Interview with DIG CS:GO Fe player, artStar
Fri 1st Nov 2019 - 10:34am
Carolynn "artStar" Loquez and the team are finishing up the regular season of ESEA and preparing for the WESG qualifier finals. With the team feeling stronger every day, we reached out to her to know how things are going, the new contracts, the still on-going adaptation to Theia, and their next events.
Hello Carolyn. You and the team recently signed with Dignitas for two more years. How do you feel about the signing and the last two years?
artStar: The last two years together with Dignitas have been really good. They listen to a lot of our concerns, which is really important in a organization, especially lately with other orgs being called out for not listening to their players. We really have a good connection with a lot of the management and that always feels comfortable, because knowing that you have that support and that good communication when going to tournaments is nice to not being worried without anything and just focus on our game. So, we're really looking forward to the next two years with them. Me and the team were just talking how it is nice to have that security for the next two years, so yeah, we're really excited.
Talking about the game, what are your expectations towards the next two years?
artStar: Our expectations are the same, we still have the goal of getting into MDL - that's always been our number one goal as a team, so that's still something we're trying to work towards. Right now, we're kind of having a rough season in Main because we still have some adjusting that we're doing, so we are really focusing on our immediate goal right now, which is getting into playoffs in the current season.
We haven’t talked since April – how have been things going for you in these last few months?
artStar: Really good actually, it's good to be back in California with my friends and family. I'm just adjusting to being back here, because I was separated from my family for a little bit. It's really nice to be surrounded by the people that I love because it makes it easier for me to focus on my gaming, so I'm really excited about that. Especially because I'm really close to EMUHLEET, so me and her hang out every week. I can go over her house and we LAN, it's also nice to have our coach there too. It's almost like a mini-bootcamp every day for me, I really enjoy doing that.
You're now on a good streak to reach playoffs. How are things looking on that department?
artStar: As I said, we had a really rough season start, we're still trying to find our groove with Theia, even though it's been a couple months with her. I think when we're playing against teams, we get to see how all the things we practiced on are working in matches which is where most of the pressure is compared to scrims. Seeing how things are playing out, we'll go back and watch the demos and see "ok, this isn't working". Inferno, for example, we're seeing that some of the things that we were practicing in scrims feel like they were working right, but in matches they weren't working the way we thought they would, so we made some adjustments there.
But yeah, I think that the adjustments we've been making on all the maps and kind of finding Theia's place and, you know, see how she works with milk, rain, or me... it's all different, it changes all the dynamic completely, so I think finding where everyone fits the best is where we're getting right now. We're a lot closer than we were when the season started.
You had 4 losses in 5 matches mid-season. Did those made the team bring any changes to the team game and match plans?
artStar: We made some changes where people are playing in certain spots of the map, nothing role-based, I'm the lurker, we still have our entries and Em's still the AWPer, none of that changed. But as far at who's working together, we made some adjustments on that. Our playstyle, our map-pool, everything's different than it was two years ago, or even last year. It's something that everyone has to adjust too, but it's nice that everyone's making that effort together.
You said that you were still trying to find the perfect place for Theia - how do you see the team’s evolution since she joined?
artStar: It's been a night and day difference since she joined. I think Theia has the perfect mindset for this game and for being a good teammate, she makes changes when she needs to make them if there's something that's not working, the coach has 1-on-1 times with her, gives her little pep-talks and she'll make that change immediately. It's nice to have someone that's like that, because then it inspires the rest of the team to want to work to be better as well. When I see Theia putting in the work, that inspires me to also put in the effort. We kind of feed off of that with one another and it helps everybody get better which helps the team grow.
Changing topics, when will your fans be able to see you play next?
artStar: We just had two qualifiers for WESG. In the first one, we didn't do too well, but the second one we fixed and did everything the way we wanted - we performed the way we wanted to perform, basically. That one went really well, we're now in the finals of the regional qualifier, that will be November 3rd. If we win this qualifier, then we get to go Montreal and play against the team that wins the Canadian qualifier and whoever wins that goes to China. Rain already out here in California, milk will be flying out here soon, so we will be doing a bootcamp/LAN before the qualifier, because that's just how serious this is to us, we really want to win and go to WESG.
Nerfing the SG has been a request from most of the community, including pro players, in the last few months. What are your opinions on the current state of the gun and the meta around it?
artStar: I just recently started using the SG. I know, everyone talks about how crazy it is and how good of a gun it is, but I just wanted to stick with using the AK, because I always had a feeling the the SG was going to be nerfed so I didn't want to use it and have it being nerfed and then having to go back to, you know, using the AK, so I just avoided using it. But I've been using it recently just to kind of get a feel for what it's like now that there might be a nerf coming up and it's definitely really OP. It changes the dynamic of the game completely.
AWPers can't hold the same angles, they can't play the same way as they normally would when you have Terrorist running out with scopes and they're just 2-shooting you. Like, it's insane how accurate the first two bullets are and basically being able to run-and-gun with it. I definitely think it needs nerfing. I agree with all the other players. I don't know what it would take for it to balance out the game back again because as you can see with the AUG, even though they changed the fire rate and the economy side of it, people still use it as frequently as they did prior.
Would you prefer a price increase or a stats change?
artStar: I think a price increase would be good just because of the way the money system is now too, makes it a little more difficult too... let's say you're on a losing streak, you can't rebuy the SG every time, you have to go down to the AK and even the Galil maybe. If you want to sacrifice some grenades, maybe you can get the SG, so I think the price increase could be beneficial, but it's hard to say until you see it in play.
To finish it up, do you want to leave a few words to your fans?
artStar: Yes! I just want to say thanks to everybody who has been supporting us since the start of our careers, since the start of our Team Karma days. I was actually just speaking with Em and rain about how long we've been teammates and it's awesome to see the same people that supported us then are still supporting us now. I just want to give them all the love that I can. Thank you so much!
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