xertioN: "There are times when the attention is a bit overwhelming"

MOUZ NXT star Dorian "⁠xertioN⁠" Berman discussed being the most talked-about academy team, recent changes, and chances to make the 'threepeat' in the upcoming WePlay Academy League Season 3 finals.

MOUZ NXT are about to enter the WePlay Academy League Season 3 finals looking to maintain their dominance over the junior scene after picking up the first two titles.

Over the break, the team lost star AWPer Ádám "⁠torzsi⁠" Torzsás and coach Dennis "⁠sycrone⁠" Nielsen to the main roster, bringing in former AGO player Miłosz "⁠mhL⁠" Knasiak instead, but despite key changes they have remained the clear favorites of the league and have so far lived up to their status, making it to the finals with a 7-1 record in the group stage.

xertioN says getting picked three times in Bold predictions was shocking

Before they kick off their finals campaign, which had originally been slated to take place on LAN again in Kyiv but had to be moved online, we spoke to xertioN while MOUZ NXT were bootcamping at the Kinguin Esports Performance Center in Warsaw.

The Israeli star spoke about the overwhelming attention he and the rest of the academy squad have been getting from the community as well as pro players, and about getting picked by Helvijs "⁠broky⁠" Saukants, Russel "⁠Twistzz⁠" Van Dulken, and Mathieu "⁠ZywOo⁠" Herbaut as their 'Bold prediction' in this year's Top 20 players ranking.

He also delved into the changes the team had undergone during the break and explained why he thinks MOUZ NXT have been having a difficult time in the new season, before discussing his goals outside of the academy circuit.

You guys are the academy team that everyone talks about at the moment, the highest-ranked academy team, two-time WePlay Academy League champions, and you have these players that a lot of people say should be moving up. What makes you so special?

I would say it's the way we work, it's very different to other academy teams. I think that it's pretty easy to succeed in the system we created, especially with the last team. We had a lot of fun with each other, we were basically a family. I can say from my experience meeting the other teams that they seem a bit more apart, not sitting with each other all day, together, while in our team it was just default to be together all of the time, be it eating, playing, having fun, going out, everything just happened naturally.

Was it conscious, was there someone behind the scenes who pushed you a bit, or did you all just become friends?

It's just a group of friends, you can't even force that, if you try to force it it's probably worse. We all just really like each other and like to hang out even more than with other friends.

You're getting a lot of attention from the outside all of a sudden, and you're all in the early stages of your career, except for mhL who has been around a bit longer than the rest of you guys. How do you deal with that?

It's crazy, the attention I was getting from the CS community was going uphill, then I played with s1mple a couple of weeks ago and everything blew up, everyone is following me, followers are coming in and it's mind-blowing. That's the point in the CS community and how strong it is and I'll be honest, it's difficult, there are times when it's a bit overwhelming. Especially after the second WePlay Academy League we won. I was talking to launders — I'm a big fan of his work — and he said he would make a video about me and it was very overwhelming. I had a hard time managing it and even cried after, it's amazing.

What is it like being mentioned by these big pros, like in the bold predictions we do — I think it was broky, Twistzz and ZywOo who picked you. How do you react to that?

It was incredible because it's people I look up to and admire, of course — they're the best in the world. It was a bit shocking and mind-blowing, I didn't expect them to pick me. Maybe someone like ropz for example, because he was in mousesports and there were more common things between us, but I was shocked when I saw broky, then Twistzz, I was like 'what the fuck, what's going on?' But yeah, it was very surprising, and very humbling and motivating to say the least.

Talking about the team, you recently went through a change and got mhL. How has this made the team different? Looking at the Academy League results he's the highest-rated player on the team, so he has taken the star role already.

Yeah, of course it's very difficult to change players, especially when our coach — who created this project — left to the main team. I'm happy because he deserves it but sad because he was very valuable, in my opinion. I really enjoyed working with him and I learned a lot. The same goes for torzsi, he's an insane individual and the thing that made us so close was that we both had personal issues with attitude at the beginning of the team and everyone helped fix that.

As soon as our issues were fixed we became really good friends, me and him. I can openly say that at the beginning we didn't really get along together, and after like three months we sat and had a talk with a psychologist from MOUZ and he helped us both be more open-minded. I think that will help in my career, as well. But yeah, it's a big change and it's hard, especially without a coach, but mhL is a good player.

Being a tight-knit group in an out of the server helped MOUZ NXT become the dominant academy team, xertioN claims

Talking about torzsi making the move up, that's the goal for everyone in academy teams, to make it to the main team and the tier 1 scene. Is that the goal that you have, as well?

I mean, yeah, obviously. I, personally, in the most humble way possible, don't like to set goals too much because I feel like you limit yourself a little bit, but I would say that looking forward to the future I would like to play tier 1 and be the best in the world and all of that, right?

Going back to the team, you now have a Polish core and there's the meme that you're now the best Polish team. Has it gotten noticeably more Polish or has it remained the international side you always were?

Well, we have siuhy, who is Polish but lived in Northern Ireland for like 8 or 11 years. So he is Polish but doesn't necessarily involve himself as much in the Polish scene. Either way, we try to keep it international so everyone can feel involved when people are speaking, although obviously in their free time they can speak Polish if they want or do whatever, but I didn't let that happen because I don't think it's healthy for the team.

Everyone looks at you as the big favorites of the WePlay Academy League, but just before we started rolling you talked about this not being the greatest period for you. Can you talk a bit about that and how you guys are feeling ahead of the playoffs?

We're very confident still, we believe in our potential, and I do believe we have a lot of potential in this roster even without a coach, but it's just that we have some internal issues that we're having a really hard time fixing. I'm pretty confident going into WePlay to win it, of course, but yeah, only time will tell.

Some of the other big names haven't looked as good as before, NAVI Junior also lost a couple of key players for example, and the finals teams are quite different now. Is there anybody you see as a threat in these playoffs?

To be honest, I think that all teams right now have a different special ability. BIG Academy is really good, I respect them a lot and I love their players — Krimbo is great, and prosus, and I enjoy playing against them. Maybe they have too much structure in their game, just like the main BIG team.

Then you have Spirit Academy who have less structure and rely a lot on KaiR0N- fragging, who is very good obviously. Astralis Talent is a pretty balanced team, the only thing is maybe the individual players, they are lacking compared to like BIG Academy, for example, but everyone has their special ability and that's very common in the academy league. All of them can be a threat on a good day, but I only think we're facing ourselves to be honest and if we lose it's our fault.

What about goals outside of the academy league? You're one of the few teams from that group that also plays a lot of other tournaments as well. How are you looking to step things up moving forward?

I would really like to win a Pinnacle Cup or Malta Vibes because it's one of the best tier 2 events and that would prove that we're not just an academy team, although I think we already did it because we're top 30 in the world without having open or closed qualifiers for big tournaments because of the main team. I think that's our temporary goal right now, to win something big like that.

Anything else to say?

Thanks everyone for the support, keep it up! We're going through a bit of a rough period but I promise it will get better.

France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.28
Maps played:
942
KPR:
0.85
DPR:
0.62
Latvia Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
607
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.61
Hungary Ádám 'torzsi' Torzsás
Ádám 'torzsi' Torzsás
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
380
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.63
Israel Dorian 'xertioN' Berman
Dorian 'xertioN' Berman
Age:
17
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
139
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.64
Canada Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Russel 'Twistzz' Van Dulken
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.11
Maps played:
1287
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.62
Poland Miłosz 'mhL' Knasiak
Miłosz 'mhL' Knasiak
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.13
Maps played:
428
KPR:
0.77
DPR:
0.64
#1
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Monster
2022-02-10 15:04
4 replies
super interesting that they are going through internal issues... what could that mean? covid? they are losing motivation /dealing with burnout? lack of coach taking its toll? honestly this interview created more questions than it answered.
2022-02-10 15:25
3 replies
Perhaps disappointed that they weren't all promoted to the main team after achieving everything that's possible to them but instead lost 2 key members. This increases the chances that they might split up to go their own ways. E.g. Jdc to BIG or Sprout, Xertion to an International Team for example etc.
2022-02-10 19:00
2 replies
another player jinxed by 'bold prediction'
2022-02-11 03:53
xertion to og would be a dream
2022-02-11 05:16
Future star
2022-02-10 15:05
#6
 | 
Poland DzikiMiki
Yeah, big potential
2022-02-10 15:06
GL!
2022-02-10 15:07
#9
 | 
Turkey TR_top_1
New Ropz
2022-02-10 15:07
can someone tell me why everyone is talking about him? (no hate) but I just went to his recent games and saw a lot of REDS and his ratings aren't impressive either?
2022-02-10 15:14
8 replies
#18
 | 
Israel Asi_16
Like he said in the interview, his last matches aren't great, but like every player - "sometimes good,sometimes shit" :)
2022-02-10 15:15
2 replies
thanks
2022-02-10 15:16
1 reply
#64
 | 
United States loveai
If you follow his last academic league performance and the tier 2/3 tornmanet last year, you will see
2022-02-10 23:10
#31
 | 
Israel Lisnow
Because of the roster changes he had some rough games lately but in season 1-2 of the Academy league he played like a monster
2022-02-10 15:32
HLTV moment
2022-02-10 16:03
3 replies
#65
 | 
North America barosielle
he asked it politely "no hate". not really an hltv moment
2022-02-10 23:28
2 replies
For me any time someone looks just at stats or rating it's a HLTV moment, no hate towards him either
2022-02-11 00:28
1 reply
#68
 | 
North America barosielle
makes more sense LMAO
2022-02-11 00:29
#21
 | 
Israel Asi_16
Great guy and even greater player, best of luck dori ya kohav!
2022-02-10 15:17
Beast! 🔥
2022-02-10 15:17
very cool interview, keep it up xertion
2022-02-10 15:18
Gl Dorian
2022-02-10 15:20
#28
 | 
Israel Lisnow
He gonna be a big star for sure
2022-02-10 15:25
He looks a lot older than 17
2022-02-10 15:30
Don't worry dude I don't car, that takes off the pressure.
2022-02-10 15:39
#40
 | 
Germany mrzxea_cs
Hes such a nice and funny guy. He did some late night streams with JDC some time ago.
2022-02-10 15:58
he should've been promoted to the main MOUZ roster
2022-02-10 15:59
Actually very interesting to read that torzsi and xertioN had issues with attitude when they first played together.
2022-02-10 16:00
1 reply
im suprised they didnt get a coach, academy players need to learn gamesense to get them to top tier teams and without a coach, idk how its gonna happen
2022-02-11 05:18
#45
 | 
Israel fvlion
Legend
2022-02-10 16:06
A solid full Israeli team wish we could see this in the future anarkez Spinx flameZ Nertz xertioN
2022-02-10 16:08
3 replies
#59
 | 
Israel Xpicyy
which org would you like to sign them?
2022-02-10 20:48
1 reply
#61
 | 
Netherlands miles-
eSrael of course!
2022-02-10 21:27
i want spinx on better theam, flamez and xertion playing well respectively but ence has been flopping
2022-02-11 05:19
#47
 | 
United Kingdom suge
Seems wise beyond his years and very humble, big things ahead!
2022-02-10 16:08
"7-1 record" kng would like to know your location
2022-02-10 16:15
2 replies
#49
 | 
Poland BAN_ANIME
*brazil would like to know your location
2022-02-10 16:24
1 reply
i was gonna put that but i thought kng was better cuz that old fns drama
2022-02-10 18:56
#60
 | 
United States xcalibot
damn 17 and his face looks so matured
2022-02-10 21:16
1 reply
U mean looks neckbeard virgin?
2022-02-11 10:15
#63
jR | 
Ukraine zergggg
go Israel amazing country
2022-02-10 23:09
5 replies
#66
 | 
Israel McBeany
<3
2022-02-10 23:39
Thanks man :)
2022-02-11 00:55
great indeed thx :)
2022-02-11 03:13
+1
2022-02-11 06:42
#81
Spinx | 
Israel hagai
<3
2022-02-11 16:41
beast
2022-02-12 22:48
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