STYKO: “The difference between dealing with issues in mouz and in C9 was like night and day”
In the two years spent representing the German organization, STYKO attended 20 LAN tournaments, playing a part in mousesports‘ most fruitful period in CS:GO to date. He last represented the team at the IEM Katowice Minor, since then standing-in for Cloud9 and teaming up with NoChance.
STYKO is focused on improving in different aspects of the game and becoming a more complete player
To hear what caused the end of the mousesports team that was a consistent force in 2018, what he learned in Cloud9, and how things are progressing with NoChance, we talked to STYKO during the player break.
The mousesports lineup you were a part of in 2018 was a strong team, spending most of the year within the top 6. From the outside, it seems like that roster imploded because of the failure at the Minor, so the tournament is worth revisiting. Why did mousesports flop at the Europe Minor before Katowice?
It is true that minor was the last straw for this lineup but it is also worth mentioning that despite getting deep into tournaments and hitting playoffs during my time in the team we were not winning any trophies and that was also very bitter to deal with. The guys have won New York with Snax but it felt like with me being brought back into lineup we became more consistent and I didn’t feel neglected. In some way, as Snax tried to be more active and do aggressive plays in my positions on maps, the rest of the team got used to it and when I came back I had more freedom and I got to use my players for plays I wanted to do.
The Minor failure was hard but, to be honest, with the preparation we put in before the Minor we deserved that result. We canceled the bootcamp last minute because of various reasons that, in my opinion, should not interfere with the team’s work ethic. But I am in no place to discuss these matters, it is done and dusted.
With the preparation we put in before the Minor we deserved that result. We canceled the bootcamp last minute because of various reasons that, in my opinion, should not interfere with the team’s work ethic
Can you shine a bit more light on what happened in the aftermath of the disappointing result with you personally? How did you end up leaving the active roster shortly after being recalled from the bench?
So, right after the elimination we as a team had a talk. I can not remember 100% what everyone said at the time so I am not going to put any words into their mouths, but I just said that it is impossible to continue like this. We were disconnected outside of the game and the difference between dealing with issues in mousesports and in Cloud9 was like night and day. In Cloud9 we talked about every issue, game-related or not and tried to find a good solution for everyone involved whereas in mousesports we lacked this approach. I also stated some terms under which I would continue playing in this lineup, they were not met so the only natural move was to bench me, which I agreed to. It was a good decision for me.
The difference between dealing with issues in mouz and in C9 like was night and day. In C9 we talked about every issue, game-related or not, and tried to find a good solution for everyone involved whereas in mouz we lacked this approach
There were quite a few downs for you in mousesports as you were first almost replaced with dennis, then later benched for Snax. Do you think things like that affected your confidence or performance in the game? Did it spark any self-doubt, or lack of trust in your teammates?
No, I did not feel any pressure nor self-doubt during those times. I was only sad how the news got to me. The dennis affair was first brought to my attention via a podcast with Richard Lewis and I told myself “LOL”. But then when I asked about this jokingly in the team I wasn’t LOLing so much – as they confirmed it. Me being benched for Snax came as a surprise after a successful run in Belo Horizonte with n0thing. I arrived home and apparently some player(s) wanted me to get replaced and after some team talks which I was never part of, funnily enough, I got a message from the manager that I am moved to the bench. Just sad I was never being told face to face. I forgave them nonetheless and we became teammates again a few months later.
I stated some terms under which I would continue playing in this mousesports, they were not met so the only natural move was to bench me, which I agreed to. It was a good decision for me
On the other hand, you also had your most fruitful period as a player representing the German organization, so what do you cherish the most from that time?
I will skip out on the cliche saying I cherish the victories the most. Truly what I cherished is the competition within the top-level, pushing best players and teams in the world to the limit and traveling around the world because of the job I love. Those things will never be taken away from me and I will do anything to get to that level again. It is one of my next personal goals.
Despite mousesports’ success, STYKO thought Cloud9 has a much better way of dealing with issues
You spent quite a bit of time on the bench of mouz over the two stints as a backup. Were there any offers that came in during that time that were enticing, came close to being realized, but fell through in the end? How does it feel to be a player in those situations, sitting on the sidelines while organizations are trying to strike a deal?
It is good sometimes to take a deep breath and rethink what is your next step. Being on the bench just might give you some fresh air, I took the best out of the bad situation. As soon as I got in talks with C9 I flew to LA, I was insanely happy. That is probably the highlight of 2018 for me. I went to NA where I had virtually no family or friends and for the first time in my life, I was literally just eating, sleeping and grinding CS, individually and in a team. I bloomed as a player.
As soon as I got in talks with C9 I flew to LA, I was insanely happy. That is probably the highlight of 2018 for me. I bloomed as a player
I got to try new roles, managed to find new friends, learned a new work ethic, worked with a psychologist and got out of my comfort zone. I can not thank them enough for this chance. We were far from a top team but it was necessary for me to undergo such a change to become a better human and player. As for the offers while on the bench – yes I received some, EU region was mostly interested but also certain NA and CIS offers arrived. Mostly nothing too serious but it always feels good someone finds you good enough to join their ranks.
Something that was talked about a couple of years ago was the possibility of a Czech-Slovak team assembling. You and GuardiaN teaming up, frozen and oskar were also free agents at one point. Is a strong CZ-SK team something that could happen any time soon?
Hard to say… GuardiaN really wants that Major and FaZe is his best shot. Frozen will stay on an international level for a long time looking at his great start in mousesports. Therefore we would have to land a big investor to buy both out and convince them to try it or we will be left with building a team without them, which is not impossible but highly improbable. Luckily we have rather young players in our scene, so we have plenty of room to develop.
mousesports broke up their roster after the failure at the IEM Katowice Europe Minor
After moving to NoChance, you have been one of the standout players for the team, transitioning from a pure support player in mouz to one of the stars of NoChance. What is the process like, is there a mental switch that you had to flick? How much of it is impacted by the roles and positions on the map?
The truth is I do not even try to be a standout player. It kind of felt right to put me into certain positions and with the help of a new individual practice routine and learning process, I am managing to find my place in spots and roles I had never played before. I am trying my best to be better in all aspects of the game. Another one of my personal goals is to become the most complete player I can be. I already understand the elements of being a support player and in my opinion, it is the hardest role to perfect. You either have it in your “esport genes” or you don’t and you have to gain immense experience to become truly great support.
With the help of a new individual practice routine and learning process, I am managing to find my place in spots and roles I had never played before
Other elements I want to implement is to be a hybrid player, be able to pick up the AWP or rifle and have good impact with it if the team needs me to do so. The least progress I am making on is my IGL skills as it is very hard with my personality to lead someone, to order somebody. I am therefore just trying to give input and become a secondary or reactive in-game leader, telling people what to do in rather chaotic situations to maximize our win potential. I am familiarizing myself with the lurk role which I really like, it is a true chess match with mind games involved. To sum this up, I think I idolized autimatic a bit from my time in Cloud9 as he truly knew what to do, how to react, how to give vital information to the team in whatever role or situation he was being put in. He is easily the most game-changing player I have ever played with, although only for a short period of time, unfortunately.
autimatic is easily the most game-changing player I have ever played with, although only for a short period of time, unfortunately
What is the most frustrating part of playing against opposition you face now online, after being used to facing off against the best on LAN in mousesports almost every weekend? How did you adapt to the difference at first?
Very good question and there is a very simple answer to that. Online, expect the unexpected because there is a good chance your opponent will do just that. It truly is frustrating when you die by an enemy walkpushing a smoke, but if you die, you literally have no one else to blame than yourself because you gave the opponent a chance and he took it.
NoChance was reported to be in deep talks with Heretics ahead of the Minor, who ended up signing FrenchFrogs. Did the deal not happening have something to do with you still being tied to mousesports at the time? Would it be different now?
I would not call it “deep talks” but yes, we were in talks with them and many more [interested sides]. My buyout was one of the issues, not going to lie, although it was a very reasonable sum of money, in my eyes. Issue is, we were very deep in the rankings and we did not feel it was a justified place. We asked for certain conditions which were too demanding for few organizations as they saw us as just a “TOP50” team in the world. We skipped most of the online leagues to practice for the Minor so our rankings were stagnating, naturally.
Does anything change for you personally now that you are no longer tied to mouz? What is your next step as a player?
As I said above, becoming a more complete player is a priority for me now. Hypothetically speaking, If somewhere down the line I receive an offer from a tier 1 team and they want me to be the AWPer, I want to be familiarized with that role as much as I can so I bring impact into the team the moment I join. The same goes for any role. Need a support player? No problem, I played that most of my career. Need a lurker and anchor? No worries, I feel confident in those spots, etc. I don’t want to seem cocky saying I can do anything, but this way I will always see what I need to work on the most to be more annoying to play against and more enjoyable to play with.
When we put this behind us and we will be supported financially I am certain our place will be on the verge of top20 in the world, if not better
NoChance showed some good things at the Minor, but hasn’t been able to even get into the top 30 as of late. What does the team need to reach the next step? What are you aiming to do next as a unit?
Farming the points in any online qualifiers and tournaments is the first step to get rankings, and that is the first step to being signed for an organization. After that we will be finally ready to ignore the thing that everyone hates to deal with in any profession – we are not receiving any money, any salaries, so there are thoughts about what we will do if it continues like this… When we put this behind us and we will be supported financially I am certain our place will be on the verge of top20 in the world, if not better.