Interview with kioShiMa

Mar 27 2020 9 min read

Interview with kioShiMa ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

I appreciate you taking the time out to talk with me. I know you and the guys are busy getting ready for whatever is next, whether the Minor is happening or not. You got a new guy on your squad, so I’m sure you’re getting him acquainted.

Thanks for the interview, I must mention that we played in the last WePlay! FoM in Ukraine, we were royally received by all the staff.

So, let’s start off with you. You have been a part of competitive Counter-Strike since 2011 where you played for 3DMAX. Fast forward now to 2020 and you are regarded as one of the best players to ever touch the game. Before CS became your career, what did you aspire to be?

Basically, I don’t even remember. I didn’t know myself because I was going to school. I have a small technician degree, that’s something that you can only get in France from the age of 18 to 20. I was studying and I did my degree to get a PA or personal assistant. And, I got this, but I was starting to play CS at the same time. I want to say I started playing CS professionally by 19. So, I did half of the year plus playing CS at the same time professionally. Even then, I didn’t know what to do so I just did something random basically.

Yea, just kind of like, “I don’t know what’s next for me so I’m going to take this and it’s just something I’m kind of interested in.”

Yea, I was playing a lot of CS. My dream was to play CS, and it kind of happened

It happened in a big way because you have 13 LAN trophies in total, two of which are Majors. Which of those wins is cemented deeply into your memory, and why do you think that one sticks out above all the others?

I mean, there is one. The first Major I won, so DreamHack Winter 2014. That was one of the first majors, that was one of my first big big teams, who were LDLC back in the day, and we practiced a lot to win. We were in bootcamp for like a month or two before this tournament, so we were ready for it. We really wanted to win this tournament, and with all the story inside the tournament with the olof boost, the fact that they forfeited the game after because of the bug, then in the final we made a comeback on the last map to win in overtime. So many things make it a good memory. Of course, it would have been terrible if we had lost it. I wouldn’t probably have the same memory. The other way would have been my worst loss, basically.

I hated that we didn’t get to see Team Heretics at IEM Katowice 2020, but your fellow Frenchmen on G2 made quite the statement with their performance. Tell me about how the French CS scene is evolving and if you believe that it could become the best region in the coming years. What would it mean to you to see the French flag above all the others?

It’s kind of hard to talk about the French scene now because, for example, G2, the one that had a good performance, they are not fully French anymore. They have nexa and huNter- now, and one of them is the in-game leader as well, so they kind of switched toward being international instead of being fully French. But, I guess the management, in general, is becoming more involved and there are way more people around the players in France in the big teams at least, Vitality and G2. They have a lot a lot of management that’s taking care of the players and giving them a position to play CS.

That structure around them is something that is also pushing forward is what you’re saying?

Yea, they have less pressure on themselves. They don’t have to think about everything, they just think and focus on CS, and that’s all they have to do. 

You being a CS veteran with two major wins, is an essential part of your role within Heretics providing structure and calm to the team in intense and high-pressure situations? How do you generally go about being that voice in those moments?

In every tense moment we have in the matches and stuff, if I have something to say they usually follow my voice and listen to everything I have to say because they know that I have been in this situation multiple times and I always manage to get the better of the situations. And, they know that I am cold-blooded so when we play and are in a really tense situation, I am usually really calm. They know that I am going to be thinking straight and I won’t be taken over by all the emotions and all that stuff. In those kinds of situations, really really hard situations, they usually listen to my voice and that’s it. I don’t even have to justify myself. They just kind of know.

I bet that feels good, knowing that the teammates around you trust your option and value it to that point.

It’s always good to have a team that trusts whatever you say.

Talking on the team, Team Heretics recently decided to replace Jérémy "jeyN" Nguyen for Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom. I read the press release about the decision to release jeyN and it stated that while he was an excellent player, there were other aspects that held him and the team back from reaching full potential. Nivera is a young and ambitious player, what do you think will be his advantages over a more experienced player like jeyN?

These two guys are two completely different people, the only reason why we had to separate ourselves from jeyN was that fact that he was an excellent player skill-wise, but he couldn’t integrate himself in the team. He didn’t make that much effort with us. So, we were more like four people and one, and you need five. If you want to be a good team and a team that performs, that cannot happen. We had issues on a personal level, and in being professional to the point that he couldn’t stay on the team anymore. We had to take someone like Nivera, who's a really young and ambitious player. He really wants to win, he’s really talented, he’s more calm, and ready to win and wants to learn. So, that’s the big difference.

Also, him being young, it will probably be easier to fit him into your mold. jeyN could have had tendencies or things he likes to do, where Nivera’s coming in as a fresh talent and you can say this is where we want you and this is where we think you will help the team the most, and he can just go with it.

He’s a young player so he’s still searching for himself and what is the best role for him. We don’t put any restrictions on him. He’s trying to find out what’s the best for him WITH us, and we are going to help him find out what’s best.

Most recently, you and your squad took down Heroic, now FPX, and OG in 2-0 fashion to make it to the Europe Minor for ESL One Rio 2020. FPX is a top 15 team, and OG had an amazing showing at the BLAST Premier Spring Series. So, taking those two down is no small feat. The Europe Minor bolsters even more stout competition than the qualifiers did. How are you guys preparing to take on that tough competition?

Since we just changed a player, we are kind of starting back at 0. Not really 0, but 0.5 because we still have the base but we still need to fit what’s new with the new player. We are just practicing, practicing, practicing, trying to find out what’s the best playstyle for us, what’s working for us, and the way we can approach it. The matches against OG and Heroic, we didn’t do anything special. We literally just played our playstyles and went on with it. We didn’t try to anti-strat them, we didn’t try to do anything crazy, we just played and it worked perfectly. We literally just felt the game and played that way. Now, we have a couple of months to figure out the way we want to play. That’s going to help us a lot because, first of all, we aren’t in the big leagues that everyone is playing in. That helps us to be able to practice way more, and we are registered in LBP, ECN France, and ESEA Open because we need to grind a league somehow.

While I am sure you and the team would love to be competing in one of the ongoing CS:GO leagues, do you think the squad’s ability to practice and scout out competition under the radar will provide an advantage going into the Europe Minor?

I think it could, but it could also be a bad thing because we don’t have enough official matches against good teams to be able to judge how good we are. So, it's dependent on practice results, and they are usually not accurate. Even if we’re really good in practice, it doesn’t mean we are going to be really good in officials against good teams. So, it could be a good thing and a bad thing, but only playing will tell us.

I have to ask you about your thoughts on the SG 553/Krieg. I have noticed that you haven’t been using it too much. Is this due to the way the team is structured and your role within it, or do you not particularly care for it? Do you think the gun needs further balancing?

I kind of use both now, but it depends on my positions and what I’m going to do during the round. I think it’s the same for the whole team. Nivera prefers the AK, Lucky prefers the Krieg, etc. etc., but usually, for myself, it depends on what role I’m going to have and what I’m going to do in the round. If I know I need to run and I’m doing stuff, I’m going to take the AK. If I know I need to aim long or mid-distance, I’m going to take the Krieg for example.

Does it need further balancing? I don’t think so. If you see people playing with the AK and you see people playing with the Krieg, now it's kind of balanced. It’s only overpowered if a CT gets it because they can just sit, hold a line, and then just shoot basically. Maybe it has to get weakened a little bit, but that’s it.

Thank you so much for your time, Fabien. Before we let you go, where can fans find you on social media? And, if you stream or make videos, where can they find those? And, did you have anything you wanted to say to fans out there that are cheering you and Heretics on?

You can find me on Twitter and Instagram, even though I use Twitter more than Instagram. My Twitter is @kiocsgoo and Instagram is kioshimax. I do stream sometimes on Twitch at kiocsgo. The thing with Heretics fans is that they are mainly Spanish, and I don’t speak Spanish, so it’s kind of hard for me to communicate with them. The only thing I can say is Vamos Heretics. That’s all I need to say and they understand it. They have a huge Spanish community behind them.

You can also find Team Heretics on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Team Heretics has some amazing Adidas merch on their website to gear you up so you can cheer them, and kioShiMa, on in style.

Thanks to Heretics and their sponsor for supporting us, and thanks to the fans for following us.

I look forward to watching you guys play, and, hopefully, the coronavirus stuff doesn’t mess up the Major. We can only hope.

I think it will because, in Malta, they are shutting down the airport. No incoming flights, no outgoing flights for the next 30 days or something.

You made me think of a question real quick. The Pro League and FLASHPOINT went online. Do you think they will move the Minor to be online and just reschedule the Major, or just cancel it outright?

It’s going to be really hard because you have the minors; the EU minor, the CIS minor, all this stuff is per region. But after this, usually, directly behind, you have the play-in. That is one team from each region. How are you going to make them play together? It’s literally impossible. So, I don’t know how they are going to do this.

I guess we can only hope, and keep our fingers crossed. If not, I’ll be looking for you guys however I can find you, whether it's ESEA matches or whatever. I appreciate you joining me.

No worries, thank you.

And, thank you to everyone for listening or watching. Be sure to check back in at for more interviews with your favorite professional players and talents across esports.


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