From 2019 to 2022, Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski was building a reputation as one of the best upcoming AWPers in CS:GO. Despite this and his lengthy tenure on OG, in mid-2022 he was benched in favor of Abdul "degster" Gasnov ahead of IEM Cologne 2022
Now, after a year on the bench, mantuu now makes his return with BIG. Ahead of his debut at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2023, Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie of BLIX sat down with mantuu to discuss his new team and whether he feels he has a point to prove with the German organization.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: You’re finally back on the server, how happy are you?
mantuu: I am super excited to be back. I was talking to a lot of teams for six months and unfortunately, nothing came to fruition until I had a talk with BIG. There is nothing I miss more than team CS, which is why I'm super pumped to get started with the guys.
BLIX: It’s been a while, are you worried there will be an element of rustiness?
mantuu: Of course, naturally, there will be an element of rustiness, especially with a new team and a new playstyle. It's all about getting the first official games out of the way and grinding as much as possible. Playing a lot of officials and practicing with my new team will help me once again to settle into tier-one CS in no time.
BLIX: Do you feel like you have a point to prove with BIG?
mantuu: At the beginning of my break maybe in my head, I thought I had a point to prove or I was a little bit angry, but as time went on, and especially now, that’s not the most important thing to me. I want to feel comfortable in my team, I want to play alongside players that trust me and I know through this environment results will naturally show through time.
BLIX: You’re stepping in to fill the shoes of syrsoN, does it add pressure to come into a team knowing you’re replacing their star?
mantuu: Yeah, syrsoN is an amazing player and one of the top AWPers in the world. I know my own capabilities and how strong I can be. I had a lot of peaks in my three years in OG, which is why I am confident and I don’t put added pressure on myself.
BLIX: This isn’t the first German team you’ve been on, what’s the difference between playing on a German team and an international one?
mantuu: The first big thing is the mentality and culture. I know how Germans think, operate and how they play CS. The biggest thing I like is the family-oriented philosophy they have and the trust they have for one another. With international teams, there are a lot of cultural clashes and small problems along the way. With a team being from one country and me being a person who understands German teams, this minimizes the many problems we would otherwise face in the future.
BLIX: BIG have been in and around the top 20 for a while without really threatening to go further, what’s your hope and expectations with this lineup?
mantuu: First and foremost, understanding how we want to play, the strengths of each player and getting comfortable with each other. I really want to push towards the top ten with BIG and I am really confident we can do so with time. I want to grind as much as possible, enjoy the process and contest for trophies in the future.