Team EnVyUs' Vincent "Happy" Cervoni is known for his very controversial style of play and in-game shot calling. Often utilizing a very aggressive and risky style of play, the French leader led his team to multiple championships over the course of 2015.
At the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 Finals, Team EnVyUs fell short against Natus Vincere in the semifinals but Happy sat down with theScore eSports after his loss to discuss his team's performance at the event, how he tries to deal with criticism and what's to come in 2016.
To start things off I want to look back at this year as a whole. Your lineup experienced a lot of success this year winning multiple championships. What for you personally was your favorite moment in 2015?
We had two lineups so I would pick one with each. With the first lineup with shox and SmithZz, maybe it was not like a single tournament, we won I think three tournaments in a row sometime during the beginning of the year and we were playing really good and smashing like NiP, TSM and we got close games against Fnatic, so it was a good period of time. Then came in the changes. Again, I don't think there are specific moments, I'd say at some point we dominated like in the Gfinity event where it was all best-of-five with the other teams we played against Virtus.pro in the first match and we won and it was a crazy game. The game in the final, it was against Fnatic, it was the first time we met them with this lineup and we beat them on the best-of-five series, it was a really impressive tournament and was good times.
Sometimes you personally get criticism for your loose calling style (multiple force buys, aggressive and fast executes, baiting, etc). Does this type of criticism bother you at all and what’s your response to this type of criticism?
I really don't care about it, but the truth when we are losing, I kind of... I don't do it on purpose, I heard about it and people close to me tell me like, 'Yeah maybe you bait too much, maybe you force buy too much,' so maybe it plays a part in where I am playing and where the team is playing, but I'd say overall I really try to keep my focus on my own game and team game overall. Usually, the criticism came from people who don't know much about our calls and team play, so that's why I'm not really bothered by it but sometimes it hurts a little bit when you are losing, and when you are losing, you are questioning yourself and it can affect you a little bit.
How do you keep motivated through the criticism when you are losing?
I think you have it in yourself when you are a competitor. The goal is to always win no matter what happens during the game. That’s pretty much it, if you're playing for the win, you just think about the way of getting the victory.
Coming into the ESL ESEA Pro League Season 2 Finals, your team had a very bad event at DreamHack falling out in the group stages. Why do you think you guys had such a bad tournament and what did you do to fix your mistakes?
We had a really poor showing at the FACEIT finals, as I said in the pre-interview for this event, we are having really big internal issues within the team, so when it happens, because it happens within every team, you try to take it step-by-step and try to fix minor mistakes and minor mistakes and in the end you are working as a team. It is a long process. Sometimes, like today, it doesn't pay off because it takes too much behind the scenes. I think we played great against Fnatic, and right now the problem is playing consistently. We can win tournaments and go out in group stage like a bunch of noobs. So yeah I guess working as a team, as a unit to fix our small mistakes.
In your first match you faced off against a Team Liquid that did not have EliGE but mOE as a stand-in. What were your expectations coming into the match and did the addition of mOE have any affect on your expectations of this match?
What I said to the team was we really needed to not underestimate them even if they had mOE as a stand-in. We kind of played bad on the first map and it was like a wake up slap and we ended up playing really good on cache. We didn't prepare for that match at all, we were kind of expecting that kind of play from them, and we really didn't get surprised. Again, it’s about us. It's about us not playing up to par and up to our usual level.
Your team faced Fnatic’s new lineup for the first time at an offline event. How much did you study for the matchup and what were your expectations coming into match?
We don't really study teams because, as I said, we have internal issues. The main focus right now as a team right now is to work on ourselves because that's the way we see the game and that's the way we won tournaments. We really don't anti-strat people and teams. We just try to play at the best of our roles within the team. Actually, during this event we had a rather easy matchup against Fnatic. We beat them 2-0. We play them a lot in tournaments, so we are kind of used to playing against them, but we don't really prepare for it.
You faced Natus Vincere in the semifinals and that was a very close match between the two of you. Can you take us through the match in your own words? What do you think went wrong for your team in that matchup?
Well, the first map, Dust2, it was pretty much Na`Vi's game and it's no secret we have been struggling on that map, so not really much to say. We started good, I think we won all four pistol rounds on every map, but it's strange because when we are bad, we are actually winning pistol rounds and not a lot more. So, Dust2 like whatever, it's their map choice. On Cobble we won both pistol rounds but I don't know, they came in well prepared I think. [They] definitely watched us play and we lacked the firepower that is trademarked for us. If we can't rely on that... I don't know... a lot was missing during that game and the team was playing bad overall and even though we made quite a comeback, I think it was almost sealed in the pre game because I didn't feel any inner fire during the game from the team. That is pretty much it. We lost like 4-0 in the last overtime so that sums up the game. We fought back at some point, but it was kind of too late.
One of the things that seangares mentioned on the analysis desk was how your team has added a slower paced execute to your playbook. What advantages does this give a team like yours that is so highly skilled individually?
It benefited us because I actually do like slow execution of setups and [it] gives you, as a leader, more information around the map and you can make a more precise call if everyone is getting their job done. Adding that to our game, makes us less predictable. People tend to see us as a fast paced team and we can play with that. Like, these rounds against Fnatic on Cobblestone is a perfect example. What I know is that people watch us too much and think about too much about our game, I try to mix things up during the game and it kinda pays off.
You individually have been a very dominant player along with being an in-game leader for a long time now. How do you maintain such a high level of skill and balance that with the stress of calling strategies?
That's a really deep question. What I think about myself right now is actually not being at the level I used to be in. I know for a fact that it really makes us lose too many rounds and I actually get a lot of criticism about style of play like right now... I need to think about it. I need to find my confidence back because my way of leading is directly tied to how I play and how my teammates play. Sometimes it can be tricky, and for me that might be one explanation for today and some of our losses from FACEIT and stuff. So yeah, it’s a really deep question so I'd say it’s difficult [to answer right now].
Overall what is your team’s plans for 2016? What events and/or competitions will you be most looking forward to?
Well I think everyone knows that there’s big plans for 2016 so we will definitely be in every major league that comes up. I don't know, I mean there are so many exciting things coming up. I can't really pick one. I think it will be a really busy year and a really exciting year so I just hope that I can be back in form.
What do you think 2016 will hold for the professional CS:GO leagues?
I think right now you have almost 10 top teams. The top 10 teams are definitely full-time CS:GO, so it's really good because you get paid enough to make a living out of it, so it's perfect. I guess next year will be about more money and probably more exposure. I think that's the only way Counter-Strike can be as prominent as Dota 2 or LoL.
Do you have any final words for your fans?
Thank you for following us and following me and keep following us throughout 2016!
This article has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Paul Park is a writer for theScore eSports. Follow him on Twitter.
Skye Bui has a passion for dry humor and eSports. Follow blahblahblah on Twitter.