HooXi talks nightmare brackets, pre-match rituals, and CS2 at IEM Dallas

Reading time: 5 min

G2 Esports may be the unluckiest team at IEM Dallas, but captain Rasmus “HooXi” Nielsen isn’t using bracket demons as an excuse.

Despite entering as a serious championship contender, G2’s run was ultimately cut short by losses to Heroic in the group stage and FaZe Clan in the playoffs. The star-studded lineup will be leaving Texas in fifth place. Right after the loss, WIN.gg caught a moment with team captain HooXi to discuss the team’s obstacle at the tournament and what he wants to see from the official release of Counter-Strike 2. 

An interview with HooXI at IEM Dallas

WIN.gg: HooXi, G2 had a very unlucky run here at IEM Dallas, but do you find some relief in the losses being to the number 2 and 3 ranked teams?

HooXi: Obviously, it would feel worse to lose to worse teams, but it doesn’t help much because those are the teams we are aiming to beat. It’s really unfortunate, but I’m sad that we couldn’t do better. 

What problems do you think need solving for G2 to return to the form it had at the beginning of the year?

No, not big problems. If I knew what the problem was, I would just fix it, and then we would be back on track. It’s hard to figure out what we need to do because we struggled a lot on our CT sides before. Our T sides were really good, but now at this event, it’s the other way around. We tried something new in this event when it comes to preparation, so we couldn’t prepare as much for the opponent since we focused more on ourselves. That may be helped our CT sides, but also we took a hit a little bit on our T sides. We’re trying to figure out the best way, but I’m sure we’ll be back. 

You mentioned on social media that you were trying a new method to prep before matches. Could you reveal what that new technique was?

It’s not anything special. Before, we spent a bit more time talking about our opponents and what they were going to do. We felt like we kind of lost ourselves a bit in thinking too much about the opponent and too little about ourselves. So for this event, also because it is very exhausting to prepare for the major and play the major, it was the right time to try and not prepare as much and have a bit more time to focus on ourselves. 

G2 has a ton of star power, arguably the most of any top team. Does that present any unique challenges for you as the captain?

No, it presented unique opportunities! (laughs) I’m just lucky to have such a good team. 

On a brighter note, your team has already qualified for Pro League 18 and IEM Cologne. Do you see those events as an opportunity for revenge?

Cologne, for sure, is important. Cologne and Katowice are on the same level of prestige, and I’m really hungry to play Cologne. 

Winning Katowice and Cologne in the same year would be quite an achievement, eh?

That would be insane, but I’m not going to celebrate before we have the trophy. 

With Paris over, does the lack of any future majors affect your motivation at all?

It’s extra disappointing not to make it to playoffs or play in from of the crowd in Paris because I think that was one of the best crowds I’ve seen in a long time. Of course, we were all hungry to win the major trophy, and we did everything we could, but it is extra disappointing. There’s nothing we can do about it, we did the best we could, and we just have to look forward to the other big tournaments. It’s not like it was the last big tournament for CSGO. Looking forward to Cologne especially.

Assuming new maps were added, do you think Counter-Strike 2 is ready for tournament play?

I’m not sure about that. I think there are still a lot of bugs that need to be figured out. Once everyone starts playing it everything will come to light. It’s hard to say, but for me, I really don’t like the whole interaction with HEs and smokes. So I hope they get rid of that before the game releases. I have no idea about this whole thing with, as they say, “nothing like 64 tick.” I’m not sure about it. 

Not a fan of the “tickless” servers?

I don’t know if I’m a fan or not because I’m honestly not smart enough in that area to answer that question. For me, it didn’t feel that much different from playing matchmaking in CSGO.   

What balance changes would you like to see in CS2?

I feel like the game is in a pretty good state right now. I think they have to figure out the whole situation between the M4 if you should use a silencer or the A4. I think the best solution is to just try to balance them as well as possible, which I think they are right now. It’s kinda split right now. And make it so that people have the opportunity to buy both M4s in the same game. That would be the one thing that I want the most, besides removing this thing with the HEs and smokes.

HooXi, a lot of the other pros we’ve talked to at IEM Dallas have a similar sentiment about the grenade interactions. How do you see it affecting the meta?

I don’t like when you mess with the fundamentals. I’m totally fine with new things and trying to make all weapons viable. But screwing with things like this is just… I don’t see a good way out of it. Everybody brings up the same example every time with the smoke wall on Nuke. You can just throw an HE in it, and the wall is gone, and what do you do then? That’s obviously a good example, but it’s also other things like key chokepoints where Ts are trying to smoke or CTs are trying to smoke. One HE, and you have full info if you throw it at the right timing. I don’t see how they will fix it. I hope they do something about it.

Do you have a favorite skin?

It’s kinda nostalgic, so the AK-47 | Fire Serpent. I have it, and I always wanted it, so whenever I got the money to actually get it, I instantly got it! (laughs) It’s not because I think it’s the prettiest, but it’s just always been cool.


CS2 care package

Players hopeful after Valve adds Overwatch to expose CS2 cheaters

Only “trusted” players will be Overwatch investigators. 

By Fariha Bhatti


Apr 26, 2024