We talked to David ‘prosus’ Hesse from FNATIC Rising about his team, the WePlay Academy League and the biggest talents in CS:GO.
The WePlay Academy League saw some of the best young stars in CSGO in competition. Mouz NXT, Young Ninjas, Fnatic Rising and BIG Academy were the top four teams. Mouz NXT won the $88,000 tournament after a strong performance against the Young Ninjas. Fnatic Rising had a strong showing and finished 3rd in the tournament. We caught up with Fnatic's prosus to talk about his time on the team, role models and the WePlay Academy League.
Your new team, Fnatic Rising, was announced on fairly short notice at the start of the WePlay Academy League. How did your move to Fnatic come about and how much time have you had to get used to each other as a team and prepare for the league?
Prosus: I was contacted by Fnatic on Twitter after they saw I was listed as a free agent. We had 2 practice days to discuss the basics like positions and callouts. Everything else, we worked out during the season.
Were there interesting offers from Germany that would have appealed to you as well and would staying with ex-ALTERNATE aTTaX have been an option as well? Why did you finally choose Fnatic Rising?
Prosus: There were other things I could have done. In the end, I chose Fnatic because it made the most sense to me, since Fnatic is a huge organization that I've always found special. Furthermore, I was confident when I found out that Golden would also be working on the project and I assumed that his help would have a positive impact on my development as a player. In retrospect, I can definitely confirm that and that it was the right decision to go to Fnatic. Staying with the aTTaX organization was not an option for me at first. But as luck would have it, FNATIC contacted me when they heard that we had been dropped. Playing with Krimbo, krystal, ScrunK and Panix was something I would have done again but I felt it was time to take a new step. Of course I'm very grateful for the time with the guys and the chance they gave me. I was able to learn a lot from them, like shot-calling, which krystal was already doing at a Tier 1 level. Since we are all relatively inexperienced players in FNATIC Rising, I was able to help Kevve a lot with calling because of the experience I gained.
What can you tell us about your teammates? Did you have contact with them before Fnatic Rising and what are their individual strengths?
Prosus: I had no contact with anyone before. The only one I knew was Peppzor, because I had already played some FPL-C with him. I think their strengths are that they are individually very strong. For example regali and Peppzor have a lot of firepower. Kevve has worked a lot with the main team as an analyst before and I could definitely learn a lot from him as well. What I can say about kst is that he tries very hard to make the team better, sometimes even at the expense of himself.
"regali and Peppzor have a lot of firepower. Kevve has worked with the main team as an analyst before and I could definitely learn a lot from him."
At Fnatic Rising you play in an international lineup. More and more teams in professional Counter-Strike are relying on this. What advantages and disadvantages do you see in an international lineup?
Prosus: Generally speaking, I think that there are many more players who can perform certain roles at the international level than at the national level. You can see that in German teams like BIG (although gade speaks German), Sprout or even UOL. All three teams have a non-German, in the last two even English is spoken. I think for me, one advantage has been that I have much more freedom here in the international team compared to my previous teams. Furthermore, the respect that the players had for each other is completely different, because they didn't know each other yet. In Germany, it feels like everyone knows everyone else, which makes for a completely different atmosphere in my opinion. The disadvantage, however, is that communication is a bit more difficult. Of course, each of the guys can speak very good English, but it will very rarely be at the level of the native language. So it's always easier to have productive discussions in a full German speaking lineup.
Which players stood out to you in the Academy League? Which players do you still see a lot of potential in?
Prosus: Of course, everyone knows by now that m0NESY is a very good player. From BIG, Aqua and glaVed surprised me positively. I knew that both are good, but they have convinced me through the season. The same of course goes for JDC and xertioN, who had a very strong season and even stronger playoffs. I think both of them have the potential to play at a high level in the mouz main team or another team at some point. From my team I would mention everyone of course, but you can specifically mention regali and Peppzor, who for me show a very big potential to become world-class players.
What does your everyday life at Fnatic Rising look like? How much time do you invest in CS:GO and how do you individually prepare for a new season or an important game?
Prosus: Our schedule looks different from day to day, but usually I always get up at 9:00-10:00 AM, have breakfast and prepare myself for the day. I prepare stuff for the pracc, watch demos, play DM, etc., so that I can start the day productively. At the moment our practice starts more towards the afternoon, because one of our teammates still has school, so we can always start a bit later. Usually it then looks like we have an hour and 30 minutes of theory, then 30 minutes of warmup for everyone, two praccs, an hour break, two praccs and debrief open end. For me, every game is an important game and so my preparation usually stays the same. Most of the time it looks like this: I look at the opponents to understand how they play. I like to know what they like and what they don't like, that's all I need. I try to look at myself and not change my game much.
Which players are your role models? Who do you like to learn from and which player have you learned the most from in your CS:GO career so far?
Prosus: I don't have a real "role model". I always try to watch demos of as many different players as possible to find out how they play certain positions or handle situations. At the end of the day, I don't want to be as good as player X and imitate him perfectly, but I want to be a better version of that player, because nobody is perfect. However, there are many players I could learn a lot from because I had the chance to get to know them personally. As already mentioned, kRYSTAL is one of those players. You often read, "wow kRYSTAL low stats blablabla" but many people don't know how much he sacrifices for his team and that for him his individual success is not nearly as important as the success of the team. Through my time at BIG Academy, I was also able to get to know tabseN and gob b. These two also taught me a lot. Not only on the server, but also off the server. I also owe a lot to my first "real" ingame leader, Anhuin. You could talk with him not only about CS:GO issues, but also about personal topics, which is why he was and is not only my IGL, but also a very good friend, which I think is not self-evident. The same goes for faveN. He also always helped me when I had questions. For example, he showed me things on the server how he handles certain situations. I was also able to talk to him about a lot of personal stuff and he was very often able to say motivating words to me.
"Many people don't know how much kRYSTAL sacrifices for his team and that for him his individual success is not nearly as important as the success of the team."
At the WePlay Academy League, a total of seven German players, including yourself, reached the final. Can we talk about good promotion of young talent in Germany? What has improved and where do you still see a need to catch up?
Prosus: I think the promotion of young talent in Germany still has a lot of room for improvement, since there is currently only one that is doing it "right" and that is BIG. If you look at the international field, there is a big difference and much more competition. Also problematic in my opinion is that the same players always get the chances. In many Division 1 teams, they just keep recycling, but where I think there are better alternatives. ONYX Talent has made a good move here in my opinion by giving five players with no Division 1 experience the opportunity to prove themselves.