We spoke with Team Falcons rifler, Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt, at the BLAST Paris Major 2023: European RMR A to ask how things are working out with Alexandre "bodyy" Pianaro, his thoughts on the new CS 2 beta and more.
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: So, you’ve been with this French lineup and team for a while now, after your stints in international teams such as MOUZ and OG, and a small period standing in for DBL PONEY. Do you feel more at home and comfortable being back in a French team?
Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt: I think a big part is that you can create chemistry better with the group, because you have the same background, you have the same nationality, you have the same references and everything. And communication is also a big part where it’s easier to set up plays, to do things together, like on the fly or whatnot. I think that those are the big advantages, but that’s pretty much it.
Like outside of it we’ve just known each other for a long time for the most part, and it’s just about bringing the best Counter-Strike, really, whether you’re playing in an international team or here. It’s quite the same to be honest.
Bringing bodyy on board
BLIX: You brought in bodyy from HEET and he has previously IGL’d, the same as you. I’m a little bit curious, how do you divide the role between the two of you? Do you have one set IGL or do you split it depending on maps and situations?
NBK-: Yeah, so I’m 100% leading with everything we do, and he brings a lot of input in how we build the game. It’s a big part because he has different ideas, and so I think the way I see it is that the more ideas we have for me to pick and whatnot is the best way to go, and then go one direction. Because if we start getting split inside the game or anything then that’s where it can get pretty complicated.
So, it’s been very clear since day one that I’m assuming that duty, 100%, and he’s gonna chip in with calls, midround calls especially, and it’s just a matter of trusting. I think he has full trust in everything I do and the way I build the game, and same that when he’s calling stuff, I have full trust in everything he does. That’s the balance we’re trying to find as much as possible.
BLIX: What was it that made you bring him into the lineup?
NBK-: Luck, to be honest! [laughs] We just heard that he had some issues with HEET and you know, for Falcons I think it’s a good opportunity because bodyy is obviously an excellent player. He was a piece that is kind of missing in our team, which is having a second person that is kinda managing the group. And also, his individual level is very high, so having that is obviously a plus especially with the Major coming in.
We had some issue identified for several months before that and I just think we got very, very lucky that it happened at that time out of nowhere, really. Falcons have been very supportive and reactive in jumping on the opportunity, which would not necessarily have been the case with other orgs.
BLIX: You mentioned the Major, now this Major is in Paris, as you know. Obviously you being French and very involved with the French scene, does it put a little bit more pressure on you; even though you’re so experienced and have played for so long, knowing that this Major is being played in France?
NBK-: Yeah, I mean naturally you’re gonna have that, it’s normal, it’s the last Major in CS:GO first of all, and having played the very first one you want to go full circle. It’s been a long time since I played a Major as well, and then it being in Paris makes for a huge recipe of pressure and a lot of things.
The most important part is to really be in the moment and enjoy what we’re doing, we’ve been practicing and setting up a lot of things for several weeks, several months.
It would be a shame to let it all go just because of pressure or anything like that. So the main goal for us is taking it round by round and applying what we have been practicing on, and then headshot hard and have fun!
If we gave 100% of ourselves into it, you can’t have any regrets whether we qualified or not, and so pressure is not an option when you have all that lined up. So, yeah, if anything it brings extra motivation.
Credit: BLAST/Michal Konkol
BLIX: I want to talk to you a little bit, and I don’t know if this is too personal, but a year ago you tweeted out that you were diagnosed with ASD (Autism Syndrome Disorder). How do you feel like things have changed for you? Do you feel like things have gone in a better way after you’ve been so open about it? In which ways do you feel like it’s different now?
NBK-: Yeah, so first of all when I did it I received a lot of positive feedback from the community overall. Whether persons from the community, like pro players, the talent or other, and not. And also, that it inspired other people, like, gave them some answers or questions or anything like that, so first of all I think that was a good thing.
It’s not something I’m ashamed or afraid of at all, it’s just the way I am and being public about it is just part of it. It really doesn’t matter to me, and if you can help other people then great! [laughs] It’s good news, right? That was the main idea behind it, and since then I’ve been very open about it with MOUZ, it’s a bit that’s important because it’s a different way that we function, as simple as that.
Overall it helped myself a lot to be much more in control of everything I do and understanding a lot more things, and so developing my own approach and being 100% confident in it. I don’t have to question myself on whether what I’m doing is right or wrong, it’s just what I’m doing is “myself”, and there are reasons behind it, and it is what it is.
I know exactly in which areas to improve on and to work on, and so it creates a whole thing that is only positive, really, for me after that happened. And yeah, now moving forward there’s no questions to be asked, no questions to have in my mind, it’s just move forward to the best I can and it is what it is, just do it!
Thoughts on CS2 & the future
BLIX: Let’s talk a bit about CS2, have you been able to play it yet?
NBK-: I played like twenty minutes at most because I’m very focused on the Major, and there’s no point in working on like a map, working on anything that you’re gonna play in a long time, lots of changes still. But the game is cool!
BLIX: Do you think it was the right time to release, knowing that the Major was so close and everything?
NBK-: To release it? Yes, because it’s a good period of time to have now to debug everything and still have players testing it, a lot of people are very enthusiastic about it. So yeah, I think there’s no good or wrong time, I think as a whole CS:GO has had a lot of history and it’s a good time to release something new.
BLIX: Have you noticed any differences between CS:GO and CS2 despite only playing for around twenty minutes?
NBK-: I mean, the obvious ones! The obvious ones with the smokes and the way it changes, but yeah since I didn’t play that much compared to others that play all the time I don’t really know, I’m not qualified to say anything. I’m very pleasantly surprised by how it looks, I think it looks very good, I think it’s gonna be very attractive for a lot of players and it was much needed.
And yeah, I’m just looking forward to it. I think it’s a good thing, changes are good, it’s positive for the community, for the game, so to be honest I’m just looking forward to it.
BLIX: Will we see you go into the next game as well, or have you thought about the future after CS:GO?
NBK-: Oh yeah, to me it doesn’t change anything, if you’re good in CS:GO you’re gonna be good in CS2 for the most part. Just adapting to some changes, but there’s no reason to go anywhere if you’re already there, the game is not going to change that much. And it’s good, it’s good motivation to have new stuff to work with. I think it’s great.
BLIX: Are there any things you’ve noticed during your time playing that you would like Valve to add or change?
NBK-: Mostly, and it’s more comparing to other games, it’s bringing a real ranking system, because the one that we have is not motivating for players. It’s very random, you don’t know where you’re at, the ranks are pretty random, the matchmaking is not properly matching teams and players. So, I think that if you can put a proper, meaningful matchmaking system, VALORANT style, I think you would maybe double the amount of players you would have in the game! Because, unless you play FACEIT, which is very limited, like in the sense that not a lot of players are going to go play FACEIT, a lot of casuals play a fuck-ton of matchmaking.
Now especially with the new tickless whatever-the-fuck-it-is, [laughs] that thing, everybody is on an equal level, and so if you can manage to do that… They even have a similar idea in DOTA, where they have like a meaningful ranking system with MMR, a visible one and hidden one and whatever, just do that for Counter-Strike and you’re golden, really. That’s to me the number one thing that I want to see, and all the rest is just make the best game possible!
Feature Image Credit: BLAST/Michal Konkol