René TeSeS Madsen, a rifler from Heroic, talked with Players Editor-In-Chief Alex Kharchenko about mental strength, chances of winning IEM Dallas 2023 and CS2.
Some time passed after BLAST.TV Paris Major 2023. Did you understand what went wrong at major?
Many things went quite wrong in semi-finals. We didn’t really show up at our normal level. It happened on stages before, in big arenas and in important games before. This time it was once more like that. We tried to come over with new solutions and tried to prepare how we going to fix that and be more open about how we feeling and trying to talk about what makes you nervous or what’s on your mind when you are going to a match like that. I think it helps to talk about it.
Do you think it was more about psychology and mental strength? Because of the arena and loud French fans.
I think Counter-Strike is always about the mental part, who’s there and who’s not, who’s able to focus more, and how’s just better on the day. It’s a mental game. Obviously, we should beat GamerLegion 9 out of 10 times but at that time it was their game and they played better than us. Really unfortunate. Of course, it hurts but now we moved on. We are in the next tournament and ready to redeem ourselves.
How do you assess your chances at IEM Dallas? 65% of fans believe at their pickems that Heroic will win this tournament.
I think our chances are really good. People believe in us and it just makes us feel more confident and it should because we are one of the most consistent teams in the world. We are always making deep runs in the tournaments and we just need to get over this finish line. I think IEM Dallas would be a great step towards coming over a hurdle that we struggling so much within the semi-finals or even finals. To win this tournament will be very nice for us.
Are you enjoying staying in the USA? It’s completely different, compared to Europe.
Yeah, it is. Everything is much bigger and food is with much more calories in it. The hotel is great, the weather is great, people are very polite and always want to talk. I haven’t played in front of a North-American crowd before. Casper is definitely hyping it a lot. It’s very noisy and I can’t wait to experience it tomorrow.
Your next opponent will be Mouz. What can you say about their game?
We played against Mouz in the group stage and won quite comfortably against them. They obviously are a great team but they have been struggling in the past months and haven’t been doing that good results. They can turn up at any moment. They won Astralis in the semi-finals. It’s a very good result. They are here for a reason and we can’t underestimate them.
The tournament schedule is quite tight. How do you find physical and moral strengths to constantly play on a high level?
It’s definitely about doing things that give you energy. In our team, we love to spend time with each other so it’s not that we are losing energy travelling so much. Of course, you lose energy being out of home and away from family but when we are out together we do many things to have fun.
For example, playing football, and going out to restaurants when we have our off days. So we get to hang out together. It’s not all about CS because energy is going to drain out of you.
You mentioned football. Who’s playing in what positions?
We are not playing matches like that. We are just juggling with a ball.
When do you think CS2 will be officially released and are you practising it with a team?
We are not practising CS2 with a team yet. It doesn’t really make sense when it’s only Dust 2 that’s probably not going to be in a map pool. We have no idea when it’s going to come out. Some say it’s pretty delayed and it’s not ready to be released yet but who knows? I have no idea when it will come out. I think it can either come out in the summer or in the winter.
How much time professional team as Heroic need to have a smooth transition between these two games?
It’s hard to say how much time we need. I think every team needs a couple of months to find out the meta and everything. I think you have to play at least 3 tournaments to see what everyone is doing.