One of the new teams with old names is about to see the big stage for the first time, the wolf pack from Denmark eager to make a huge splash right away and a memorable debut in front of the CS:GO scene. There are other favorites, but Copenhagen Wolves are definitely one of the wildcard teams. ESL spoke with Jacob “Pimp” Winneche about the qualifier, storylines in eSports and goals for the tournament.
ESL: Congratulations, you made it to ESL One Cologne! How did you feel when you won the final round against encore to secure your spot in the US$250,000 tournament?
Jacob “Pimp” Winneche: I think it’s easy to say that we felt really relieved. This tournament was not announced when we formed our Copenhagen Wolves team, and we all agreed that we would have some summer breaks this year. That made us unable to practice at all for the qualifier, and forced to use stand-ins in every single match in the qualifier itself. With zero practice and a stand-in you can’t really expect to qualify for a tournament of this caliber, but luckily enough for us our individual skill was enough to secure us a spot!
ESL: Kicking out mousesports means you’re part of the reason we won’t get to see a third local team winning a US$250,000 tournament. How do you feel being part of ending that streak?
Pimp: To be honest, that never crossed any of our minds while we were playing them or watching the tournament itself. It’s a shame that there won’t be a local team for the local fans to support, but on the other hand, if you’re not good enough to qualify, you don’t deserve it this time around.
ESL: Compared with what your lineup was at Katowice, it’s almost like you’re the result of the old 3DMAX and Reason Gaming teams joining forces. Both teams finished in third place during the groups – what will you do differently in Cologne?
Pimp: While I can’t speak for Reason Gaming, I know this time is different. With 3DMAX, we had a team that we never really believed in. I think it’s safe to say that we knew our limits from the day the team was formed – even though we tried our best, it never really went well. Besides the fact that we did not have an AWP player nor any confidence due to being not that great in practice, we actually should have made the top eight. We played LDLC and were leading 9-3 on T side inferno. But, as we had done so many times before, we threw away what should have been a secure win.
This time it’s different, mainly because we all know that this team has the potential to become a world top three team. It will most likely not be different result wise as we only have about eight days of practice spent over two months. We cannot expect to compete against teams that have been together for eight months or more, but nevertheless we will give it our best try.
ESL One Cologne is a bonus for us – it’s an event we didn’t know about when we formed the team and set our goals. If we do well, then that’s cool; if not, we’re going back home and will continue practice until we reach our goals.
ESL: With Dignitas we saw a Danish team making it to the semifinals in Katowice. How much does this success motivate you?
Pimp: I don’t think that matters so much for us at the moment. As I said before, we can’t expect to play up against teams with eight and more months together – same goes for Dignitas. The four of them have played together for almost a year, if not more by now, and they’re a really strong team. It’s great for Danish CS that a team like Dignitas can show us what we’re capable of, and we hope to do the same in the future.
ESL: US$250,000 is on the line: how often do you think about that while preparing with your team?
Pimp: It’s definitely a big motivating factor that there could potentially be a big money reward from the work we put into the game. We all have lives, and we all need money to live our lives. We know that we could potentially end up with more than $10,000, and just knowing that gives that extra motivation to practice .
ESL: Once again we’re seeing a lot Scandinavian teams at an international CS tournament. What does your region do differently than the others?
Pimp: I honestly don’t know. There is this old saying that, because it’s cold up here and dark a lot of the time compared to other European countries, we stay in and play video games. I don’t really know if I want to believe in that, but that’s something we’re doing differently, that’s clear. I think it’s more about having role models for the different countries. Swedish talent and newcomers have lots of role models to look up to, while a country like Hungary doesn’t really have any. It might gives the extra edge to play, and the dream of becoming one of the role models you looked up to when you were new to the game. It’s a long shot, but I guess that combined with every other factor which is possible to point out.
ESL: From nine open spots, only three were taken by really new challengers compared with those at Katowice. Why do you think there’s so little new faces at the top?
Pimp: I don’t think that’s ‘little’. Three new teams is a lot on such short notice, and is for me a fitting number. It’s not that easy to break out in CS:GO, as you need a lot of different things to play along. Having them with the ‘old’ teams also adds more history – it would from my perspective as a spectator be a shame if the rivalry between teams gets lost due to too many new ones. I care about the history and the storylines in our scene.
ESL: What do you expect to see in Cologne and at gamescom? Anything you are really looking forward to?
Pimp: Not in particular – we’re there to play a tournament and give everything we’ve got, and when that’s over, we will look at what else there is to do. You hear a lot of things about gamescom, so going to Cologne without having anything planned should be a safe bet.
ESL: Looking at your opponents’ form right now, which teams would you love to play early on and which are those you’d like to face as late as possible?
Pimp: That’s a really hard questions to answer for us, especially because we’re a new team and haven’t played any top European teams with our full roster yet. We don’t really know who our style fits against and who it does not. Again, ESL will be an event that will answer a lot of the questions we and spectators might have, and from that we can work something out for the upcoming events. It’s our first event together, and actually our first group stage match against Na’Vi will be the first against a European top team with the full lineup!
ESL: Thank you very much for your time and enjoy your stay in Cologne!
Find interviews, updates and more on the official ESL One website and get your tickets for the already-sold-out gamescom and be a part of Copenhagen Wolves’ first step towards becoming a possible top three team.