SunPayus: "I always wanted to see how I’d do on an international team"
Alvaro "SunPayus" Garcia was a cornerstone in Movistar Riders' rise up the world ranking in the latter end of 2021 and first half of 2022, putting up a 1.16 rating during his tenure with Spain's premier organization.
Impressive performances in Movistar Riders' title run at IEM Valencia Challenger and IEM Cologne, where the Spaniards reached the semi-finals, turned enough heads to get the 23-year-old noticed on the international stage and SunPayus was transferred to ENCE in lieu of Olek "hades" Miskiewicz over the summer off-season.
SunPayus is joined in ENCE's new roster by Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså, who was signed to take the spot of the outgoing Lotan "Spinx" Giladi. "I think that we can add a little something different, something extra to the team," SunPayus told HLTV, "and I hope we’ll be able to win important tournaments."
What’s your first impression of ENCE?
My first impression is that we’re a new team, it’s hard to change two pieces and have everything remain the same. valde and I both have to adapt to the team, but they also have to adapt a to our style a bit. It’s different, but I think that it’s good. We think the same way about many situations, we just have to play together a little bit longer to all get on the same page and everything will flow on its own, they’re all very good players.
What differences have you noticed between ENCE and Movistar Riders?
It’s pretty similar, in general terms. The schedule, the way of working… The way of understanding the game is a bit different since language changes everything and communication is harder in an international team, although it also has some interesting aspects to it.
How’s your adaptation to playing in English, with players from other cultures?
It’s going well, it’s complicated at first because everybody’s voice is new and you’re listening to several at the same time, but I’m adapting well, in a few weeks everything will be perfect. I think my character helps us laugh and enjoy ourselves even if we’re from different cultures, although I really don’t see many cultural differences in general.
You were quite vocal making mid-round calls in Movistar Riders. How is it in ENCE, are you still helping the IGL in that sense?
Yes, I think that people speak up more during the mid-round in ENCE, but I’m quite vocal in my role because I see everything from the back. Both on the CT side, helping direct players with my mid-round movements, as well as on the T side making specific calls or helping Marco when he’s doing his mid-round calls. I can help organize the mid-round because I can see all of the grenades that my teammates have.
What expectations do you have for this ENCE team? They made it far several times but never lifted a trophy. Do you think that will change with you and valde?
My expectation is just to keep improving, gaining experience and enjoying the moment, and I hope the team will also grow with me. I think that we can add a little something different, something extra to the team and I hope we’ll be able to win important tournaments.
Why did you decide to leave Movistar Riders at a time when the team breached the top 10? What made you think ENCE was going to be an upgrade?
It was a very hard decision for me, but ENCE has had really good results this year, reaching three finals. They’re also ESL partners and made top four at the last Major, so I just saw it as a very good opportunity to keep developing as a player and person since I always wanted to see how I’d do on an international team.
The Spanish community has been somewhat divided between those that are happy to see a Spanish player in an international team and those that are sad that you left Movistar Riders when it was at its peak. How has the community’s response affected you?
I didn’t have very good days, I spoke a lot with friends, family, colleagues and my agent to get different points of view and didn’t read social media that much. I’ve had a lot of support up to now and at the end of the day what we did in Movistar Riders was historic, so I hope that fans will continue to support me.
You have impressive CT-side statistics, among the best at IEM Cologne, but it’s harder for you to shine on the attacking side. Are you working on this?
It’s pretty hard to play T-side for anyone right now, not just me. It’s a very CT-sided meta, but I’m aware of it and looking at several ways of becoming better in that regard.
You’re going to debut with ENCE at ESL Pro League. What expectations do you have going into that event?
None. We’re just going in with about a month of practice, which I consider a short amount of time. Regardless, we’re working very hard and I think we’ll have a good tournament. I can’t wait for it.