After coming into this tournament as a dark horse, ONE HAG has been able to string together some great results whilst also giving us great content on their streams. UKCSGO’s Dafydd Gwynn caught Shuaib “shoobie” Saddique after his team’s first playoff match-up to talk about his ONE HAG mix, the benefits of attending LANs and the prevalence of racism in Counter-Strike. To give context to those who might not be aware, shoobie was subjected to a racist remark by a Counter-Strike player which he shared via twitter right before this interview.
You guys have had quite a good run, what were your expectations coming into the LAN?
Coming in to the event bes had always joked that were going to the win LAN, which I don’t know if that’s happening. I think our mix is a funny one where we’re kind of dark horses, you don’t look at our mix and go “yeah they are top two” or whatever but we are playing decent CS, we are performing well like nobody is majorly slumping or anything. So anything is possible at a LAN.
You weren’t able to go to EPIC, does it feel good to be back on LAN?
Yeah, I mean it’s the main reason I came to this one, to be honest. I’m not sure 100% but it may be one of the last LANs I’ll come too as a player, so I was thinking I wanted to go to the last EPIC as that so I thought I might as well come to this one. It’s close to me because I’m from Birmingham, so it’s just around the corner from me.
Are you retiring?
No not 100% but it’s more like I’m focused on other things. I’ve been working on an app that is CS-related, so I’m a software editor by day and I’ve been working on an app which I’m willing to put more time into than CS. Which is why I’m not sure playing-wise if I’m going to carry on or not.
So obviously you were meant to go to EPIC with the ITB sponsorship, has that now transferred across to this?
It should do, I actually have forgotten to message them about it but they did, to be fair to them, reach out whilst everything was happening during EPIC they said “look whatever the next event is that you are going to, let us know and we’ll sort you out still.” I’m assuming it will still carry over I just haven’t really chatted to them yet (laughs).
Obviously, we have been asking people about cost of LAN, it can cost a lot of money to go to LAN. How important is it that ITB are doing that sort of thing?
Hugely. I’m not trying to sound big-headed but thankfully I’m in a place where money isn’t too much of an issue for me, I’ve got a stable job and everything like that right? But for players who are coming up in the scene, a lot of them are students, maybe they’re in college still or they are in University and you know how Uni life is, you don’t really have much money for extra stuff other than drinking (laughs). For players like that this sponsorship opportunity is a major major help.
Would you say it’s worth going to LAN for those players?
Um yeah I think in general I think going to LAN full-stop is good. I think that players that are on the rise, or not even on the rise. I think LAN CS is so much more fun, I enjoy it so much more. You have the atmosphere the screaming and shouting. The higher stakes, even though its just a UK LAN, the pressure. If you are a player looking to move up in the scene, these LANs are how you build networks. You can be the most talented player in the world but if you don’t network and don’t know people you wont get anywhere. If you play really good you will get noticed.
You have been in the scene a while now, are their any players that have caught your eye like that?
The obvious answers are like AZUWU and that so I don’t want to say any of them. I mean somebody I have been saying to a few people, from my mix is Karrar. Because he’s a really raw player, he’s very inexperienced and makes some mistakes but in raw aim he’s really talented and like he has good attitude, he has a lot of positives. It will take a while but if he keeps grinding and had somebody like an proper IGL or coach that could teach him, he could be on the rise. AZUWU is the obvious name, ReegaN has become kind of stagnant something about him, he just needs to gain consistency if he can get consistent he will take the next step up.
Speaking of your mix, something that has been a main narrative in the scene for a while is the lack of AWPers, you are playing with wfn who’s considered the best AWPing talent in the scene. What do you think his ceiling is?
He’s very, very good. Like I rated him before this LAN but playing with him I’ve got even more of a appreciation for him. He has good skill and awareness and the thing that surprised me the most about him is he has great composure. He is more inexperienced than a lot of other players but he’s so calm and that surprised me.
Something that I just want to kind of end on, is this racism encounter that you tweeted about this morning. Did you want to speak about that?
So for context because I have seen a lot of people ask if it was that a LAN, was that at LAN it wasn’t on LAN, I doubt someone like that would have the confidence to do say that on LAN. To be fair, well I shouldn’t say to be fair to the guy I don’t know, he has tried to apologise to me privately. His mates still kind of putting sarcastic replies to my tweets so I don’t know how genuine that apology is. The thing is its not the first time, like for me and other people have their experiences but i have had it multiple times. Like I have literally tweeted about someone else doing basically the same thing, and it like happens again and again. It’s surprising to me because you think in this day and age, not even from a being offended point of view but from like a brand point of view. You would think people would be more clued up and realise something like that will destroy your image and you will get no opportunities and you will get what’s coming to you if you act like that.
Would you say there’s prevalent racism in CS?
Oh 100 percent.
And in UKCS?
I don’t know about UKCS, I haven’t experienced it from UKCS ill say that. I will say to be fair there is, actually in recent times it has changed, there has been a underrepresentation. The player are has been majority white, which isn’t a negative or positive its just a statement but as of recently it has changed. I think UKCS and the UK in general, like there is racism in the UK but I think the younger generation we are more open and mixed and I think that bleeds into CS.
Is there anything else you want to mention?
Not really I guess on iseries they really need to fix up. Like I will say this admin John he has been better communication wise, but even small things like yesterday waiting for the playoff bracket. He’s gone to a pub quiz before generating the bracket that people could go look at, the bracket was up at 3am. Like I understand they are here for a good time as well, I’ve admired a event before i know how. It is. You have to have a bit of, a bit of like decency and consideration for the players. The server issues at that aren’t necessarily the greatest look.
Second thing to mention, I’m working on an app, so when I make that app I will be tweeting about it and if anyone is interested in a beta code let me know in my DM’s. Just saying that now ahead of time (laughs).