Despite being a late bloomer, Audric "JACKZ" Jug has played with a catalog of impressive players since he was signed by G2 in 2018. Kenny "kennyS" Schrub, Nikola "NiKo" Kovac and Richard "shox" Papillon are just a few of those, but recently he has embarked on a new endeavor in TSM with young talents like Cai "CYPHER" Watson and Madalin-Andrei "MoDo" Mirea.
Alongside Valdemar "valde" Bjorn Vangsa, JACKZ is one of the elder statesmen of this team, and together they hope to guide the team to the first CS2 Major in Copenhagen come March.
After the beginning of the project, BLIX got the chance to sit down with JACKZ to discuss the early days of TSM, the tactical makeup of the team and the transition to CS2.
Note: This interview was carried out before the release of Rémy "XTQZZZ" Quoniam from TSM.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: The TSM project was finally announced recently after months of rumors, how are you feeling about being on the team?
JACKZ: I feel really good in the team, the guys are really cool and we all have a hard-working mentality. It's exactly what I was looking for in building a project from scratch.
BLIX: How are you guys viewing your results at the moment? Is it still a case of figuring out how everything works?
JACKZ: You could say we've been in a honeymoon period, with six wins in just one month of training against very decent teams. Then came four defeats, the first of which I think caused us to lose momentum and confidence. The teams had more data after a few games, so it was more complicated for us. But I think that's normal, because when you build a team from scratch, there are bound to be weaknesses, and it's up to us to correct them quickly and avoid falling into a negative cycle of defeat.
BLIX: I’ve heard CYPHER is secondary calling, can you give insight into the structure of the team?
JACKZ: As in many other systems and teams, the three big voices are the IGL (valde), the AWP (MoDo) and the playmaker (CYPHER). This is also our operating mode, but that doesn't mean that interz and I are mute. If we have a crucial idea or piece of information during a round or for a subsequent round, we can have the same impact on decision-making as the others. Everyone brings something to the table.
Of course, there's also XTQZZZ and Lambert, who oversee all this and help us enormously, especially on the technical side, as well as having a view of mistakes that can be repeated and being able to correct them quickly.
BLIX: MoDo, compared to the other names on the team, is a relative unknown, what does he bring to the team? How much potential does he have?
JACKZ: I think he's very good in the early rounds with his proposals and his different picks. Of course, he lacks experience and in the mid/late rounds, so he still has plenty of room for improvement. That being said, I have no doubts about his development because he's a really good kid who wants to progress.
BLIX: What are the hopes and expectations for the team?
JACKZ: I'm not going to beat about the bush, but this team was created to qualify for the next Major, so our main objective is to be there in Copenhagen.
BLIX: How are you feeling about CS2 and how the transition to the new game will affect the team?
JACKZ: I'd say it's 50/50 for me at the moment, the tapping sensation is very pleasant. The spray, unlike many people, I think it's more a question of getting used to it and getting the hang of it. The recoil remains the same as CS:GO from what we've seen, but the Source 2 engine is different, so there's bound to be a slight difference. As for tickrate and servers, I don't even know how to define it, but there's clearly room for improvement, as it impacts so many important factors specific to CS, such as movement and hitboxes.
If I had to rate it now, I'd give it a 7/10.