kennyS: "I’m not ready to let my crown go"
Three events into this roster and you appear to be back. How are you feeling about this roster?
I’m actually feeling a lot better than I used to a few months ago or even last year. I am super disappointed about yesterday but we are trying hard to see the positives.
As a legend of the game, how does it feel to be told how historically great you are when right now you’ve shown you are struggling? Do you think about that?
I do think about that actually, and a lot. I think about it everyday.
Do you compare yourself now to your former self?
No, I don’t necessarily compare myself but I know that when I was at my highest peak I was also younger so you think differently. You don’t have the same life. The personal life and all the other stuff affect you differently so your mindset changes and you try to be more corrective than you used to be. You play with younger players that you need to actually show a good example to. I might not be the best example but I am trying really hard every day to be a good example for them and the way they look at me is something that is really important to me and is something that helps me a lot regarding my - as I said I was a bit up and down, especially last year where I was mostly down, so having that new fresh air with new players is a new motivation. Its something really great, especially with this team I am experiencing I haven’t for a while now. I can feel that we are close to each other, we are helping each other a lot so I am super happy to be in this team. When you are happy, you take pleasure in the server. When you take pleasure, you will see that you perform better.
With Counter-Strike continuing to grow in popularity, how important is it for teams to be professional? Do you think teams should work harder on the professionalism or is it fine where it is?
I don’t think the game will ever stop being more professional because it is what it is. CS:GO is probably the most popular at this moment due to the fact that it is maybe the most professional. I don’t necessarily know about other games but I am pretty sure CS:GO is the one that requires the most abilities. The game is at the highest level with the best players so we need to have that professionalism. The game is improving and everyone has to improve with the game. There is no rush. We are more professional than we were last year and last year we were more professional than we were the year before, so next year we will probably be more professional than we are this year. But our lives are looking more like professional sports than it used to be and it's going to [keep] going that way.
Do you think it’s fair to compare CS:GO to traditional sports?
Well it isn’t physical, but it can be. Every sportsman have to be happy in life outside of what they do. You have to have a good life engine. Waking up in the morning, going to bed at this time, getting super serious in their training, being specific on what they eat and those kind of things. The thing we actually notice is that if you take care of yourself, better performances will follow. Also, the other thing that is similar to sports is that at the highest level, what makes the difference is not necessarily the talent but the mindset you have.
Do you think that the fact you’re on a computer is going to alter the way you evolve as professionals?
Well, I don’t know yet. It is so new, but there is obviously a difference in stuff than in sports. But there are also some similarities in terms of mindset. What are you doing in your life? Are you true to your life? What are the needs in your life? The needs I have are much different than what I had before. I obviously have to have a personal life with my girlfriend, with my friends, and other stuff. But, I also have to take care of me because you need to feel fully awake when you play CS, you have to be fully focused and to have your brain be functional. There's a lot of things you need to take care of outside of the game as well.
When you look at your results, are you comparing them to Vitality since you are the two top French teams?
Absolutely. I think it is super important, and actually healthy for us to compare ourselves to them and want to be the best team in France. To reach your objectives you need to have people to fight with, pretty much, because if you are the best team in France without anyone competing with you, it sucks. You’re gonna go down. I think it's very healthy for Vitality and us to have a rivalry because obviously we do have a rivalry. We both want to be the best. Also the fact that I know some of them well. I played for years with NBK and Apex I won so many trophies with them and I love them but I want to win more than they do now so it is what it is.
Everyone wants to compare ZywOo to you, is that something you think about? Do you consider it a compliment?
For him? Yeah.
When people talk about ZywOo being the next kennyS or better, how do you respond to that?
First of all, easy on him okay? I know why he is so good, and he is definitely super good. He is probably not better than I was when I was his age in terms of picks but I think he is more complete than I used to be.
So he is more well rounded?
Exactly, he’s amazing, but it’s only his first year and you don’t compare yourself to players that have been here for years and years like that, you know? But, that's pretty much like having Vitality and G2. Having a player like that is super good for me and I know I can do much better than what I’m doing right now and having a player like him around is very good for me. I respect him a lot because he is a rookie and is super good but I’m not ready to let my crown go.
You guys are sitting at No. 8 in the world. Coming out of the player break and entering the Major, where do you think you guys sit on the global rankings?
We have been able to get confidence from most of the tournaments excluding this one. We had a pretty good game against MiBR and could have won against Liquid. The day afterwards was pretty hard. Kind of an accident, but we are trying to take things in a positive way. Due to the fact that we grind a lot and have had a lot of good results lately we are absolutely confident in ourselves as a team and we know that if we come fully prepared to the Major we are going to win it. Facing teams like Liquid - that's going to be rough but if we manage to prepare the way we are to prepare after the break and fix the things we want to fix then on a good day, we can win it all. That's the toughest part with CS. You’re gonna have a good day on many days and you know your gamestyle might not be fitting against some gamestyles as well but also we learned recently that we are super good at adapting as well. I think that we have what it takes at least.
Going another direction with the last question. As a French team, I have to ask, what do you think of the economy update?
I like it. Before it was hard to count at the beginning, not knowing if it was an eco or anything but now teams can force buy more than they used to. I think it’s pretty cool. You have more gun rounds and it feels like when you're winning or losing there is always a chance to get back into the game. I think it’s more fair for everyone.