We caught up with Marcel “hyped” Köhn during BIG’s run in the EU RMR B for a chance at qualifying in the BLAST Paris Major. Although they had some shaky series throughout the event, hyped was in high spirits. He talked about his transition to the main team, playing his first LAN event and more.
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: Congratulations on making it to the 2-1 pool. This game was pretty close in the beginning, but you came back and closed it out. Can you just talk me through the game and what allowed you to make this comeback work?
Marcel “hyped” Köhn: We played Anubis on the first day against iNation and we learned a lot from it. We had an 11-4 lead, I believe, and they came back and it was like 16-12, 16-11.
So, we rewatched the demo and checked our mistakes, why they caught us off guard, and why they exit killed us often and we fixed that. It worked pretty well against 500, so it worked out.
BLIX: This is your first Major circuit and I believe your first LAN event with the main team. How has this whole experience been for you so far? Do you maybe feel a bit overwhelmed by everything or does the team help you to shake off the nerves?
hyped: Yeah, it’s a crazy feeling. One year ago, I joined BIG Academy and now I’m here, so I’m pretty glad and super happy to be here, but of course, sometimes it’s a bit [too] much to learn. I have learned a lot and I am learning every day. I have learned new things and new stuff and things I never even had thought about since joining, so it’s crazy.
Sometimes I miss the easy shot here and there because I’m like “This can happen, this can happen, blah, blah, blah” but overall I’m super happy. We’re playing well right now, we had rough months I would say but then we had a boot camp and we practiced so fucking hard for this. I think we deserve to be here, to be 2-1, and I hope we get the three!
BLIX: You mentioned BIG Academy. What do you feel are the main differences between your time in the Academy and the main team so far?
hyped: I mean, of course, the players! It’s an honor to play with tabseN [Johannes “tabseN” Wodarz] and gob b [Fatih “gob b” Dayik], to hear them talk about CS, what they feel when they play CS. These are legends, not only in Germany but [in the] whole of Counter-Strike.
So, yeah, just a different feeling when you play with them than when you play with the Academy players. But of course, all of these Academy players are my friends, we’re really close still, it’s just those small [things], like little details. I think that’s the last 10% that makes a difference.
BLIX: So it wasn’t a hard transition for you, coming into the main team?
hyped: Not like call-outs and nades, it was pretty easy because we have the same playbook in some way.
But yeah, of course, all the micros, decisions... like when I do something and tabseN says “No don’t do this!” and then I’m like “Okay.”
BLIX: You and Karim “Krimbo” Moussa played with each other in BIG Academy for a little while. Do you feel like it was easier to come into the group thanks to knowing him beforehand?
hyped: Yeah, I believe so. But of course, when we’re in a boot camp with the Academy guys we see tabseN, gob b, and all of the main team guys, so we see each other quite often.
Of course, it’s a different feeling when you have a good friend on the team already, so it’s easier to step into the team and have a good flow.
BLIX: The BIG lineup has been anything but stable in the past six months, with players getting sick and stand-ins here in there. Do you feel some pressure knowing that if things don’t go well something can happen again, or do you feel this can be the start of a stable lineup for BIG?
hyped: I think it’s more on me than it is on BIG, the organization. If I play well then, of course, I’m going to stay. If I suck, they have to find a different player and replace me.
I think it’s not like being [under] pressure, it’s for myself or any player, you put pressure on yourself and that’s the main thing. I think if I play well, BIG will play well and everything will go to plan.
Credit: BLAST/Michal Konkol
BLIX: BLAST Paris will be the last CS:GO Major. Do you have a little bit less pressure than the other guys, knowing it’s just the first one for you and you have many more to come? How’s the feeling in the team, the goals and objectives you guys have?
hyped: I mean of course for me it’s kind of a big deal, because I also played CS for a long time, but for tabseN, I think he’s been playing since 2012, [so] from beta to CS:GO. For him, the game has a huge place in his heart, so it’s really important to him that we’re here, and of course, it’s the last CS:GO Major, so we’ll give it our all.
Everyone plays so fucking much right now, every team. But yeah, CS2 comes, and I believe times will be good as well.
BLIX: This is your first tier-one LAN event, so what kind of expectations have you set for yourself and the team from here on out?
hyped: I think the most important thing every player has to do is do what the team needs to win. I think I am doing quite well at this right now, I struggled a bit on Anubis this time, but I’ll make sure to look into it with the team.
But yeah, it’s a great experience to be here, like the studio, the hotel, the practice rooms, it’s just cool! It’s sick to be here, and I just enjoy my time. The most important thing is to qualify, it doesn't matter how, 3-2, 3-1, just to qualify!
BLIX: Valve released the CS2 beta recently. Have you been able to play it yet?
hyped: Yeah, I had access actually and I only played one short matchmaking, is it called? But now my game crashes every day! When I start it my game crashes so I can’t play, but yeah it looked really good.
I think they have to fix the time when HE grenades go into the smoke, and make it bloom, I think it’s a bit too long but I’m sure they will figure it out. From graphics, Overpass looks insane, from the graphics side it’s got a really big upgrade.
BLIX: Do you think the transition into CS2 might be easier for you, being so new to the tier-one scene, compared to other players who have been in the top tier for longer?
hyped: I think it doesn't matter, because the game itself is still Counter-Strike, they didn’t change it a lot I think. Maybe slightly but in the end, it’s still Counter-Strike. I think all the top players who are good right now will stay good and it won’t change that much.
In a way when you have a guy like gob, he’s going full dark mode looking for smokes and new ways in CS2, so I think where teams grind a lot, do a lot on the server and test stuff out, they will have an edge over some teams.
BLIX: There will still be CS:GO tournaments, probably IEM Cologne on your home soil, while EPL will likely be on CS2. How do you think you guys will divide the time between CS:GO and CS2?
hyped: I don’t know! I think after the break, maybe in the break, everybody will start playing CS2, because nobody knows when it will be released and everybody has to get a good groove in it. I think as soon as the player break starts everybody will be going a little bit in CS2 and start the beta.
But yeah, I don’t even know when CS2 comes out so I have no clue when you could play all your maps and all your officials. We’ll see!