Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had the chance to chat with Paul ‘Redeye’ Chaloner about a variety of topics around esports, but today, it was time for the big one. Since hearing of his obsession with Football Manager/Championship Manager, our tame writer has been chomping at the bit to speak with Redeye about dream teams, the best ever, and his personal Counter-Strike Tonton Zola Moukoko.
Hi Paul. Straight to business, and the best bit of Management Sims is discovering a new gem, like Zola Moukoko, so…who are your CS:GO wunderkinds to watch in 2018?
Redeye: He’s kind of not that new, but he’s seemingly not right at the top all of the time, but I would definitely take ropz (of Mousesports). If you think about where he is now and where he’ll be in a year's time, I think he’ll be super-good, although you could equally make an argument to say he’s already at the top, but if we’re talking about Major winners, or winning very big tournaments, I think he’s definitely one of them.
Next up, the reason we love to pretend to manage. If you could build a team today, with no language barriers, who would be in it?
Redeye: Can I just pick FaZe? (Laughs). I would remove two of them in fact, maybe three. It’s so hard, because I always think about these questions as ‘do I build my favourite players in a team, but know they probably will suck as a team because I’ve got three AWPers, or do I build a team that will have cohesion and togetherness?
I’m going to go with just trying to put five guys together and hope that they blend.
I’m going to go with Fallen as my in-game leader, I’m going to go with Coldzera, I’m going to go with s1mple … I’m also going to have NiKo as well, and then I can’t leave out Guardian. That’d be my five, and I don’t think it would work because you’ve got four people who could AWP, four people that can entry frag and four people that want to run around and kill people. So yeah, I’m pretty sure if you put those five into a team, even with no language barriers, they fail miserably.
And we’d see Fallen go mad…
Redeye: (Laughs), yeah, it would drive him absolutely bananas.
With that in mind, the best of all time, who is the greatest player you’ve seen?
Redeye: It’s really difficult, like in any sport, to compare players from different generations, and esports move incredibly quickly, too. Comparing a Counter-Strike player like Heaton, from fifteen years ago, who was probably the best fragger of his day, although not the best Counter-Strike player mind you, with a GeT_RiGhT from 2009 or a Guardian from 2015, or a s1mple from today, is really hard.
Having said that, I would have to go with the person who makes my brain go ‘what the fuck?’, and my heart go ‘oh my god I love this guy’, and that would be s1mple, because he just does stuff that you just can’t predict. I don’t think he even knows half the stuff he does, and the stuff he tries to pull off is absurd, I don’t think you’d even try and pull it off when you’re playing for fun, and yet he does it in a Major, in a big game, and pulls off something absurd, time and time again.
It’s not just the one thing he’s famous for on Cache, it’s time and time again. Recently at Starladder even, he just dug his team out of a hole almost single-handedly, so for me it’s s1mple. With anyone else, you’d just look at (the things he does), and say ‘that guy’s cheating’.
Finally, Football Manager is obviously a phenomenon, but with the growth in esports and number of new fans, do you think a CSGO, or esports manager game could work one day?
Redeye: Yeah, I don’t see why not. You could do a CSGO Manager, or a DOTA Manager I suppose, but I’m not sure that would be massively popular, I think because we are so close to our stars. I can’t go and talk to a Ronaldo, or Messi, but I can go and talk to TaZ, and so can most of the fans at events.
I don’t know if a virtual world of a virtual world manager would necessarily work. Maybe the answer is a multi-gaming organisation management sim, so I’m managing against Cloud 9, TSM and so on in the game, but I create my own team, my own clan from scratch, and I sign these five new kids to the DOTA 2 roster, and then I have to go and find a League of Legends team, and so on …
That’s quite cool, but you have to come back to ‘how many esports fans are there?’, compared with people who are just DOTA, or CSGO fans. I’m an esports fan, but I think I’m part of maybe five percent of the whole thing. Esports is the umbrella, it’s not the actual sport, and that could be a barrier.
*Thanks to Paul for taking the time to speak with us, and we’ll bring you more of his thoughts on CS, esports and the UK scene in coming days, so stay tuned. *