Plopski: "This change was good both for NIP and also for me"
Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora was once recognized as one of the brightest prospects in Swedish Counter-Strike when he joined Ninjas in Pyjamas in 2019 as a young star, sharing the responsibility of promoting his home region alongside fellow teenager Ludvig "Brollan" Brolin. Despite a good start to his career with the Swedish team, the ex-Ancient rifler struggled to find consistency and was ultimately benched four years after his arrival.
The 20-year-old decided to return to his home region in order to revitalize his career and put Sweden back on the map. He was reunited with ex-teammates William "draken" Sundin, Alfred "RuStY" Karlsson, and Erik "ztr" Gustafsson in an all-Swedish project alongside young prospect Joel "joel" Holmlund. The roster was acquired by GODSENT as the organization changed management and returned to Sweden after an 18-months-stint with a Brazilian roster.
The new lineup has so far only competed in European online tournaments and failed to reach the closed qualifiers for the Paris Major RMR events. Despite this, Plopski believes that GODSENT has the potential to push Swedish Counter-Strike forward and so he sat down to answer a few questions about the project and his personal ambitions within it.
You spent more than three years at NIP. How was the team environment by the end, and what was your role in the squad?
My role in the team was as a support/anchor from 2021 until I got benched. I would say the team environment was good considering all the circumstances that happened to us. We almost never played with our full lineup or so it felt at least because we had stand-ins and then a new player would come in and we had to basically restart and go from the beginning again so it was kinda tough, but I would still say that we kept our heads high and had a positive attitude.
In an interview ahead of IEM Cologne 2019 you said NIP felt like a good place to grow as a player. After all this time, do you still think that was the best home for you to develop?
It is kinda hard to say, but yes, as a player I grew playing with a bunch of experienced guys but also I grew outside of the game as a person. But as mentioned above it was kinda tough for me as a player to swap my role into being a more supportive one while also playing with a lot of stand-ins. I do feel like I did learn a lot though but I got somewhat stuck as a player at the end of 2021 and throughout 2022. I did learn a lot from being a supportive player and I gave it my all, but I just wasn’t that comfortable playing that role.
Was there anyone in particular that you looked up to during that time as a mentor?
Yes I would say I looked up to f0rest when I first joined the team and then I would say device when he was in our team as well. I learned a lot from both of them and I am very grateful for getting the chance to have played with them.
After a few good tournaments with NIP your consistency began to suffer, what do you think caused it? And how do you think you can improve in the new team?
We had some good runs with NIP and I felt like we were always a team who came to the playoffs, but then just lost in the quarterfinals, which kinda sucks, but I think it just comes down to the roles we had in the team. I wasn’t comfortable with my role and that affected me as a player, but also the team, because if I'm not confident and comfortable, then the team also loses confidence and it was just not so great. I think this change was good both for NIP and also for me to join another team, where I can be more comfortable and they can get a player who is also more confident and comfortable.
How did the GODSENT project come about, and what attracted you to it?
I had some talks with one of the new owners of GODSENT and also HeatoN once pretty early. We all wanted to create something for Swedish CS and push it forward, and to me that sounded good and was probably what attracted me the most. I was also hyped overall to play in a Swedish team again with some of my old teammates and now my new teammates felt good.
What are your aims — both individually and as a team with GODSENT?
Individually I would say to become a top 20 player eventually and grow as a player and be a player people could look up to, but my main goal and focus will always be the team. My goals for the team are to push ourselves into the top 20 rankings and be a consistent tier two team in the start. This is probably gonna take a while and we all know this in the team, because we built this team for the future and we are being realistic here that it might take some time for us to get to the point we want to be at.
Is your role on GODSENT, both in and out of the server, different from NIP?
Yes, my role is more of an entry fragger/space maker in GODSENT, whereas in NIP it was as a support/anchor in the end at least. I am way more comfortable in my roles in GODSENT, but it is also taking a little bit of adjustment for me to get used to the new roles, but I know that this is where I am more comfortable.
Talk us through the lineup. You previously played with both RuStY and draken so how does it feel to be reunited with them, and what do they bring to the table?
Yeah I played with both RuStY and draken right before I joined NIP and we have played some FACEIT and stuff during my time in NIP too and I would say that we have good chemistry. draken has a lot of experience, having played in many teams, and has a lot of stuff to say, which I think is great, we can all learn from that and he is a very good AWPer as well. RuStY however is more of a supportive/anchor player and also plays a lot for the team, which is what I like the most. He is a very solid anchor and also a really good support to the team and will always play for the team's best.
ztr and joel are the two youngest players, how do they fit in?
They both fit in very well, ztr I think most of us have played with them before and we all know him but Joel I hadn’t played with him before, but he is a super chill guy who fits perfectly in the team.
How is Golden as a coach?
He is very good, I haven’t really had a coach like him before and I think it is because he has been a player on the highest level before, so he kinda knows what we are thinking, but I would say he is doing great and making us understand the mistakes and learning from them. He pushes us to be more disciplined and overall makes our team more feel like a family rather than just teammates.
GODSENT failed to reach the Paris Major RMR, so what are the next steps for the team?
Well now that we will have a little bit more time to practice and evolve as a team I think we will just be grinding these tier-two tournaments and playing as many officials as we can to become better.