HAVU xartE: “I think this was inevitable. Doto was very harsh on his teammates, which led to this.”

The start of the new CS:GO season is an incredibly exciting time for practically all Counter-Strike fans, but for... Fragster | 27. February 2023

The start of the new CS:GO season is an incredibly exciting time for practically all Counter-Strike fans, but for pro players, it can be also an incredibly busy time. Intense schedules, stressful atmosphere, and adjustment to upgraded rosters can leave their toll on the teams, just like in the case of HAVU Gaming.

The Finnish team started the new season rough. Two roster changes, a series of underwhelming results, and a failed attempt to qualify for the BLAST.tv Paris Major RMR all led to the inevitable: the team’s IGL Joonas “doto” Forss decided to bench himself, leaving fans wondering what was the reason for this decision and whether this might help to solve their current struggles.

To find out more about the reasons why the IGL decided to step down from his role and what’s next for the organization, Fragster spoke with HAVU Coach Mikko “xartE” Välimaa, who also revealed to us what went wrong for the team at BLAST.tv Paris Major Closed RMR Qualifiers, and what’s the current situation on the Finnish CS:GO scene.

Inevitable roster change

HAVU started the season with big roster changes, adding Banjo and ottoNd. How are the new players getting used to the team? How are the new composition and chemistry working? 

xartE: Banjo and ottoNd both are very calm players, and they both have a good understanding of the game. Of course, Banjo is the least experienced guy in our team, but I think he will learn very quickly. Overall these changes hopefully will give us more energy and consistency.

Speaking about roster changes, IGL doto recently decided to bench himself from the active roster. Can you share what lead to this decision and what kind of impact you expect this to have on the team? 

I think this was inevitable. We were too focused on the results and after every single game, everything needed to be fixed. Problems everywhere. It is not a healthy way to think as a team. Doto is very good at understanding the game and has the passion to be better, but also he was very harsh on his teammates which led to this.

Although Airax will be standing in for the time being, no official replacement have been announced yet. Can you give us a little peek into what’s next for the team? Is the organization already in talks with somebody? Any suggestions for who could be a good pick for the team?  

Timing was very bad with all the changes we did, but it is what it is. For now, we are playing all the tournaments where we are. We will see how these games go and later decide if this is the line-up we will go with.

Stressful atmosphere

Moving on to the recent performances, how would you describe the current atmosphere within the team? HAVU’s recent attempts to qualify for Paris Major RMR didn’t end up with success, and you also left the CCT WEU Series #1 in 9th-16th place. What’s the mood in the team? 

It was very stressful for the players, everyone wanted to qualify for the RMR. We have been playing almost every day for the RMR qualifier, practice and official games. So intense schedule, stressful atmosphere, and also all the player changes have taken their toll on everyone. But a small break will hopefully do the trick for us to reset.

What do you think was the main reason for HAVU’s struggles to prevail in recent tournaments? 

As I said previously, just the chemistry between players and some attitude problems were the biggest problems for us.

What about the goals for the coming months? Are there any specific things that you aim to work on? 

With all the changes, we just need to start practicing more as a team. We have our system and foundation ready. Now we need to get all the players on the same page.

Not enough opportunities in Finland

CS:GO has been lately thriving both as a game as an esport, reaching heights in player and viewership numbers, as well as in number of CS:GO teams trying to establish on the scene. What’s the current situation on the Finnish CS:GO scene? Is there enough opportunities for aspiring teams? 

In Finland, we have a lot of players, young players. The biggest problem in Finland is that we don’t have leaders. No one is teaching others. Also, some players tend to have very big egos and blame others on the team, instead of looking in the mirror. Hopefully, at some point, one team or more can bounce back and boost the scene.

And what in your opinion could help to improve the growth of Counter-Strike esports in the country? 

For some reason, there are only few lan tournaments in Finland, and if there is an event, only a few teams get invited. There aren’t many opportunities for younger players to get more experience, so definitely more events.  

Last question, if you could change one thing about CS:GO, what would it be?

Just let us buy both m4s in game.