Eraa and Ro1f on meeting Pontus Jansson, the state of Swedish CS, and more
GODSENT has been making waves lately. Just yesterday, the Swedish organisation announced a new co-owner in football player and captain of Malmö FF Pontus “Ponne” Jansson.
On the Counter-Strike front, the team went back to its roots, rebuilding its roster to be fully Swedish in an effort to bring the once elite scene back to its former glory.
In August, in-game leader Maikil "Golden" Selim and rifler Jonatan "bobeksde" Persson were added to the team. Last month, the organisation brought on Sean "eraa" Knutsson and Kalle "Ro1f" Johansson.
GGRecon sat down with the latest recruits to catch up on their development.
How has the roster been transitioning with both of your additions last month?
Eraa: It's not only us coming into the team, but it's also Golden stepping back in as an in-game leader. He was just a rifler player before, so there are a lot of new ways that we're trying to transition into in this new CS2 era.
We're trying to learn how we want to go forward with playing CS2 and like how our styles fit each other. But mostly it's just been trying to fit in in the way Golden is calling and how he wants to play because obviously, he's the biggest in-game leader we have in Sweden right now. That’s the legend he is, so for us, it's a huge step, and we're just learning and working together.
Somebody else on the team who's really experienced is Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora. How has he been helping you both transition into this team as well?
Ro1f: I would say Popski and Golden, obviously he has a lot of experience from the past, from Ninjas in Pyjamas and Fnatic, and I think they bring a lot to the table. They come with a lot of input that we, the younger guys, are not that used to. We learn a lot from the guys.
We've seen a lot of traditional teams step away from their Swedish rosters. Do you think that GODSENT in particular could fly the flag for Swedish CS moving forward?
Eraa: It's difficult to say, but we're very happy with the five we have right now and the way we've been playing. We've had a hectic schedule, but we've managed to already play two of the top Swedish teams here in Sweden. And it's so nice to see that there are some Swedish teams now that actually can compete with each other and build some kind of rivalry.
So, yeah, for sure we're one of the top teams right now even with the minimum time we've had together. And it's looking bright just going forward, we believe that we can make it.
How do you think Swedish CS has changed over the past five years, five or so years?
Ro1f: I think it's changed pretty much. A lot, actually.
I think at the start of CS, the Swedes were known for just being braindead and shoot. We're obviously pretty good individually with aiming and movement and this stuff. Nowadays, you need to be a lot more tactical.
You have to play for the team, and I think you can look towards Denmark. They are really tactical.
Do you think that with a lot of the veterans retiring, like Get_Right, f0rest, and Friberg, it has changed things quite a lot without those pivotal leaders to teach the young ones?
Ro1f: I think the older guys like GeT_RiGhT and f0rest have a pretty big voice in the teams. They always want to play like the same CS. They're not as open as we younger kids are to new game styles and new game plans. So, I think it's both a positive and a negative effect to play with older players.
Since moving away from GamerLegion and working with Young Ninjas, do you think that working in an academy environment has taught you a lot after that experience?
Eraa: Definitely. It was a really different experience for both of them. Being with a lot of younger kids around me, I kind of get to feel CS another certain way and like how fast it can actually go and how you can learn and develop from that. Adding those two experiences for me has been really good and it has taught me different ways of seeing CS.
With your experience, were you seen as a leader within that team?
Eraa: Yeah, for sure. I think I had a lot of, a lot to say and a lot of points to bring up from my experience and the guys were happy to bring it in and listen. So I definitely think that I had a bigger voice.
What do you currently think of the state of CS2? Do you think it's like a Major-ready game heading into next year?
Eraa: It's difficult to say, but judging from today [playing on LAN], I think it's nice and fine to play.
Valve has constantly been pushing updates, which is nice to see and they're also listening to feedback from other pros. So I think we could have a game ready for the Major and it could be really nice to see. There's obviously some stuff that you would love to see get changed, like left hand or bob or whatever everyone keeps talking about, but I enjoy the game now, it feels nice and I think it's gonna be a really good and big and popular game.
Ro1f: I would say the only thing that I think to update is a bit the sub-tick rate. Sometimes it's not happening as much as it used to, but dying behind walls and hitting shots that you should not really hit.
What do you currently think of the map pool?
Ro1f: Personally, I did not like the revamp of the maps, like the Overpass and Inferno revamp. I feel like both of the maps have changed a whole lot in the playstyle.
I think Inferno is just so compact and there's so much going on everywhere, and it's really new, but I just need to get used to it.
Eraa: For me, it has been kind of nice to have all this new stuff, because as Ro1f said, the maps have changed, not drastically, but a lot, and there's a lot of new stuff, which I think has been nice to learn, as well as with the new blowing up smokes.
Honestly, the two latest additions, Ancient and Anubis… I really like those maps. But then you always will have personal favourites, like me, I love Train for example, so I would have loved to see that map again.
It's been announced recently that Pontus Jansson is joining as a co-owner of GODSENT. Have either of you spoken to him, yet? He has quite a bit of a love for CS, doesn't he?
Eraa: We actually had the chance to meet and talk to him on our first bootcamp for us. We came prepared with questions for him to see his experience from football and how he's tackled issues from over there as a leader.
He gave some really nice input and obviously, he's a great guy. So yes, it's awesome to have him.
What are your goals with this roster moving into next year? Is it you know to become a major sort of competing team?
Ro1f: Yeah, I would say definitely a Major. That's our goal, try to qualify for the major, at least. But I think the short-term goal at least is to be number one in Sweden, I would say.
After that, we will move on to the major.