DEVIL : "The problem with EnVyUs is deeper than one player".
It has now been a little less than a week since EnVyUs made a roster change. They decided to part ways with the one who was widely criticized by the community during the six months he spent playing for nV : Timothée "DEVIL" Démolon. The rumor of a change trailed for some time and the name of his successor left no room for doubt, it is obviously the former French 1.6 superstar, Christophe "SIXER" Xia who took his place.
Now playing with Millenium, DEVIL has agreed to grant us an exclusive interview in which he talks about his time in EnVyUs, from his arrival to his departure, his position and role in the formation, the critics of the community, the internal atmosphere and some polemics and statements after his departure.
Hi Tim! It is now official, you are no longer a player of team EnVyUS, though it was a week since the information was out on Twitter and various websites. How have you heard about the news and what was your immediate reaction?
Hello neL! I learned the news with an appointment on Teamspeak. I was surprised by the timing, as humanly everything seemed to go a little better in the team and the results were better. Afterwards, there were many rumors and some relatives had warned me.
To everyone's surprise, the community has been rather mixed on this change, many supporting you and questioning the choice of nV, part thinking you were finally starting to take your place in the team. Were you surprised of this support?
I was really surprised by all this support and it really helped me not to give up mentally. Besides, I stream more often now than before, as I have more available time to do so... and on chat "BOT DEVIL" has stopped so it's really nice, thank you all.
Today, what feelings and memories do you keep of this adventure with EnVyUS? What were your expectations when you joined them last March? Did you quickly realize that it would be complicated?
A disappointment overall. When I arrived in Envy I suspected that I had to replace kioShiMa role per role, which was not easy. I had prepared myself and I thought that with the big line up we had, we could go back in the top 5 pretty quickly. Finally, we began to ascend but we still lacked a little bit of time (I do not necessarily speak for official matches, but also praccs). I knew there were high expectations about me, but as I said, I was prepared for it.
When you were recruited, what was the speech of your teammates on your positioning and how to use you? Did they ask you what you wanted or what they could do to help you to integrate faster?
When I got in the team, I replaced kioShiMa role per role. There was no choice possible about my position, which is quite logical since they won a Major with this setup.
So let’s speak about your role, or rather of your roles in EnVyUs. Can you explain the chronology of things and positions that you occupied over time? Did you feel comfortable in this team at any point of time?
In the timeline, my CT role was to be a support player for Happy and play alone on B (much like olofmeister and KRiMZ). After the holidays, i was at a position with a duo, kennyS on Cache and NBK on Dust2, except when I was on Mirage, i was backup A and Cobblestone drop.
Regarding the Terrorist side, at the beginning, I was in the attack trio then I found myself in an extremity instead of NBK, but with Envy style of play I always ended up with the trio (with the exception of a few phases). I usually followed NBK/apEX except on predefined strats. I then took the lead for a while, but I was not really being an ingame leader. It was just to give Happy a break when he didn’t want to lead anymore.
You've been criticized a lot during these 6 months in nV, how did you experience the situation? Have you received support internally with your teammates and org? Did you doubt?
I know that some people think the critics have touched me. Yes, they affect everyone somehow, but overall not that much, it's more that I was not feeling comfortable in the team. With the team, we didn’t talk much about it except with Next, NBK and a bit apEX that was telling me not to pay attention to comments.
Once, yes, I doubted myself and I questioned myself but after watching demos, I thought that in the end, I usually did my part of the job. My role was not to be on top of the scoreboard and, anyway, I saw very well that it was not possible to be with the role i had. We must also say that even if all goes well, you must question yourself, otherwise you will never move forward.
How was the atmosphere in the team over the months of non-victories? Have you seen tensions? You had Next and Maniac and then EnkayJ with you, did they help you to step back and understand the problems of the team?
The atmosphere was somewhat deteriorating in game but there were not so many tensions between players anyway. Many solutions have been used to try to change the ingame atmosphere. Happy had the idea to impose that nobody speaks in Terro apart himself, since he is the leader and this is in my opinion from that moment that we began to recover.
When i joined, Maniac helped me mentally and Enkay is there in analysis therefore does not interfere with the team. About Next, he was very good at managerial role, maybe not all the time on our sides because there are many things to manage in a pro team, but he was there in hard times. In the end, even if EnVy plummeted from top 1/2 to top 10, players remained fairly professionals.
As said Kenny, "Our biggest issue was with kioShiMa", but it seems that it is a deeper problem in the end. As you experienced it from the inside, would you know now why a team can go from two major finals to two major groupstages and no more significant victory? Do you understand why and how?
It remains a personal opinion and I will not go far to not hurt anyone. I think the problem is deeper than one player, there are several solutions to this but they need to question many things in the team. I’m not talking about players but about a play style.
The play style that is currently there is a play style where if everyone is on point and no errors are made, Envy is a tier 1 team, but unfortunately this happens only rarely. By the way, apEX has been criticized for his inconsistency, but it is precisely because of this playstyle: either he will make 25 kills as T and make the team win but he can also make 8 kills and it's really hard to open the bombsites.
How do you think EnVyUs should have used you to develop 100% of your potential?
I don’t think that this would have been possible to use 100% of my potential, as my position is "aggressive lurk", without having to change the whole play style of the team. I think with a little more time and confidence on some phases/calls, my arrival with this role of "revenge player" would have been easier and would have allowed me to perform better by providing small stuff in addition to the team.
The day the unofficial announcement of your departure was leaked by well-informed persons, Happy and apEX were seen being making fun on stream, including quoting your name and using a special accent. What was your reaction and do you want to comment on this "incident"?
Ahhhh, here is the salt. I will try to defend myself and this will only be my point of view. Many things that I would say are not general and will not target anyone in particular.
So first of all, to be clear I was told that the video was not from the time of my kick but I could not know, so there's a context. About my accent, i joke about it as said apEX, I used it and also overplayed it for fun and to try to integrate myself easier.
Apart from the accent, there was a lot of “insistence” on other subjects that of course made them laugh some but obviously not the guy they joke about (so me)... I do not aim anybody in particular, I’m just explaining why I didn’t feel so good in the team.
And about the video, it is especially the fact that in the end, from what I've heard from relatives who have no reason to lie to me, since DH Bucharest they decided i will be kicked, and so the fact that Happy is doing my tic looking at SIXER in game is that thing that pissed me off.
Some days after the official release of your replacement, Happy wrote a statement about this change. He didn’t mince words about you, saying that you did many mistakes or that you were not really receptive at what they were asking you to do. What’s your opinion about this declaration?
About mistakes, of course that I did some… noone is perfect. But at the end, what he didn’t say, is that it’s NBK and me who did the less mistakes such as “pushing at the wrong time” or “speeding up the game at the wrong time”.
And about the fact that I wasn’t really receptive, I think I always did what they asked me to do. Even if at the start, I had difficulties because it was a new role. If we take a look, it was only at the beginning of the adventure that I wasn’t receptive because in duo, there were things which were not logical for me and even more when i compared with other duos that I watched on demos. At the end, I followed their orders and I did what they wanted me to do it even if in my mind, it was really illogical moves.
After the summer, I didn’t have problems anymore with my duos. On the Terrorist side, Dan can confirm it. There was less and less mistakes in our quartet, even when I was in the trio before the summer.
Let's try to end this interview on a positive note, what have you learned over these months in an international level team and organisation such as EnVyUs and alongside players who have won everything?
First, I learned how to play a new role at a high level. In my previous teams, I always have been the lurker, I was able to make some calls but I didn't know how it was working in the "trio of attack". I also learned that a team with good players isn't enough to perform well. Each player has to be open to the others, to make a real team together. I learned that it was important never to give up. You can say what you want but in my opinion, EnVyus is getting better and better since the beginning of the summer.
Lets talk about your future now. You are now with Millenium for a short term, do you think you could stay for a longer period? Would you be ok to jump in a new adventure after Millenium or do you prefer to wait what will happen in the coming months?
No, I won't continue with Millenium. It's something that has been imposed to me in the trade with SIXER. As EnVyUs and Millenium had competitions incoming, I accepted it to avoid a blocking, to permit them to go their own way. I would have loved to continue directly, to not waste my time but sadly, as all the teams have contracts ongoing till December/ January. I will wait and see what will happen then.
If you could do it again, would you join nV again? If so, what would you change?
Yes because I didn't have any other choice. Another LDLC player would have been picked instead of me. I have earned a lot of experience which will serve me in the future. And without knowing how it would end, I thought I was joining the best team of the world, the one with the biggest potential so it was impossible for me to refuse the offer.
Thank you for accepting to answer this interview so quickly after your replacement. The last words are up to you.
Thanks to Flickshot for the interview. I would also like to thank the whole Envyus team, the players, Next, Enkay, Hastr0, Maniac, and all of our sponsors : Monster Energy, HyperX, Elgato Gaming, Zowie, Scuf Gaming, DxRacer, Twitch and also Millenium for the warm welcome with Samish and Geekory. A last thank you to all the people who supported me and who are still doing it.
Pictures by HLTV.org, DreamHack, Gfinity.