January 19, 2013
Admirable: Hello and welcome to another Season 13 ETF2L Premier Division interview. That’s right Season 13… ugh… running a bit late and I’ll tell you what, I normally prepare for these things. I usually have a set of questions, do my research, but the guy I’m interviewing today he’s like a brother of mine. I know him like the back of my hand, it’s none other than Crack Clan’s Retsh0ck… or should I say formerly Crack Clan’s Retsh0ck… what’s up, Asaf?
Retsh0ck: I’m great! Feeling good. A bit nervous.
A: You should be nervous! This is a big deal… this is like a job interview right now because you’ve got no team.
R: Yeah definitely…
A: What happened, Retsh0ck?
R: Hmmm I guess uh…
A: Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Wait! Don’t spill your heart yet! You know what we have to do… it’s tradition… I’ve got to ask you man… well I suppose it’s too late to ask you what you’re wearing in Season 13, but let’s say eh… what do you consider when you are choosing what hat to wear in TF2? What hat do you think gives you the edge over your opponents?
R: Well obviously it has to be quite stylish… obviously! And as long as it’s tall, you know because it’s big, because size matters.
A: Are you overcompensating for something?
R: Mmmm. No I guess not. I’m using that pirate hat for demo and that little parrot on the shoulder.
A: Nice! Do you have the cannonballs?
R: Ah yeah I think I did have them, but I think I removed them at some point…
A: You traded them to me! That’s what happened.
R: Could be! Could be! Haha!
A: Well that’s good to know! Ah. Let’s build it up. Let’s start off at the beginning. Season 13 was pretty good. Your team, Crack Clan, finished second, but it started off way back in September time when me and you hooked up. We had matnuN on board, we had Fadestep, all your Jew buddies! Where are they now, man? What happened? How does it feel to be the last Jew?
R: I guess what happened at the beginning was that me and matnuN wanted to leave the old Crack Clan, which was the Jewish one with the whole Israeli clan, and then we saw Fadestep who wanted to sort of come back in to the community. So we asked him if he wants to open a team, but then he told me that you guys were opening a team with ipz and Sam or something like that… oh and Brego… but then we kind of made a deal or however you want to call it, that we open a team the way it was without Brego and someone else who got left out… I think?
A: Hahaha! Tarkus?!
R: Yeah could be Tarkus! Yeah Tarkus had some drama about it… but basically what happened then is that Fadestep wasn’t that active, because just when we created the team he got a new girlfriend and started going to more judo competitions and stuff. So we had to replace him and then well… you know what happened with matnuN. I kinda got left out, you know?
A: Yeah… and what were your expectations at the start of the season? What did you think this team could achieve?
R: To be honest, when we had matnuN and Fadestep I was being really confident and quite optimistic, if that’s what you want to call it. I thought we can at least be second place and maybe give Epsilon a run for their first place spot. Yeah but then after Fadestep and matnuN got left out… I guess… I didn’t expect much. I thought third place, maybe fourth, because TLR looked quite strong at the beginning… to me anyways. That was our place in my heart.
A: But ah… it turned out a little differently you know, we ended up, finished second… I suppose I should just come clean here and declare that I’ve got a conflict of interests. Yes! I play for Crack Clan! We played in the same team! It’s true guys, but we’re gonna blow our own trumpets here, man: we finished second! That’s pretty good?
R: Yeah! That was great. What happened actually, when we picked minimoose, like before we even trialled minimoose, I thought “Oh well he’s a decent soldier” because I’d never played with him, I’d only played against him before and I’ve never seen him or thought about his as that good of a soldier. I guess minimoose surprised me the most out of this team, because he really played, like he got in to matnuN’s shoes quite well, I guess, if that’s how you can call it. After that we just more and more chemistry going and tactics and keening it up… and that worked out well.
A: So this is the point I’m leading up to, Retsh0ck, you know. We had such an amazing season, everything got so much better, and yet you still chose to leave. Why did you stab me in the back, bro?
R: Ah… what happened is that… well to be honest just after matnuN left I already knew that I wanted to leave just after matnuN left, but it was I think on the first week of ETF2L or something like that and I knew that if I would leave then most likely you guys won’t have a team and I won’t have a team and I did want to play, but I just didn’t want to play without matnuN that much. So I decided I wanted to stay with team and to play the season with the team we had, because I did like the people we had. It’s just that the main idea of forming this team at the beginning, to me anyway, was to play with matnuN and Fadestep.
A: Yeah I see. Whenever you said you were gonna leave, I think it was maybe after we beat TLR in the playoffs, you said you were gonna leave and then… I just though “Yeah this happens all the time”, you know people are like “I’m gonna drop out” but then by the time the next season comes around they’re like “Yeah maybe I’ll play!” and I was waiting, I was waiting, Retsh0ck! I left it as late as possible, I thought you would come back, but I had to pick up Brego. Who I suppose was originally involved, so I guess it came round full circle, but right now you are signed up to a new team in ETF2L; what’s happening with that?
R: Yeah! The new team is an Israeli team. Basically I think at least half of our roster is in the army at the moment, so I guess we could make like some officials up and I don’t know if we will be able to finish the season or play all of them, but we’re not planning on even PCWing. We’re just a couple of old Israeli veterans, if that’s how you want to call it. Some friends trying to have fun.
A: Well I suppose I can leak some slightly confidential ETF2L information, I don’t think it’s that confidential, but I know you guys applied, at least, to be in the Premier Division. Was that a serious thing? Do you think you can compete in Prem?
R: Nah I doubt we could have. Well to be honest it really depends on the roster we are playing with, because if we did have Roy for example, I think Roy could have been the changing factor in this team. But I don’t think Roy will play in any official, maybe one, but not the rest of them I guess. If Roy could have played then we could have made a proper roster who could played maybe low Prem I guess, because the people there are quite talented at most classes.
A: What is Roy Adler doing with himself these days? Why has he turned his back on TF2?
R: Ah yeah Roy’s in the army at the moment. He’s doing some curse… course, however you say that. He’s just doing some super confidential stuff, he’s not even telling me, you know?
A: OK. If he told you, he’d have to kill you? That sort of thing? Probably best that you don’t know!
R: Yeah definitely!
A: So like, talking about the Israeli scene and I suppose this idea that you have to go to the army. Obviously a lot of nations in Europe have this conscription, but like say Finland it’s a lot shorter period maybe it’s like 6 months 12 months, but in Israel it’s like 4 years right? Mandatory?
R: Ah it’s 3 years for men and 2 for women, but obviously if you do want, then you can make it longer.
A: Do you think that’s been a big factor in why we don’t see so many Israeli players coming through? Well like, obviously in the past we had like eSrael and eh… some high level Israeli teams, but they haven’t lasted the test of time. Is it because players keep getting taken away to the army?
R: Yeah I think that’s definitely a factor of it. Another one is that gaming in general, eSports gaming, it’s just not as common in Israel I guess. Like you don’t see much players I guess or people who are 20 years or older playing computer games and that kind of stuff.
A: You’re actually quite a young guy yourself. How many more years will it be before you have to head off to the army?
R: I’m almost 18 and I need to go to the army in around 8 to 10 months, maybe a bit less or more.
A: So realistically, if you want to get an ETF2L title you need to go big in Season 15, you know before you head off to the army. Is that a priority for you?
R: Ah no, I guess not at the moment! I’m just ah… at the moment… just another reason I kind of left TF2 is because I wanna step back from gaming in general and also my schedule. I play in a football team and we’re training at the moment, so I can’t really afford the schedule or playing time in Europe.
A: People who follow the forums or maybe just follow Crack Clan or maybe just have you on Steam will know that you play a lot of DOTA2 but you’re also a big FIFA13 man. Any aspirations of going pro in either of those games or are you just done with gaming altogether?
R: Nah I doubt I’ll ever get pro in DOTA2, this game is just way too difficult. You need to be too smart and I’m not that smart of a person in general. And about FIFA, I’d love to, to be honest, but I can’t see that happening as well.
A: You’re obviously a big football fan. I’ll give you a little question here. Who is your idol in football? Who do you respect most? Who do you look up to? Also who is your idol in TF2? Favourite player of all time for both sports?
R: Uhm! My idol in football, I’ll start with the football one. My idol in football is a former Real Madrid player, he was a Real Madrid hero pretty much. His name is Raúl González, he plays in some Qatar league now I think. Yeah I just used to look up on him and whenever I played I kinda try and do stuff I used to seen him doing and all that shit. I really liked him! I remember trying to look like him when I was younger and all that shit…
R: And about the TF2 hero I guess… I guess it would be either… matnuN or… Player32.
A: Player32! Blast from the past there… you’ve got a real hard-on for the Israeli scene, huh? Are you still playing in the Israeli pickups? Is that still active?
R: Ah it was quite inactive in the last few months, it has been active lately, yeah.
A: Are you regretting your decision to leave Crack Clan? That’s what I really want to hear. I want you to beg me Retsh0ck, “Please! Please! Let me come back!”.
R: Ah I guess some of me, a part of me is kinda sad about it, but I’m not regretting leaving because I think that’s something I needed to do and so far it’s… I’m doing other stuff and that’s working out well for me I guess.
A: Did you talk to that girl you like?
R: Aw not yet, unfortunately… tut tut tut!
A: Ahaha! Well this video is going to go up on YouTube eventually, so if you’ve got any good chat up lines or some advice for Retsh0ck on how he can work ladies, put them in there!
A: But we’ll keep things on topic here. Obviously, I’m a total lazy bastard and Season 14 as started… well you could debate it… we’re in the scheduling week right now, it’s not officially Week 1 but eh… what do you think of the Premier Division this season, Retsh0ck? How does it stack up? Is it more competitive than last season? Do you wish you were playing in it?
R: Uhm to be honest I think it is a bit more competitive than last season, mainly due to Epsilon’s roster changes. I think GeaR was a great, great player there and I understand he’s leaving? I don’t know?
A: Yeah! They still seem to be trying people out. I haven’t heard the official word from them, but every time I’ve played them in practise it’s a different roster every day. So I think definitely basH is going to come in for wltrs on scout, but they haven’t settled on a soldier yet or whether Mike will be pocket or roamer.
R: I didn’t know about the basH thing. Actually I think basH compared to wltrs is an upgrade, honestly. Mostly, maybe it’s because I played with basH in a team and I really enjoyed it, but I just think he’s an amazing player and really fun to play with… and a horrible player to play against!
A: Who uhm… ah well… hmmm… I’m going to take you back in time to near the start of the season, Retsh0ck, where you called numlocked out in a random comment, totally out of the blue on VanillaTF2. It was some prematch statement and… I’m gonna paraphrase what you said here, but you basically said “Anyone who would say the enemy is going to focus them, in the pre-match statement is a stuck-up faggot” and this became a running joke in Crack Clan. Do you have any bad blood with numlocked or was that just competitive banter there or? Is there anybody you hate in the Premier Division, I guess I’m trying to get at…
R: Ah no I don’t think I have any bad blood with numlocked. It was just the competitive banter, if that’s how you want to call it. No actually I don’t have anyone who I hate in Prem, I’m not the kind of person who’s looking to fight or start wars or anything like that.
A: You said you hate to play against basH. That’s a compliment, obviously, but if you could assemble a team of 6 players, you can include yourself in there, like a European super team… who would you put in there, man? Who’s your six? Two scouts, two soldiers, a demo and a medic I’m looking for…
R: Uhm I would say… like for all times or for now?
A: I’ll let you do both. We’ll milk this, we’ll milk it. Gimme both!
R: OK from all time I’d put Royze on medic, me on demo, matnuN on soldier, Pescanova on soldier, Stefan and basH on scouts.
A: I like it! And for Season 14, let’s say?
R: In the current one? I would say Mike and ipz on soldiers. Assuming one of them would pocket, I guess Mike. KnOxXx on… no… I would put you on medic. I’d put numlocked on demo and I’d put basH and Stefan again on scout.
A: Aw! I’m crying tears of joy here, Retsh0ck. You’ve made my day!
A: That’s two superteams I’ve made it on to… KnOxXx said he would pick me, that was excluding players from Epsilon, but you know I’m clearly kind of a big deal?!
A: I wanna know, Retsh0ck, are you gonna follow Crack Clan this season? Are you gonna cheer us on? We’re going for number one, man! We’re going for that top spot!
R: Yeah, obviously! I’ll try my best to. Obviously will try to follow you as much as I can… and I hope you’ll manage to be better than last season, obviously!
A: See I wanna know what happened to that Retsh0ck mug? This is something that came out around the time of the playoffs. Dox, our manager, suggest the idea that you could buy a Crack Clan mug with Retsh0cks face on it. We could have any number of humorous catchphrases in there, such as the classic “Are you stupid or something?”… Haha! Retsh0ck, why didn’t it happen?
R: Ah! I dunno. I guess putting my face on a mug is not on my priority at the moment, if that’s how you want to call it…
A: You’re just a private man? You want people to respect your privacy? Is that it?
R: Yeah well if anyone wants to see my picture I can send one… but not on the mug, no! Haha!
A: Hahaha! Oh wow! Hopefully we can get some merchandise out for this season, but looking in to the longer term you’re still going to play TF2 with this team [Casi Angeles] for Season 14. Does the game still interest you? Is the reason that you left Crack Clan that you’ve grown tired of TF2? Are you looking for something new? Obviously you want to go and do real life for a while, but does TF2 still hold your attention?
R: Ah I think definitely TF2 still holds my attention. I’ve never grown tired of it. At some points I did play more or less, but I loved the game throughout all of my supposedly eSports career, I guess. It was a really fun game to play, and it still is a fun game to play, and definitely yeah I’m still playing like pickups and stuff every now and then. It’s just that at nights usually, or the game time and the bit before that I’m just not as available as I was last season.
A: Well do you think you’ve peaked? Is this the high point, if you will, in your eSports career? Is this the point where David Beckham moves to LA Galaxy? You’re being put out to pasture! You’re too old now, man!
R: Ah nah I don’t think I’m too old for the game! I’m quite young to be honest for the game itself. Yeah I think if I could I would definitely play more. It’s not about being old or tired of the game, it’s just I guess purely to do with my timing of that training and practise and whatever other shit that happens.
A: Well I hold you in high regard as a champion. I love that season where Crack Clan won the ESL, came all the way up from fourth to beat Power Gaming in the final. I think that was one of the greatest seasons, although people tend to disagree with me! Do you think you have another title in you? Could come back and be champion in Season 15?
R: I dunno. It could happen. I’m not saying yes. I’m not saying no. I don’t know honestly. I don’t think it will happen this season. I can’t tell. Maybe next season or the one afterwards? I don’t know!
A: OK. Well we’ve just gone past the 21 minute mark, so I’ll sort of wrap things up, Retsh0ck. Since you’re fading in to the background a little bit, you’ve stepped down from the limelight of the Prem. You’re still going to play, but what advice would you give to an up and coming demoman? What would you tell them to work on? How could you help them make that jump in to the Prem?
R: I think most demos on Div 1 and on Prem as well, like for example I saw I think it was Outsiders demo or PyRo|GEN… I can’t remember… one of the French demos that I played against lately was really good. Mostly because he was a little bit cheeky, if that’s the word, than other demos. Like he dared to do more stuff and he didn’t give credit to the teams. I think teams in general shouldn’t be afraid of the opponents they’re playing and just play their own game.
A: You should play without fear and disrespect your opponent?
A: Like “I’m going to stomp all over these guys”?
R: Yeah just keep swearing at them, make fun of them.. on Mumble, not on chat obviously!
R: Yeah, but just like don’t give them any credit.
A: Well I’ll say it’s been a joy to play with you, Retsh0ck. You really are a great team mate and I’m sad that you’ve left, but I’ll give an opportunity to shout out to anyone you want before we wrap this interview up and wrap up Season 13.
R: Uhmmm! I’ll definitely have to shout out for Sam, because if I don’t he’s gonna cry to me on Steam or something. So I guess that’s my only shout out at the moment.
A: That’s great. Well I will wrap up this seventh and final Season 13 ETF2L interview. I have been Admirable, this has been Retsh0ck. I’m probably gonna do something for Season 14, maybe I’ll interview not just Premier players, but people who interest me. Let me know in the comments what you think. But thanks for your time and I’ll see you later, bro!