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30 Mar 2013 - 30 Jun 2013
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One of the hottest teams at the moment is the American side of Curse Gaming. The team is one of the finests sides America has to offer and with the backing of one of the most prestigious organizations as of yet, Curse Gaming's CS:GO team will try to put their name up there at the end of next week when they embark on their Dreamhack Winter 2012 journey. Before they jet off to Europe, ESPlanet.net sat down with Curse Gaming's very own Preston "juv3nile" Dornon.
In the interview, Dornon sheds light on the recent weeks in the Curse camp, which have been very hectic to say the least, with Jeff "emong" Anderson fracturing his wrist, their deal with Curse Gaming being signed, the Dreamhack invitation and a line-up to top it off. Dornon also talks about the past, their hopes and expectations, DreamHack Winter, the European teams, their compatriots from Team Dynamic and more.
Greetings. First of all, thanks for taking some time off to do this interview. Most people know that your team is made up by former Call of Duty 4 pros, but for the ones not so familiar with the North American CoD4 scene, could you maybe take us back down memory lane? How did you and the rest of the team get into gaming? When did you decide to start up the team and how much success did you experience back in Call of Duty 4?
All of us started gaming long before CoD4 was released, Ranging from MoH to BF to AVA. Whats crazy is, we are obviously having to use a new 5th for this event due to what happened to emongg, we decided to use Frozt, who I actually played against/with back in MoH:SH!! Small world haha. As for cod4, me, mike, and emongg started playing together back in '08, under the tag Nexus. We actually were considered the best team in NA for the time we did play together, winning the only major lan in NA at that time nerv1 in convincing fashion.
Some of the team's members have also had quite a lot of success in other games such as AVA. Your team mate, Jeff “emong” Anderson actually managed to win the AVA IeSF tournament. Do you think that your experience with the FPS genre in general has helped you adapt to CS:GO?
4 of us have actually had success in AVA IeSF tournaments, mike and skadoodle also won one over in S. Korea, I went to S. Korea once as a NA representative with mike. We have played ALOT of FPS at a top level, so yes it helped us adapt quickly. We adapt to alot of different games, so adapting to a new game like CSGO was probably a little bit easier for us, then say 1.6 players who played the same game for 10+ years playing one way only. We couldn't really take anything from those games and apply them to CSGO, but we have played such a variety of games, that we are able to switch up what needs to be changed rather quickly.
When people first touched upon CS:GO, some of them stated that the game was very similar to the Call of Duty-series. Do you find that to be true? Are there some specific parts of the game which remind you of CoD4? If yes, which?
The game is NOTHING like cod, the only people who say so, are people just trying to find a reason to hate CSGO. If you want to say something is like cod, its something they JUST added and its the death/round end sounds haha. Those can get quite annoying :)
When did you realize that you would leave CoD4 behind and start playing CS:GO on a competitive level and what have you transition to CS:GO been like?
We actually were not playing cod4 before CSGO came out. We had all been playing other games. I was playing wow hardcore raiding with #1 NA guild Blood Legion(lolnerd), mike was playing quite a bit of d3 and maybe some bf on the side. Skadoodle was doing the same and emongg was playing console BF3/halo. We just happened to get CSGO beta keys(me and tm), so I messaged mike and wondered if he wanted to play a bit and just have some fun, seeing if the game was any good. I actually had no plans to switch to CSGO because of the time needed to raid wow, they are both played at the same time of day usually. We managed to grounge of me, tm, mike, skadoodle and played with random 5ths for awhile before jeff got a beta key and decided he would play a bit. This was only a month or so before the actual release of the game. We managed to actually do pretty good, we were competiting against the top 1.6/source teams, so I was like, maybe I can do something with this and decided to quit wow to continue playing CSGO :)
You were officially picked up by Curse Gaming in the beginning of November. How have the first weeks been for your team under the prestigious Curse banner?
Its a HUGE name that anyone that has been in WoW or LoL has heard of and seen how great they really are. For the team itself, the first few weeks have actually been crazy with the change with TM, emongg breaking his wrist, curse has been a curse!! haha, no all that aside, they have been AMAZING, I could not ask for anything better. They got our tickets for DHW instantly and even did a bit extra. I can't wait to see what the future holds with these guys.
How was the initial contact established? Did they reach out to you or was it the other way around? What was your reaction to see them interested in you?
It was actually pretty weird, they were hosting some CSGO King of the Hill tournament, the person organizing it(smokie!) asked us if we would like to play in it. I think we said maybe and he asked us about HMO and if they were a org or not. I said no, it was just a team we made to have a tag to play under. I just said something along the lines of "Why, curse wanna pick us up!!!?!" and it went from there.
Curse Gaming have provided stunning gaming houses for both of their League of Legends teams. Do you know if there is a CS:GO gaming house in the making? If you had the chance to move in together, would you then go for it?
Ya, they have insane houses for their LoL team. Im so jealous of what they have haha. CSGO is not quite up to the standard of LoL and we dont quite have the following the LoL team has on social media/stream, so as of now, no plans. We had tried to get a gaming house together before but things fell through, so if we had a chance again, we would in a heartbeat.
The weeks leading up to Dreamhack Winter have been pretty hectic with players injuring themselves, a change to the line-up and a new organization. How would you describe those happenings and could you just talk us through the weeks?
Well first off, a few weeks before ESEA lan, Zach "TM" Miller let us know he was no longer wanting to play with us for CSGO and that we should find a 5th. He said he would still attend ESEA lan with us, so no worry on that front. We picked up Todd "Anger" Williams to replace him for next season. We ended up getting a invite from DHW and being able to accept because of the amazing support from Curse. So we had flights for ESEA and DHW all ready to go, then we find out emongg broke his wrist......that threw a huge wrench into everything haha. We needed to find a replacement for him for DHW and to see if ESEA would allow us to use a replacement(anger) for ESEA. They said no, so we only had 4 to play with. We were still willing to attend but ESEA told emongg dont bother and to just send them his doctors note saying he actually broke his wrist ect. As for replacing him for DHW, we were able to find a amazing 5th in Carey "frozt" Kertenian who has competed internationally before and done well.
Jeff "emong" Anderson fractured his wrist a few weeks ago. Instead, you will use Carey "frozt" Kertenian as a stand-in at Dreamhack Winter. How big of a set-back is that for the team?
We obviously had to change a few things and we did not have much time to practice. Overall we had about a week or maybe a bit less to get everything in order, learning new strats and for some people, new spots. We actually only have a day to practice with the new patch, because of ESEA lan being Friday/sat/sun, in which Anger and Frozt were attending. Overall though, carey is an amazing player and probably give our team a few more options on what we want to do defensively or offensively because he can also AWP.
Do you feel like that you have to put more hours into practicing now that you are using a stand-in? How many hours have you actually put into the game prior to Dreamhack Winter?
I don't think we had to practice more just because of using a stand-in. We had to practice more just because we needed it haha. We needed to change up alot, picking up todd alone, then add in adding ANOTHER new player, alot had to change. The hours we put in with this 5 is something like, 40 hours give or take.
Have you had the opportunity to practice versus any of the other three teams or have you ever watched them play? If yes, who do you see as the top contender of the three?
We have not been able to play against any of those teams, we watched a little bit of the qualifiers going on, but outside of that, there isnt much we could watch even if we wanted to.
In our pre-Dreamhack Winter interview with Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander of Copenhagen Wolves he said that: "Curse (...) are clear favourites to win our group and i guess they will. They are amazing aimers from what ive heard" Honestly speaking, do you think the other teams' expectations for Curse are justified or do you think that you have managed to scare the other teams simply because of the fact that you came from out of nowhere and became one of the best US teams so quickly?
I think a big thing, like you said, is just that we are the unknown. Whether its justified or not, time will tell. Im hopeful, but we still need to keep getting better. We have work to do for sure.
Curse is one of two American CS:GO teams at Dreamhack Winter with the other one waving the banner of Team Dynamic. What do you make of their chances?
They are a great team and they have been practicing hard. They had a little set back at ESEA lan finals, but I think that will make them play that much harder to prove to everyone they belong. I think they will make it out of their group, from there, its anyones game in a single elim Bo3.
NIP-Gaming are regarded as the favorites by many. Do you share that belief? Who do you think will be able to challenge them?
You can't deny they are the favorites. Everything we have seen in this game, says they are the favorites. I do believe teams can challenge them though, VG obviously is close and teams every day are getting better and better. DHW will be their toughest lan yet I think, 16 of the top teams in the world are going to be there.
How do you think the top 3 will look like once the tournament is over?
Until someone can beat them, you cant put NiP not #1, so
You are flying to Europe on Tuesday. How are you going to cope with the jetlag or isn't that something you which affects you when attend tournaments?
A few of us are going to have 24+ hours of travel haha. I don't know how we are going to cope with jetlag, we have all played internationally, so jetlag isnt going to be a brand new experience for us, so hopefully we deal with it well enough to not be effected at all.
Good luck at Dreamhack. Any final words for fans and followers?
Thank you for the interview, I can't wait for this lan, its going to be amazing. Thanks to Curse for everything they have done so far, thanks to naznoz. Thanks to Frozt for helping us out and thanks to the US players that I know will be rooting for us :) Make sure to follow/like us on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Curse-CS/123042687853632 and at https://twitter.com/CurseCS
ESPlanet.net will be on-site in Jonkoping and will guide you through the entire tournament with videos, photos, interviews, match write-ups and more. Stay tuned!
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