slaxz- is ready to believe in the team again

slaxz-: "This is the time where we can finally see what we're capable of"

M80 have their starting lineup, can they put the pieces together?

M80 have not had the easiest time with their roster after spending months without a concrete starting lineup and having to use Rory "dephh" Jackson as the team's IGL during the RMRs. While the former Counter-Strike and VALORANT player wasn't dragging the team down, not having a clear leader has adversely affected this squad.

Now, Elias "s1n" Stein has stepped into the fold and joined fellow German Fritz "slaxz-" Dietrich in the organization. For the AWPer, he finally has a full lineup again which gives him a ton of confidence as they head into ESL Pro League Season 19. The squad have a tough matchup against BetBoom, but with slaxz- history against zorte, he knows it will be a fun game.' Ryan Friend spoke with the M80 player to talk about s1n joining the roster, how it feels to have a full lineup, and the team wanting to prove themselves on the international stage.

Can you tell me a bit about how s1n came into this team? Was there a special German connection?

We looked at all our options, Rory asked me some questions. “Hey, do you know him, blah, blah blah” I never played with him on a team, but obviously he was from the German scene and I played versus him many, many years ago. And you know, you, PUG together, you play together, and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, I've known him since he pretty much when he came up.

What has your experience been with him and making the decision that this is the guy to take M80 to the next level?

I pretty much told him what other people told me about him. My former coach on Alternate aTTaX - he used to play as the In-Game Leader with him and then coached him a little bit later. He only said very good things about him, that his work ethic is super good, that he understands the game, and all that stuff. So there was only good words and only very good things I heard about him. And that's what I told dephh.

Can you talk to me about the last few months with M80 since it’s been tough without a full, set lineup?

It was hard because when I came into the team, everything just went amazing. We won everything, every qualifier and tournament that we played in NA. So the motivation was amazing to finally go to play on LAN and show what we're capable of. We played Atlanta, and it was fine. We were like, “OK, it's just Atlanta, it's one tournament. It doesn't really matter. We play this and then we we go into the break, we come back, and everything is going to be amazing.”

Then we played the closed qualifier for the RMR. We made it and we were still very positive and then, Katowice. We fly together to Katowice, everybody's ready to play, everybody is hyped, and it was the first LAN where we thought we were going to have our starting five. We get a reality check and we have to play with the coach again.

This goes on for a few weeks and then a few months. To be honest, it was super rough because you always go to a tournament and try your best, but suddenly you don't have an IGL which is one of the most important, if not the most important part of the team. You feel like you need to start from almost zero again and especially on LAN it's just super hard to play and it's super hard for all of us. It's just different if you don't have an IGL you know, everybody tries their best and tries everything, but it's just very, very hard to perform consistently especially on the T-sides. We just had super rough times and it’s also hard mentally to be motivated.

I think we all did a really good job and we almost made a Major. We showed some good CS, but it was hard for all of us. It was a rough period. Everybody is happy now that we finally have a five-man core and the time we put in the game altogether actually makes sense because this is the five-man core going forward. And it's not like a stand-in situation and all those kinds of things. So yeah, it was hard and finally, we can play, be consistent, and perform consistently as a team and as individuals.

Even though s1n was just here for one qualifier, how does it feel to know that you can now beat some of the best teams and best players from the region?

It gives us a lot of confidence because it just shows us that there's no team we can't beat and that all of those players, you know the big names, they are not made out of something else. Like we say in Germany, you know, everybody is made of the same stuff. They're all just humans. So yeah, it makes us feel good and gives us a lot of confidence, to be honest.

Will s1n be overhauling the entire system for M80? What’s his leadership style going to be?

I think we're going to work all together on it, but obviously as the IGL he's going to be the biggest voice. He brings a lot of stuff he has learned in his life, like the main system and how we want to play is going to be his idea. When it comes to strats we will bring in what has worked for us and he will bring in what works for him. We will try to build a system together. He has a lot of good ideas, but he's also very open to listening to you, how we like to play, and what certain players like to do. He's very open, which is amazing, but he also brings in a certain idea of how to play and has his own visions. So that is what we’re going to do.

Finally having this completed squad, do you feel this M80 can finally break through and compete amongst the world’s best?

This is the time where we can finally see what we're capable of. We showed it with maNkz and we showed it here and there. We can beat Liquid in a closed qualifier, then in a best of three later. Like, we can do it, but now we finally have the time and we can finally not only just qualify, but go to the tournament as a five-man core. It's finally time to show what we're capable of and climb the rankings even higher in NA and the world. I think everybody here is capable of it and also knows that they’re capable of it. Now it's time to put the pieces together and do it as a team. You know? That's going to be the challenge.

What are you feeling in this matchup against BetBoom?

Those players obviously have a lot of experience other than Magnojez and played in big tournaments for a long time. I don’t think they have been doing so good recently. They're still trying to find their place, I'm not really sure.

They are trying to find their way, they’re just not very consistent right now. I think it's going to be a great match-up. Let's see who is going to have the better day, but I don't think that there is a clear favorite in the matchup. I think it's a good matchup for us in a nice way to start the tournament. Let's see, I feel good. For example, I played zorte a million times when he was in FORZE and we always had like a good match up, so I'm gonna go into the game feeling pretty good.

M80 will make their ESL Pro League Season 19 debut tomorrow as they take on BetBoom at 01:30PM.

1 - 2
All maps
M80 K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Guatemala Mario 'malbsMd' Samayoa 50 - 40 +10 96.4 67.9% 1.30
Fritz 'slaxz-' Dietrich 45 - 30 +15 79.3 76.8% 1.26
Elias 's1n' Stein 39 - 36 +3 79.8 80.4% 1.22
United States Ethan 'reck' Serrano 32 - 37 -5 62.1 78.6% 0.92
United States Michael 'Swisher' Schmid 28 - 35 -7 55.4 69.6% 0.89
BetBoom K - D +/- ADR KAST Rating 2.0
Kirill 'Magnojez' Rodnov 38 - 39 -1 80.1 76.8% 1.08
Aleksandr 'KaiR0N-' Anashkin 38 - 41 -3 71.3 73.2% 1.04
Pavel 's1ren' Ogloblin 36 - 36 +0 67.2 73.2% 1.01
Aleksandr 'zorte' Zagodyrenko 34 - 37 -3 63.7 64.3% 0.97
Vladislav 'nafany' Gorshkov 32 - 42 -10 61.8 67.9% 0.95

Also read

You must be logged in to add a comment.