CoJoMo shouted out Pugg and arcade as key members of Davenport Panthers
For Dust2.us' first interview at Fragadelphia 15, Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore had a chance to sit down with Collin "CoJoMo" Moren from Davenport Panthers. They discussed Davenport Panthers' run in the event thus far, the collegiate scene, and the team's expectations for the future.
To start, Davenport Panthers lost their opening match against Detonate in a somewhat one-sided fashion. Can you give your impressions on what happened during the series?
Our first game was disappointing because we definitely wanted to have a better showing, we've been scrimming higher-level teams. I think it's just that for 3/5 guys it's their first LAN, and the other one only has one LAN. I think everyone was just nervous and we weren't playing the game that we usually play.
Do you feel that you redeemed yourself against NoVa's AWP Droppers?
Yeah, I knew going into that game that we were going to play much better and we just had to get our stuff figured out and calm down a bit.
Did the level of opposition you faced in the series from a mixteam surprise you?
Yeah. Those guys have played three other Frag events so they'd have the advantage of having experience a bit. It definitely showed when we were up 14-9 on their map pick and could just not close it out. I knew that once we got our groove they weren't going to be able to stop us just because we're a set team.
How long has this roster been together?
The core of the roster has been together for a year-and-a-half. This season I joined, and arcade joined last season. This is the first full season we are living together in the same city.
In joining Davenport Panthers, you went back to Main after making Advanced playoffs last season. Was it hard for you to make this decision and what was the decision-making process for this move?
I see it as an investment in my future because I can get my education, and I'm also in-person with my teammates and I'm playing from the same house. We have facilities and gyms we can go to together, not only teammates online but also in-person so we can grow as people too. Whereas if I stayed online I wouldn't have the opportunity to pursue education and I wouldn't be in-person with my teammates.
Did you plan on going to school while also pursuing collegiate CS:GO, or was this a surprise opportunity for you?
A year ago I had no clue what I was going to do with my life. I didn't even know if I was going to college or what I wanted to do. I took a step back and looked at my life and realized "why not go get a degree in something I can use later in my life" as well as pursue professional aspirations in a game I love. The puzzle pieces came together in a way and I was like "yeah that makes sense" to knock out two birds with one stone.
You already touched on some of the amenities and perks Davenport provides to you and your teammates but can you go a bit more depth on the scholarship opportunities or other incentives for playing with them?
I can't speak for the other guys on my team but I do know everyone has at least a partial scholarship to play, along with academic scholarships. With other forms of financial aid it really cuts down on the cost of college. It makes it even more affordable than if I were to stay in-state, so it just makes sense for me to go to [Davenport] even though I'm coming from out of state. Along with that, they provide travel, food, rooms, support at LAN events; it takes a lot of stress off of us and allows us to focus on our game instead of worrying about money as much.
With Davenport you have the opportunity to play in a number of collegiate leagues — CSL, NACCS, and so on. For many followers of NA CS:GO these leagues are overlooked and not given much thought. Do you think they are valuable as you develop as a player and as a team and how do they stack up to ESEA's leagues?
I would say for 90% of collegiate teams it is totally worth it to play. They're less experienced players and it gives them a chance to win money when they would never be able to win money through other stuff. I would say the college leagues are a lot less competitive because a lot of people are playing on mix-teams; it's not their actual team, or they're just not very into CS:GO. It provides a chance for them to win money and it takes stress off of me because I can earn a little bit of extra money at the end of these leagues to pay for a bit of my stuff.
What collegiate leagues are Davenport currently playing in?
We're in NACE... and I'm new to all of this so I'm not really sure. I know we played our first match against Indiana University. I know FACEIT is running a league and I don't know if CSL is still going strong. I know they did a big merger so I don't know what leagues are running.
Do you think the number of competing collegiate leagues was an issue?
Yeah, that was definitely a problem. It stretched people thin and it it made it so that if you wanted to play in these leagues it was impossible because you were just filled with matches and you had to pick and choose. It's definitely a good thing that they're merging.
Who are your main rivals in the collegiate scene currently?
There has been a lot of scrambling going on but I'd say our main competition is a lot of the Michigan guys: MTU, MSU as well as cxzi from Triumph, who is going to ISU. We have some good competition. A lot of these teams don't play together consistently though, so our main competition is MTU and MSU.
You mentioned cxzi joining ISU immediately making them a threat. I feel like a lot of collegiate teams are built around a star player from Premier or Advanced. To an extent this is true for your team as well, with you being the star AWPer. Do you want to mention any teammates who you think are underrated or don't get enough recognition?
Oh yeah totally. Every single one of these guys [on my team] are overlooked and need credit. We run a six-man roster and even the guys that rotate on-and-off do so much behind the scenes. A team is never made up of one player. When we play teams where there's just one star player, we can pick them apart because we have protocols to shut them down. It's very easy to stop once you get that one kill.
Anyone in particular you want to shout-out from your matches today?
Pugg and arcade. They are consistently at the top of the scoreboard and Pugg is our IGL.
As a collegiate team, do you think Advanced and Premier teams take you seriously and are they willing to scrim and practice with you guys?
Through the connections I have, we are scrimming top-tier Advanced teams and Premier teams, so we get really good practice for a team at our level. We're a Main team at the end of the day but we look past that and see where we want to be.
You mentioned looking past your status as a Main team. The holy grail for collegiate teams for the longest time is to qualify to Premier. Is that a goal for Davenport Panthers and can the current iteration do it?
That is our goal. I don't know what we'll do when we get there, but I do know that we'll get there. We'll go through adversity and growing pains because this roster is brand new and I only joined two weeks ago. I know that we'll get to Premier in a year or two.
One last question, what are your expectations for the rest of the event and your chances in the lower bracket?
First we have to play Eros, an established team, and they have a lot going for them: more experience, a higher league, and stuff. But, I'm just looking for a good showing against them and upsetting them. If we can get past that hurdle we can get any team at this event.
Actually, I have to ask one more question — what's the deal with Twitter, tell me about CoJoMo the shitposter?
I realized that I didn't just want to be another player, I wanted to get my name out there and show up in people's feeds and honestly annoy them with how much my name shows up in their feed. It's really about putting my name out there and separating me from other people, because in PUGs people are always talking about my Twitter.
CoJoMo and Davenport Panthers won their game against Eros after this interview 2-1. They are currently facing off against YeniCherry and they are tied up 1-1 at the time of publication.