Sebastian "volt" Malos began the year as part of a fnatic Rising team that had recently become the first team outside of MOUZ NXT to win a WePlay Academy League. Following the disbanding of that team he moved to Into the Breach, where the Brit made history as one of a few players to make top eight at his first Major – the BLAST.tv Paris Major.
Now a key component of GamerLegion as they continue to threaten tier-one teams and their partner slots, volt has been pretty candid about his struggles in the team. We caught up with volt to discuss those struggles, playing alongside a legend like Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski, and his take on the last 12 months of his life.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: You've now been with GamerLegion for four months, and played at several tournaments, how do you feel the adaptation to the new team has been?
volt: From my perspective, my adaptation individually to GamerLegion has been slow, much slower than I expected. I would say the role shift played a big part, in addition to the short time to prepare before rushing into multiple S-tier events. On the other hand, I think I got along with everyone on the team very quickly. They're all great so I've had no issues integrating myself in that way. The issues came from myself in-game and that has been my focus since joining.
BLIX: In an interview with UKCSGO, you mentioned you were uncomfortable in your new roles and that you weren't as vocal in-game, how are you feeling about that now? Has there been improvement there?
volt: It was an uncomfortable period when I joined the team and it wasn't even due to pressure from the events or from the organization but because of the lack of playtime in the new roles. That has changed since over a month ago. I feel much more confident and I can feel that I'm consistently improving. My coaches, Ash and Bogdan, deserve credit as they have worked a lot with me to develop and gain back my confidence. That being said, individually I'm still nowhere near where I aim to be so I have a lot of work left to do.
BLIX: Sydney was another event where you finished just outside the playoffs with GamerLegion; is there any form of frustration building up that you can't take that extra step? What do you think is preventing the team from getting there?
volt: Yeah, the frustration is there for sure. I really want to get another chance at playing in a big arena and we were one map away from doing that in both Cologne and Sydney. Personally, I have pretty high expectations and sometimes I need to reach very high goals before I'm satisfied. I think both times where we fell short of making the playoffs were due to not having had enough time with the IGLs so we weren't prepared very well. It feels like it came down to small details that we didn't have enough time to fix beforehand.
BLIX: You joined alongside neaLaN [Sanzhar Iskhakov], who has since departed the team, his replacement, Snax, came as a huge surprise. Before we get into what he is like as a player, how does it feel as someone who is still new to tier one to be playing with a legend like Snax?
volt: It's pretty insane, he's one of the players I was watching back in 2014-2015 when I first started playing CS:GO. Back then I would've never imagined I would get to play with someone like him in a team and it's nice to have someone with his experience to learn from.
BLIX: What about Snax as a player then? How does he differ from neaLaN?
volt: As an IGL he brings a very different style to the team with his calling. Much more explosive, which I think suits the team better. He also still sometimes pulls out the OG "sneaky beaky" rounds where he catches unreal timings on flanks. He's a pretty hybrid player and in comparison to neaLaN, I would say they are almost complete opposites in the way of thinking about the game and individual style.
BLIX: Snax obviously has a lot of experience, what does that bring?
volt: I've been able to chat with him one-on-one and learn about many things in and out of the game relating to professional CS. He has opened my eyes to a different perspective as a player and has given me tips from what he learned in the past. He's not just doing the "this is how we did it in VP, so it's good." He always has good ideas for positions on any map and how to play them.
BLIX: You have a number of events coming up, two ESL Challengers and Elisa Masters, there are some big names in attendance at all three. What are the hopes for those tournaments?
volt: Winning one of the three is the goal. It's not an easy task and it would be an amazing way to finish off the year with a trophy. I'd like to be a contender for all three, even though most people would never consider our name for any.
BLIX: Seeing as we're coming up to the end of the year, how are you looking back on the year given that you began the year with fnatic Rising? Is there still that element of having to pinch yourself?
volt: I've had the opportunity to play at many of the big events, play in front of a massive crowd at the Major playoffs, and climb up the team rankings fast. It just shows how much can change in a short amount of time. I'm pinching myself constantly but it seems like I really am living the dream. I just hope it continues to trend upward.