Karlo "USTILO" Pivac is an Australian CS:GO player and a Rifler for the Detroit Renegades. His team attended IEM Season XI Sydney, where they finished 6-7th place.
After IEM Sydney, USTILO took the time to answer questions from theScore esports about how Renegades' new roster came about and the growth of the Australian CS:GO scene.
Let’s start off with talking about the team. You guys have gone through a number of roster changes in the year so far, losing Ricky "Rickeh" Mulholland and picking up Noah "Nifty" Francis. How did these changes come about?
The team parted ways with Rick after a few internal disagreements revolving around playstyle and roles within the team. Both parties knew we couldn't continue and so Rick was later traded to Counter Logic Gaming.
As Rick was our primary AWPer the obvious move was to replace him with someone else who can be a primary AWPer. We scouted around and felt Nifty was the best fit for the playstyle we wanted to play. He is super young and keen to play and we think with the help of kassad [Aleksandar "kassad" Trifunović], our coach, he can be molded into a top AWPer in the region.
Later, you guys lost Yaman "yam" Ergenekon and picked up Nemanja "nexa" Isaković, what led to these changes? How much of a factor was kassad in picking up fellow Serbian nexa?
yam was a different story, the chemistry in the team with yam was always pretty good in and out of the game, but yam had some issues outside of the game which led him to make the decision to return to Australia and be with friends and family.
We were already looking at bringing in nexa to replace Rick (as Yam at the time was IGL and an AWP player) so we already knew he was a player we were interested in. When nexa brought up the idea of being the IGL it made the decision super easy.
nexa has played extensively with kassad before so we knew he would be a good player for us.
The two replacement players were notably non-Australian players, why go this route?
This time with recruitment we decided to just get what we thought were the best people for the roles we needed regardless of their location. With a team house in the U.S. it doesn’t really matter where they are from, as long as they can enter the U.S. and play.
Given the apparent growth of the AUS CS:GO scene, with the IEM Sydney event and the ZEN League, has the team considered moving back to Australia? What are your thoughts on the scene’s apparent growth?
We still absolutely love Australia, but unfortunately the scene is still far behind the U.S. in terms of structure and money. For us to play CS:GO as professionals we have to play in the U.S. or Europe. If that was to change we will definitely look into it further and see if it would be viable for us to return.
You guys seem to have a stable roster now, but what’s your assessment of it? What are the strengths of the roster and what areas need addressing?
At the moment we need to work on our tactics and coordination. Everyone in the team is playing quite good on an individual level, we just need to come together and get on the same page with tactics and playstyle. This will come with time as we are still only less than a month old with nexa as the IGL.
What are your thoughts on Valve’s approach to balancing CS:GO, apparently trying to make all the guns in the game viable, starting with big changes to the Negev and Revolver?
I think there is currently too many pistols and SMGs in the game to make it possible to balance. There always seems to be one or two of each category that never get used (Dualies/Revolver and Bizon/MP7) at the moment.
Currently the pistols are still a bit powerful, maybe if they adjusted the power or moving accuracy it could make it a bit better.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.