Rory “cryths” Ursell is one of the most well known names in UK CS right now, and he makes his return to IEM Kettering in 2023 alongside a Shuaib “shoobie” Saddique-led shushgg. shoobie‘s mix managed to make a statement and take some names last time at EPIC.LAN 37, which resulted in a top four finish.
On Friday morning, shushgg went head to head with eMasters on Anubis and suffered a narrow 16-13 loss, despite heroics from cryths in the form of a 1v5 clutch on the first pistol round to kick off the match.
UKCSGO took the time to catch up with cryths and discuss their match against eMasters, his qualification to the RMR with Viperio, and the differences between mixing LANs and playing as part of a team.
To start off, new year new you. Back to back EPIC.LAN winner last year, are you going to win 3 in a row this year?
I hope so. But realistically, I’m happy with top six. Top six, or top four.
Does this mean that you’ve given up on winning?
Well… the streak is over. I want to hand it over to someone else. I’ll lay off for a bit, and I’ll come back in a year or so.
As you are now officially “retired”, how does it feel to play CS in mixes rather than as part of a team?
It’s so much more fun. Less pressure, less effort, I’m coming to this LAN with something like 30 or 40 hours in the past 2 weeks. Half of them are from the RMR qualifiers, and I’m just buzzing. There’s no pressure, and we get to slap some teams around. But, we just lost to eMasters so…
It was a close game, but do you think eMasters were the favourites to win this matchup?
On the basis of the map, yes. I know they’ve been praccing Anubis for around a week or two. I don’t know what their opinions on the map are, but we talked about it for maybe half an hour on an offline server and just sent it. But to be fair, I think it was more of a test to see how we play the map rather than something for the future – so like upper brackets, lower brackets etc.
As a player who is also “retired”, has shoobie put work into calling on Anubis?
No, that was actually his first official on the map. We all kinda chipped in really, so it was a good experience. We know a bit more about the map now, so we’ll use that later. Even the contact points and aim fights, you just have to understand them a bit more.
Do you like Anubis as a map?
Yeah, I like it. I think it’s a good map, it’s better than Mirage, get rid of that map because it’s shit. But no, it’s good. I think there needs to be work done on some bugs and stuff, like the water, you can just hear everything from the water when you walk into it. But overall, it’s a good map.
Bringing it back to the match against eMasters, it was a close loss. 16-13, did you expect it to be so close?
Yes and no. It depends how it swayed really because we’ve never touched the map, we touched it for only half an hour, but we weren’t expecting much. We just want to get more experience on Anubis, so I’d say it probably should’ve went the way it did.
Since you played with eMasters at EPIC.LAN 37, did you have any ideas of how they’d try to play the map?
Halfway through the half, yeah. I think we just winged it to start with, we used momentum and confidence and it helped us to make a good start, and then we kind of just stopped comming and lost confidence in the second half.
Seeing as you’ve mixed a lot of the past LANs, is that one of the biggest downfalls of these mix teams?
Yeah, I think people just become a bit frustrated. I mean we weren’t frustrated, we just lost confidence. But in most scenarios, yeah I think they just lose confidence and hope fairly quick.
To bring it back to the RMR which you qualified for with Viperio, how does it feel to have a chance playing against them in playoffs?
Well firstly, I don’t even know if I’m playing with them at the RMR. It depends on work really, how much they want to prac. I mean if I don’t go I think they’ll go with Ping, which is obviously understandable, but I’d honestly love to go. I think it would be so fun, the media days and everything, it’ll just be an amazing experience.
I haven’t been on holiday in like five years, so it’s a free holiday as well. They’ve been talking about bootcamping at the Kinguin facilities in Krakow, so I really want to go. I’ve spoken to my work, and they’ve said I might need to take 4 to 5 weeks off, so it’s just their choice really. I’ve not heard much else about it though.
You’ve previously mentioned that you left CS because this was a job opportunity you couldn’t really pass up, right?
Yeah, I mean my job’s good, right? I can’t quit my job, but if I do play and if we do get into the next round, and if Ping doesn’t come back, if Viperio want to go with me, then happy days. I’ll come join them, it depends what Ping is doing. Ping is a good fit for them, but I don’t know how they play right now.
Playing at the RMR is a once in a lifetime opportunity. When you began subbing for them in the open qualifiers, what were your expectations?
I got a message from MMS or Gizmy, he just asked me to play the qualifier and I was like “alright, I’ll do one or two games.” When they messaged me I was playing Minecraft for like 12 hours… I’m not even joking. I’ve literally been playing Minecraft straight. Then we made day two, and I was like “alright, a few HLTV games, I’ll take that.” We somehow did it, like all the odds, every game wasn’t in our favour. Two 16-14s for upsets which led to us playing PGE Turow, we should’ve won 2-0 but it was fine. That was the easiest team we could’ve got in the next bracket, and then we got a really weird SAW which didn’t turn up at all. Everything went in our favour.
Just as you’ve mentioned, you beat #23 and #44 teams SAW and 1WIN in the qualifiers. Does that take the pressure off of you and make this event easier?
No, I don’t think it matters too much actually. Really, I think the pressure is more on Viperio probably. I think even with Ping, even though I don’t know how he’s feeling, I think they’ll be fine. But no, there’s no pressure on us or anything.
What about some of the other teams title contenders here, like Coalesce – do you think they’ll suffer from the pressure?
No, I think Viperio will win the event – I think the lack of LAN experience will catch up on Coalesce. It’ll be a close final, 2-1 I’d say?
So you think they’ll still make it to the finals?
Yeah, it’s a tough one. But if they did reach the finals, it’d be something like a 2-1, very close.
Let’s bring it back to you. You’ve won back to back EPIC.LANs, you’ve made the RMR among other achievements: do you have the drive to achieve bigger and better things or are you just here to upset teams and enjoy yourself?
I’m here for both. I love the game, I absolutely love the game. Sometimes I hate it, but I can’t put the time in as much so everyone’s just going ahead of me. I do still kinda want to prove them wrong. But my love for the game is still there, I just can’t play as much as I’d like to. That’s all.
When you’re constantly praccing 5 days a week compared to playing the game off and on in mixes, do you feel like you play better one way or the other?
Well, it’s been four months since I’ve been in a team. I felt most comfortable in EKO, right at the end. But since it’s been a while, I’m kinda out of the meta. The meta has changed a bit with all the M4s and stuff like that, I still feel comfortable and confident. I think I play equally the same, really.
We know we can expect to hear you from the other end of the LAN hall this weekend, can we expect to see this at the RMR as well?
Oh yeah, of course. They’re all getting it, trust me. If I do go, I think we play against NAVI in the first match. I think out of everyone at the RMR, I’ll be shouting at deko from 1WIN the most.
Do you have a reason for setting your sights on him?
He’s just an arsehole, really.
Brilliant [laughs]. Is there anything you’d like to add?
I want to talk about the mix. I want the title as “shoobie is underrated”, I want to big him up. Since he’s “quit the game”, he’s actually gotten better at the game. He cares less, but he also puts the time in when needed. He’s focused more on just playing the game for fun, and he’s just gotten miles better. He’s got zero pressure and he’s playing for a blast now, and honestly he really is just so underrated right now.