There has been a strong buzz in the NIP camp about Maikelele. Maikelele, the former NIP player has been helping out his former teammates while Pyth recovers from his hand injury. The Swedish team has had a lot of nice things to say about Maikelele and most of them revolve around his maturity and aging as a player.
Recently Dexerto got a chance to talk to NIP.Xizt. They asked various questions which included topics about Maikelele :
Your squad have gone through a recent (temporary) roster change, bringing Maikelele in for Pyth. How does that change the team dynamic?
The main change in game is that Maikelele likes to play with the AWP more than Pyth, so we’ve had to change a few roles in that sense.
Outside of the game, Maikelele has always be a funny guy and great to be around. He’s definitely different to when we teamed with him in the past though, he’s matured and it’s great to see such a positive change.
It was revealed that Maikelele will stay in the squad for the upcoming world tour. Could this be a permanent switch?
Honestly that’s not something we have looked into or discussed, but we will see what happens. At the moment we’re getting updates on a daily basis from Pyth and we’ll see when he can return, and take it from there.
You’ve not competed for over a month at events since your Starladder win. How does it feel watching events take place that you’ve chosen not to be part of?
It’s always hard to watch events from home and just watching the stream. As a competitor you always want to go there and compete and play against the best.
The decision was made by the team though that we wanted to take some time off and didn’t want to get too burned out with such a busy schedule ahead.
Which teams have impressed you during the events you’ve watched from home?
I’ve seen a big improvement in the dignitas squad over the last month. Other than that Virtus Pro played well in Bucharest and New York and obviously NAVI look great with their roster change. The NAVI line up will be one to watch, they’ve got five very strong individual players on the team.
What have the team worked on during your time off?
We took about 10 days each for a personal break, but after that we spent 2-3 weeks practicing really hard, including going over new strategies. We’ve got a long tour of tournaments ahead, but we’re looking to be 100% ready before we go.
You’re going to be competing on back to back weekends over the next month. As someone who attends events frequently. What are your top tips for being away for so long?
I think it’s always important to be comfortable when you’re in hotels. If you can get a room to yourself, because sharing for a month with someone else isn’t great.
I really like the setup they have planned at the Epicenter in Moscow, where we’ll have a room setup with PC’s that will be available 24/7 for us to train and play. I know more events are starting to do it, like E-League, which is great because you want to play as much as possible as a pro player.
Which is the most important event for you on the tour?
From the look of the lineup, the Epicenter will have the best teams in attendance and I’ve seen what they did with the DOTA2 tournament, so I can’t wait for that. E-League’s is crucial to reach the playoffs and of course, everyone wants to win the ESL Pro League. It’s difficult to choose one.
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The new Inferno has been teased in the BETA. What are your thoughts and the teams thoughts on the map?
We all went on the server and checked it out. We all really liked the changes, because it’s a lot better than the previous version. It’s more open and you can’t hold one spot down for 50 seconds with one smoke grenade anymore, especially with the sky boxes.
As a team we haven’t actually played it in a competitive environment, so we’ll see how it plays.
The Esports scene has exploded in 2015 and 2016. Why do you think it’s suddenly become so popular? Have you noticed more fan interaction online and in public?
We certainly have a lot more fans in the last few years, and especially in Sweden because NiP is so huge. One big improvement I’ve seen is player accommodation and how we travel. Everything is much more professional. No more sleeping on floors.
NiP are now attracting major sponsors such as Betway. Does that put pressure on you as a team to perform?
I think all of these big companies like Betway getting involved is a huge positive. I was really excited to hear about the deal because they’re a huge brand and they’re associated with traditional sports like football.
I think the deal helps us all in esports. Pressure wise it doesn’t add anything more to have such a big company behind you. We have a great team.
NiP are often the subject to criticism from a number of analysts. How does the team respond?
They need a job so they’re going to say what they’re going to say. We don’t listen that much to the critics or what they say.
We believe in what we do and we have a setup in our organisation where there is a lot of people who understand CS. We’d rather listen to ourselves and the other people we trust.
You’re 25 years old now. How long do you think you’ll continue to compete for and what can you see yourself doing next?
You see a lot of players like Taz and F0rest who are older and still make a huge impact. I don’t really know an age or timeline when I’ll stop. I’ll just stop when I feel like I can’t compete anymore and I don’t feel like that yet. I’m taking it year by year and seeing what happens.
Once I retire I want to stay in esports, hopefully I can stay in NiP or do something similar. I’m not really the analyst desk type so I’m likely to be more behind the scenes working with teams.
A big thank you to all the NiP fans out there. Thank you for the interview.