Coming into EPIC40, the most recent success that Raptors EC have had was found when they beat Endpoint to claim what would turn out to be the final ESL Premiership trophy. After joining Raptors in June, Arkadiusz “ifan” Dabkowski has played a big part in their success. UKCSGO spoke to the happy-go-lucky ifan who was positively beaming about being on LAN at EPIC. He also spoke about CS2, having new teams on LAN, and why he is optimistic about his team’s future.
You’re coming into this event having won your previous LAN, beating Endpoint to win the final ESL Premiership. What are some of your personal goals and team goals for this event?
Considering this event is not as stacked as it previously was, I’d say the expectation is just to come and win it, especially considering the previous event. The form coming into it has been pretty good on and off, but to be honest we are expecting to win it.
This EPIC is a bit different from the last event that you played in the sense that CS:GO is gone and CS2 has come in. How are you feeling about the new game?
It’s nice in the sense that towards the end of CS:GO you were just kinda doing the same things over and over again. There wasn’t much room for new innovation, new strats, stuff like that. This game has come in and changed the smokes, all kinds of stuff have changed and it has given room for new ways to play, new tactics. Implementing the breaking smokes and stuff like that, I think it’s a breath of fresh air. Having said that, the game is far from being polished. There’s massive peeker’s advantage, the AWP doesn’t feel as useful as it did in GO, and we’re still getting used to the changes in the economy. The momentum is way more important than it was in GO for example, the games are way harder to claw back and come back from if you go 7-1 down. You almost feel like the game is over at that point.
MR12 is a big adjustment, do you think there should have been economy adjustments when they made the switch?
Yeah, in the previous game you could go 7-1, 7-0 down even and you could win the half 8-7, and have the game in front of you. You could even lose the half 10-5, here when you’re 7-1 down you can only play for 8-4, 9-3. If you lose the pistol that’s it, the game is over.
In terms of the feeling of the game, have you noticed any difference in playing online versus playing on LAN today?
Not by much, I wouldn’t say it’s a massive notable difference. It does definitely feel better, the lack of ping is good. It doesn’t feel like that much better, like it’s night and day. It does feel better, but not by that much.
Obviously, you’re unbeaten in groups so far with one game left, looking forward to the playoffs, who do you think are your biggest competitors for the trophy this time around?
I’d have to say K10, really the only other team here at the LAN. We are expecting to play them in the final, if we do get the chance to play them it would be a really nice game, and I think they’ve got a good chance to make it to the final. There’s obviously one other team, not surprising, but I’m happy that there’s a new team that have come out of nowhere with five players that haven’t been in the scene before in Soul’s Land. I think that’s really nice that they’re here and they’ve come to the LAN and stuff. I could see them doing quite well, I’m not sure I can see them going to the final, but it would be nice for them if they did. The other team mix I should say is the Astroo and L1nk mix, I think they could surprise people and place pretty high.
Moving away from EPIC, what are you hoping to achieve as a team this season?
Thanks to winning EPS we’ve managed to get quite a high rank on HLTV which has allowed us to get a few invites into things. Obviously we’re playing in Advanced, we missed out on Advanced Playoffs by one position last season so we’re really hoping to rectify that and make it this time around. We want to qualify for any event that we’ve been invited to, I think we’ve got like CCT qualifier invites, not sure if I’m allowed to say that, but obviously qualify for the main events. The main goal would be to play on HLTV consistently, if that makes sense, rather than these one-off events such as EPIC for example. If we win this LAN it’d be nice as it would give us a couple of points in the scene.