

Since joining up with Lyngby Vikings at the start of the year, you have averaged a 1.17 rating across 59 maps. What would you attribute your rise in form to? How will you ensure you stay on that level?

I attribute it to having teammates who believe in me, clear roles and working very hard. In the period between leaving Nordavind and joining Lyngby, I was streaming 4-5 days a week to ensure that my individual level would be higher than ever before. I ended up sacrificing myself a lot in Heroic and also with roles on Nordavind. I think the biggest reason for the rise in form is just that I get to play a role I’m comfortable in and I am getting the time to better my role.

You mentioned in a Twitter post your impact on teams and their best rankings. What do you think you brought to all these teams that helped them to reach new heights?

I think I brought them very different things. In Sprout, I brought firepower. In my opinion, that was the main thing that team needed. Things turned out in a way where I got two Danish friends (sycrone and PERCY) on board as well and they helped us massively. I think when we got those two it really kicked off and we went to the Minor. So I was helping shape the roster as well, while I was on it

In Heroic, I was sacrificing myself a lot. I gave away my role, I never argued, I agreed with what everyone else said. I think that made people comfortable in a way. We had the firepower, the experience and the talent. All I needed to be was the glue between the players, the guy that unites the team and creates good vibes. In that team I was yelling after every round, spreading good vibes, taking all the shit and never complaining. It was completely different to how it was in Sprout, but I feel that even though I gave up my individual performance, my personality was boosting everyone else’s and with that, we beat a lot of great teams. I’m not sure I would have changed it today if I could. I’m sad that I gave up so much of myself but at the same time I'm proud of our accomplishments.

In Nordavind, I’m honestly not sure if our ranking had much to do with me. I was in many cases the polar opposite of the team. Perhaps that was part of it, me seeing things in a completely different light. I think I did okay in Nordavind but I only ever really felt comfortable in that team when I was the IGL. I think No.38 was not that great of a ranking considering the amount of skill that was on that team, especially in TENZKI and HS. I still feel good knowing we reached Nordavind's best-ever ranking, considering our difficulties.

Now with Lyngby Vikings, I am in the same sort of role as I was in Sprout. I am the star player of the team and I am putting a lot of pressure on myself to perform every single day, match and map. I am trying to do everything a player can, simultaneously. I am trying to perform, put up good numbers, bring ideas both inside and outside of matches, take mid-round control, question things, find new nades, spread positivity, trash-talk opponents to create confidence for the whole team, show my teammates I believe in them and help them reach their potential. For me, that’s what a star player is about. A guy whose job is to never underperform and who has the ability to do everything at once. For a star player, there will always be poor performances. Even for your s1mples and your ZywOos. But if I underperform even for a single map, I see it as me having failed my job that day. And it’s a job I take very seriously.

You have stood in for teams such as mousesports and Complexity in the past, do these appearances keep you motivated and hungry to compete at the top again? How valuable are these experiences to you?

I think they gave me different things. I think the mousesports episode was like a dream come true. I still can’t really believe we won that tournament [cs_summit 5]. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to practice before the event, as mousesports had a very busy schedule, which led to me not learning as much as I feel I could have. I think the main thing I learned from my experience in L.A. was what separates a good IGL from a great IGL. karrigan is really a guy I will never stop looking up to. I could probably write a whole book about how it was to play in the same team as that man, even for just five days or so. All things considered, I probably only really got some experience, exposure and money. There was not enough time for me to evolve at a single event. I asked karrigan for feedback after the event but he didn’t have much to give, seeing as we had played for only such a short while. An opportunity missed.

In Complexity, we actually had time to practice, which was refreshing. They have both an analyst and coach, which gave me a look into how the top teams actually operate. I learnt a lot in my time in Complexity, mainly about how top teams operate. Seeing as I was playing roles I had never played before in my career (just about the only ones I had left before having crossed off everything else), I now understand a lot better how to play anchor positions and how to support my teammates who play in such positions. Both experiences were extremely professional, and it’s very clear why the top players have climbed to where they are. They are all very gifted players. The opportunities I’ve had as a stand-in have definitely made me hungrier, and especially my five-month tenure with Heroic makes me miss the feeling of playing the big tournaments. My dream is definitely to play in the LANXESS Arena in Cologne. I can’t explain the feeling after we lost the last match before the arena back in 2019.

What is your opinion about the current state of the Danish scene? Do you think that the disbandment of a team like North could open up some possibilities for you?

Hmm... Never say never, of course, but I somewhat doubt that I’m going to play with any of the players from North. I don’t really have a super close relationship with any of them, and I doubt I’d leave where I am right now - and I'm feeling happy and satisfied - for something that is unsure. If the right opportunity presents itself with a lineup I believe in, a big organisation that can support the team, a good coach and a place where I feel certain there will be stability, then I might reconsider. I desperately miss playing top tier teams every day of the week and I really want to compete at the highest level possible again. It's up to only me to make that happen.

Denmark Niels Christian 'NaToSaphiX' Sillassen
Niels Christian 'NaToSaphiX' Sillassen
Age:
24
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
855
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.60
#1
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Monster
2021-02-28 13:00
2 replies
#94
 | 
Europe chespiZ
He looks like Chuck Sherman, Sherminator Haha
2021-02-28 15:03
1 reply
Natosaphix is a goat, if he was brazillian he would be farming noobs in NA and winning majors like a CHAD Cant wait for him to climb back to tier 1
2021-02-28 22:27
YEAH U SHOULD MISS IT
2021-02-28 13:01
6 replies
why he cries and plays for lyngby at the same time?
2021-02-28 14:08
5 replies
he is not good enough and attitude issues
2021-02-28 14:26
4 replies
thanks :)
2021-02-28 14:27
exactly
2021-02-28 15:15
attitude issues, you clearly don't know the man
2021-02-28 17:51
He has no attitude issues.
2021-03-01 08:02
dad?
2021-02-28 13:01
2 replies
no
2021-02-28 13:45
He'll be back later, promise
2021-02-28 14:26
#5
 | 
Indonesia Journeast
Dream OG?
2021-02-28 13:01
4 replies
nah not if he is signed with Lyngby
2021-02-28 13:38
#53
 | 
Finland kkd69
hell no
2021-02-28 13:49
#88
 | 
Greece RedWinter
would be cool but mantuu > nato
2021-02-28 14:45
I will remove my flair forever if that happen
2021-02-28 15:05
Sadly, I dont think he has what it takes to hang there, but I would be happy to be proven wrong
2021-02-28 13:04
5 replies
#26
 | 
Brazil NegoNey
being the star of lingby vikings so far, and they are a pretty solid t2 eu team
2021-02-28 13:21
4 replies
"pretty solid t2 eu team" not even in the top 30
2021-02-28 13:28
3 replies
#42
 | 
Brazil Necro_Spa
so what, t2 europe is very stacked and doesnt get limited to the top 30
2021-02-28 13:37
2 replies
#52
 | 
Brazil NegoNey
don't lose your time with someone like this xD
2021-02-28 13:46
lol, they are barelly t3 team
2021-02-28 14:11
why this irrelevant guy gets interviewed by hltv every month? no one cares about you stop repeating same thing over and over again.
2021-02-28 13:04
18 replies
Exactly what i was thinking. This guy is treated like he's a legend with 2 majors behind his name and is a csgo wizard. He hasnt even proved himself in tier 1 cs.
2021-02-28 13:08
he's one of the few pros that actually attempts to market himself, so I'm sure his interviews get clicks.
2021-02-28 13:10
2 replies
you got a point other csgo pros dont know shit about how to market themselvedt
2021-02-28 13:18
+1
2021-02-28 15:51
#35
 | 
Philippines Kirb
For real plus he had 3 opportunities to prove himself at high level but no he was a deadweight in mouz, deadweight in heroic. Most overrated player ever, washed and was never even that good
2021-02-28 13:24
11 replies
#39
 | 
Philippines Kirb
*and he was a deadweight in complexity
2021-02-28 13:28
Deadweight in mouz? They won the event with NATO + coach in the final. How exactly is that being a deadweight
2021-02-28 13:40
9 replies
0.95 mous, 0.88 0.81 is complexity, no dead weight at all
2021-02-28 13:55
3 replies
I guess you didnt Watch their games at summit. He had good impact and the results to back it up
2021-02-28 14:09
2 replies
i watched and they won summit only because g2 chocked dick
2021-02-28 14:10
1 reply
Yeah they played g2 for all of their matches throughout the tournament. What a primitive Way of looking at it
2021-02-28 14:38
#99
JD | 
Poland Banzanic
nata was garbage and allways ll be
2021-02-28 15:35
4 replies
he wasnt garbage at summit
2021-02-28 15:51
3 replies
he was garbage his whole carier not even tier 2 player
2021-02-28 15:55
2 replies
no point arguing with new fag
2021-02-28 16:48
1 reply
nc point btw, very mature from you well for 5 straight years he was bad kek
2021-02-28 16:59
Thank you.
2021-02-28 14:50
+1
2021-03-01 06:40
underrated player
2021-02-28 13:05
4 replies
overrated*
2021-02-28 14:41
3 replies
underrated*
2021-02-28 14:55
2 replies
shit*
2021-03-01 06:40
1 reply
Underrated
2021-03-01 08:03
NaTosaphix to og???
2021-02-28 13:05
5 replies
Main awper is mantuu so no
2021-02-28 13:08
4 replies
mantuu could go back to rifling but +NaTo isnt the long-term fix and hes signed with Lyngby so I doubt OG will want to pay the buyout
2021-02-28 13:40
3 replies
+1 NA thinking
2021-02-28 13:40
He's not signed with Lyngby btw.
2021-02-28 17:57
1 reply
Ah nvm then there might be a chance they use him as a stand in for a while but again he isnt the player OG really needs to fill the role
2021-02-28 18:31
he is not even good... dream about t1... maybe some bad org take him, like OG or something like that... anyway best of kuck
2021-02-28 13:14
4 replies
#36
HEAP | 
Sweden Nappev
Bad team like og? Peaked at 6th in the world just some months ago xD
2021-02-28 13:25
3 replies
Peaked at no. 6 online is the same as peaking at no. 20 in offline season
2021-02-28 13:42
2 replies
Bro its been a year since LANs its time to stop this shit No one knows if the teams that were good on LAN will still be once they start again just like no one knows if online teams will be able to perform on LAN
2021-02-28 14:07
1 reply
See how many teams who had a lot of chances making it Big on Lan without any succes. Somehow they all managed to become great as LANs went extinct. Coincidence? Big, heroic, spirit etc were competing for dreamhack titles on Lan but just 1,5 months after they are top1 teams xD
2021-02-28 14:13
Wdym? LV tier 1 soon))))
2021-02-28 13:14
dude, you are tier 2/3 player
2021-02-28 13:14
I remember watching him stand in at Complexity and he was so clueless. He got like combined 8 frags in two maps or something. Def hasn't got what it takes against tier1 opposition.
2021-02-28 13:14
Nato cant hack it in tier1, unluko
2021-02-28 13:15
#19
 | 
Morocco bobby_j
lmao nt trying to trick us into thinking you get offers washed up bot
2021-02-28 13:16
10 replies
I suppose Moroccan star player bobby_j has offers coming in every week from T1 teams?
2021-02-28 13:24
8 replies
#34
 | 
Morocco bobby_j
i don't but i don't claim otherwise. also flair checks out
2021-02-28 13:24
#37
 | 
Philippines Kirb
malding because pros are getting criticised hahaha, bobby doesnt make cs his job and doesnt play 8 hours a day
2021-02-28 13:26
6 replies
Malding because someone mistreated his girlfriend Bobby in an online csgo forum. Or maybe an alt? Lmao
2021-02-28 13:45
5 replies
#82
 | 
Philippines Kirb
its just the dumbest shit you can say, "he is bad well you are worse" no shit people here have different jobs in life, these dudes literally play cs for a living and you dont have to be a chef to tell if a dish is bad
2021-02-28 14:29
4 replies
Bobby can stand up for himself, this isn't 1920 where you have to speak up for your gf bro
2021-02-28 16:16
2 replies
#119
 | 
Philippines Kirb
point still stands
2021-02-28 19:41
#132
 | 
Morocco bobby_j
no i can't stad for myself my bf Kirb will do it for me :3
2021-03-01 09:58
If you actually knew anything you would know that nato doesn't even play under a contract. What fucking money are you talking about? He plays with LV because he likes playing the game.
2021-03-02 07:25
+1
2021-03-01 06:39
#20
RpK | 
France pol44r
Fuck the haters, informed people knows how good and cool he is
2021-02-28 13:17
1 reply
Unfortunately thats not enough lmao
2021-03-01 06:38
#21
HEAP | 
Sweden Nappev
Natosaphix marketing genious
2021-02-28 13:24
+1 gl
2021-02-28 13:19
i wish he talked earlier about he had no contract under heroic people speculated so many different things about him back then
2021-02-28 13:19
#28
 | 
Europe Holiwis
wow heroic trollink
2021-02-28 13:21
#29
 | 
Pakistan LoOuU2
inb4 he stands in for OG next event. Professional stand in is what his career highlights are.
2021-02-28 13:22
He is just not a tier 1 player. He had many chances to prove himself and he didn't. He left Nordavind because he wants to play in tier 1 lmao but no one is gonna pick him up.
2021-02-28 13:23
is he good?
2021-02-28 13:26
1 reply
#58
 | 
Asia en1lykS
Average
2021-02-28 13:58
#41
 | 
France Bibo_
i'm really sad for him :/
2021-02-28 13:31
1 reply
he's fcking shit
2021-03-01 06:38
Nato standin service is open for business!
2021-02-28 13:38
#55
 | 
Finland kkd69
i like the guy but hes not even close to being good awper for top tier team, even for t2 i think its questionable
2021-02-28 13:57
1 reply
#61
 | 
Asia en1lykS
Agreed
2021-02-28 14:00
He's tier 1.5
2021-02-28 13:57
Standmiester
2021-02-28 13:57
#59
 | 
Asia en1lykS
Well... At least NaToSaphiX > JuGi
2021-02-28 13:59
1 reply
everyone > jugi idk what happened to jugi
2021-02-28 14:06
#60
 | 
Europe t.o.p
gl
2021-02-28 13:59
Bad IGL blameF ruined this man's career.
2021-02-28 14:00
who?
2021-02-28 14:08
Natobot and plays like bot
2021-02-28 14:18
the skill is there just can't find hit groove
2021-02-28 14:18
#77
 | 
Sweden frizzahh
bot
2021-02-28 14:25
first git gud))
2021-02-28 14:25
He will never be playing with someone from North because he is one of the toxiest players in DK. Thats why he stay so short in a team!
2021-02-28 14:41
2 replies
Have you ever watched his streams, heard someone talk about him, or watched his interviews? He seems like a super nice guy who just doesn’t fit into the scene well
2021-02-28 18:54
1 reply
On stream all are good boys :)
2021-02-28 19:39
This guy... Has one (two if you count his first one that only was international because germans and danes played it) international LAN played and says he miss top tier CS lol.
2021-02-28 14:48
#91
 | 
Poland gerald500
who cares g4 makes same action
2021-02-28 14:54
hes no tier 1 should go play Valorent
2021-02-28 15:22
#98
 | 
Poland SebL
NaToSaphiX has been looking really good in Lyngby Vikings, I hope he will keep it up. Honestly he should stay with this lineup, their team is really good, and I see a lot of potential there. GL to him and Lyngby.
2021-02-28 15:31
2 replies
I think the most that team will be is T2. Theres no way that "Lyngby vikings" go to top events.
2021-02-28 17:23
1 reply
#115
 | 
Poland SebL
There absolutely is a way, with how their roster looks like now, I think they can qualify for it.
2021-02-28 18:50
He's like twist but didn't play on tier 1.
2021-02-28 17:28
BOTosafix
2021-02-28 17:29
#111
syrsoN | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina dc4
that kid is really NOT good. I don't even think he's faceit lvl 10 tbh.. hes lvl 6 max
2021-02-28 17:30
#117
 | 
Hungary Shiron212
Let's go Lyngby Vikings, gl NaTo
2021-02-28 19:08
#120
CeRq | 
Poland RoDaK
Lyngby so trash they can't win a map Vs tier 3 recently and he talks about playing top teams hahahaha
2021-02-28 20:17
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