Team EnVyUs' Kenny "kennyS" Schrub is considered one of the best AWPers in CS:GO, but you probably couldn't tell given his team's recent performances.
EnVy are in an odd dichotomy. As the champions of the previous Major, DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015, they are simultaneously going into MLG Major Championship: Columbus as dark horses.
With just hours to spare until the start of the tournament, kennyS spoke to theScore esports to shed light on EnVy's apparent problems and the adjustments to mend them, such as Nathan "NbK" Schmitt no longer being the team's in-game leader.
Let’s go back a bit to IEM Katowice. In an interview with theScore esports, Nathan "NbK" Schmitt said that preparations for the event were shaky. Can you speak further on this? Why was this the case?
Well, the current situation in our team is pretty bad, it’s easy to explain because we have many bad performances lately. We’re obviously working on it and trying to solve our problems step by step.
We bootcamped for Katowice and to be honest it was one of the worst we've ever had. It was awful, but once again it’s related to our problems. When a team who used to win a lot and managed to make some great performances for a couple of months, it’s kinda normal that we’re miscommunicating and have other big problems.
EnVy was eliminated from the IEM Katowice group stage after losing to Astralis, Virtus.pro and Tempo Storm. What did you or the team learn after these losses?
We’re usually learning from our losses, but this time it was different. We went to Katowice to make something good, obviously, at least you always wish to do that. But after what we went through it was hard to expect something.
This one thing we could have learned from this event, it’s something we already know. If the mentality doesn’t get better or if the work time doesn’t increase we’ll never achieve something again.
It was decided afterwards that Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey would be benched and Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon was brought in as his replacement. Can you speak further about this move? Why change kioShiMa? Why choose DEVIL?
I think we reached a point where we didn’t have any solutions to fix our problems, so we basically made the decision to add DEVIL to the roster. We heard a lot about him because these last few months he was considered as the best support player in France.
Right after picking him we saw that DEVIL was really invested and he was a really hard worker; it also gave us a boost to rebound.
You’ve played a number of games with this new roster now, what are some of your first impressions? How does it compare to the previous roster overall?
As I said, changing the roster gave us a boost. I’d say that our last officials games are pretty encouraging regarding our performances since a few months.
We lost to G2 0-2 for our first matches, but obviously it’s really hard to start like that for a young player, especially against them because French matches are really tough to play, harder than any other games.
Then we played FlipSid3 and we won in a kinda convincing way. Then we played Astralis, that was like our first big test with the new lineup and it ended up with a fair 1-1, which isn’t bad.
Obviously we’re expecting better, but as I said we have so many problems to focus on that we have to be patient. Step by step.
NRG eSports upset you guys during Counter Pit 2, this roster’s first LAN outing. What has the team learned there?
It’s hard to explain. I think we actually played pretty good, it’s just that we’re not a Tier 1 team anymore. We played like a Tier 2-3 team in a good way, because lately we’re not better than that. But as I said, we’re working on it and already fixed some problems, like changing our in-game leader.
Nathan did a great job and worked hard, it’s just that we changed in-game leader for three months, he tried and he basically said by himself that it doesn’t work. So we changed and it’s already getting better (obviously it’s our own fault if the team started to going wrong, all five players are included).
From my own observations, it doesn’t look like morale was very high on the team. Is this an accurate observation? How’s the team atmosphere recently? What’s being done to improve it?
Yes, of course we made the team to be the best, and lately nothing is going good. So as you can imagine the atmosphere, the moral, everything is pretty low and bad at this moment.
We made some changes and we’re back to more simple things.
What was the team’s reaction when they first found out the group with Astralis, Counter Logic Gaming and Gambit Gaming? How does the team feel about their first match up against CLG?
First of all, easy group stages and easy match-ups in a Major don’t exist. Our group is really hard, Gambit is doing great lately. We had the chance to practice against them and I think they’ll be dangerous; no one should underestimate them.
Then there's Astralis, everyone knows them. They’re really dangerous and consistently one of the best team in the world. Even though we’re not scared of them, because in best-of-threes we have a pretty good streak against them, a Major means you give everything to win and nothing less.
Then our first match-up, CLG, is one of the best NA teams and we played them many times; they have a great fire power. The first match is always important, with the right mindset we shouldn’t lose anyways.
Beyond the Major, what do you or your team have planned for the future?
Beyond the Major, DreamHack Masters Malmö is coming up straight after it, so we’ll have no time to rest and try to grab this title.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, Dungeon & Dragons and first-picking
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