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Swahn: "Players need to drop the fucking egos and take what they can get"
The Detonate IGL says players can't afford to be as picky anymore when looking for sponsors.
Written by: Mnmzzz    September 14th 2021 10:39 pm    #Swahn #Detonate #Fragadelphia15 #Sutter #silas #GODSENT #ThirdImpact #Ghostii #kber #Noxio #Delta9 #CENSRD #ESEAdvancedS38  

For Dust2.us' third interview of Fragadelphia 15, Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore sat down with Christopher "Swahn" Swahn of Detonate to discuss among other topics: their run at Fragadelphia, the demise of CENSRD, rebuilding as Detonate, Brazilian teams’ continuous presence in Advanced, and why more Advanced teams have organizations than Premier teams.

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To start, can you discuss your team's close 2-1 loss to Third Impact in the lower bracket?

We sort of knew what the maps were going to be before going into it. I've played Third Impact a bunch of times and am definitely familiar with insane and how he plays. The maps were not a surprise. When it came down to Overpass, we had ourselves a decent CT-side and we just couldn't get a grasp on the map on our T-side. I don't know, I think it just really sucks because losing isn't fun, but I can't be upset with the end result, right? We came here to Fragadelphia to make top eight, that was the goal, and I think we technically got out in 9th-12th place, which in my head feels like eighth. So I'm going to say it’s acceptable.

That Overpass loss though... Third Impact have been playing together for a while, right? They've been playing together for a long fucking time and they've been doing this stuff for a while and they have experience together on LAN while three of my teammates have never had: silas, Sutter, and Ghostii. They normally play with 90 ping from California and Canada so when we got to LAN everybody started hitting shots and it was like "Oh wow welcome to LAN, it's fun". 

I know you mentioned that shared history between Detonate and Third Impact, with the former CENSRD lineup beating them last season to deny Third Impact a chance at ESEA Premier Season 37 Playoffs. Has the team grown since then or changed their tactics in a way that proved challenging?

I think there's definitely been improvement, It's impossible to not be improving. If you're not improving over that span of time a team just dies. Props to them for staying together and they're definitely improving. I think we're also staying competitive with them as well, there's no degradation in the quality of their team or anything like that. They do well.

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Sometime after that match against Third Impact, CENSRD ended up folding for a number of reasons and there was some uncertainty about sticking together. Can you discuss why you decided to stick together with the core and how you decided on silas and Sutter?

The CENSRD roster was my first time really being the captain and the leader of a team. I had done some stuff in collegiate CS:GO, but this was my first time being an IGL and the leader of a team. CENSRD was not handled the best, leadership skills are always developing so I didn't handle CENSRD to the best of ability and the players on the roster didn't have the same goals. There are a lot of Counter-Strike players that like playing CS but there aren't a lot of players that want to go pro. I believe that in order to go pro, you don't start getting paid and then starting working, no you work now, and the results will come because you are grinding. If you don't have the mental fortitude to push yourself and develop as an individual and as a team you're not going to succeed. 

Trying to make things happen [on CENSRD] was always difficult and so when it came to falling apart it was inevitable. That team was held together with string and duct tape. Every week was just a potential team member leaving or wanting to quit. Playing Relegation isn't an accomplishment, but that team should've fucking died so many times. I'm happy because it was an experiment for me to learn and develop my leadership skills.

After being relegated: kber left to be a real human, hate wanted to play with winners and we obviously weren't winners, so he didn't want to play with us, and Noxio had to quit because he had to choose between having a real life or committing however many hours to trying to go pro.

silas and Sutter have the right mindset to go pro. I know that because when I was on iNTACT I got to play with a bunch of other crazy people who wanted to go pro. There was this one qualifier that we were in with CENSRD, Phoenix Series I think, and we saw Valkyrie getting to the grand finals after beating Third Impact and they lost to Recon 5. That Valkyrie team was sort of the next iNTACT because they won Main and then they came into Advanced as a team that was supposed to do well with CoJoMo, k1, and KenZ.

I learned that on Valkyrie that silas and Sutter were the glue of that team. They both put in a lot of work, they were stronger than just support players because silas was the IGL and Sutter was the secondary IGL. Knowing that they have the right mindset and attitude I was like "holy shit these guys are actually pretty good". I'm not going to say they were top tier Premier players when we picked them up but again it's the pro mindset and attitude and that shit is so much more important than anything else. 

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You mentioned that silas has IGL experience from his time with Valkyrie. With that, what's the current split in the IGL role between you and silas?

So FalleN said in an interview the other day that when you have an AWP as an IGL, the team is going to be tend to be a bit looser and a bit more decentralized. You can't have the iron fist of "I'm blameF and you guys are going to throw these smokes for me and I'm going to go lurk" or something like that. I can't go run into Big Garage by myself on Nuke with my AWP and have them go do something else. So, there's a lot of perks that come with being a rifle IGL but one of the things you have to do when you're AWPing and leading is allow a little bit more individual plays and that's where silas really comes in. silas and Sutter were the voices of their previous team so with silas he's just the secondary captain and we try to set him up to do the similar things that blameF would do. We throw smokes for silas to get him into the good spots or we let him [call] for situations I can't see because he's in the action while I might be posted on something with my AWP. To allow Detonate to grow and become a competitive team they needs to have a good rifling secondary caller. silas is that guy that I will trust to go do good things. Having people with strong voices allows us to play completely differently than what CENSRD had to be. 

Should Detonate qualify to Premier, based on the leadership changes you discussed, could we see your team be a force to be reckoned with?

Absolutely. I'm not going to say I deserved more on CENSRD, it was my team, and I did what I could, and I went into Relegation twice and there's nothing to be proud of there. But what we've done is we've gone back to Advanced where there is no pressure. I consider myself a Premier player, good or bad doesn't matter, I know that's where I can play. Delta9 and Ghostii can also perform in Premier so I know I have Premier quality players on my team so all it takes is for silas and Sutter to grow to be Premier level and that's already happening. Do I expect us to come into Premier and be number one, no. Do I expect us to come into Premier and not have to be a shitty Relegation team, absolutely. To be competitive with the top five teams in Premier is the goal but we'll see where we get.

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In Advanced for the past few seasons, with the exception of Season 37, there has consistently been a Brazilian lineup that is seemingly untouchable by North American lineups. This season that lineup is GODSENT, how do you feel about your chances against them should you meet in playoffs? Additionally, what do you think about the presence of these higher tier Brazilian lineups in Advanced?

I'm really frustrated with ESEA because when they created Advanced they created the invite slot and since they have never used it. If you're not going to invite paiN, FURIA, or GODSENT what the fuck is the invite slot for. That's a separate point though. It's unfortunate but that's just what it is, there's nothing we can do about it. The only thing I can do is make sure we are ready for that moment when we are playing them. We do have a match against them after Frag and if we win holy shit that'd be insane but whatever, it's the regular season and they're GODSENT. When playoffs come around in two weeks however I hope we can put up some rounds against them and put on a show.

As someone who is fighting in the Advanced trenches against GODSENT, are they so far out of reach for Advanced teams or are can the right mix on the right day clinch the division?

There's the saying "On any given Sunday", right? It's like anyone can win if every GODSENT player went blind and we could suddenly win. They're a good fucking team, they definitely belong in the top tier of Premier, and they're absolutely better than your average Advanced team. In preparation for GODSENT, we go back and watch their matches against other Advanced teams and once they go up 8-0 then they literally start going for knife kills and stuff. They are so many calibers above every Advanced team. 

But against Party Astronauts for example I'd imagine the game is close. They are a top five Premier team and will be a good fight, but they wouldn't just blow everyone in Premier out of the water. Some Advanced teams however may be able to do something funny and that's what we hope to do.

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Speaking of Premier teams, CENSRD struggled immensely to find an organization but were able to find one relatively quickly in Advanced. What do you think of this trend, and do you think Premier teams need to lower their expectations when looking for orgs?

A long time ago I played with a team that will not be named but we were a Relegation quality team and there was an org that was willing to sign with us that would've paid for us to go to Frag and give us $300 each a month. We were a Relegation team and one of the players was unwilling to sign with any org for less than $800 a month. Yeah... players need to drop the fucking egos and take what they can get.

Some people like Bad News Bears deserve to hold out and I can understand why they're not going to sign some year-long contract for a low salary. But, if you're every other Premier team, especially near the middle or bottom, you should take what you can get unless the org is going to harm you. Nobody signs mid-season, that's not a thing so when the season starts take what you can get if you're not going to be hurt by it, that's how it should be. I've definitely spent enough time getting frustrated arguing with other people about whether we should sign.

Detonate is currently paying me the most I've ever been paid to play the game. I have 13,000 hours and have been playing for a shit ton of seasons and it's not a ton of money, but I'll take what I can get and I'm happy with what I have. LEVOSKII sent us to Frag and when you break it down that's a lot of money. Absolutely happy with that. I think really when it comes down to the orgs and the players it’s all about the attitude and the mindset. Detonate didn't just sign with us because we were any other Advanced team, they signed with us because they knew we cared, and we know he cares; there is a really good balance.

He came to Frag with us and is interacting with the players and we're having a good time. He cares about us and we do what we can to represent that org. Through all those things it’s always going to be a new positive. Players need to stop treating orgs like they're money sacks and orgs also need to invest in teams like Bad News Bears. The fact they aren't signed is actually fucking unbelievable. I live with Shakezullah, so I get to hear about all the funny stories and just come on guys where's the org for Bad News Bears?

To close, what's next for Swahn and Detonate?

The goal is to make Premier and then once we're in Premier it's to succeed in Premier. It's one step at a time sort of thing. However many months I've been playing this game I've never known what's going to happen in three months, six months, a year but as long as I can look back and say I've gotten better or the team's become better my motivation and desire is not going to drift. I'm committed to this sort of thing – I want to go pro in CS:GO. I've sucked for a long time, I still suck, and I'm not on Heroic or anything. I currently belong in Advanced and if I didn't belong in Advanced I'd be on a Premier team so I take it one step at a time and then I can worry about what's next. 

Detonate are currently 8-1 in ESEA Advanced Season 38 and are set to play with next match against Touch Point on September 16th at 8PM EDT.

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#1 aphotic
2021-09-14 22:46
Great title, would recommend.
#2 parks2214
2021-09-14 22:52
Love Swahn
#3 xner
2021-09-15 00:31
Really sad to see Swahn get relegated, hope he can make it back
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