With that announcement also came the official appointment of Brazilian head coach Luis "peacemaker" Tadeau. Luis is no stranger to Danish Counter-Strike.
He has had two stints as head coach of Heroic along with a host of other lineups in North America and beyond.
We caught up with peacemaker to go over some of his past head coaching gigs, his reputation in the community and what he’s looking forward to in 2020.
To start off I want to go a bit of your history. You've coached quite a few different teams since 2015. In fact, you leaving a team to move onto a new one has become a bit of a meme on the CS:GO subreddit. I know there were a few different issues that contributed to this. Can you sort of sum up how you got to this point and what you've learned as a coach and a teammate in the last few years?
I think the fans and people that follow the scene are right to some extent. I can't run away from the fact that I did coach several teams and I haven't stayed for a long period of time in the majority of them.
The only thing that saddens me is that a lot of people don't try to understand or hear both sides of the story, so they just assume things based on what they hear from people that I would call “opinion makers” or they simply judge stuff out of nowhere.
In fact, I definitely made some mistakes in the past, stuff that I would do completely different if it was today. For example, my behaviour as a coach and teammate and the very strict way of coaching some of my past teams.
That wasn't optimal at all, even though it did work and brought decent results in the majority of those teams, but in the end, it was an unhealthy work environment.
So I would say that what I learned the most as a coach and teammate in the last few years is definitely being more receptive and flexible to ideas, developing a good relationship with my players and earning their trust, and obviously ingame my background and all the stuff I went through in all my past teams.
Coaching players in different regions and dealing with multiple personalities gave me so much experience that a lot of coaches don't have, and I have to use that for the benefit of the team I coach now.
After speaking with some of your former players, I've heard nothing but praise for your work ethic and gameplan setup for your teams. Can you talk a bit about you approach entering a new team and what steps you take to make sure you and the IGL are on the same page?
When I enter a new team, the first thing I do is to first understand what their expectations are for me as a coach, understand how much I can help them with and on which areas I should focus on the most, and definitely building a really good and healthy relationship with my players.
In a way, I want them to feel extremely comfortable talking with me about anything needed, so I focus a lot on understanding their weaknesses and strengths as humans and players.
That helps me a lot in understanding how to deal with them in and outside of the game, how to help them to improve as players and make them reach their full potential, without affecting their personal goals, their real life and making the whole environment way more healthy for the team.
I also have a very specific way of approaching in-game stuff that throughout my career proved to be very effective on all my past teams.
I think a lot of players and especially my IGL will benefit a lot from me if they are open minded to learn different metas and ways of approaching the game, reading your opponents, finding tendencies and abusing other teams weaknesses and that kind of stuff.
With my IGLs, I try to build an even closer relation so that we are always on the same page. We are never running a single system, it’s a balance between some of my thoughts, the IGL’s thoughts and some of the stuff that the players likes to do.
So we make sure to have everyone as comfortable as possible, but in the end, we need leadership so the final decisions are from the IGL and myself.
I believe that if the Coach and IGL are not on the same page on majority of the things, the players will be affected by that and your results are not going to be the best possible which directly affects your long term goals.
Fast forward to the Tricked/MAD Lions situation. I know you were doing some work with the Tricked lineup before you were officially announced. Can you tell us how that came about?
I met HUNDEN throughout this year and in 2018 while I was coaching Heroic. We’ve never been really close, but I always thought he was a very down to earth guy, really smart on preparing his teams and reinventing their rosters and ways of approaching the game. I always heard positive things about his leadership and stuff like that.
After watching them at V4 Budapest 2019, which they won, I thought their new roster had a lot of potential for growth. I’m not taking credit away from them, but I definitely think a lot of people underestimated Tricked back then, and if there was one thing that we never did in Heroic it was going into a match unprepared and unfocused against those guys.
We all knew how important it was to be extremely on point and prepared no matter if they were a worse team than us on paper.
So basically I reached out to him after that event, they had a coach that wasn't full-time helping them and it was an instant match let's put it like that. We agreed to start getting a feeling off of each other immediately in October, and I've been coaching them since then.
The lineup recently moved to Mad Lions and you officially took over the coaching role. What has it been like working with such a legendary IGL in HUNDEN and what have you learned from each other about how you approach work in the server?
It’s quite early, but I can definitely say that it has been amazing to work with Nicolai so far, he's not as strict as I thought he would be based on his immense background and experience in CS. In fact, it was a happy surprise that from day one he was very open to try different ideas and has always mentioned how much he believed that I could contribute to him and this team.
That gave me a lot of motivation and desire to help him and the other guys.
We have been slowly improving some in-game aspects. We are working a lot on our map pool, there's a lot of new strategies that we created together, in terms of preparation for officials he and I are extremely good on building our gameplans together so I am very happy about that aspect.
There's still a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to being more consistent on some of our strongest maps, fixing our biggest weaknesses, especially on Inferno and Mirage which are right now our weakest maps and that we will put a lot of focus on for the next year.
DustII has become one of our strongest maps and before I joined it was basically their second veto, so I am very impressed with the whole team, their work ethic and improvement so far.
After getting to meet all of them in DreamHack Sevilla, I could definitely see how much they are committed to make this project work and they all made me feel very comfortable to be the best version of myself.
Also, it’s safe to say that we have an amazing organization to represent right now, that will give not only the players but also myself all the tools we need to make this a successful project in the long run.
Moving on to next year, I know the 2020 CS:GO landscape is going to get a bit wild with all the leagues set to be announced. What are you looking to accomplish as a team in the new year and what are some of the main goals you have as a coach?
We are aiming to be a part of one of those big leagues, and that's certainly going to help us to gain more experience as a team and compete against way higher caliber of teams.
If I’m being honest, I don't think we are ready yet to win big events or convincingly beat any of those top five teams. This is our absolute main goal for the next year, I think that when we are prepared and my players are in the zone, we can definitely beat and upset anyone.
They already proved to be that kind of team, but my goal for 2020 is to make this team a consistent contender for the Top 10. I think that's a realistic goal, I don't think that anyone besides Astralis, Liquid, EG, Mouz and Fnatic are very consistent nowadays, so the fight for the last five spots to be on Top 10 are pretty open and depends on a lot of factors.
And if I'm allowed to dream a little bigger, making it to the major in Brazil and being able to perform in front of my people would make me the happiest man alive. I understand that's not a very realistic goal, but we will work very hard to make it to the Europe Minor in Rio at least.