C9 Tarik: "it's all mentality. I think CS is about how you think and feel in the moment"

By Alex Yue
Feb 01, 2018

Is there any skin or inventory item that means particularly much to you?

Well I had—I don't have it anymore, but long story, I don't have it— I had a Turkish Delight AK, which I had for probably three years, and I have another skin, which maybe I shouldn't say. It's a knife, but—or it's a Glock, my Glock name right now. I'm not going to say what the name is, but if you go look and you translate it from Turkish to English, you can find out what it is. I won't say it on camera.

We've seen only 2 of the last Major's Legends advance to the playoffs. Why so many upsets in the group stage?

Maybe the top teams might not be in their best form, because we just came off a break, and these other teams might have been practicing while we were on break. The top teams obviously travel so much that they don't have time to take off, while these other teams may have been practicing the entire time leading up to the tournament. So maybe they weren't in form and they weren't playing their best, and I think that has to do with the reason there were so many upsets.

If you weren't playing CS, what other pro in the scene do you think could fill your role?

I think probably karrigan. I think FaZe and us are somewhat of a similar roster. We have a lot of talent, and it just comes down to putting it all together and playing as one unit. And I think if he took my spot, maybe he could fill in if everyone liked him.

Going back to the group stages, you started off 0-2. As the IGL, how did you hold your team together to come back and 3-0 to make Legends status?

I think it's all mentality. I think Counter Strike is a lot about how you think and how you feel in the moment, and we knew backs were to the wall, but we stayed positive and level headed, and it comes down to just taking it game by game. You can't think about oh, we're 0-2, we lose one more we're out. You have to think about it as let's win this game, look forward to our next. I didn't want to dwell on our negativity too much and just try to stay focused on what we had coming up.

How did you feel having to play maps 4 and 5 on the same day in the group stage?

Like I said, we took it good game by game. After our first game, we started to prepare for our second. We knew who our opponent was after the draw, and we just went into the room, Soham pulled out his laptop, and we started reviewing, talking about what we should do, and we were confident at that point. After we got one win under our belt, the momentum started to roll, and I think everyone was feeling it more. So once we get that confidence, that motivation going, that's when things start to turn around for us.

You've had a long CS career playing on NetcodeGuides, mouseSpaz, CLG, OG and now C9. What did you learn from each team along the way?

I think my experience going through each team and learning a lot about how not only to play the game, but about my teammates, and personalities, and how to deal with problecms, and how to go about improving, and how to practice the right way. I've been with so many different players that everyone has something to offer in their own way, and if you take it as a learning experience, you can bring only that much to your next team, right? So from every team I've brought stuff onto this one, and I try to take everything with me because it's all valuable stuff.

Does CS need a league or more structure, or are things alright the way they are?

I think Valve has to you know put their you say what they want to happen. I think they have to have more control over our scene. I think they should set a schedule and say at this time of the year, there's going to be a major. At this time of the year, ESL can run their events. And if they controlled it more, it would be much more organized for the players, and also be better for the growth of the scene.

What was your greatest moment of 2017?

My greatest moment of 2017 is probably joining Cloud9, right? I think joining Cloud9, we've had a lot of success here, and I think it's been a good run we've had, and hopefully there's a lot more to come.

Alex Yue profile
Alex Yue
Alex is a former competitive Counter-Strike 1.6 player, cutting his teeth in the CAL leagues on teams like DDY and Offspring. Since putting competing aside, Alex has doubled down on Esports, producing content for organizations like compLexity Gaming and Machinima. Now at Blitz, Alex is helping spearhead our CS:GO content.
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