• Gonçalo "ghazz" Louro

“It's really hard to exceed this year, to accomplish something greater” Interview with Xyp9x (BLAST)

We sat down with Andreas “Xyp9x” Hojsleth before the start of BLAST Pro Series to know his thoughts on being considered the best team of all time in CS:GO, his expectations towards the first match ups and their goals to the next year.

You just won the Intel Grand Slam and made for yourselves a name as the best CSGO team of all time. How does it feel?

Xyp9x: It feels awesome to have achieved this from starting Astralis and my own career, this is what we wanted to achieve and, also personally, so it's amazing to have been here and now people are saying that we are maybe the greatest team of all time in csgo. That's just an amazing feeling and I couldn't have dreamed of being here 3 years ago.

BLAST Pro Series Lisbon is going to be your last tournament this year. After having such a dominant year, do you arrive here with a more relaxed approach or are you still going to give it all you got?

Xyp9x: We are going to give all we got. Of course it's the end of the season and we just won a big tournament so that's gonna tear on you, take something away from you, but we are going to give it all we have and after this event we will go take a break for christmas.

The last BLAST Pro Series event in Copenhagen didn't go so well to your side, ending up in 3rd place. What do you think happened there and what will you make this time differently to change the outcome for the better?

Xyp9x: I think our preparation for the event wasn't that great, there was a lot of circumstances around family and stuff like that that wasn't well. Also sometimes when you play at your home in Copenhagen there is a lot of fans, a lot of pressure, maybe that got to us a bit. Now that I can kind of reflect on it, I think that is one of the reasons why we didn't do so well. I think the pressure and the preparation didn't go so well but now we are going to make it up here.

You’re going to be playing the first round against Faze, on Dust2. What are your expectations for that game?

Xyp9x: I think it's gonna be one explosive game. FaZe is always a really hard opponent to play against because when we play against opponents we watch them a lot. Like what they like to do and stuff like that but with them it's really hard to figure out what they do so we just go into their games with the mindset that it's just another game and play it out like a practice and stuff like that.

Faze didn’t attend ESL Pro League last week due to not qualifying. Since they had more time to practice, how much do you think that could be an advantage to them going in this first round?

Xyp9x: When people don't attend events, I don't think it a total event because sometimes you learn more by going to the events and when you haven't been going to tournaments you get nervous when attending another one. It's hard to say if it is an advantage or not, but maybe they will be coming into this with new stuff, which we will see but now that it's the end of the season, I don't think that they really have that much. I think they are also looking forward to a Christmas break

Now onto the next year: what are your expectations as a player and as a team?

Xyp9x: I mean it's really hard to exceed this year, to accomplish something greater, but we will keep on grinding and waiting for that first spot in 2019. We want to be the longest standing era and that is something we want to accomplish in 2019 as well. So just keep grinding and do a lot of work and hopefully win another Major.

CSGO just became free to play. What is your opinion on this update, regarding the future of the competitive side of CSGO and it’s growth?

Xyp9x: I think that CS as free to pay is really great for the scene and the game in general. I think there are still things they can work on - for example, 128 tick and good anti cheats, we have a reputation that there are a lot of cheaters in our game and we need to clear them out. We need to get them out of the game, so that way there isn't this misunderstanding - that a new user won't think “oh I need to cheat to be a pro at this game”. There are a lot of things that need to be fixed and it's a huge step in the right direction, and with the danger zone coming as well, it's good that there are other things to do and not just regular matchmaking. It is good that Valve is constantly updating.

Do you have any closing comments about this last year?

Xyp9x: We love playing in new stadiums and new countries, so I am expecting a good show here and am curious to see what the portuguese fans have in store for us. But yes, I am just looking forward to the arena and hope we have a lot of fans there.