cadiaN hasn't had much to be happy about since coming to North America

cadiaN: "How can we have a fair chance of preparing for the next season?"

We had a lengthy chat with Casper "cadiaN" Møller about his time in North America so far, and Rogue's troubles during the previous season.

Can you go through the process that led you to joining this Rogue squad?

Basically, I was approached by Garett "Grt" Bambrough and owner of Rogue, Frank, who I have a history with due to being on the European Rogue roster. We were writing back and forth, and actually for the most part it didn’t really catch my interest, because I had already said no to other North American teams who were ranked higher. I didn’t really feel like it was a good fit for me to move. But at the end of the day with how things worked out in Europe, it was a good short-term decision. After this event we will have to evaluate what the future will look like.

How disappointing was it for you to finish the season in the position you did, leading to you being here at this event?

I think the main problem was that Rogue went 2-8 for the first 10 games, and they played the bottom teams — compLexity, Splyce, Ghost, and some others. When I got here, a lot of our results were decent, compared to the short preparation time and what we had to work with. We traded maps with NRG and Renegades, we took Cloud9 to overtime. I don’t think our Pro League run was entirely bad, but obviously when you are at the bottom, it wasn’t good either. We have things to improve on in the future for sure.

There has been a lot of roster shuffling with the team, Josh “shinobi” Abastado briefly exited, now he is back in place of Collin “wrath” McSweegan. Can you illuminate what happened there a bit?

Let’s just say it is a very messy situation. When I came into the team, it was the last [ESL Pro League] addition that the roster had, so at that point we were set with who we would be playing with for the next three months. There were some internal issues that led to us needing a change, it didn’t necessarily need to be shinobi, but at the end of the day we need fresh blood, because things were OK, but we wanted to try and make them good. Sometimes adding a new guy, even though he may not fit role-wise or individually-wise, it can just make a difference.

Things didn’t work out, and we’ve been in a very messy situation with the roster lock for two months now, playing with a roster that we most likely won’t continue with for the future. We’ve just been waiting to play these Relegation games, so it has been tough for the team to fight through.

Would it be an immediate improvement for ESL/ESEA to put this event closer to when the respective seasons end?

For sure. I think there are two points to it, first of all, I can understand the point of the roster lock. But when there is such a huge gap between the end of the season, and the new season — let’s say that we do make it back to Pro League, how can we have a fair chance of preparing for the next season? Other teams have had two months to figure out their roster, roles, and tactics, and we’ll be left with a shorter amount of time. So not only is it unfair for the Relegation games, but the upcoming season.

How do you like your chances in Relegation, and who do you expect to see make it through?

I’ll be honest and say that I think the level of competition (including ourselves) is fairly low. Therefore, I think everything is up in the air and anyone can make it through, depending on momentum. Some teams and players at the event haven’t been performing as well here as they do online, even though they have potential. It is difficult to say. I don’t think we are favorites to make it through, but I hope we do!

You arrived a few days early due to weather problems. What do you think of some of the young players you have been hanging out with in the player lounge, like the SoaR guys?

In-game-wise, I think they are improving, and I’m glad to see a certain amount of stability in their rosters. I think that is very key when you have a young roster. People always think that removing people and adding people is going to be a better solution — including ourselves. But you need stability and you need to work out your issues, because everyone has issues.

I like them on a personal level as well, I think some of them may have to mature a little bit in order to take the next step up. It is one thing to perform at this event, but stuff like that needs to be consistent if you want to be a professional. You need to show up on time, you need to keep having the hunger to be a better player and grow. Also from playing with Michael  “Grim” Wince in the qualifier that we used him in, I could tell that he is a good player, and he has a lot to learn but also a lot of potential. I think they will be an exciting team for the upcoming year.

Yourself and Jacob "Pimp" Winneche have found it difficult to stay put on teams, why do you think that is?

I think it is tough. To a certain extent, I think reputation plays a role. I know that Rogue didn’t have doubt about my in-game performance, but perhaps my personality. I think to an extent I screwed up some of my chances when I was younger by not being mature enough. That is definitely something the younger players can learn from. Staying cool, having a good mentality, making sure you have a reality check on where you are in the scene. But I hope and I am quite sure that I have the ability to step up from where I am at. I don’t want to be at the bottom of the Pro League, no matter what region I’m playing in.

You’ve taken over leading responsibilities from shinobi, can you talk about some of the changes that have resulted from that?

I think most of my career I’ve been in-game leading, unless I’ve been playing with Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen or Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander. It is also something that is very natural for me, even though it can be very difficult to combine with AWPing.

We kind of have an identity crisis within our team, of what playstyle we should go for. We played very gimmicky in Pro League, and that gave us a lot of good rounds and results. But that is something you do when you are playing against way better teams. Now we are playing against teams that we should be way better at defaulting than we are, but we simply are not experienced enough as a team to do it.

The constant roster changes are definitely not helping when you want to find out how you want to play as a team, and moving around roles. Honestly it has been a big mess. I am hoping the new season in 2018 that things will improve for the better.

I’m sure you could go on about his forever, but what are some of the differences between European and North American CS?

To put it as clear as possible, most of the time the aim and the in-game movement from both regions are very similar. The biggest differences are in terms communication, teamplay, sometimes dedication as well. When I’ve played in the European/Danish teams, often I’ve had good flashbangs, people baiting for me, or offering people to do in clutch situations.

I see that as a big problem in the scene, that North America doesn’t have enough people in leadership roles. I remember in an interview with Sean “seang@res” Gares, he said that everyone talks about how NA lacks in-game leaders, but not only do they lack IGLs, they also lack people to take responsibility to help the IGLs. With mid-rounds and giving good information, and so on. I think that is one of the main differences that NA has to work on, and it is a difference that is hard to just equalize, because it comes with experience and by learning from people who know how to do it. The European scene just has more of those people.

Even though you’ve been in the US, I know you still keep up with the Danish scene — who are some lesser known players we should be watching out for in 2018?

I think some of the teams have already shown promise, such as North Academy, Fragsters and Tricked. They are all on the verge of breaking through. It is hard to say if it will require a mix up of those teams to get the right composition, but most of those players are kind of known these days. They are close to being Top 30 teams, and it will be exciting to watch them in the upcoming season.

For teams that are lower than that, there’s a team called HS PÅ LAGER (headshots and storage), they are a young team that goes to boarding school together, so they practice together every day. They have talents like Anton "NoTaN1dgl" Pedersen and Kristoffer "Kristou" Aamand, so they are a team to look out for, maybe not for the next 3-5 months, but later on in the year.

Rogue will continue their bid to return to the ESL Pro League with a match against Ghost later today, currently scheduled for 2:00 PM EST. Should cadiaN and friends win, they will have survived the Relegation gauntlet. Thanks to the double-elimination format, a loss will not be fatal for them, and they will have one more crack at it.

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January 8, 2018 06:26PM
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