tabseN: "s1n is far better than we all expected"

The German in-game leader spoke to HLTV after BIG successfully qualified for the IEM Rio Major.

BIG's campaign at the IEM Road to Rio Europe RMR began well enough, wins over Sangal and Vitality immediately putting them in the 2-0 advancement pool for a spot at the Major. Tensions began to rise for the German team following back-to-back series losses to ENCE and Heroic though, and it was only once their backs were up against the wall that they managed to push on through, besting K23 in a three-map series to secure a spot in Rio.

Following the match, HLTV spoke to Johannes "⁠tabseN⁠" Wodarz about how the match went from his side, and whether there were any communication issues at points in the series. The 27-year-old touched on how Nils "⁠k1to⁠" Gruhne contributes to the lineup and what it has been like playing with academy youngster Elias "⁠s1n⁠" Stein, who was forced to step in for the main team after Josef "⁠faveN⁠" Baumann missed the RMR due to illness.tabseN also spoke on how that very absence is affecting the team, as well as on his hopes for German Counter-Strike in the future, explaining how he is attempting to help bring up a new generation of talent that can one day play alongside him.

You can find the complete interview in video form embedded above or by navigating here, and browse through additional interviews, episodes of HLTV Confirmed and Peek, Counter-Quizzes, and more on our YouTube channel.

A complete transcript of the interview can also be found below:

Congratulations, some grueling days here obviously. How are you feeling after such a hard-fought path to the Major?

First of all, thank you very much. Yeah, in the beginning it was a nice feeling to be around here, we had some very good momentum and also the feeling was very nice to be here, but overall it was a very intense week and it's just a relief to qualify for the biggest tournament of the year. I'm very proud that we managed to do so with a little bootcamp time and with a stand-in as well, so I'm just very happy.

You made it a little close at the end there, a lot of close rounds with some overtimes in there. Especially on Mirage, there were a few rounds on the CT side where it looked like you were just lacking communication, I'm just wondering what was going on there?

It was not really communication, it was just, I think, misunderstanding. Overall we had a game plan without really talking, like we managed to do our game plan which was basically holding the sites, not focusing on middle, and in the beginning it was not like we were holding the plan.

We were focusing on middle in the beginning and I needed to be a little bit harsh, and we changed the game plan in the way we needed to play, and I'm glad it worked out, it was a tough game. We had a fantastic T side, we even managed to get even I would say more rounds if everything went our way, but really happy with Mirage overall, yeah.

BIG made it through to the IEM Rio Major with a 3-2 record

How many of those kind of adjustments come from you, because I know gob b told us that k1to helps you a lot in terms of being a secondary voice in the team. How much of that is you and how much has he been helping you in that sense?

I would say it's like 95 to 5. If he has a very good day then it's switching more, then I give him more responsibility as well and I trust him more, but in the days where it's more hectic, more pressure, then I need him to frag, I need him to be able to get the room which he needs to get. Then it's more about me and I just try to focus more on my calling and my small things and adjustments.

I'm sure that's also been much harder with the fact that faveN keeps missing out on events, you've had to have stand-ins a couple of times. What has that been like for you, with needing to adapt and call around that as well?

Thankfully, s1n, Elias is a very good player for that, for his age and also for his experience. He managed to play all the things which I needed to call on the fly very good. We had a bootcamp where he arrived two days later than us, he was grinding a lot, he was just living CS, he was breathing CS, and it was one of the steps which we needed to make to be able to play this Counter-Strike, especially on the T side. As I said, he's doing a fantastic job as a stand-in, and he's far better than we all expected I would say.

It's obviously really hard to keep going into events like this, like into Cologne with a player who keeps missing out. It's hard because he's sick too, he [faveN] had tweets saying he had a bad immune system or something along those lines. Is there a long-term solution that BIG are trying to explore for that?

100%. We are trying to work on it, and obviously it's all depending on the player himself, if he really wants to do the step. At the moment we are just talking to him, he wants to do the step, and we are looking forward that we can solve all these puzzles which we were missing. Obviously we were missing Cologne as you said, and now also the RMR, it's two of the biggest tournaments for us as an organization and yeah, it's really hard to work with that.

We all know the situation, we all want to be with him, he wants to be with us, and I'm looking forward that we can also help him in that way where maybe he needs the help. Hopefully it will work out and I'm looking forward that we can all be playing again with him.

faveN's absences have been at the most inopportune times for BIG

During the tournament break, you recommitted to BIG. There were some rumors swirling about whether you would go to G2, you were kind of playing off that as well, but to re-sign with BIG alongside gob b through to 2027 — what was the commitment from you like in that sense, what was [behind] your desire to make that commitment through to 2027?

It was just an easy decision for me personally. I'm working with people who do the same like I do, they live, they work, they love basically, they live for it each day and they make my life the best I have. They deserve the most like I do, and that's why I want [them] to achieve the same thing what I achieved, they deserve the same. I just want to achieve the best what I can achieve with them, and we have a plan for the future as well. I have a plan for myself for the future, I'm looking forward to just being with my guys who I love to be around with, and obviously I want to help the German scene as well, there's not so much left.

Fatih [gob b] and me, we have a nice plan around, we're working with German players, we want to develop German players, we have a really good academy team who also made second place for example at an international tournament. Hopefully it will work out for the German scene that we will get more better players in the future who are the same class for example like me. I think we are missing it right now, and I want to give all the German players hope that they at some point maybe play with me, play with us and all the organization, that they work their ass off. To be also grateful that they have people around them who want to support them, want to achieve the same things.

How much of a part do you play in the whole academy project, and what's your influence and direct impact on that?

Back in the days it was way more. I was talking to the academy a long time, ever since Krimbo joined our team it stopped in that way. I was helping Krimbo a lot to develop himself as an in-game leader, develop the perspective how he should look at the game, how we look at the game, that we are on the same page basically. If we know that at some point we need a player, then basically we just want to get an academy player who is at the same level or is at the same stage as we are. So we don't need to change so much, he knows exactly the callouts, he knows the tactics, and if he's good individually-wise, why not you know? I think that's the best way to develop your academy team.

Coming off the RMR here, you are going to head into the BLAST Showdown online, and then you'll head straight into the Major after that. What's the preparation plan like between now and the Major, and what are you hoping to do with that when you go the Major?

Now the preparation is just to relax a bit. We had intense days, bootcamp, and we are just happy that we made it, and now it's just time to relax. After, we have some online practices, we will play BLAST Showdown as you said, and we will just try to play it as good as we can without so much preparation since it's also online, we know the enemies, we have all preparation done already, some teams were in this tournament as well. Basically we just want to achieve the same things, we need to qualify, that's the main goal. After we will have another bootcamp hopefully for the Major, and then we will prepare new things, new strategies maybe, new reactions or whatever, and we need to be individually very sharp to also maintain the same level or even get better.

And faveN will be back for those as well, right?

Hopefully, yeah.

Germany Johannes 'tabseN' Wodarz
Johannes 'tabseN' Wodarz
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1973
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.70
Germany Josef 'faveN' Baumann
Josef 'faveN' Baumann
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
1365
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
Germany Elias 's1n' Stein
Elias 's1n' Stein
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
246
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.64
Germany Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.99
Maps played:
1295
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.69
so true
2022-10-09 21:00
ez paris major for astralis
2022-10-09 21:00
3 replies
#22
 | 
Estonia Faceitgg
You mean ez qualification?
2022-10-09 21:37
2 replies
xD if they get device and staehr, yeah but probably not if they keep their current roster
2022-10-09 21:52
1 reply
#33
 | 
Estonia Faceitgg
They can keep them as reserve players that sounds like a good 7 man roster
2022-10-09 22:08
s1n siuhy
2022-10-09 21:00
2 replies
sam
2022-10-09 22:06
Pro mat' lishnee bilo
2022-10-10 02:41
rip faven
2022-10-09 21:00
#5
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
ofc he has a 1 in his name
2022-10-09 21:00
3 replies
Imagine what he could do if he capitalized his “N”
2022-10-09 21:04
2 replies
#30
 | 
Turkey Schadi
***** do you mean?
2022-10-09 22:05
#35
 | 
Canada MiLkBaGzz
He would be unstoppable
2022-10-09 23:03
delusional
2022-10-09 21:00
#8
stavn | 
France Ansi
he really wants to stay german 😘
2022-10-09 21:03
He is alright but definitely needs to get more experience, his skill is good but he makes countless mistakes that you can’t get away with at top level
2022-10-09 21:03
Am i watching this wrong or is sin 0,92 at this rmr? If he is then BiG had clearly no expectations for him.
2022-10-09 21:05
5 replies
What was he supposed to say? That sin is trash? Blade talked shit about headtrick and now navi wont be able to sell him for a good price
2022-10-09 21:22
3 replies
#18
 | 
Finland aleksiii
Yeah and headtrick wasnt even bad in groups
2022-10-09 21:31
I dont know what he was supposed to say but taking fans for idiots is not it.
2022-10-09 21:39
1 reply
Are you new to the HLTV forums?
2022-10-10 08:23
its not all about rating. Comms, nades and how he plays around his teammates is not in that rating. Even then 0.92 is solid for coming to tier1 cs for the first time in his career and it immediately being the major with a lot of pressure. For that it was a positive surprise.
2022-10-09 21:53
Thinks every under 1 rating is insane im fucking sick of this team not doing jack shit since losing xantares
2022-10-09 21:06
2 replies
once again its you with a 0/8 take
2022-10-09 21:41
1 reply
explain how its not true, you cannot. It's physically impossible how they haven't done shit since xantares. Old BIG had 3 players who can frag, this BIG is just syrson and tabsen, stats do not lie. stats say these guys blow ass.
2022-10-09 22:45
#17
 | 
Turkey bizonSX
s1nple
2022-10-09 21:30
1 reply
nice!
2022-10-09 21:34
tabseN going international when ? Kick Hooxi, get tabsen
2022-10-09 21:37
5 replies
Nah he signed extension when G2 was looking for igl to clear rumors that he was joining
2022-10-09 21:52
4 replies
I saw. But hes wasting time. Hes not getting younger. Hes the only good one from BIG.
2022-10-09 22:07
3 replies
#36
 | 
Germany tilted_up
Maybe read or watch the interview? He‘s answering your question there buddy.
2022-10-10 00:53
1 reply
Wasting his time in BIG.
2022-10-10 17:44
trust me being igl in g2 is more a waste of time
2022-10-10 10:55
s1n siuhy?
2022-10-09 21:50
Love the positivity!
2022-10-10 01:12
tabseN gigachad
2022-10-10 01:13
Jinxed?
2022-10-10 09:15
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.
Now playing
Thumbnail for stream
Brazil
gaules
2655 viewers
Top streams
All(16)
Casters(9)
Streamers(1)
Organizers(6)
Brazil
gaules
(2655)
United Kingdom
ESL TV
(1799)
Other
Champion of Champions 2
(773)
France
KRL
(327)
Brazil
Jogando Junto
(240)
Other
EU Pro League
(141)
Brazil
mch
(120)
Brazil
bt0
(113)
Russia
EU Pro League
(104)
France
1pv
(103)
Brazil
Apoka
(79)
Slovakia
REPUBLEAGUE A
(51)
Poland
AVEZ
(29)
Brazil
BTSBrasilFPS
(2)
Australia
BRACE
(1)
Brazil
BTSBrasilMobile
(1)