Maniac: "I think great stories require favourites playing their best Counter-Strike"

With the experience of the IEM Rio Major fresh in his mind, Mathieu "⁠Maniac⁠" Quiquerez reflects on life as a broadcast talent and the state of the CS:GO scene.

Maniac is one of the most prolific on-screen talents in Counter-Strike, gracing our screens for the majority of the big events on the calendar. He was also a successful player in the early days of our game, sporting a couple of big event wins from 2014 and even a top-four placing at the ESL One: Cologne 2014 Major.

2022 was as busy as ever for the Swiss analyst as he worked the four big events of the year, both Majors and IEM Katowice and Cologne, so who better to ask for insight into life on broadcast as well as for thoughts on the state of the pro scene right now.

Maniac has established himself as a premier analyst in CS:GO

During BLAST Premier Fall Finals Maniac took some time away from the camera to chat about the aforementioned topics, his team and player for the year of 2022, and even give a bold prediction for CS in 2023.

So I'll get the drama out of the way first. You were overlooked for the Esports Awards initially, does something like that bother you?

Genuinely I wish it didn't matter to me, but I try to be honest with myself and the emotions within and I was a little bit bothered at the time. Not that I believe I need this validation to be happy in my life, but I thought I had a really great year and I performed well, I was very strict with myself in how I wanted to improve in my career, and I thought that I could see my name in there, at least I was hoping to see it. That's the genuine truth.

Once it wasn't the case, of course life goes on (smiles). You cannot give it too much weight, you can just accept that you were disappointed, live with it for a few days, then move on and keep working, which is what I did. I think I processed it the way it was supposed to be.

Was it nice to have that outpouring of support after, because a lot of people vocally stated you were overlooked and should have been on that list?

Yeah definitely. Not only from the fans, because I always appreciate any show of support and I like to think that maybe humbly for a few people I make a difference and they appreciate the broadcast when I'm on and the energy I put in, that matters to me, but also when I have some of the key actors of the scene coming in and speaking on my behalf. It is obviously a great boost of motivation and validation, but I am far from thinking that I am perfect at what I do, I still have a boat-load to learn and improve on, and I think it's an evergreen job…

Ongoing always, isn't it?

Absolutely, so the validation is always nice.

It's almost better to get it from your peers in a way, the people who know what they're talking about.

Yeah absolutely, again you cannot lie to yourself and say that fans' opinions don't matter because that's just not true, right? I think as human beings we like to be appreciated and we like to be celebrated, there's no way around it, but there are just a few voices out there that mean a lot, especially from the professionals of the broadcast, people who I know who have been around in the industry a long time. When I get praise from these people, for example when Richard Lewis goes and says he appreciates what I do, that means something to me.

Looking at the analysts we have in the scene right now we have people like you, Pimp, kassad, YNk. Do you think you have to have been a pro player to get into the analysis side of things on the broadcast?

No I don’t think so, if you have a genuine true passion for the game and you find the vein that you want to be in and own it, you can make it without having that etiquette. I do believe that being a former professional gets the foot in the door way easier, which is what happened to me. When I stopped in 2018 I had a level of credibility on the desk that was extremely high because I was fresh off the professional scene, so people wanted to know what I had to say about the game. This is just a foot in the door, I think once you realise how much this is a unique job, you're not just a former professional talking about the game you are a broadcast talent, an entertainer, you have to educate but also entertain people. You either except that challenge and turn a new page in the book of your life, and you try something new, or you don't. I think you can do it without being a professional player, it just helps you get there.

Have you had any thoughts about returning to the professional scene, particularly as a coach, or maybe had any offers?

I think I might have had a few people asking me if I would consider it. I never had a real concrete offer, that didn’t come my way, but I also don’t believe that I would because I am aware of how much time it takes when you have to follow a team 24/7, I think it's an incredible investment. I am very happy with the balance I have in my life, not that the talent life isn't also at times exhausting (smiles), at the moment we are in a rush, fresh from Rio and then to Abu Dhabi. It can be exhausting and can be tiring, but I am very happy with where I am and I always want to improve in what I do and I take this as if I was a pro player, just in a different game, my game is entertainment. There are days when I am good on the server and days when I am not, there are things that I have to improve and things that I have to change, so it's very rewarding. It's very challenging but very rewarding, and I don't really want to leave this space right now.

Maniac sees pros and cons to having no clear favourite in CS

Moving on to some Counter-Strike questions, how was the Major from your point of view? You have a unique perspective being a broadcaster behind the scenes.

I think the Challengers Stage and Legends Stage was very unique, it was a learning experience for everybody. Fascinating to see the turnout and the atmosphere for some of these games, I think players probably don’t realise how strange it is, I come from a time when we used to play in a gymnasium for that stage of the tournament, so I appreciated that. It also burnt a truck-ton of energy for me, having to work in that environment for two weeks and match the energy that is behind you was extremely tiring, obviously I am happy to put that kind of effort in for the Major, it’s the time to do it.

I think the playoffs didn't deliver what we were hoping to see, but there is a reality in that you don't control the teams that make it through, you don't control the stories that come out of a tournament, so we had to work with what we had. In the end I still believe we managed to tell the stories of some of these heroes, seeing Jame for example lift a trophy at the Major, someone who had been criticised a lot for his playstyle, it was a sweet story of vindication. So yeah, it burned out a lot of energy for me, I was happy I was there and gave my everything. What happened in the playoffs is not something I could control, unfortunately.

How do you feel about where the scene is at right now, post-Major? We have no clear number one team and I think a lot of people would struggle to do a power ranking right now, is it a positive thing to have an era of uncertainty?

There are pluses and minuses, I think. When your favourites are a little bit fragile, you are missing out on some of these key matches in moments that should matter, right? Technically if you could ask someone "hey would you like to see FaZe vs NAVI in the final of a Major?" then everybody would say "oh yeah, that would be incredible, the closing of 2022, oh my god what would happen?" obviously you don't control that. I do think that it's great to see, for all of the teams out there in the top say 10 or 12, there is a way to trophies. It was not always the case in Counter-Strike, there were periods of time where if your name isn't FaZe, Astralis or NAVI, you're not putting your hands on a trophy, that's it. So I appreciate that openness and that we can be surprised by players, but I do think that great stories require favourites playing their best Counter-Strike. If there is an upset, good, then I am absolutely happy to see it, I just want whoever upset a team to have that sense of having earned it.

We still have a bit of Counter-Strike left to be played, but who would be your team of the year and player of the year if I put you on the spot now?

I think FaZe have done enough to earn that title…

Three of the big four events this year!

Absolutely, I know that there have been a few tournaments where they missed the mark, Dallas is a good example, the Major is very obviously on that list, but you cannot take anything away from what they've been able to do in 2022. Truth be told they still have two tournaments to play, as we speak now they could lift a trophy in Copenhagen and one in Abu Dhabi and that would close out the greatest year in the history of CS:GO. I don't think anyone can push them away from that seat, they will be my team of the year.

When it comes to player, I also believe that s1mple has done enough. It is true that he has slowed down significantly in the last few weeks, and there is nothing against that, but his dominance over the Counter-Strike world in the beginning of 2022 was so marked that I don't really know who could challenge him honestly. I even cannot come up with an argument for ZywOo, so that must mean I'm honest (laughs).

If you had to make a bold prediction for 2023, a team or player who will surprise positively or negatively, who or what would it be?

Damn, a bold prediction… (laughs).

I know I am putting you on the spot here (laughs).

Yeah, I'm just trying not to come up with some BS answer and give you something I actually believe in...

Alright, I believe that both NAVI and Vitality will change roster, and that they will both look better with a different roster.

That's a bold prediction, I'll take it!

Switzerland Mathieu 'Maniac' Quiquerez
Mathieu 'Maniac' Quiquerez
Age:
32
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.96
Maps played:
837
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
Indeed!
2022-12-04 10:14
2 replies
Talents who wanted to be Pros and couldn't make it , who are they to talk ? Hampus was right ...
2022-12-04 12:27
never liked maniac, met him once at an event, felt cocky so... his oppinion counts 0 to me 😋
2022-12-04 19:52
gl
2022-12-04 10:14
Slow news days until Blast World Finals?
2022-12-04 10:15
1 reply
#15
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
lol true ...even hltv posting boring articles to get us hltv addicts thru the days, post world finals it will be top 20 time
2022-12-04 10:38
I hope that valve does something to raise the skill ceiling
2022-12-04 10:15
who asked?
2022-12-04 10:15
4 replies
hltv
2022-12-04 10:17
#17
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
hltv asked maniac, bro read the first line before commenting lol noob
2022-12-04 10:39
2 replies
+1 bro, better leave whole community ahead of 2023
2022-12-04 10:50
no one cars
2022-12-04 14:15
Why Vita change roster when they won the Blast World Final
2022-12-04 10:17
3 replies
#18
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
are u from future?
2022-12-04 10:39
2 replies
#21
ropz | 
Slovakia nvrn06
Im his belt and its true. that Vitality won blast final + spinx MVP
2022-12-04 10:44
1 reply
#46
 | 
France Nanynoodle
Apex igling doesn't let enough space for spinx to shine, sadly
2022-12-04 14:44
GOAT
2022-12-04 10:19
2 replies
#9
Maniac | 
Switzerland Xsara
+1
2022-12-04 10:22
+1
2022-12-04 13:53
Be careful, underdogs defenders will say that you value who is more hyped and not who played better
2022-12-04 10:23
÷1 Who cares about the desk people? No one in any others sport hype caster like hltv does for csgo commentators
2022-12-04 10:26
4 replies
you are wrong, US sports commentators are hype
2022-12-04 10:29
I know, right? Why do we ask these people anything, for real...
2022-12-04 10:34
1 reply
Yoo goat
2022-12-04 10:39
#63
 | 
Argentina jvanmVVV
Casters are definitely a huge part of the show in football, at least in Argentina culture.
2022-12-10 07:49
#12
 | 
Netherlands RichHours
Pimp>Maniac
2022-12-04 10:29
5 replies
#19
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
both are immaterial people who show their talent befre the main event...i dont watch pre / mid game shows not gonna lie
2022-12-04 10:40
3 replies
I've never been called immaterial. That's a first!
2022-12-04 11:11
2 replies
#25
 | 
Denmark Rubix__
brother man dont take offense, english is my third language..apologies...you doing good job
2022-12-04 11:25
1 reply
I didn't take offense, I was actually wondering what might be the meaning! Don't worry. :)
2022-12-04 11:31
+1 How tf is pimp nominated but not maniac
2022-12-04 10:44
navi will defo be changing a player or two
2022-12-04 11:22
#26
 | 
Denmark Almoe
expected take from inverted mouse player
2022-12-04 11:31
Tbh Maniac and Machine feel like 2 genuine people with genuine love for the sports. Whenever I see Freya I just see someone who does this for her job, and not bevause she loves the game. Maniac, you are doing a great job with a great mindset whilst doing it, and I look forward to seeing you a lot next year too!
2022-12-04 11:38
Maniac always stands out to me as a very humble and interesting talent. He always has passion for the scene, and I grew up watching Maniac play so it really is amazing to see him up there. Take good care of youself, Maniac. No doubt deserving of much praise and I'm looking forward to see more of you in the coming years.
2022-12-04 11:50
GOAT talent <3
2022-12-04 11:54
What a legend. Absolute unit!
2022-12-04 11:58
#32
 | 
United Kingdom JupiterACE
i pray casters are replaced with AI
2022-12-04 12:03
#33
 | 
Sweden Goddock
goat talent
2022-12-04 12:06
#34
 | 
Vietnam _Liam_
The title is True
2022-12-04 12:09
#35
kennyS | 
Czech Republic 4DC3
W interview
2022-12-04 12:09
Just a quick message to say I see the shows of support here and it warms my heart. [Also I have to admit some of the attacks/quasi insults I see sometimes make me smile, the creativity shines through]. Much love for this community and HLTV who keeps making my job way easier than it could be. [Yeah, I read the forums too]. Cheers.
2022-12-04 12:15
7 replies
#37
 | 
Canada Zenrod
You are arguably my favorite analyst of the year, keep up the good work!
2022-12-04 12:17
Pog. Great work as always, Maniac. Thank you for your genuine heart for the game! <3
2022-12-04 13:48
<3
2022-12-04 14:00
2 replies
#53
 | 
Russia WiHuu
nt Maniac alt
2022-12-04 19:25
1 reply
my cover is blown once again O_O
2022-12-04 19:34
I like you Maniac, please keep up the great work!
2022-12-04 19:10
#52
 | 
Russia WiHuu
<3
2022-12-04 19:25
Ezz for navi and goat simple
2022-12-04 12:55
THAT'S WHY HE'S THE GOAT! THE GOAT!!!
2022-12-04 13:55
Maniac you make me smile and your analysis is always delivered in an engaging manner with a holistic outlook. thanks for being you and keep up the great work!
2022-12-04 13:56
#47
 | 
Portugal laskin
We want everyone firing in all cylinders
2022-12-04 16:12
Switzerland has a alot quality to offer: watches, cheese, pocket knifes, banks and of course number one esports talent M A N I A C !!
2022-12-04 16:29
appreciate u maniac
2022-12-04 17:13
#55
 | 
Europe Khanan
The issue with Maniac isn’t his analysis, he’s probably one of the best. The way he talks is sometimes a bit too agitated, too emotional, so I think that is what cost him any nominations for esport awards. Balance is cool. Coolness is important, being level headed. I don’t look for an analyst to be emotional, that’s simply not needed. Casters can do that and they do. It’s expected from them, not from analysts.
2022-12-04 19:42
2 replies
To be honest I think my emotional side is a strenght rather than a weakness. I won't shy away from it. But you are entilted to your opinion and if every criticism was this well put, the world would be a better place, so cheers for that truly.
2022-12-04 20:15
1 reply
#58
 | 
Europe Khanan
I dislike criticizing, I wouldn’t really do it, I was trying to come up with a reason they could have to not give a award or nomination, and the only (slightly) negative thing that came to my mind is that *sometimes* you could be a bit cooler, of course you shouldn’t completely suppress it, that’s also not my opinion. For me you’re one of the best analysts anyway, as I mentioned earlier. I never had a problem with the way you talk, to the contrary. Keep up the good work
2022-12-04 20:33
Having worked across a few, every industry seems to have their own bs awards merry go round, it's mainly just a money making scheme from the award givers. So maniac you are right to let it go! Keep on with the good work.
2022-12-05 01:05
He seems to be one of the nicest guys on the desks and it looks like its genuine. And nice to see he reads here. And I wasnt following CS when he was pro, what roles were he playing? He wasnt involved with french scene's quarrels, right?
2022-12-05 02:58
1 reply
He played in LDLC and Titan, he was a bit below average player (for tier 1) but his teams were considered to be top 5
2022-12-09 15:12
#64
 | 
China RADNIKEY
I love the honesty here
2022-12-10 08:16
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