floppy: "Playing VALORANT has made me appreciate CS a lot more"
One of North America's standout prospects in past years, floppy's Counter-Strike career seemingly came to an early end in March when Cloud9's 'Colossus' lineup folded and the organisation withdrew from CS:GO.
The 21-year-old rifler soon switched over to play for Cloud9 Blue in VALORANT alongside Erick "Xeppaa" Bach, but his time in that game was limited, lasting just five months before he and the organisation parted ways. A burnout from competitive FPS games led to floppy taking a short break, but soon after he was again spotted practicing CS:GO, and in October, he returned to playing alongside Johnny "JT" Theodosiou and Josh "oSee" Ohm on Extra Salt.
Even with floppy's addition though, Extra Salt have struggled to secure tournament wins in recent months, falling to Party Astronauts in the grand final of ESEA Premier Season 38 and iBUYPOWER Mythic Masters. The loss in the former tournament led to missing out on a direct spot in ESL Pro League Season 15, and the team are now left to fight for one of three spots in the event as they take part in the Conference division from a bootcamp in Germany, with matches set to start on November 23.
With the start of the event mere days away, floppy briefly spoke to HLTV about making a return to CS:GO, touched upon his time with the Colossus, and gave his thoughts on playing his first tournament in Europe in over eight months.
First off, welcome back. You stepped back from CS after the Cloud9 Colossus disbanded and went to VALORANT, how was that time away for you and what ultimately brought you back to CS?
Thank you, I am much happier playing CS. Especially with my good friends on Extra Salt. I think it was good for me to take a step back from CS for a little bit since I was feeling a little burnt out from playing. Playing VALORANT has made me appreciate CS a lot more. Being able to punish noobs for making mistakes in CS is a lot more satisfying than getting owned by noobs in VALORANT since the skill floor is so much higher in that game.
Now that you’re back, how does it feel to play CS again? Did you feel like you had any catching up to do with the meta, or how the game might be played in Europe as you prepare to head there?
Coming back to CS, It feels like I never left to be honest. The only catching up that I’ve had to do was to learn Ancient. I don’t think the meta has drastically changed that much since I’ve been gone. I’ve watched CS off and on while playing VALORANT anyway to keep a little updated on the game we all love.
Going back a bit to the aforementioned Colossus, some of the difficulties that roster faced have been talked about by a few former members at this point. How was it for you personally during that time?
I think initially it was rough after making roster changes in the first couple of months. The biggest problem was the AWP role in my opinion. With the current meta you need a really strong AWP on the team to be the best team internationally. Unfortunately things didn’t work out but that’s life.
I learned a lot about myself from that team and am glad to have played with the squad. For me personally it was my first time living by myself as well as in a foreign country. It was definitely a learning experience and was difficult to adjust to. I think bringing Xeppaa with me to Serbia helped quite a bit mentally since he's my friend I've known for a long time.
Obviously you’ve reunited with oSee and JT on Extra Salt here, and are playing with FaNg and MarKE for the first time. What’s it like being back together with two of your former teammates, and what’s your impression of FaNg specifically given his rise over this year?
It’s nice to be with my good friends Johnny and Josh again, I've missed them dearly. I think Justin has gotten so much better in the last year, and it’s amazing progress to see. He grinds the game, watches a lot of matches, and puts in a lot of effort which I respect. I also think MarkE is a very good anchor with massive fragging power. He don’t miss!
How has playing for Extra Salt been, compared to some of your past organizations? You’re already at the team’s apartments, I believe.
Playing for Extra Salt has been fantastic. I’ve felt very welcomed to be part of the organization and they’ve settled me in the team apartments here in Texas.
The outlook of the scene, and specifically NA, has changed significantly over the last two years. You don’t usually hold back when voicing your opinion on things you take issue with, so I’m curious as to what your thoughts are on the state of the scene right now, both internationally and domestically?
My thoughts on the NA scene are that it can potentially recover over some time. It’s not like a majority of the players that switched to VALORANT would ever do anything internationally in CS anyway. I think that the major viewership and sticker money will help bring some NA orgs back to invest, it’s a matter of time. Some more players might even come back, we’ll see.
You’re headed to Europe for EPL S15 Conference this week. There are only three spots in the main league up for grabs and you haven’t had much European practice since your return, so how’re you feeling individually about your chances of making it through?
Individually I’m ready to go back to Europe and frag out again. I wish the event was on LAN, it’s been a while since my last LAN at Flashpoint 1, but that’s okay. I think we’re a strong team that can qualify for EPL. All that matters is we try our best to make it.