This weekend at the ESL Pro League Finals, I had the opportunity to interview and talk with many of the players and coaches. Being a huge OpTic fan, when I saw they were going to be doing interviews I was stoked and knew Reddit would love to interact. Unfortunately, Mixwell needed to fly back early, but all of the OpTic guys were really laid back and had no problems with being interviewed. Talking to guys on and off camera, you could really tell they wanted to succeed and they were putting in the effort to do so.
RUSH acknowledged his individual play was not at its peak and contributed a lot of the success he had at the end of 2016 to Stan’s system and how well things were clicking for them then. Off camera, we talked a little bit about their search for a 5th and there just wasn’t anyone willing or able to IGL for the guys. Interesting enough, he said if Dazed had magically become unbanned during that time they would have loved to play with him.
NAF-FLY is quiet but he is a really cool guy, I’m positive if he ever wanted to build his own brand and become a personality, he could. I expect once things start clicking as a unit you will only see him have more superstar performances.
Jason gave a great interview and gave a lot of great insight into how he feels he fits into this current OpTic lineup. He loves the opportunity he has been given with OpTic and is working hard to make the most of it. I thought it was important to touch on the criticism the guys receive from us, the fans, and especially since Jason has been the target of most of that. It definitely affects the guys and in his response, I think he gave a very real and truthful answer.
Tarik was really laid back and just reiterated what the guys had been saying. I cut the part where Tarik talks about Hazed because the audio was horrible, but he talked about how much Hazed has helped them tactically and staying focused mentally. For a little while, Tarik took a lot of criticism for his play on social media as well and you can tell by his response that a lot of hate these guys get really does keep them from coming and interacting online more often.
Overall, my biggest takeaways are in game the guys feed off emotion and are high energy players. Once they get rolling they are nearly impossible to beat but one or two mistakes can tilt and derail the OpTic plow. They were all open to the idea of having a sports psychologist/ mental coach and saw the benefit in having one. All of the guys were pleased with the progress Jason is making and are excited to start this string of tournaments coming up. A boot camp does seem very likely for the guys this go around, we will just have to wait for the official word.
I added a few clips of loWel, Stanislaw, and Smithzz as some of the questions and answers related to Optic.
Keep an eye out for more interviews coming from ESL Dallas in the coming days, also follow me on twitter and Twitch at CodyB_tv for more!