After an energetic successful start to the 2017 DGL Masters, the xTc Gaming CS:GO squad has climbed the rankings to sit neck and neck with top scorers eN. Energy eSports – CS:GO so, with only a few rounds to go until we wrap up leg one, Telkom Gaming caught up Johan “xiN” Willemse, the captain behind this new powerhouse team, for his thoughts on the new year and their fresh start.
With four victories under the belt, and currently in a draw for first place along with Energy eSports, xTc has proven themselves quite the force to be reckoned with.
So, without further adieu, let’s dive into the lengthy interview with the captain to see how things are going on behind the scenes. (There is also a great deal of things to learn from the squad for any new upcoming teams).
Telkom Gaming (TG): Your team has had some excellent performance this year, the difference between 2016 and 2017 is like night and day. Did something spark a new fire in yourself and players?
Johan “xiN” Willemse: “Honestly, 2016 was just a very difficult year for the team, I personally had a lot of internet problems when I went to university, which led to a lot of frustration, lack of motivation and roster changes because of it.
Bringing Spazz (Mark Jebens) into the team has also honestly done such wonders for the team. I think it’s fair to say that he brought the “fire” back to the side. After the disappointing performance at DGC 2016, we re-evaluated what we were doing, what our goals were and why we were doing this.
I think this self-evaluation was really important and led to some changes in roles and players that were very needed. I have never been more confident as confident in a team as I am now, we all have the same goals and mindset. This is something that really does get overlooked, if you and your team are not on the same page regarding what you want to accomplish, you are just wasting your time.”
TG: With Pulse Gaming as this week opponents, what do you think going up against them? Any preparation, strategies and demo reviews you need to look at?
Johan “xiN” Willemse: “It should be a straight forward match for us, we have played them before and won quite convincingly. Of course, we are not underestimating them, they have some phenomenal players, but something is missing in their team. I have never played with one of them in a team, so it’s hard to pinpoint their problem. I know Absyn puts a lot of time into watching demo’s and studying the game, but they lack something else.”
TG: On the topic of preparation, do you still believe in watching your opponents games? or focusing on your own game?
Johan “xiN” Willemse: “Yes and no. I use to be a huge believer in counter stratting and watching demo’s of your opponent, and I still think you can gain from doing it, but my mindset regarding it has changed quite a lot.
It honestly boils down to who you are playing. To give you an example, at the previous LAN event where we played DC, we knew they were going to pick Cache. We knew exactly what their default was, and what they do when they get a pick at a certain spot on the map, but we still got destroyed.
Sometimes, if you are to focused on the enemies game, your own game takes a hit. In a team like DC where you have three plus people that can call, there is honestly not that much you can learn from demo’s since there are so many different minds that dictate what’s happening. So yes, it’s important, but focusing on your own game is more important.”
TG: Your roster seems extremely solid and well built as of late, any secrets you wish to make public?
Johan “xiN” Willemse: “It’s not a secret, but it’s something that really gets overlooked. I think the most important thing that I have learnt as an IGL (In-Game Leader) in xTc, is that half of the battle is the mindset you have when you are going into a game and when you are playing.
Being a captain is much more than having knowledge about the game and making calls. Hyping up your players, making them believe in themselves and setting the example is more important than any smoke execute or CT setup. I think this is the key to our recent success, we are not suddenly doing something completely different and now we are beating everyone. Its honestly just the general mindset in the team which has improved SO much.”
TG: Do you think your team can stop the eN rampage that is currently going on?
Johan “xiN” Willemse: “If we keep working hard, I know we can beat anyone in South Africa. But this will require a lot of dedication and hard work, we are making progress every single day. Are we on the Energy Esports or Bravado Gaming level right now? Probably not, but you can be damn certain we are working towards that.”
With the spirits kindled and the team working hard to compete against the greatest our country has to offer, only time will tell how the squad holds their own in the coming rounds of the DGL Masters Division.
Some of the other teams are still trying to find their ground and with only five rounds left in the leg time is slowly growing shorter. xTc have set themselves up for victory but, from now on, things are only going to get tougher for the squad.
xTc – A Force Awakens if you were looking for any movie references.
Did you know that you can play CS:GO in the DGL just like xTc?
The DGL is South Africa’s largest online gaming league and is open to everybody.
Join the DGL for free and you could win cash and prizes playing CS:GO.