We caught up with Seon-Ho “xeta” Son here at IEM Sydney and spoke about the new line-up, why they like Dust2 and what’s next for solo & glow.
CSGO2ASIA: Firstly, your team went through a major roster change just a couple of months ago. How is the transition of the new players going for the team?
Xeta: So after the Asian Minor, we weren’t happy with the results. With the new players, we’re practicing harder than ever before. Personally, I have sacrificed some of my roles to allow them more room. I gave up my AWP role to allow HSK to take over, and I have moved into a more support type role, I think it’s working quite well so far. I do see that the things we have discussed are starting to work but yeah, we aren’t quite there yet.
CSGO2ASIA: Was the decision to bring on the GOSU player something you discussed for some time now or was it a decision made only after the Asian Minor?
Xeta: Actually, after IEM Chicago we already felt that maybe we need to make some changes. But, we decided to focus on the Asian Minor first. After the loss to our opponents in IEM Chicago, we were trying to figure out what the issues were, but all we could come up with was a lack of firepower. I think that was a big reason why we decided to bring in the GOSU players, it was just raw firepower.
CSGO2ASIA: Got it. So, what has been the focus of the new roster? Is it a completely different style you are going for now or is there some combination of the GOSU play style and the old MVP playbook?
Xeta: Well, our IGL is now HSK. He definitely brought some ideas from GOSU but we have also been working to get him to understand a bit more about how MVP does things. We transitioned our roles and taught the GOSU players where they should and shouldn’t be playing depending on what we saw. So I guess it’s mainly MVP style still but we allow the GOSU players to give ideas and input, of course.
CSGO2ASIA: What are your ex-teammates solo and glow up to now, have they fully retired from CS:GO or are they exploring other opportunities in CS/Esports?
Xeta: Haha, they are retired from CS:GO as players. But, I don’t think they are completely done with the game. I am sure they are open to working with other teams or players as a coach or something, but for now, they are just taking a break and catching up with their lives outside of CS:GO.
CSGO2ASIA: Let’s talk about your group here in Sydney. You had a decent start almost beating Renegades, followed by a 2-0 win over eUnited. In the series versus BIG, you even took dust2 against them. What do you think happened in Overpass that lost you the series – was it a lack of preparation or something else?
Xeta: First of all, for Dust2 and other maps, we are quite confident in them. On Overpass, they [BIG] brought some new things we weren’t expecting, really. Maybe we were not prepared, but it was more them just playing a great game. I think also my team lacks experience on Overpass, I know I do, I don’t feel that comfortable on the map.
CSGO2ASIA: Dust2 seems like a map that you guys are really confident on, having played it in a lot of your official games recently. Tell us a bit more about your approach to Dust2 that you think is different from other teams, especially other Asian teams?
Xeta: Our defaults and overall strategy on Dust2 just fits really well with the players. At IEM Chicago we also beat NRG on Dust2, and that gave us a lot of confidence on the map. Going into the game against BIG here at IEM Sydney we also felt the same confidence, so we were able to win those important rounds. I don’t think it’s anything special really, just that each player is very comfortable with their roles and positions, stuff like that.
CSGO2ASIA: As the only Korean team left in CS:GO that actually competes professionally, do you feel a sense of responsibility to do your countrymen proud at events? Is there any pressure to perform?
Xeta: Haha, yeah I guess. If we deleted CS:GO from our Steam library then I think that would be the end of CS:GO in Korea. I do feel we are responsible for keeping it alive in Korea if we can. During CS 1.6, there were so many good CS players in Korea, and surely they felt some responsibility to keep winning and make Koreans proud. But we don’t feel any pressure, we just want to succeed in CS:GO, we have a passion to win in this game.
CSGO2ASIA: Awesome. What are the goals now after IEM Sydney?
Xeta: Well, we will still play around with the roles, positions and some strategies with the new line-up. We will practice as hard as we can, more than before. Our focus will be ESL One Cologne, ESL Pro League and of course the Asian Minor. I think nothing else matters for us now, just those three events at the moment.
CSGO2ASIA: Will you guys boot camp in Europe or somewhere else?
Xeta: I hope so, but I am not sure if the MVP organization has plans for that. We will definitely ask, but it’s up to them.