Vom YouTuber zum Sieger der ESL Meisterschaft und zu Heroic. NaToSaphiX hat einen langen Weg hinter sich um endlich professionell CS zu spielen. Er nahm sich Zeit um mit uns über seine Erfahrungen in Sprout und der deutschen Szene zu sprechen, sowie seine Zeit nach Sprout. Unter anderem wäre er sowohl fast bei GamerLegion und Rogue gelandet.
readmore: You have been playing Counter-Strike on a semi-professional basis for a very long time now. What is it like to finally make the next step and play in the third best team in Denmark?
NaToSaphiX: „For me it is a hole different experience. I’ve also playing in Sprout obviously and we have been doing signing sessions as well, but here you have your own security guard. You have as many pins as you want, there is a bottle of water, everything just seems so professional. It is even just the little things like that, obviously it is a great location, the venue is nice. All of that is obviously very different but also just how dedicated teammates you have. The dedication of my teammates is crazy in this team. I think I have been in this team for about 50 days now and we had like two or three off days so we are really grinding hard. That’s the difference and I love it.“
readmore: While being a professional player for Heroic you are also known for being a streamer and YouTuber. Are you still doing all the work for YouTube yourself?
NaToSaphiX: „Everything I release on YouTube and all the streams I do all the work myself, except the overlays and stuff on my twitch account. I got a really nice friend, a German guy and for my YouTube; I’m not really keeping up with it so well. I only release videos occasionally and when I do it is just highlights. I wish I could do more, but right now I just want to focus on playing professional.“
readmore: You played ten months in the German team Sprout, which was your first professional experience. What did you learn in your time with Sprout?
NaToSaphiX: „I think I learned especially the differences between the Danish scene and the German scene. There is quite a big difference just in personality. But playing with the likes of Spiidi and denis taught me a lot, they highlighted some errors/mistakes/tendencies I had that I should work to fix. I think I at least got a lot better and still think about those things. One of them, just to give an example, was they thought I always tried to outplay my opponents with nades instead of sometimes just pulling out my gun and shooting them. Especially when I played with Sprout we played a lot of lesser teams and I should just be able to dominate them but I always tried to outplay them with nades. This is just one of the things they thought me a lot, it was very valuable. I got some great friendships from that as well and now I am here in Heroic. Something that after the first month in Sprout denis said was that will just be a matter of time before a big team like Heroic is going to pick you up and it did happen, he was right.“
readmore: What do you think are the main differences between the German and Danish CS scene?
NaToSaphiX: „I think its just personality wise sort of different. In Denmark I think we communicate better, but also we are more supportive. Not in terms of supporting in the game, but just supporting each other as players. At least the feeling I got when playing in Germany CS was that I -I wouldn’t say I was never good enough- but I never got praise. And I think in many of the Danish teams I played people are pretty good at saying when you do something right. In Sprout it was mostly the coach.
Besides that it just that I as a player really want a strategical game where we are constantly playing of each other. Denis especially wanted to try to go the mousesports way which was with ChrisJ as the IGL back then. So they wanted five fraggers with a decent IGL. Whereas I wanted more the Danish way, where you have like four really good players and one IGL who didn’t have to be individually great but he had to be a great leader. That’s what we tried with sycrone, that’s why we brought him onto the team. We got some pretty good results by that I would say, I think it was a success. Not saying the German way doesn’t work.“
readmore: After your time with Sprout you didn’t play for a professional team for about 5 months. Did you simply didn’t have any offers or were you waiting for the right one to hit your mailbox?
NaToSaphiX: „Well first of all I hit a very rough patch in my personal life so at the beginning I was just chilling mostly. I had a contract that ran out on the first of February, so I had to wait for that. In the beginning I was trying to better my life, started working out, stuff like this to try and get my happiness level up. I did have a few offers, I was in talks with some of the players from GamerLegion, Ex6Tenz and ScreaM actually, but it didn’t quite work out. The I was really close to joining an American team, but unfortunately it did not happen.“
readmore: Which team was it?
NaToSaphiX: „I guess now it doesn’t really matter, but I was really close to joining Rogue when MSL and niko left, but the whole organisation shut down when I was about to join. I already basically told everyone of my friends and family that I was going. I assumed I was going to be leaving and live in Las Vegas. Which was actually very nice, because I saw a need to get away from my personal life, I wanted to start off fresh. There was some other offers right when I got removed from Sprout. I had some offers from some lower tier Danish teams and other German teams, but I wasn’t really interested in jumping straight into it. So I mostly waiting for the right opportunity. I got to stand-in for Heroic, grabbed the opportunity but they didn’t have space for me in the team at the time. And all of a sudden I got a phone call and never looked back.“
readmore: With Cologne coming up next in your calendar, what are your expectations going into the tournament?
NaToSaphiX: „That’s a hard one. We are changing so much. We have been changing a lot of roles. We haven’t yet found consistency. I think how we played at this event was quite good and I think it is sort of a consistent level for us. Like if you look an average over a few months this would be average level right now, but we are very shaky. Some days we are really bad and some days we are unbeatable. For cologne I’m just that we will be beating the teams that we are supposed to beat, which are not many. Hopefully create some upsets, but there are so many good teams that I just hope we cause an upsets or at least be happy with our own performance. Take some maps of the good teams, maybe win the first Best-of-One. Looking forward I hope we find some consistency. We also have the Chicago qualifier coming up right when we get home from this event. The teams are not bad in that tournament, but I think we are the best in the qualifier, so I’m hoping that we go to IEM Chicago as well. I think it will go well, but we need some time to find consistency for sure.“
readmore: We saw es3tag picking up the AWP a few times during this tournament. Was the decision just down to him feeling more comfortable or is it a permanent change?
NaToSaphiX: „It is not really something we have talked about so much. We are trying out different roles. Patrick has wanted to take on the role as the AWP and since I am the new guy in the team, and I didn’t feel so comfortable he decided to just give it a go. It was a team decision; I wasn’t thrown of the AWP or something. I also wanted for a while to try to play as a rifle and we did that before this event and changed a bit around again. I’m not going to say what you are going to be expecting for Cologne, because we definitely going to have some surprises there. What we are going to be seeing in the near future it might not be me playing main-AWP.“