Swisher on M80 surpassing Complexity: "We definitely have the tools"
M80 are in Malta awaiting a true trial by fire for the new North American squad. Despite impressing in their domestic debut, the team still has a lot to prove if they want to be viewed as a squad that can compete internationally. With that in mind, Dust2.us' Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore spoke to one of M80's young stars, Michael "Swisher" Schmid, about the team's early days, working under Danish IGL Marcus "maNkz" Kjeldsen, and what the team's expectations are for the future as one of NA's premier rosters.
Despite M80 being a relatively new squad it has really hit the ground running. Did you expect the team to click this quickly?
There was definitely was some expectations from myself but M80 as an org did not have any expectations in that sense, they're focusing on the long term. I had that expectation because the three-rifle core of me, reck, and malbsMd consists of some of if not the three best riflers in NA at this moment apart from Liquid or Complexity.
I definitely had those expectations that we start early and to be shooting pretty hard right away.
Talking about expectations, this will be your third EPL season after one with Bad News Bears and one with ATK. In those previous seasons, your teams failed to win a single series, what do you think is going to be different this time and what have you done to be more successful?
The season with BNB... the team at that point was not in a good spot at all. We had been orgless for a long time and there were roster issues going on. We went into Pro League without even practicing, we played three scrims there or something, it was a really unfortunate situation.
This following following EPL season with ATK we had just slotted in CacaNito as a sub/potential player depending on how things went. At the same time we came here to bootcamp in Malta two-and-a-half to three weeks prior to EPL and we were having to go over everything to re-teach the basics so _boom _another big issue, right of not coming here prepared already with some backing.
This time around with M80 we were bootcamping in Austin for a month prior to this, and we've only been adding on top of that when we were here in the UK for two-and-a-half weeks before coming to Malta. So, this entire bootcamp is the first time we're not changing things, we're just adding and adding and adding to get everything in a better state, which has been a huge positive.
maNkz is an outlier on this team as the Danish import that fans may not be familiar with. Can you tell me about his leadership style and how he compares to previous IGLs you have worked with?
maNkz's leadership style is something I have seen with MisteM and ptr but he's definitely a bit more strict and he's not afraid to put his foot down which I really respect and like. If we're messing up he won't be afraid to really let us know that're messing up and screwing off. That's super important from a leader but he's also been super knowledgeable in the European meta to catch us up.
We've been making mistakes in practice and he's able to tell us we're making a mistake, have us watch a demo from a top team, and show us what we're doing wrong, and then we go into scrims and we see the other team doing exactly what we were doing before which is the old meta. He is actively going and showing us how the team is playing the old meta and how we're destroying them.That little tiny thing is able to flip a switch in my brain at least to adapt in that sense.
I previously talked to Walco about the disadvantages that come from having to rely on NA scrims. Do you think having a European IGL helps to mitigate that disadvantage?
It absolutely has. You can watch a demo and then think you're doing everything right but then realize that you're not doing it at the right timing as you should be so you're not getting the full effect out of it. Thing like catching up with the meta, throwing different smokes, playing different positions, and using different flashes. Having him tell us about it and seeing it in a demo and then seeing us change and then seeing an NA team do the old thing really reinforces that we are learning and growing.
Your first match will be against Apeks and it is going to be a trial by fire in your first bout against an EU team. What's been the game plan to get ready for them?
Honestly it's been about focusing on ourselves because we haven't been together for a long time. We don't have a huge backing to fallback on and our map pool isn't the strongest right now. The last few weeks our main goal has been to bolster our map pool and make it stronger so we have a good basis of maps to fall back on and play behind.
We've been working on ourselves and scrims have been going really well for us. I'm a bit surprised because every time I've been in Europe our scrims have not gone this well. I'm super excited to be getting these scrim results early. We know that we shoot hard so our goal is to hop in the server round one and shoot really hard.
Looking towards the future, do you think M80 has the tools to take Complexity's spot as the top NA team?
We definitely have the tools, honestly. Our previous matchup against Complexity they blew us out of the water a bit but we expected better results from ourselves going into that match. They came ready to play and were shooting really hard that day and we were asleep.
We've scrimmed them a decent amount of times, they've killed us a couple times and we've killed them a couple of times as expected, mixed results here and there. We've been improving a lot and I think we have what it takes but time will tell.
The most surprising addition to this squad has definitely been dephh as head coach. From your own appraisal how has his return to CS:GO gone, did he need time to get reacclimated or did he quickly get up to speed?
That was one of my concerns too, when the roster was being proposed. I was like, 'Really he's been out of the game for a couple years, that's a surprise to me,' but I spoke to Rory and SyykoNT and thought let's do it, let's try it. He has blown my expectations out of the water for sure. He's watching a ton of demos and catching up a ton. To be fair, the game hasn't changed a lot and a lot of maps still play the same, but he has a lot of experience.
He played at a Major, something none of us has done, he was still an IGL in VALORANT so he has the leadership role with maNkz. He's been doing fantastic.
Last Question, after EPL does the team expect to spend the next six weeks in Europe ahead of Thunderpick, or will the team head home for a bit?
So our plan if we make playoffs, I think we're going to go back to the UK for a week because there's no point in going home and mess up our sleep schedules. If we don't qualify for playoffs we're going to go home for a short break for a week to give us some home time so we don't burn ourselves out and then come back to the UK for a month for Thunderpick and to get more practice.
Swisher and M80 will make their debut in ESL Pro League Season 18 tomorrow against Apeks at 10:00AM.