Xizt: "I knew we could go all the way"

Continuing with our IEM5 European Championship Finals post event coverage, we caught up with Richard "Xizt" Landström from fnatic.

Richard "Xizt" Landström stepped up to the plate at his first event in the fnatic jersey and we all know the outcome. The former Lions member played a big role in winning against mTw, a match fnatic came from behind to win it.

Landström has taken the time to answer some questions about his early Counter-Strike days, what it's like to play for fnatic, his recent success at the IEM5 European Championship Finals and a few lighter questions relating to his time bootcamping with the team. 

Could you start off with you letting us know how you got into Counter-Strike?
I think it was my two older brothers and their friends who first introduced me to CS. They often had small LAN´s around the neighbourhood playing CS, BroodWar and other old games, sometimes I would join in and play some too.

Did you play any sports as a kid? When did Counter-Strike start to take over?
Not really, went to some soccer practices when I was younger but I wasn´t that good haha.

What was your first event you can remember ? Did you win?
Hm, I attended alot of smaller LAN´s in my hometown, maybe 6 years ago or something, I was like 12-13 years old then. But my first "big" event I think was Dreamhack Skellefteå 2008, we shared group with fnatic, Blank and some random team. We managed to get a tie versus Blank and fnatic totally crushed us. We went out 3rd in the group, I think we shared the same points as Blank and fnatic except they had better round difference.

You have quite a unique alias, can you explain how it came about?
Yeah it´s a kinda funny story behind it. My brothers friend, had the nick "xiZ"... so I got the great idea from him, and put a simple "t" on the end.. great imagination huh? :)

How did you parents first react to you playing heaps of Counterstrike early on?
Of course like most parents they were against it in the beginning, they thought I played too much etc etc, cant say I didn´t tho!

Has their attitude changed now that you are making a living from CS?
Yes, lately, I guess they approve of it and they like what I do, they are excited for me and they are getting more and more in to the scene to figure out what I am doing.

So you are 19 years old, what do you do with yourself if you are not playing CS or traveling?
I just graduated school like 7 months ago so I have just been taking it easy, no other studies or work. When I am not playing CS I hang out with my friends, partying and stuff like that!

Towards the very end of last year, you made probably your biggest career move and joined the Swedish powerhouse fnatic. Patrik (cArn) quoted that you guys were more motivated with CS than ever and were going to play a lot leading into European Championship Finals. Can you explain basically how you did spend your time when you were practicing?
Hum, when we started practicing for IEM, we had like... 3 weeks maybe. The 2 first weeks started out with practice 5 days a week (sunday-thursday), we usually began around 17.00 and played until midnight.

Then about 1 week before, we bootcamped at dsn´s apartment, we played ALOT of cs. We woke up around 13-14:00, started playing some CSDM and things like that, then we began praccing against other teams maybe around 16.00 until 01-02:00.
I think we are going to have the same schedule now for IEM World C'ship.

How does the training schedule differ from your time in Lions?
I don´t think it differs that much, except in fnatic we had the option to bootcamp, which we gained ALOT from. I think we played more together now in fnatic then we did in Lions before an event, but I guess thats because we were a new team and we really needed to play together.

Speaking of Lions, do you still maintain good friendships with your ex-Lions teammates?
Yes I do, talked with alot of them at IEM and there´s no hard feelings or something like that. They gained a great player in Gux so I think they are happy with the trade anyway.

How does it feel to win a major international tournament in Counter-Strike?
Feels great! It´s my first major title to win. I had only won ASUS Summer outside of Sweden before but I don´t think that counts as a major title.
I don´t think I have realised what we managed to do yet.

Did you think you would win one so early in your time with fnatic?
To be honest, no I didn´t think we would win it all, I was hoping for a top3 placing. It was pretty much up and down when we practiced, one day you could play good and the other day we would lose everything in big numbers. But practice differs so much and there´s a whole other gamestyle when you are on the big stage, you don´t do the same mistakes as you did on practice. After the first match vs Na´Vi in the groupstage I knew we could go all the way, we really needed a jump start like that to get going.

You recently came in at #18 in our recent poll, do you think that position reflects your year?
Yes I thought it was very cool, but I don't think that much about stats since there is so much more to the game. I didn´t think I would end up in the top #20 when you guys released it, but it was fun to get recognized and I am really happy with #18 place.

Where do you think you will poll in 2011? Who will be #1 in 2011?
Haha kind of early to say! Alot of players at IEM that proved they want to be in the fight for #1 this year. I guess anyone from the topteams could end up with it. 

How does your personal playstyle differ now in fnatic compared to Lions?
Not that much, I guess the same. cArn and threat aint that different in calling strats, except that cArn maybe improvises more then threat, but tactic-wise its almost the same.

Who's you biggest rivalry with? SK because of the player trades, Lions because it's your old team? Na´Vi because they were seen as the "fnatic killers" in 2010?
I think the match versus SK is gonna be really intense because of all the player trades etc. It´s gonna be really fun playing against them at CeBIT, so I have to go with SK on this one!

There must be some cultural differences from Lions to fnatic. How do the two organizations differ?
Yeah there is a big difference moving to fnatic, for starters the organisation is so much more professional. When I first joined there were alot of people contacting me from the fnatic staff and I felt really welcomed in to the team. Lions is also a good organisation with good people behind it but you can't really compare it to fnatic. I had a blast in Lions, we had much fun outside the game and also ingame. It's not that much different in fnatic, we are having loads of fun while playing and also outside of the game. I guess the bigger difference ingame with fnatic is the amount of experience dsn and cArn got, they have been doing this on a toplevel for 5 years now so it feels great having them besides you, we are learning alot.

Speaking of your time bootcamping at dsn's house, how would you describe each of your team-mates in one word:





Who's the funniest?
I guess pita is the team's clown! Delpan probably has the worst humor.

Who's the cleanest?
Not dsn, you should have seen his apartment....... Nah just joking, maybe cArn?

Who's the most organised?

Who's the best cook?
I don´t know really, haven´t had to experience that yet, (thank god). But from what I´ve heard cArn makes pretty good taco:D

Who sleeps the longest?

Which international team do you have the most fun with outside of CS?
Haven´t attended that many international events, but the guys from Frag eXecutors are great guys, and Na´Vi of course.

If everyone spoke the same language world-wide, who would you most want to play a CS match with?

Who's the best new talent in Sweden right now?
Hard to say, there are alot of good "semi-elites" in Sweden that one day probably will end up in SK/fnatic/Lions.

Any last words?
I would like to thank our sponsors who make everything possible: MSi, Steelseries, SLAPPA, Raidcall, ugame.net and Bigfoot Networks.

Don't forget to visit our site fnatic.com.

Like the interview? You can become a fan of Xizt and follow his movements by adding him to your personal fan centre.

2011-01-31 15:51
2011-01-31 21:41
Sweden Mesxc 
2011-01-31 15:51
2011-01-31 19:54
Sweden taM 
What the hell are you talking about and what does it have to do with the post you replied to?
2011-01-31 22:01
2011-01-31 15:51
Czech Republic CLIF 
Xizt is new talent. Go Xizt !!
2011-01-31 15:52
2011-01-31 15:53
Brazil karyajja 
nice :D
2011-01-31 15:53
Poland qater- 
Great interview :-)
2011-01-31 15:55
@ title: "that's what she said!"
2011-01-31 15:57
2011-01-31 19:27
2011-01-31 20:20
nice view:) pita Mini-Zlatan Zlatan Ibrahimovic?:D
2011-01-31 15:57
yes hahahahahaha
2011-01-31 16:02
yes, they both come from Balcans and raised in Sweden, also sharing hair style xD
2011-01-31 16:04
and the nose
2011-01-31 16:07
2011-01-31 16:25
Netherlands liQuidmoTion 
and aim ;> he shoots... HE SCORES!
2011-01-31 16:42
2011-01-31 20:15
Netherlands liQuidmoTion 
xizt rifle aim equals zlatans aim at the goal ;]
2011-02-01 09:59
umm I thought he was referring to pita as mini-zlatan, not himself.
2011-02-03 16:58
Netherlands liQuidmoTion 
I meant pita ofcourse! xD my bad
2011-02-03 23:53
Bosnia and Herzegovina zgb 
true :D biggest noses are from bosnia xD
2011-01-31 18:23
nop, jews have the biggest
2011-01-31 22:00
when he swims on his back , people think it's shark
2011-01-31 18:44
cyx | 
Europe still_sdl 
2011-01-31 19:04
hahaha owned!
2011-01-31 19:45
2011-01-31 19:54
2011-01-31 19:59
2011-02-01 19:22
2011-02-11 16:57
Poland kR5 
2011-01-31 16:45
f0rest will have his revenge
2011-01-31 16:00
2011-01-31 16:29
pita Mini-Zlatan AHahaahahahAHaHhhha
2011-01-31 16:01
nice =)))
2011-01-31 16:01
very nice interview, keep them coming hltv :)
2011-01-31 16:03
good job, nice read
2011-01-31 16:03
Who's the funniest? I guess pita is the team's clown! Delpan probably has the worst humor. aahaahahahahahah Delpan best hahaha
2011-01-31 16:04
Delpan looks like he has downs.
2011-01-31 19:55
2011-02-01 04:48
Who sleeps the longest? Delpan! lol...
2011-01-31 16:04
maybe that's why he has pretty sharp reflexes
2011-01-31 16:48
first few guys readed interviev in less then one minute, gratzzzz!
2011-01-31 16:05
So jealous of not being the first to comment ?
2011-01-31 16:31
Netherlands liQuidmoTion 
read! not readed! xD
2011-01-31 16:43
Poland Buss 
2011-01-31 18:01
yeah, and first in 6 secs :D
2011-01-31 20:33
not that long of an interview...lol
2011-02-01 04:43
2011-01-31 16:09
Nice !! =D
2011-01-31 16:10
2011-01-31 16:10
Ukraine Slv` 
Delpan worst humor :<
2011-01-31 16:10
great i-view, gl fnatic
2011-01-31 16:10
Great player!
2011-01-31 16:11
He is playin AMAZIN' RiGhT NOW!
2011-01-31 16:13
It seems that he will be big star of 2011 ;) Goodluck fnatic star ^.^
2011-01-31 16:13
if there was a "most humble player" award im sure he'd be in the top3 of that too :)
2011-01-31 16:16
nice one!
2011-01-31 16:16
nice interview, pita mini zlatan hahaha
2011-01-31 16:18
i really love xizt
2011-01-31 16:20
2011-01-31 20:06
Belarus ALBiNh0 
2011-02-01 09:34
If everyone spoke the same language world-wide, who would you most want to play a CS match with? Neo ;)
2011-01-31 16:24
when I first read the title I thought they had a gang bang =/ "I knew we could go all the way"
2011-01-31 16:26
2011-01-31 17:42
2011-01-31 18:08
nice interwiev
2011-01-31 16:28
FalleN | 
Brazil paumito 
Everyone agrees on Neo being the best player in the world... Only swedish fanboys disagree...
2011-01-31 16:30
yeah :P
2011-01-31 16:32
I disagree
2011-01-31 16:34
Singapore Nephalith 
I've seen plenty of Swedes here admire Neo. ;)
2011-01-31 16:38
Sweden ejjz 
And statistic but yeah......
2011-01-31 16:40
Sweden Vilseledd 
best player in the world yet winning a total of 3 international tournaments in the last three years? I think he's way too up and down to be called the best atm
2011-01-31 16:41
You speak a total nonsense... Just because Neo has won only 3 tourneys in the past three years doesn't mean he is not the best. If you remember Counter-Strike is a team based game, so even if you are the best player doesn't mean you will win all tournaments in a row, it depends not only from Neo but also from his teammates. So please stop calling bullshit, thank you. P.S. I am not a fan of Neo.
2011-01-31 17:47
Sweden Vilseledd 
if I want proof that he's the best player, the amount of titles is somewhat relevant, no?
2011-01-31 17:49
FalleN | 
Brazil paumito 
not at all...
2011-01-31 17:54
Actually, the amount of titles only decides which team is the best not the players individually. I hope you got at least so simple common sense to understand that?
2011-01-31 17:54
that's why imo picking the best player of counter-strike is the biggest nonsense ever in esport world but if you do really want it, look at statistics, it says more about player then titles he won
2011-01-31 18:11
NEo is the best player, please stop being biased
2011-01-31 19:05
Tbh, if NEO would be a swede and be in a swedish top team then he would be one of the (better) best players. Even now he's one of the best.
2011-01-31 20:57
there are a lot of swedish neo fans, but it is also common to assume a fellow country man as a better player. then again, i still firmly believe neo and f0rest cannot be separated in terms of skill. Those 2 really are the best players in the world, neither is definitively better than the other.
2011-01-31 22:46
first of all you are bad in counting, now count how many times they reached top 3, only Fnatic was more stable of course I remember about mTw too.
2011-02-01 10:42
2ESWC 2WCG 1IEM last 3 years: WCG 2009 e-Stars Seoul 2009 DTS-Cup 2009 DH Summer 2008 and ESWC 2008 (it's only 2 months after start of 2011 so i count in these 2 from 2008) it's 5 titles, no 3. and: 4x 2nd place 5x 3rd place 5x 4th place in other tournaments yeeah, he's team was veeeeery bad in last 3 years
2011-02-01 19:34
I do think that neo is the best player in the world, but f0rest is VERY close :) both have excellent AWP,movement, aim. but i think that neo is a little bit smarter than f0rest :)
2011-01-31 17:04
but they are always top3.
2011-01-31 17:37
its hard to compare them fOrest have totaly diffrent style
2011-02-01 10:42
Lithuania omq 
neo is not the best atm, but he is a monster, unconsistant too :/
2011-01-31 17:15
He is one of the best for sure, but I wouldn't say THE best.
2011-02-01 01:08
Nice to hear that Fx are great guys, and that Neo is the one with whom xizt would like to play with :)
2011-01-31 16:31
Ireland nuer 
haha i was laughing at the end:)
2011-01-31 16:32
nice work gomez Sick ><izt
2011-01-31 16:34
thanks !
2011-01-31 16:46
YEah continue with this interview's please they are really fun :)
2011-01-31 20:44
well play, Xizt!
2011-01-31 16:35
i love you xizt your hot.
2011-01-31 16:35
2011-01-31 19:07
gl @ cebit, you'll need it!
2011-01-31 16:44
OKAY! :)
2011-01-31 16:47
Who sleeps the longest? Delpan! Hahahaha :D now we know how he get into shape to have his AWP skills :D
2011-01-31 16:47
yeah thats what I thought
2011-01-31 16:49
rly good interview ty hltv.org
2011-01-31 16:50
lil lame
2011-01-31 16:55
Small view, but thank you, Gomez.
2011-01-31 17:03
26 questions, just under 2000 words, wasnt that small ><
2011-01-31 17:20
i think it is fun to read so you can read all the interview very fast :) which makes him to think it is small i guess edit: ty for int btw :D
2011-01-31 19:10
Even i knew that you would go all the way xDDD
2011-01-31 17:04
Real nice iview. Gl in the future Rich! :p
2011-01-31 17:05
hehe nice iview.
2011-01-31 17:07
really cool iview
2011-01-31 17:15
hehe nice xizt :>
2011-01-31 17:15
domax | 
Denmark zeikz 
Really nice iview! :D
2011-01-31 17:19
I trained Xizt.
2011-01-31 17:19
2011-01-31 17:45
Do you guys even read it?
2011-01-31 17:21
Georgia Fatal Fighter 
really really good interview respect Xizt :)
2011-01-31 17:23
hahah nice
2011-01-31 17:28
gla1ve | 
Macau ruklas! 
Xizt is awesome:)
2011-01-31 17:32
neo !! i can understand ^^
2011-01-31 17:38
pita is the team's clown ok
2011-01-31 17:44
An Xizt interview! Good reading :)
2011-01-31 17:44
dsn looka like the german comedian bastian pastewka
2011-01-31 17:47
Bulgaria SHISHETu 
so funny interview,gj ;o Who sleeps the longest? Delpan! :D
2011-01-31 17:54
2011-01-31 17:55
peri | 
Brazil pixzin 
you are the best interviewer ever
2011-01-31 18:01
first major title,iTS A gREATT Felling!!! gl
2011-01-31 18:01
nice read
2011-01-31 18:03
great iview :D
2011-01-31 18:06
2011-01-31 18:08
xizt seems to be very nice person ;) didnt like him so while being in Lions, but now I have to watch him more ;) also awesome work gomez! more please! :D
2011-01-31 18:13
i'll try and keep them coming as often as possible, my good friend Miraa has one coming up with one of my favourite cs players and all round nice guy :D
2011-01-31 18:18
let me guess: delpan/pita or one from SK ;)
2011-01-31 18:20
i think f0rest
2011-01-31 19:05
I think GTR!
2011-01-31 20:08
2011-01-31 20:36
yea great interview! GL xizt and fnatic pita <3 ibrahimovic fo sho, they are both from BiH and both grow up in Sweden... the same hair and nose too! :D :D joke
2011-01-31 18:15
Good questions, thanks
2011-01-31 18:15
the last words. are they bound to say thanks to all the sponsors? or do they just choose to do that?
2011-01-31 18:18
you know he just should to do that, it's for good name of his organization etc
2011-01-31 18:26
Interesting question, it's kind of an un-written law, in exchange for answering questions (which 10'000s of people will read), the player can do shoutouts or sponsor shoutouts. But it's never really arranged like that or like a contract or anything. In fact it's often not even mentioned, just a question reporters ask, and players always answer now. It's really just a courtesy for spending time answering questions.
2011-01-31 19:01
Sweden taM 
What's more interesting, I think, is why players do it. You would never see that happening in any other context (i.e. outside of CS). Personally I would feel like it would be demeaning and would make me feel really uncomfortable. Giving thanks and praise to, oftentimes, large corporations which couldn't care less about you. It's one thing to have the logo of a company on your shirt while playing and have the logo on the teams website, and an entirely different thing to personally, sort of, "attach" yourself to the company by showing gratitude to them. It's not charity what they do. Just something I've been wanting to get of my chest for a while. =]
2011-01-31 22:17
hrmm i disagree, i see it in sports all the time, often when the win man-of-the match awards and stuff. Like is said it's not forced he could answer "no" or even "yeah id like to shout-out to my mom and dad" if he wanted. it's a professional courtesy that he thanks the companies that allow him to have CS as a career.
2011-02-01 00:42
You never see Ibrahimovic thanking Fly Emirates after a Milan match interview
2011-02-01 07:36
Sweden taM 
Really? Give me examples, I'm genuinly interested because I don't think I've ever seen anything like it anywhere else. And, I feel, with good reason.
2011-02-01 09:24
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - mini-pita
2011-01-31 18:22
n1 xizt (;
2011-01-31 18:28
nice interview
2011-01-31 18:32
pita Mini-Zlatan hahaha:)
2011-01-31 18:38
i love these last questions! :D HLTV make them in every Interview please. :) (that type of questions)
2011-01-31 18:44
Najs Xizt Xizt new f0rest of fnatic ^^ If everyone spoke the same language world-wide, who would you most want to play a CS match with? Neo :D
2011-01-31 18:53
nice interview :)
2011-01-31 19:06
good read, i didn't think fnatic would win it either.
2011-01-31 19:08
najs Xizt :x
2011-01-31 19:15
gj, really nice view :)))
2011-01-31 19:19
haha i can imagine delpan cracking a shit joke and everyone laughing at him :D haha so delpan
2011-01-31 19:23
rather no one laughing :I
2011-01-31 21:59
xizt better impact in fist event than any previous fnatic player, xizt king of fnatic stars
2011-01-31 19:25
2011-01-31 19:27
2011-01-31 19:56
Well im ganna go train like Delpan right now ;)
2011-01-31 19:47
Zeus | 
Other Chuckeee 
LOL zonic?
2011-01-31 20:06
I really like him as a player and person.. he seems really cool and down to earth, humble and calm :)
2011-01-31 20:02
Poland MJP 
and now please -- polish and swedish fans. PEACE : Which international team do you have the most fun with outside of CS? Haven´t attended that many international events, but the guys from Frag eXecutors are great guys.... | If everyone spoke the same language world-wide, who would you most want to play a CS match with? Neo
2011-01-31 20:02
Exactly. fnatic, SK, Lions, Na'vi, FX and mTw seems to like each other outside the game. I think they are all pretty nice guys - even though mTw seems stupid during matches.
2011-01-31 22:02
nice interview
2011-01-31 20:07
2011-01-31 20:08
actually disliked him before, now he seems pretty nice guy
2011-01-31 20:10
and you rate people after one interview? - cool :)
2011-01-31 20:38
mini zlatan :$
2011-01-31 20:14
Hong Kong Iky 
congratulations to fnatic! they really deserved it. great team i actually think they are a better team than previous fnatic
2011-01-31 20:32
better then fnatic 2010 maybe, but fnatic2009 is far better imo :D
2011-01-31 23:08
2011-01-31 20:55
2011-01-31 21:04
gg xizt..n1
2011-01-31 21:15
I have xizt first ever autograph!!
2011-01-31 21:55
nice guys :D glad for pita all the best...
2011-01-31 22:10
2011-01-31 23:24
Very nice i-view :D
2011-02-01 00:36
how old is he ? :E
2011-02-01 00:41
2011-02-01 00:50
Good job, GoMeZ. Liked the humor part a lot :)
2011-02-01 01:11
Australia cr8 
Read the interview thinking it was great then realised it was by ol m8 GoMeZ. BIG, great work Chris keep it up! and lol @ person who said it was short.. disagree. Well written and concise Q's imo. Well answered too
2011-02-01 01:19
ty GoMeZ
2011-02-01 01:22
very good interview
2011-02-01 01:45
superb iview
2011-02-01 02:31
I loved all of those questions about their relathionship outside the game, and all the fun questions such as "best cooker" and so on :D great iview !!
2011-02-01 02:45
well player xizt... not only this year
2011-02-01 03:07
Nice !
2011-02-01 03:30
Nice Xizt !
2011-02-01 04:18
delpan whipped LOL
2011-02-01 04:24
xizt <3 P I T A ! < 3
2011-02-01 11:37
2011-02-01 11:39
nice interview :D
2011-02-01 11:48
good interview
2011-02-01 18:29
delpan with the wors humor :DD nice interview
2011-02-01 19:35
pita Mini-Zlatan haha c1
2011-02-01 20:07
new talant Xizt !!! GL
2011-02-01 22:57
Xyp9x | 
Portugal bonzoo 
nice iview, but never heard of gomez:) gj
2011-02-01 23:01
fnatic are like chelsea with torres, perfect!
2011-02-02 01:46
omgomg so damn right
2011-02-02 09:36
nice interview! +1
2011-02-02 06:42
First: "Delpan probably has the worst humor." After that: "Who's the cleanest? Not dsn, you should have seen his apartment....... Nah just joking" Mby xizt has the worst humor.
2011-02-02 10:29
hi delpan
2011-02-02 16:32
hi ronne
2011-02-02 16:57
hello rirre
2011-02-03 16:28
That is one very good interview, correct guestions and straight answers ! Nice very nice !
2011-02-03 03:35
My brothers friend, had the nick "xiZ"... so I got the great idea from him, and put a simple "t" on the end.. great imagination huh? :)
2011-02-03 16:15
lol pita - mini-Zlatan hhhhhhhhhhhh
2011-02-04 02:25
A rising star ~ good luck / have fun
2011-02-04 12:05
xizt gl
2011-02-04 16:04
2011-02-05 19:07
xizt <3
2011-02-08 17:19
Xizt the f#cking beast! <3
2011-03-03 17:55
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