Dignitas' dev1ce and Dupreeh: "We don't really fear them [Titan, Virtus.pro] anymore"

Victor spoke to Dignitas' Peter 'dupreeh' Rothmann and Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz about their position in the scene after a win in the FragBite Masters

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Between the giants of CS:GO there are a few teams that are coming up as legimate competition on the international scene. Among the likes of fnatic and Virtus.pro the Danish superteam Dignitas has been slowly working itself up to the top five in the world, remaining somewhat under the radar despite winning their first top-level event recently, beating all the competition to take the FragBite Masters title.

Peter 'dupreeh' Rothmann and Nicolai "dev1ce" Reedtz are two of the players of Dignitas. Dupreeh has been with the team from the start, while dev1ce is one of the most recent additions to the team. Together the answer some questions regarding the current situation and position of their team within the current, volatile CS:GO scene.

Your team's creation has been somewhat more tumultuous than that of the other greats in the scene so far, teams like VP, Titan, NiP and fnatic have been far more stable. How have you experienced this 'growth' of the team from line-up to line-up?

Dupreeh: It's been somewhat a weird journey. We have had so many different line-ups with so many different type of persons and in-game players. At Dreamhack Summer, last edition, we had a great line-up consisting of me, device, fetish, cajun and wantz - a team that worked really good social and in-game too. Wantz and cajun decided to quit for some time and then we had to go through more roster-changes, were we decided to play with smF and socN on a temporary basis.

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I have actually only felt comfortable with a few of our line-ups, which is the one I mentioned earlier and the one we have today. We have learned a lot from all these roster-changes and hopefully this is going to be the last one in a long time, as we can feel that our team-play is getting better and better from every practice and every tournament we attend together. We are definitely growing in the right direction, and now it's all about sticking together and keep working on our mistakes.

dev1ce: Well, I played with FeTiSh & Cajunb (And some of the other players we played with – 3k2, Nico, wantz) in CSS before we switched to CS:GO, and I was a part on starting this lineup January 2013. So to say that there has been a trial period, would be unfitting. Even though I’ve been in and out of the team a couple of times, it didn’t feel like a trial period, when I rejoined the team.

Our lineup has indeed been tumultuous, you could say that, I would say most of our changes are somewhat inevitable, because of the various reasons at that time.

You seem incredibly solid as a team, and that despite having more roster changes than most teams that are at the top currently. You are a relatively young team without much of the resources that other teams do have, such as gaming houses and allowing for full-time commitment to CS:GO. How have you compensated for that?

Dupreeh: It's all about dedication and putting up a schedule that everyone can live up to. We might not have a gaming-house, but we play just as much as the ones that do. The only benefit they get, is that they learn to play on LAN together a lot more than we do, and whenever they are going through tactic sessions etc, it's easier to understand and simply work out new things as everyone is gathered.

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We have agreed to play Monday-Thursday Sunday every week, and everyone knows this. This is our job and not just a hobby anymore, so everyone has to step up and be focused. Of course if something important is coming up, you are allowed to take a day off, but everyone on the team knows, that our practice schedule is extremely important and shouldn't be interrupted too much. I still see this as a full-commitment to CS:GO. Approaching major tournaments, or just important ones in general, we would play every day of the week, eg. EMS and Copenhagen Games.

dev1ce: I don’t really know how we compensated for that, we just play as much, as the rest of the scene does. We are probably the only top team, that don’t bootcamp. I played with FeTiSh since 2012, and I’ve never been at a bootcamp.. :-D

We are a young team, which means that me, Cajun, xyp9x & dupreeh still go to school, and get study support. That means we are not forced to work in our spare time and that’s mainly why I think we can put in some extra hours at some point.

What are the points you're looking to improve at this point in time, and how do you think that progress is compared to the teams you're facing off against?

dev1ce: Since this is probably one of the longest times, we have held a lineup ;-D, we are finally starting to fix small issues on maps, instead of going through all maps again, with a new player. I think this will help our progress a lot, since we can focus more on new things, and what other teams do.

Dupreeh: We look to improve our overall game. Not only the tactics and teamplay, but also each individual player's skill. Where some players only show up for practice and play, we have agreed to play a lot individual too. We also love the game, so we spent numerous of hours playing it. I would say that our strongest element currently is our individual skill level. We have players that are all capable of turning rounds around, and doing crazy stuff whenever its needed. We have some great tactics too, but we are still lacking a few things in terms of creativity, timing and teamwork, which we work on to improve.

Bootcamping is a problem for us because everyone lives in each part of our country, even though Denmark is so tiny, but exams and school also plays in the equation. We don't see it as a major problem, but it would be nice to be able to bootcamp at some point, at least before another 250k dollar tournament.

If we take a look at the other teams mentioned, we have really strong lineups and some of the best individualists in the world. NiP for example, in my eyes, is a team that's incredible strong individually but also has some great tactics and ideas. However, I still believe that their strongest element is their individual performances and capabilities to work together as a unit. They know a lot about their opponents and they have great ideas about how to play against certain game styles, so that's definitely something that's giving them the edge in a lot of games. We look to be able to do the same in the end - at least, that's our goal.

It seems like the spotlight of CS:GO's scene shines far brighter on the other, more household names. Is this fair in your view? Being in the spotlight is a double edged sword, too, would you even want that kind of attention, debate and scrutiny surrounding your team?

Dupreeh: That's how it is to be good at something. I mean, in the beginning it was so exciting every time there was a news post about your team, or myself, but now it's just so common. I got a lot of friend invites on steam, and I accepted them all, but now that I get 20 a day, I simply has to decline every single one. It's really common, but nothing that bothers me. I mean, regarding the spotlight, its again quite common that the more known names, just as football players like Ronaldo and Messi gets more spotlight that other "equal" players. That's just how things work.

dev1ce: I think it does that in any sport/game to be honest. I think it is fair, since every player needs to work to get big attention. I don’t think it benefits a team/player that much, other than of course the fans and support, which gives you motivation all the time.

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Going into EMS Katowice you were one of the dark horses and you eventually ended 3-4th losing to Ninjas in Pyjamas. How did that result sit in the team? What did you take away from your run in the tournament, especially so shortly after the DH Invitational went rather disappointingly for you?

dev1ce: Well, before we went off to the tournament, our main goal was to go out of groups, since we had a really bad DH Invitational. When we were drawn against HellRaisers & NiP it was with mixed feelings, since HellRaisers kicked Titan out of the tournament, the day before. When we won, I think we didn’t really expect more, and a win vs. NiP would just be “over performance”. After the event, we were still disappointed in the team, because we couldn’t adapt to NiPs play style, again.

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Dupreeh: We knew that our performance at the DH Invitational went extremely bad, and no one on the team played up to their standards. Everything simply shattered and nothing worked out for us. We knew that we could do better, so we back to our PCs and simply practiced our asses off to improve for EMS, which clearly showed in our performance. Ending 3-4th at such a big event is always amazing, but we really wanted to go further, but NiP was in the way, and they literally stomped us and put us where we belong, which is around top 5 in the world right now.

We know we can perform better so that's what we are going to show in the future. Right now we are filled with confidence and motivation especially after winning Fragbite Masters Season 2 beating the majority of the teams in top 3 in the world, which felt amazing, even though it was online. Now we just have to convert that play to LAN, and we should have a decent chance of making an impact at CPH Games!

Although your finish at EMS was solid the real "surprise" came more recently when you won Fragbite Masters. Throughout the tournament your staple matches were Inferno and Mirage (combining the maps you had a record of 8-0), while struggling on Nuke and Dust2 (2-4). Why is that, and why do you think teams didn't veto those maps against you?

Dupreeh: Nuke has always been a strong map for us on the CT-side. If we get the momentum going and get the important rounds, we are really like a wall. Usually going 14-1, 13-2, 12-3 against most teams. We have had problems on our T-side though, due to a lot of factors, that I am not going to state here, but keep for myself and the team, simply because I don't want to give away too much just before Copenhagen Games. The same kind of goes with dust2, but it's a little more like going 10-5 on the CT side for us, whereas the T side, again, is really a struggle for us against well prepared teams.

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Inferno and mirage has always been strong maps for us, and still remains that way. We can pull off a various of strategies and executes while people are feeling confident in taking the aimduels. We can put up both strong T and CT sides on those maps, and that's what makes the maps good for us! It was extremely important for our confidence and teamspirit to win our first real title in CS:GO, and the first on in 2014 as well. We are aiming for a lot more now, that's for sure! It's going to be tough but it's doable!

dev1ce: Well, to be honest mirage wasn’t really our strongest map, in previous lineups. FB Masters had a kind of weird map pool with 6 maps, and because we had a good finish at last FB Masters, we were going into almost every game as highseed. That means we have 2 vetoes, and we could veto train & cache every game. :-P

For most other teams in the scene people could point out a specific play-style that they wield, however for your team that isn't so clear. How would the both of you characterize the style of play that you have? What are each player's roles and how does it all tie in to become a whole?

dev1ce: To describe it in short. we do standard plays, get map control, execute midround-calls – and win? Sometimes, at least :-D We have a problem though, since we don’t have any “main-awper” this means that I'm awping in Inferno, FeTiSh is awping T-dust2 and nuke, - cajunb CT-dust and Mirage. But then again this creates diversion, which I believe is good for the team.

Dupreeh: We have a various of roles on our team, even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes. Most importantly, as people usually also "complains" about, is that we don't have a designated AWP-player. It's really great to have a AWP-player on the team, in terms of first peaks and such, but it's not that important. Cajun and device usually get the the AWP on our team, because they feel most confident with it, where as myself, Xyp9x and Fetish rely more on rifles and close quarter combat.

How do you match up against the other members of the top on CS:GO because of your play-style? Who do you prefer to play from a tactical point of view, and who do you think your match up against less well?

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Dupreeh: I think that the guys we fear the most is NiP, because they are so strong individually and really strong tactic-wise as well - so yeah, them for sure! Titan and VP are kinda same. They have sick individual performances and really good tactics, but for some reason their play style fits way better to us, so we don't really fear them anymore. They are though really tough opponents! The rest is pretty random in my opinion, teams like fnatic, LGB and HR can always play really good and surprise, but they are not as strong in my eyes, as Titan Nip and VP.

dev1ce: Hmm, this is a tough question. I believe the only team we really struggle with, is NiP. They seem over-confident against us, like in “their” time. The other teams I feel like we can beat on any day even though Titan come up with new things all the time.

Usually, for Danish teams, it's quite likely keep reforming and joining same Danish organizations, however recently we've seen you and other teams branch out and house themselves in organizations from other countries, such as Reason, n!faculty and Dignitas. What do you think the reason is for this and how did it come to be specifically in your case?

dev1ce: The reason we played in Danish organisations is probably because it creates some kind of security, knowing that any problem with an organisation would be solved in Danish court. Moving out of Denmark, organisation wise, was mainly because we disagreed with Wolves, and there is not really any other options in Denmark. We are really glad Dignitas signed us though, as we knew them from Source times!

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Dupreeh: The best Danish organization is without a doubt Copenhagen Wolves, and we have had their time with them now, and it was pretty good, but we wanted to try something else, that's why we decided to part ways, as we couldn't agree on contracts for 2014.

Dignitas seems like the best organization I have every played for - really appreciate being here. Its great! There is also another Danish organization called Tricked and they have grown quite a lot the last couple of months, so they might be worth trying one time, and that's probably why a team has already joined them! I dont think we will leave Dignitas in the future though as this is perfect for us. I dont know if Copenhagen Wolves will pick up another squad either. Might be - but for now I think they focus on League of Legends.

I think that a lot of Danish teams have tried their luck in Danish organizations, and that's why we are trying to go for foreigners instead. I also think that organization across the world has a lot more to offer than Danish ones, but maybe that will change in the future.

What's it like having stickers of your own team spread out across the scene to support your own organization? What is your opinion on the stickers and would you perhaps like to see the skin amount increased with team specific skins for weapons?

dev1ce: It’s definitely a good idea, and I’ve seen a guy on HLTV.org called “BATISTUTA” making these types of skins really cool. I would like the idea of this, so you can show your support in other ways, than stickers.

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Dupreeh: I think that stickers are quite cool - but only the team stickers, the rest seems kind of useless and without any special thing attached to it other than some kind of a name. I think that it's good that people can now support their favorite teams by putting stickers on their guns though! Something they should probably keep up with for the future!

However, I'd really like to see some kind of signatures added to the game. For instance, you could get GeT_RiGhTs signature (like a sticker or something) and then put it on your gun. And the actual signature has been done by him, so it's not just a computer animated one and something a Valve developer has done, that would be kinda cool.

Thanks for the interview - last words are yours :)!

Dupreeh: Thanks for asking me to do this interview, it's been a pleasure! I would like to thank Team Dignitas and all of their sponsors for helping us out so much, it's the best! I would like to thank my teammates for being awesome, also a shoutout to our beloved manager Jehan, and our coach Steffen 3k2 Markussen! You guys are great! Last shoutout goes out to all of my fans and supports, you are amazing, I would not have come this far without you! Thanks to my family and my girlfriend for always supporting me, you are amazing! Thank you!

dev1ce: A huge thanks to all Dignitas supporters! And thanks to Dignitas’ sponsors, which are Intel, HyperX, Qpad, Alienware, Creative SoundBlaster, bequiet, SCAN, iiyama, Western Digital, Multiplay & Twitch.

Photo credits: Dreamhack, Peter Rothmann, Fragbite, SK-Gaming, ESL

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