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Sunday 24 September 2017 21:21

An interview with shox's parents

It has been several years now since we have had a rather special idea in mind. We wanted to discuss with the parents of a player to have their very specific point of view and the opinion they have on esport and Counter-Strike in particular. So we went to meet the parents of Richard "shox" Papillon to have a more personal and passionate vision of his career and his evolution over time.

We meet his father, better known as CraZyMarvelous on twitter and his mother kahlan who also intervened to give a second point of view. A big thank you to both of them for their attention and the time they gave us and of course to Richard who authorized us to carry out this interview. Enjoy!

Hello, CraZyMarvelous! You are the father of a well known player in the french and international scene, Richard Papillon, also known as shox. Thank you for granting us this interview. Could you quickly introduce yourself to our readers?

Married as well as father of three children and young grandfather at 57 years old, I work in the Risk Assessment department of an investment bank, which seems pretty far from video games. Of an eternal optimistic mindset, I enjoy the small touch of eccentricity that is part of my daily life, it’s not for nothing that I chose CrazyMarvelous as a nickname on Twitter. It suits me well, a touch of madness, of controversy, just as my first gaming nickname NiceCrazy. My passions? Video games, fishing and TV Shows. But first and foremost, my siblings because my family is my raison d’être.

What is your relationship with gaming in general? Are you yourself a ‘gamer’?

I’ve always been a gamer in spirit since I was a child and video gaming has fascinated me ever since its appearance on consoles, but it’s on PC that I’ve had the most fun with the discovery of the Age of Empires series and in particular the most iconic Age of Conqueror (I actually still play it from time to time). I’ve had my geeky period with this game and Age of Conan (the most amazing of MMOs for me) where I would stay up all night with my friends. I’m more reasonable now even if I still play casually (Total War, Ghost Recon, SWTOR, FIFA17, GW2, Elder Scrolls Online). In fact, I can’t seem to find an MMO that captivates me like before. And I spend a lot of time watching… CSGO.

When you take a look at the state of eSports today, if it were 20 years ago, would you have tried to become a professional gamer?

Thanks, it’s nice of you to say 20 years but you probably meant to say 40! It’s obviously something that would have crossed my mind, but one needs to remain clear-headed, enjoying games does not mean being able to reach the top. That requires a lot of dedication and work, and you need to be talented as it isn’t the hours that make the talent. Hours of play polish the diamond but they do not transform it into gold unlike what some seem to think on forums. I tip my hat off to all those youngsters who had love for the game and the dedication to pursue their passion in order to succeed. They believed in their passion. Kids that invest themselves into it will obviously have less merit now because they’re pursuing something that’s tried, tested, and rising. They will never have the merit of the pioneers that gave up everything without knowing where it would lead them, even in the case of success.

#G2ARMY 'till the end

Do you have anything to do with Richard’s discovery of video games or CS?

For video games in general, of course as they were part of our family’s activites and when he was born there were already a few consoles in the house. As for CS itself, I have nothing to do with it. It’s clearly his brother that made him discover the game. For my part, when I tried Duke Nukem it made me want to puke, I couldn’t stand the movements on the screen so I avoided that type of game.

What do you think of Counter-Strike, as a game, did you immediately understand the concept as well as the potential? Or did you find that violent and possibly a negative thing for your son?

I don’t share the opinion of those that think a video game can push somebody to violence, this type of thinking actually infuriates me. It does not make any sense to think that while ignoring all the TV Shows as well as the sick and/or ultra violent movies that pop up everywhere. For me it was a game like another, just like a football match where the goal is to score more than the other and that’s all there is to it. Why would it be negative? Let’s remain clear-headed it is a GAME, and it is not by playing games that my children have built their values and notions of good and evil but by their education. Richard’s mom was a bit more reserved at the idea of terrorists and bomb planting, so to get her to let it slide I would tell her Richard only played CT (lol). As for the potential, clearly not. I didn’t see it in the beginning, and to be frank no one did.

How did you handle the academic, personal, and family aspect once Richard began spending a lot of time on the game? Back then, did you feel a certain potential or something special within him, about ten years ago now?

The rule has always been clear within our household. As long as the academic results were there, the PC and the consoles were available. Mommy Shox kept a close eye out for that, and there was no way I was going to contradict her on that topic. The hardest part was managing time spent on the computer as we only had one in the house and lots of relentless players. This sometimes created tension between the two brothers and between the kids and the father (lol). But if I remember correctly, the final limit was 10 P.M. for the big brother (otherwise I would have never had the time to play). When Richard started dedicating himself to CS and with the appearance of LANs, yes I understood that he had a certain potential. It’s actually the only reason for which I helped him getting to LANs, and for the time slots on the PC (his big brother didn’t really like that the official matches at night were depriving him from his turn, so we had to negotiate the time slots of the next day), and when it came to the flexibility between academics and CS. If I hadn't sensed this potential, I wouldn’t have pushed him to dedicate himself to his passion.

Mommy Shox: I had one condition: that he continued his studies for at least two years after high school, as I wanted to be sure that he had at least something to rely on in the event that the game would not allow him to make a living. That said, as he started winning competitions and as his fame grew, I really understood that he had a gift for the game, so I hoped that he could live off of his passion?

Richard is unique in that he started playing CS very young and had a part in the competitive aspect very early, thus having to move all over France. How did you handle the beginning of this “addiction” and his travels to LAN?

I handled it with my car and my sleep time (lol). More than once I would pick him up as he got off the train or the bus Sunday night. When the LAN was in Paris or in a close suburb, I would get him there and I’d take a walk while he played the tournament. And when he had to bring the family PC with him, we’d have to negotiate with the rest of the family the absence of the PC during the weekend.

Mommy Shox: I called him crazy numerous times and cursed his lack of sleep! (lol) And in regards to the negotiations, they’re lucky that, at the time, I didn’t play on the PC! Now it’s different, Mister is on his PC and I’ve got my tablet J.

Shox at one of his first events

It quickly became apparent that Richard had talent and he found himself amongst the best players in the country despite his young age. Did you help him choose his teams or manage the pressure when he was only 15 at the time?

Richard has always made the choice of his teams on his own, however whenever there was talk of a contract I wanted to read it, in order to protect him as I absolutely did not trust the organizations. Whenever the adult world wants to get a kid to sign a contract, you have to be careful. I’ve seen them all and told him what I thought, except the G2 contract, but it’s to be expected as he’s no longer a child, and he knows perfectly well that if he needs my opinion then I’m there for him. As for the pressure, there wasn’t a need to manage it and he’s always been pretty much unaffected by it, or he converts it into a desire to win.

Despite his position within a top french team, I remember that his former teammates expressed the desire to play with him even when he had to leave the PC earlier, during the evening. Were there tensions within the household during his early years?

Tensions, yes sometimes but with a single computer you had to make a few concessions. Beyond the scope of academics and a healthy lifestyle (if you allow a kid to do what he wants, he won’t limit himself to a couple of hours), there’s also a family, a brother and a sister that also have the right to use the computer and thus the idea of sharing. But Richard has always respected that. I’ll admit that our strict policy on the evening schedule did limit him on certain occasions, I believe it was the reason he stopped playing 1.6 as the team requested much more than we were prepared to concede. As for the rest, he was so good that the team would eventually just accept our constraints just to keep him (lol).

He quickly befriends Eddy (SmithZz), how important was this friendship to Richard’s career? What’s your relationship with him?

Yo le noob, I see where you’re coming from with your question (lol). So, let’s be clear and not go into PR mode. Eddy has had difficult times in regards to his skill level but he has an enormous amount of gamesense and is prepared to sacrifice himself for the team and to contribute to the group’s cohesion. No other french sniper possesses these qualities and I’m not convinced that replacing him would have improved things at the time.

Roommate, sharing laughs, sharing pain during hard times, he's also an ideal companion on the way to LANs, at least if you don’t fly on the same plane as him! That’s a big risk when it comes to your luggage or your comfort during the trip! I like Eddy, he’s a good guy. I don’t spend much time with him if it’s not through Richard, but I’ve tried to support him every now and then by sending him small texts during rough periods.

In the same vein, what has been your relationship with Jérôme (NiaK) through all these years as your son's manager,  from when he was still underage until now?

I didn’t have any contact at all with Jérôme in the beginning, it started during the Titan era, if I remember correctly, when Jérôme would call me every now and then to ask me to wake Richard up for practice (lol), … then ScreaM had to be woken up (lol). We exchange a few winks through tweets but we don’t see each other regularly, mostly due to lack of time which is a shame. I promised him a BBQ and champagne session with the team on the day G2 would be first in the world ranking during the G2 V1 era, the promise still stands…

Shox & SmithZz, an inseparable duo

At the time, eSports were much less developed and CSS was well below CS 1.6. And yet by rejoining Verygames in 2009, Richard started to earn a small salary, prizes from winning tournaments, travel expenses for european competitions. How did you live this period when he wasn’t just playing anymore, but actually winning competitions and money?

You have to set the record straight, in my eyes he didn’t receive a small salary, he was getting pocket money… He was actually getting more (and would bring joy to the players at LANs in the process) by selling off at low prices the headsets, keyboards, mice, CPUs, cases, etc. that he was winning. I don’t call that making a living, but supplementing one's income. I actually thought that there was a huge gap between what the organizations were expecting in terms of attitude and dedication compared to the financial rewards that they were granting to the kids. These organizations demanded professional players  but paid them with sugar candy… It’s because of that that I always kept an eye on the contracts.

Did you closely follow his career and the game in general after his implication within the scene? Did you always watch his games, his events? Who else follows him in the family?

I try not to miss any of his matches, even those at 3 A.M. I can’t stop myself anyway, knowing that he’s playing I simply can’t sleep. His mother has become addicted and follows all the matches even on her own when I’m not home. And if the schedule allows it, it’s our evening night on the big TV screen in the living room. His older brother follows the matches as well whenever he can, but it’s not always easy with his job (he’s in the food service industry). His sister supports him as well and even his grand-parents always ask me how his tournaments are going. It’s a family thing, everyone is happy when he wins and sad when he loses. We know that every defeat is a wound for him and so we try to get his morale up.

Mommy Shox: In the beginning, my husband would watch the matches on the PC, I would come watch every now and then to check the score. Afterwards, I started following the important games (on LAN) with him. Now, I’m at the point where I also watch the qualifiers and even plugging the cable that links the PC to the TV before my husband gets back home, or even when he’s not there! And I also check the comments on Vakarm, and give “+” on the match pages to those that praise Richard or the team!

What she doesn't tell is that she mainly gives out “-” accompanied by lovely vocal comments quite often (lol). She’s becoming more and more geek as my retirement approaches, it’s super cool!

He then wins the ESWC in 2011 upon his return to VeryGames, a world champion title. Your son, champion of the world, it sounds pretty good, right?

Yeah, of course we’re always proud of those moments! In fact, I was there with his brother to shout from the crowd ;). I’m always completely involved in the games and I scream of happiness or anger quite often.

Mommy Shox: I often tell him I’m proud of him.

VG at ESWC 2011, the best French team of all time?

There’s also a special aspect about Richard, he could be pretty inconsistent by moments or could even take decisions quite difficult to understand. For example, leaving ROCCAT when they were number one on CSS to go play 1.6, leaving Titan on CS:GO when they were then in a pretty good situation and performed well, but also getting kicked by VG, then EnvyUs for internal issues. What role did you play in these choices throughout his career and how did you support him in this more personal area?

The choices of a player just like those made within a team are completely unknown to the outside world, so quite often a lot of dumb things (and I’m being polite) are said and false rumors are propagated. Your question proves this, as you’re lumping together four facts that have nothing to do with one another. Alright on 1.6 it was like a dream for him, at the time it was like, you were playing in the Premier League and someone offers you to play in the Champions League. Obviously when you’re a youngster you give it a try. Titan, it was everything, an enormous disappointment after Katowice, and a lifestyle that he couldn’t withstand anymore, the gaming house (I warned Jérôme from the beginning that he wasn’t sure if he could put up with it). In my opinion Titan made a mistake at the time to bother themselves with that method. The kick from VG was a mistake due to his young age, he must have been 16 and made a big deal out of a mouse brand. He even says it himself, when you’re young you’re sometimes a bit dumb.

NV…. NV is another story. Whereas the other moves were quickly forgotten since he chose or expected them, the NV kick was extremely painful since it was totally unexpected. From my point of view it not only was dirty in the manner it was done (during a LAN in another country) but also completely immature by the team because it was a real waste of the team’s potential. There were problems in their organization that wasn’t working as well as it used to and some refused to change their way of doing things. But the problems don’t matter that much, if you want to solve them you have to sit down and discuss them like adults to find solutions. In a team, it’s like a family, a couple or a company’s staff, EVERYTHING needs to go through proper communication, but in CSGO teams there’s a shortage in this area, the players are young or have strong egos and there’s no adult to help them manage this kind of crisis. MoMaN wasn’t there anymore and Next was too new to have the tools to intervene. The result is that people conspire and then they kick. I discovered then (and I admit I was dumbstruck) the total lack of power of the organization’s boss. Mike was informed after the fact and was totally against this decision and seeing that really shocked me, to me it’s the boss that decides and not the employees. In these moments, you do what a father must do, you try to be a shoulder for your son and to provide him with as much moral support as you can, even if you know that time only can allow him to come to terms with it. My words to him were simple, “it’s painful, so cry and let the pain get evacuated, then transform the disappointment into motivation and the hunger to win so you can get back up, you’ll eat them all!”.

How did the transition to CS:GO happen? Did you believe in the game from the beginning?

I often spoke of it with Richard, so yeah, very quickly he shared his interest for CSGO, I followed the audience curves, the multiplication of events, the increase in cash prize. It was shaking everything up and you could tell that something was happening.

DH Winter 2014, victory at the major

At the end of 2014, he wins DreamHack Winter, his first major with LDLC. Did you follow the competition closely? How did you live the Fnatic boost and that crazy final against NiP?

I, of course, followed the event. The boost will forever remain one of the big moments of CSGO.

At the time I didn’t understand what was really going on, I thought that Fnatic had simply found a genius boost until I understood that it was basically cheating since they could pretty much see the totality of the map without being seen in return. At that point, my wife and I were furious. And that other guy (Olofmeister) was laughing like a drain during his skeet shooting session, while you could see the total disbelief on the faces of the LDLC players, it broke my heart and I had a furious desire to smash the TV. The match ended, we were appalled then we completely realized that there was really something abnormal when we saw spectators running to the LDLC players and showing them their phones, they were showing them the boost and its totally illegitimate aspect… and right there it went crazy with an explosion on social networks (the hashtag related to the boost was top trending, it was insane). I didn’t sleep before 5 AM if I remember correctly, the contradicting bits of information and miscellaneous facts were getting to us. Beyond the scandal of the boost, there was the scandal of the way it was handled locally and you could really tell that there was clearly a different way of handling the subject with Fnatic and LDLC. The admins had asked LDLC to go back to the hotel when they kept talking with Fnatic, everyone was going crazy and the tweets were starting to get out of control. Then the day after, right before the match we learnt that Fnatic was forfeiting. It was a feeling mixed between joy of seeing justice prevail and frustration of having been robbed of a real victory. The team had to have slept at like 2 or 3 AM, I don’t even get how they managed to play their A Game during the semis without being bothered by it.

The final against NiP, we went through ups and downs, excited as hell. On the third map (Overpass), before the overtime, my wife and daughter couldn’t believe in it an longer. I was doubting it, only Richard’s brother still believed in it through and through. Then, deliverance, if I remember correctly on a round where we were CT on the A site. Explosion of joy, an intense pleasure, Moman that pulls off a superb spray of champagne… happiness basically.

Mommy Shox: I exploded from joy and relief, shouted, danced, you could have probably heard me in the whole neighborhood.

The appearance of the majors changed everything and allowed CSGO to explode, multiplying the prize pools but also the amount of competitions or even the players salaries, what’s your take on this evolution? Do you advise him financially?

Typical evolution of an industry that’s expanding, everything takes crazy proportions pretty much month after month, and I’m not surprised. I’ve lived through, professionally, the explosion of financial markets in the 80s and I was observing the same phenomenon. The spiral of cash prizes, salaries, organizations that are looking for new prospects (at the time I was getting contacted by headhunters twice per week, completely insane) and overbidding, the arrival of new faces more or less legitimate that are trying to grab a piece of the cake, everything multiplied by the presence of social networks. You shouldn’t be afraid of that, just properly riding the wave and being aware that it can stop overnight, that’s why you shouldn’t act recklessly. It has nothing to do with it of course, but look at how NBA players that stopped their careers in the early 2000s are now. They were all millionaires during their careers, and the vast majority of them are bankrupt now, what a waste! So yeah, you should manage your assets so you don’t get bad surprises if the interest for the game came to disappear, or if a catastrophe happened (a bad injury for example). So yeah, I quickly tried to advise Richard and to warn him of what was the best course of action in his interest.

RpK, shox & SmithZz in 2008 (with AsP et RegnaM)

For more than a year and a half, France has not managed to get past the groups at the major despite the player changes, etc. What’s your take on the french scene and the global mentality of the scene?

I can see where you’re coming from again with your question, you’re talking about what we call the French instability, right? Well, I don’t agree with that train of thought. I’m not talking about the lower tiers, but the top. What team has been stable these past two year? Except VP, NONE. VP is always pulled as an example but what organization could have endured their total fail in 2017 for months and months? None. And let’s admit that you’d like to change players within them, who do you pick? Well, there you go, except one or two names at best (and I’m being nice). The French scene, in my eyes, is one of the most diverse in the world, you take NV/G2 plus some guys like Kio, Ex6, SmithZz, Maniac, Amanek, Devoduvek, there are others, and you’ve got yourself 16 players to play with to make teams. How many countries can boast the same? So obviously, when you’ve got a big basket of players, you’re tempted to make different combinations. But in the end, we don’t necessarily switch more than other nations. So, why can’t we get out of groups? The format, for a long time all you had to do was lose 2 BO1s to exit the tournament, is that serious? Now, the Swiss format is a bit better but it’s still not perfect at all. The timing, a major is a week after a big LAN, it’s ridiculous. Especially with the current rhythm of events (just take a look at the finalists of the last majors...).

And then you’re going to tell me, well yeah but it’s like that for everyone else, and you would be right, so I’d add: the mentality. Some Frenchmen completely lose themselves in the big games of those damned group stages. Some players completely freeze when you sit them down in front of a screen where “Major Qualifier” is written. They’re not themselves anymore and lose their abilities. And that really pisses me off, a real competitor cannot feel the pressure, it’s the opposite! Stress has to be transformed into a mental force and hunger to win not into “Damn, damn I’m scared of not doing well… well too late buddy, you’ve already screwed up.”

They don’t put their confidence in the right place: “Watch out, it’s SK. Cool, it’s Hellraisers… shit”. Other factors escape me, like for example the vetoes of the Titan era during the group stages, I could never understand them (and rightly so, it seems). Afterwards, you’ve got to take a step back, for the last majors the french teams were either in a split mode (early 2017) or in SOL mode (Group with Faze, Fnatic, SK for G2 in 2016) or end of the line (NV 2016). The last major, G2 did fail yes but they were almost there (2-3) by only playing against big guys and NV screwed up their qualifier but during a period of total reconstruction. In the end, it’s especially Ex6’s teams that had this recurring phenomenon of early exit (no hate). The first real big fail in a major by Titan during Katowice 2014 (but with an ultra bad format at the time) has traced the path for the rest of Titan’s performances. I remain convinced that NV like G2 will show a totally new face at the next Major because the talent is there and obviously it will end up showing its fruits. One week of total survival mode Boot Camp, you get them back on their feet and let’s go kick some ass.

I’d add as well that the system of Majors is not worthy of what it’s supposed to represent, if we want to consider a major like THE event of the year. The ESLs are something else, you’ve got to fight 26 matches then go through a LAN against 11 other teams of high level, when you win it really means something, and I’m not saying that because G2 has won them and it’s the same for FACEIT. Remove the skins from the major and you’ve got a pretty average tournament. They have to re-evaluate the system completely. The ideas are diverse and numerous, but the first idea is to make it a REAL event. Make the LAN period longer to allow for a real show by coming up with a format where everyone meets everyone else in a BO1 and then a loser bracket, restricting the Legends spots to the semi-finalists (or finalists), leave two weeks without any event before the major, etc… Anyway, make it a yearly or half-yearly highlight that means something because if we don’t do anything, everyone’s going to lose interest and look towards other competitions. But anyway, for that you’d need Valve to really get a move on, and that’s not easy.

Over time, did you notice any evolution in his temperament, in the way he dealt with things, etc? What’s the impact, positive or negative, of esports on who Richard is today? Has he ever gotten big-headed at some point?

When you’re 20 years old and have been the best french player for some time, ranked third in the world behind Get_RiGhT and f0rest, your heroes, at some point you’re bound to get smug. So yeah, he had this period in his youth, just like many so-called “star” players had, but he matured up quite a bit in that aspect, he’s clearly become an adult. He doesn’t care about the scoreboard, he only thinks in terms of team results. What didn’t change however, is that he wants his team to be number one. He’s been in the scene for so long that we forgot he isn’t 16 anymore, but a fully grown 25 year old man now. Besides, you can check his post-match interviews, there are NONE where he takes the credit, he’s always humble in victory and uncompromising in defeat.

Mommy Shox: The positive impact of esports on Richard has also been, as incredible as it may seem, his openness to others and to the world! As a teenager, Richard was of a timid, introvert nature. Since then, he’s travelled the world by plane, given interviews - even on TV -  and even taken a bath with the crowd! Esports has brought him a lot of self-confidence, open-mindedness, and a desire to experience new things. No he’s not big-headed, because what matters the most to him is to win, he’s a competitor! He wants to lead his team to victory, and he always questions himself after defeats.

VeryGames (RpK, SmithZz, krL, shox, mateOo), first FR team at the top in Europe

Do you have favorite teams or players in general? Do you watch the game because you enjoy it or mostly to follow your son?

I love this game and I watch other matches, now I even manage to keep watching tournaments where he got eliminated.

As for players, I’m a fan of GeT_RiGhT, a player so down to earth and friendly, but also f0rest, TACO, FalleN, Coldzera, Pasha, JW, Pronax, Hobbit, RPK, Sixer, whom, beyond their skill level, are players that are humanly interesting and appealing. As for teams, NiP, VP, SK.  It’s a good thing you didn’t ask about those I didn’t like… I also actually watch some matches to see certain teams lose (lol).

Until when did Richard live with you at home? Did you accept his lifestyle? Did you see a change in the way he approached his job when he left home?

Given his schedule and his numerous LANs, home has been for a long time his safe haven only episodically. But he definitively moved somewhere else for little more than a year, to his mother’s displeasure (of course, always difficult to see the last child leave the house). Yet we sense that he’s feeling good in his life, so we’re happy for him. Hard to say if this prompted a change in how he approached his job, I think he would be more suited to answer that question.

Mommy Shox: Yes, it was heartbreaking to see him go, and it still is the case! But I feel that he found his balance, that he’s happy, and that can only positively impact his job.

Family seems to matter a lot for Richard, every year we see a nice picture of your fishing parties especially. Do you think that family comfort helped him in his career? And did you ever see real life issues impact his skill level and his career in general?

I can confirm that family is extremely important for Richard! I think that beyond family comfort, what helped him was to feel supported. I admit that I never talked to him about that, but I actually think that in certain delicate periods, that every human being is bound to encounter, it may have caused a disruption in his skill level, or influenced certain decisions. But that was mostly in his early career, which is normal as he was quite young.

Mommy Shox: He needs to recharge among family, the last fishing party in August was memorable! These are interludes of simple happiness, between going back to nature and crazy laughs in family, which are, I think, necessary in a trepidant and stressful life like his. I think he also needs to share his joys and his doubts with us, just as we need it too, as our SMS and phone conversations can tell.

Shox and his brother during an activity he enjoys: fishing.

As a family, how do you handle the criticism, harassment, and other threats that can target your son on the internet, especially with people that bet on his matches?

I’m totally indifferent to people that bet on matches. They insult and the next morning or even just an hour after they’ll praise the same player to the skies, they behave according to their winnings/losses and actually, there are less and less that actually speak out, and no one really cares.

It is different with the “fouls”, I call that way those who go on the forums only to spill their hate through insults or misinformation, with the sole goal of diminishing, hurting or humiliating. These are cockroaches who are only complacent in the putrid liquid that oozes from public waste during heat waves. We can’t just excuse them for being childish, because there are adults among these.

The phenomenon appeared with Fifflaren (maybe before that but I wasn’t following the scene), then Maniac got a big amount of that, then that was Ex6’s turn, and more recently SmithZz. We’re not talking about an insult in a match comment anymore, but a vast operation of humiliation and harassment over weeks, months. During these moments, the role of forum moderators is extremely hard and complicated. I take the opportunity to remind them that according to the law, they’re responsible for what’s mentioned in their forums, and the main betting sites have, in my opinion, not been up to the challenge on some occasions. To their fair, websites are quickly overwhelmed by this type of situation, but the professional websites have no excuses, and I admit that on some occasions, if my son was at the center of this crap, I would’ve contacted my lawyer.

Then there are also the “soft heads” (yes I love nicknames) who think they know it all and have solutions for everything, and take the opportunity to insult the player and all those who are not of their opinion. But fortunately they’re rare. There’s one who’s constantly on shox’ back on a competitor website of yours, I love when this dimwit replies to me “who do you think you are, you know nothing and you talk, I know that shox is this, shox is that etc.”, and so I laugh behind my screen, thinking “you’re right, you must know shox better than me… idiot”.

On the other hand, the silent majority has been more and more vocal for a few weeks and actively supports and encourages the players and that’s great.

Mommy Shox: I don’t want to look at that, and I advise not to either!

We sometimes see him on TV in various reports on eSports, on more traditional media outlets, Richard has done a few broadcasts on occasion. What do you think of this exposure? Also, what do you think about eSports in France ? We’re a bit behind, don’t you think?

eSports exposure on TV is interesting in the sense that any publicity for our preferred game is good. But we need to choose who we’re speaking to well and be cautious not to fall in the trap that the media sets, as they are are sometimes eager to convey a negative image of video games.

You can tell that there’s a good vibe in France with numerous initiatives from various actors since around two years now (which shows the delay). The digital law, new shows or conferences on the topic, articles in traditional sports media like L’Équipe [E.N: a famous french sports newspaper], the ESL studios in Paris, DreamHack Tours etc. But there is still some way to go before the mentality evolves (a french syndrom). The recent article from that lawyer specialized in sports and in football, published on The Huffington Post blog, littered with preconceptions and prehistoric clichés, is quite telling on that matter (nice answers by Flickshot and SekYo by the way). The road ahead is even longer for CS:GO obviously, since terms like “terrorist”, “counter-terrorist”, “bomb” are still going to drag us down here in France before there’s real media coverage (other countries that have been hit harder by terrorism don’t have that kind of roadblock however). The “McShox” is not even close to being a thing here even though there’s been one for GeT_RiGhT in Sweden for many years now. But over here we highlight comical things like Clash Royale so that we can talk about eSport (sic). But I haven’t lost hope because we feel that there’s pressure on every front, and now that eSport carries a huge financial potential, it can only accelerate from there… now we’re only waiting for younger people to take power in political bodies in order to tip the scales in the right direction. ;-)


With your slightly different point of view and for having lived that from the other side of the fence, what message would you like to send to young players that want to get into eSports so that they can handle that with their parents?

It’s very simple, study hard, be a good student in school and that will give you all the tools to deal with everything else. Involve your parents in your passion, show them what the world of eSports truly is and the opportunities it can offer. At some point, put yourself in their boots and think. If you see your child not being serious in school, getting bad grades and spending his time on the computer until the latest hour of the night, then waking up tired, do you think it will convince them to encourage you to keep at it?

Moreover, you have to let two things sink in: it’s not because you spend a lot of time on the computer that you’re good, becoming a professional is way more than that, it’s only going to be harder in the future, and every career must have an end so you have to think about what’s next (another factor which will reassure parents).

Of which moment of his entire career are you the most proud of?

Very difficult to answer this question, and I will maybe surprise you, as  it’s not a specific title that makes me proud, but the evolution over time. Going from a young crazy dog who only cares about his aim to the captain of an established team who gets involved in every moment of the team’s life so that everything clicks, that’s beautiful and I’m proud of this evolution.

Which other job would you have seen shox do if he hadn’t become  a professional video game player?

To be honest, we didn’t really have the time to consider that because his career got marked out pretty quickly. I’ve always imagined him in a domain close to videogames, and as he particularly liked the world of event management, a job related to both universes would have been the logical evolution.

Mommy Shox: If Richard hadn’t become a professional player, I would have just liked that he had done the job he dreamed of: he wanted to be in event management, and I think that would have suited him well. Or like I often tell him, he could have made a career in modeling (lol) which he finds funny.

Where do you see Richard in the future?

I’m certain he will continue on in the eSports industry of course, but how, I do not know. I always told him that you must not put a limit to your ambitions and your dreams. Most importantly, you must figure out how to match your passion with the ability of allowing your family to live properly. Then, everything is possible, coach, ambassador in event management, why not create his own organization or whatever. He’s charismatic, and he knows how to behave and talk in front of a camera (wink Canal Esport Club) so why not possibly become a future star host for shows dedicated to eSports in the years 2030/2040, who knows? You must not place any limit on your dreams, whatever they are. The main thing for me is that he is happy and that he enjoys what he does.

Thank you for this interview, I leave to you the traditional last words.

Thank you for this interview which shows the evolution of our society. Who could have thought 10 years ago that you would have interviewed a video game player’s parents…

A big thank you, and congratulations to you all, the young people who invest themselves in this universe of the medias and CS:GO in particular, Flickshot and VaKarM notably. You do an amazing job, given that for a large majority you are all volunteers. A strong word of encouragement to the french teams in general, NV, LDLC, and of course G2 at the forefront. Make us dream on and bring titles home! 

And to the whole CS:GO universe: I fucking love you! 

You can follow shox dad at @CraZyMarvelous and his mom at @kahlan40.

A big thanks to Ragnarork & firsou for the translation.


Créateur de flickshot.fr, journaliste et rédacteur CS depuis 2012. Fan de l'OL et amateur de MMA.