Heroic were extended another lifeline to get to the BLAST Global Finals.
A tumultuous year lays behind Casper "cadiaN" Møller. While it may seem like a lifetime ago, his team struggles only go back to March of this year, when he released the video in which talked about the problems surrounding his signing with FunPlus Phoenix for the first season of Flashpoint. Since then, he has bounced back in a major way, fighting back to become part of one of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO)’s current top teams.
In this interview, he talks about the where Heroic’s spirits are at, their opponents at BLAST Fall Showdown, the idea of a substitute player, and the necessity of getting a new head coach. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
When did you find out you were invited to BLAST Fall Showdown?
One week ago or so, we found out that EG [won’t be playing] and that we got the last spot of the tournament. Not to be too harsh on BLAST, but we felt like we should’ve had that invite prior to that. We played a qualifier 12 hours after our Dreamhack Open Fall event which was obviously not really ideal. We ended up not managing to qualify which was a bit sad for us because we really wanted to participate in this BLAST tournament. I think that their production has been by far the best throughout this online era. Finally, it feels good to be part of it.
What’s that preparation like on short notice?
Preparation is the same. We have a lot of tournaments left for this year. We still have the Dreamhack Masters and the IEM Global Challenge; we’re preparing for everyday life, everyday tournaments. It’s not like we looked that much into a specific tournament or a specific game. We constantly try to improve, and we’re working really hard towards that.
Are you at all looking at the Global Final points in order to qualify, or are you just aiming to win this one and go in directly?
Yeah, we’re aiming to win this one, to win our side of the bracket. We know it’s going to be tough, there are some good teams ahead. We think it’s definitely possible. It would also be a bit silly not to do so. Being ranked number two in the world, you aim to beat everyone that you face on your way.
Going into this event, you’re starting out the first round against Endpoint. What do you think of that match?
We played them twice already post-summer break. We played them at Dreamhack Summer and Dreamhack Fall. We beat them both times. I think they are a pretty good team; I like their newest addition [Shahar "flameZ" Shushan]. I think he brings in a lot of raw talent. [Robin "robiin" Sjögren], the Swedish player, is actually one of the first teammates I had when I played the first major in 2013 so I know him a little bit as well. I think they have been doing pretty well, but they are still a team we are looking to beat. It’s definitely going to be fun. There is a little bit of a tricky veto. It’s going to be fun, let’s see how it pans out.
If you win, you will face the winner of GODSENT vs mousesports. Last time GODSENT had your number. Who would you rather face? Do you want revenge?
Yeah, sure. We can say we want revenge against GODSENT, but also I think we never played mousesports with this line-up so that could be quite fun as well. We’ve been a line-up for more than half a year, so I think it’s quite insane that we haven’t been drawn into any groups or any bracket stages together. Any of the games would be fine for us.
Way down your side of the bracket, there is NiP and Cloud9, with the winner facing complexity. The winner of those would be your opponents. Who would you like to face there and what kind of match do you expect?
I think complexity is looking super-strong, with the addition of [Justin "jks" Savage]. I think he’s such a good player. For a long while, I’ve felt like he’s one of the five to ten best clutch players in the world and that he definitely belonged on the HLTV-top 20 list. I think it’s a super-strong addition that complexity has done, and they’re definitely a team to look out for. It would be fun to play them, but like you said, NiP, Cloud9 is an interesting game as well, it could go either way. It’s always difficult to play against these teams. There is not a lot of footage on them about what maps they play, how they like to play, and what kind of secrets they have hidden up their sleeves. It’s definitely a tough side of the bracket, maybe even tougher than our first game and second game.
This year has been wild, not least for you guys. The CS:GO world remembers the video you put from March. It didn’t get any easier afterwards. How is the team’s condition, and how are your spirits right now?
The team condition is really good right now. There are still things where we feel like we can improve as a team and where we can do better, but we are doing our best to reach the level we want to be at. We secured two trophies in the last three months, which we are very proud of. I also feel like it’s taking its toll on people, that we are playing this much, this many tournaments and all of the pressure that’s suddenly mounting towards us because people have higher and higher expectations, not only us, but also the fans and the community. We are all looking forward to playing these last tournaments, give it our all, and then enjoy our well-deserved Christmas break.
CS:GO teams have been coping with burnout issues in different ways. Have you explored options in terms of getting a substitute player?
It’s not something that we have talked about yet, but from seeing how well it works for Vitality, there are definitely chances of going with their solution. But also looking at Vitality you have to consider, this is really not so much as a substitute player, this is more like an actual six-man roster, where all six players have to be ready at all times, depending on the veto, what maps are being played. So I don’t necessarily think they have way more rest due to that, but I like the idea of having more players, and I think Vitality has shown that it can work out very well. For the time being, we are very satisfied with just being us five players in Heroic.
Another addition that might be necessary is the search for a new head coach. How is that going?
For the time being, we are just looking at our options. We are still working with [Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen] with preparing for the games and so on. Obviously, we don’t have a coach throughout the games, to take timeouts, come with the inputs and so on.
Considering how we are playing right now, I’m not sure it’s going to be necessary. We will have to see how the next tournaments go, and we’ll look into that for 2021. I think right now the team and the organisation is happy with who we are working with.
Do you take control of the pace and the timeouts that your team takes?
Yeah, sometimes I forget to take all of the timeouts. I should maybe use more of them. It depends a bit with how the flow is. We are also playing against teams who are using all of their timeouts consistently, maybe because a lot of them are being pressured by us quite a bit and are behind. We use their timeouts as well to talk about what we want to do and so on. I think taking timeouts can be good and bad. I think sometimes if you have the exact plan you want to do, taking a timeout might make the opponent overthink or actually realise what you want to do. Sometimes we just go with the flow, and that has been working really well for us as well. If we face a tough wall, we’ll obviously use the timeouts.
You guys are often confronted with the tag of being “onliners”. Do you think you could jump into offline events without skipping a beat?
Maybe with how our performance has been within the last month, yes it’s been a little bumpier, up and downs like a rollercoaster situation. Obviously, there aren’t going to be a lot of teams that are just going to be dominant throughout all their LAN games or anything like that. I think we could definitely replicate a lot of the things we are doing online on LAN, but yeah, it’s a tough question. It’s really just thinking outside the box and guessing. I’m not going to sit here and predict our future or how we are going to fare at the LAN events, but I think we are capable, we have the talent and the preparation, and we know how to handle most of the other top teams.
Image via ESL