Girafffe: “We’ve changed the way we prep, we’ve changed the way we play”

Callum “Girafffe” Jones completed a feat that had never been done before in UK CS history, taking a British Isles team to the RMR. Now he, alongside the core of that Viperio team, play for Verdant and come in to UKIC’s first Counter-Strike LAN as the number one seed. In both tournaments Girafffe has shown his fragging power as he continues to impress on the server which he will need to continue if Verdant hope to lift the UKIC trophy.

The star rifler spoke to UKCSGO about their first matchup, how they have improved since ESL Premiership, and who they expect to meet in the Grand Final.

DuckDuckGOOSE were underdogs coming into that game. How did you find playing against them?

I think they played as good as they could have because they did come in with a stand-in. They were meant to play with Prime [PrimeOPI], but he didn’t end up coming.  So I think they played as good as they could have as they didn’t have that much time to practice with moz who stood in.

If DuckDuckGOOSE are the underdogs, how do you see yourselves at this event?

Yeah, we’re definitely favourites to win it. Coming into the game we did prepare for them and everything, but we mostly just played our own game.

You went 8-1 in the UKIC Division 1, but when you look at Premiership you struggled a bit more. What has changed in that time?

What’s changed since then has been the way we prep into our games now instead. We’ve changed the way we prep, we’ve changed the way we play. It’s less stuff spawn based, it’s more that everyone’s calling, talking, asking “what we’re doing this round”, and stuff like that. A lot of mid-rounds I’d say.

Is that arTisT calling those mid rounds?

Yeah it’s towards me and arTisT, the whole team can, but it’s mostly me and arTisT who are calling mid-rounds.

Obviously, you’ve been on LAN before. You were at the RMR, and you performed really well. How do you aim to replicate that performance at this LAN?

In CS2 its kind of hard because you have to get used to the game, but just having the same routine, the same way of prepping for most LANs, just keep that consistency really.

You mentioned CS2 there, how are you finding the transition?

It is very hard especially with the PC I have back at home because I said about FPS, but the peeker’s advantage makes it extremely hard, you know, sometimes you are just dying behind a wall. It can be frustrating, especially online. Like on LAN it is a lot better, but online it’s so frustrating to play. But you can always just keep grinding it.

What’s the biggest difference on LAN to online?

Biggest difference? Probably peeker’s advantage, peeker’s advantage online – it’s crazy. You’ll be behind a wall on your screen, but you just end up dying it’s crazy because you don’t have time. On LAN it’s still bad, because you know CS2 are going to fix it eventually, but on LAN is a lot better. You at least have a chance, you know?

So I mentioned the RMR. How different is this kind of environment to that environment? And which one do you prefer?

I mean, I’ll always prefer the RMR. Just because you know it’s tier one event, the production is crazy, just the whole setup is crazy for the RMR. And this place I think it’s a close second, it’s second to me in terms of my favourite LANs so far. There’s been the Insomnias which have had tonnes and tonnes of issues. There’s been the EPICs which are the more casual one, this is casual as well, but at least there’s a competitive scene and you have the teams. So yeah, I’d say the UKIC is second to the RMR.

Verdant are the only team here with a coach, papp is here but he’s playing, do you think that gives you an advantage?

Definitely. Because we always have that sixth person behind us keeping us in line. He tells us what we’re doing good and what we’re doing bad. He’s really helpful.

What would you say his impact on the team is?

Massive. He’s always doing prep for us, he’s always in game with us, he’s always cheering everyone up. You know, making sure everyone is not getting too frustrated or anything.

Who are you expecting to see in the final?

Probably K10. K10 bootcamped for a week here preparing so they are used to the environment, they are used to the setups already. They play Viperio who are playing with two stand-ins, so you can’t really expect them to play their best especially with their coach papp playing as well.

And then they’ll play DuckDuckGOOSE, right? I think DuckDuckGOOSE will have put up a decent fight but I still think K10 will win against DuckDuckGOOSE.

In the UK scene we are always talking about how we want more investment and more tournaments, does this UKIC Circuit ending with this LAN start to solve that problem?

Yeah, I think it’s definitely in the right direction. It definitely helps, especially with as they said they are trying to do it as consistently as possible like every, I’m not sure, but like three months or something like that. So it’s another LAN to go to because there’s EPIC, iSeries and that was it. But now there’s UKIC which is very good for the scene.