Limpone: "We're not the current pros, but we will be"
GODSENT raised some eyebrows from the community when they announced that they were opening an academy to take on some of today's youth in the hopes that they could become the stars of the future. Not much is known about how they operate, but overall, it seems like a move for the better; in an ever-changing landscape that demands results, perhaps academies are the best method for fostering the pros of tomorrow, as opposed to throwing them straight into the frying pan.
Seeing as it is a new experiment, we may not see the fruits of their labor for some months to come. However, I was lucky enough to be able to exchange some words with a very interesting prospect, Linus "Limpone" Wecksell, one of the current members of GODSENT Academy and, coincidentally, the little brother of ex-Fnatic and current-GODSENT star Jesper "JW" Wecksell.
In this interview, I asked Limpone about his own background, growing up with a star sibling, what life is like in the GODSENT Academy, and some of his thoughts about the scene as it is unfolding today.
I’ll start simple: how’s it going?
I'm doing well, man. The team is undergoing quite some changes, so I'm staying busy and progressing as always, what about you?
I’m doing well, thanks for asking. Let’s start with your name: your brother took the easy route with his and just used his initials. Where did your name come from?
To be honest, I don't think he just took it from his initials. He started being called that around the same time a movie called Snabba Cash was released, where the main character was called "JW," and after that, people thought it was fitting to call Jesper that due to his initials, and it just stuck. That's how I remember it, I could be wrong though.
But regarding my name, I always struggle with finding "the perfect name" and at some point it just made sense to me to be called what everyone called me in real life, and that's "Limpan.” But then I started thinking, if I make it onto the international level, it would sound quite stupid if a commentator said Limpan, so I tried to make it more "English-friendly," and that's how I came up with "Limpone." Still, to this day, I’m not sure what's the best way to pronounce it though.
I came upon your Steam profile and noticed you only have 200 hours on 1.6—were you not as interested in Counter-Strike until Global Offensive came out?
Well, yes and no. I was always interested in CS, but I was very young and 1.6 was a bit harder to get into. I was playing World of Warcraft with my friends at the time, and no one else other than me really enjoyed CS 1.6 in my friend group, and I hate playing games alone—that's why I never play single-player games—so I just couldn't find any friends to play with, so I didn't really play.
When Source came out though, I found some friends in my town that played that game, and I started playing with them on Playzeek and gathered like 1000 hours just playing public servers, nothing too serious.
For someone who has never seen you play before, how would you describe your style of play and your role on the team?
My role on the team is in-game leader, and it has been in most of my teams, but that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with my playstyle. I'd describe myself as really aggressive but also a smart player. I like to use flashbangs and grenades in every situation possible, and I don't like going for "raw" aim duels. I want to surprise my opponents or only take duels where I have the upper hand, of course, that doesn't always work though.
Obviously, JW was a pro in 1.6 and then became a superstar in GO. Did he help out early on in your career, learning the game and becoming a professional?
To be honest, not really because I was never playing when he had a lot of time. I didn't get Global Offensive right when it came out either. I started playing around the time he was playing for Epsilon in 2013 and that would be around the time JW was the most busy with his own career. I was just playing matchmaking back then with my other brother Jimmy. I'd say Jimmy is the one who helped me out the most developing as a player in the beginning, but after awhile, I started getting ahead of him.
Funny enough, you were a part of the GODSENT organization before your brother was. How did you end up in the academy?
Honestly, I was really skeptic towards the whole academy project. I was actually at work when I heard GODSENT was taking applications for their youth team, and I had another team project at the time, but decided I'd write an application just because it'd be fun knowing if they would actually consider me.
When they did, me and my current team with Eric "Ericip" Torsson and Gabriel "Shrew" Gessle was actually just about to get picked up by GamersLeague, and we were playing ESEA Main and CEVO Main, which are decent leagues, so it was a hard choice to leave that for something that maybe wouldn't even go all the way, but I made GODSENT consider taking in Ericip and Shrew in the tryout session with me and they did.
So, we went through the tryout together. It came down to a top-30 and we were mixed like once a week with the other tryout members in different teams, facing each other in best-of-three series until they finally picked out the top-five, and that's where we are now.
With what you know about the scene and your experience with GODSENT, what would you say makes an academy different from a regular professional team?
I'd say that an academy team offers so much more stability. Like, in the semi-pro scene in Sweden, there's decent teams being created and disbanded every week or so, just because they lose a tournament to what they consider noobs, or just because they're going through some hardships, that makes it easier just disbanding the team.
But when you're a part of a big org and you're an academy team, you have greater players above you that you can seek advice from when you run into these problems, and people aren't just going to leave the team after one failure when there's so many other things that are giving us a great opportunity at succeeding.
However, an academy team is a development team; people look at us and think there are much better players out there, but that's kind of the point. We're fresh and we're the future. We're not the current pros, but we will be.
Do you interact at all with the senior lineup? Does the academy make any attempt to mix you guys for practice, or any other purpose?
The senior lineup helps us out a lot and they've made sure to make us feel like we're not bothering them at all when we have any questions related to our game-plan or how we should solve different problems. They have their own team and their own problems, but they help us out whenever they can. I'd say the most help we've had is from Alexander "RDL" Redl [the current coach of GODSENT] though, he's always staying on top of what we're currently doing, and giving his input constantly of what the next move should be, which helps a lot.
Obviously, you cannot live up to your brother’s name. What you can do is make your own name in the scene. How do you think being part of the GODSENT Academy is preparing you as a professional CS player, and is it expected that you can make the pro team in the future?
I know our team has very dedicated players who are trying to do as much as they can to make sure the team is succeeding. Obviously, everyone’s goal is to make it pro as soon as possible, but to be realistic, it's most likely gonna happen within a year, not just a few months. I personally think our team could go far in a short amount of time if we play our cards right.
I'd say within the year we should be a contending team. I'm not sure at what level, but something less than that would be a failure I'd say, then how soon we achieve it, I can't tell. I'm just happy to be playing with awesome people and developing everyday. How quick it goes doesn't really matter, as long as we're going forward.
On your Twitter, you mentioned that you work for JW Gaming, the company set up by your brother that has a storefront in your hometown of Avesta. How do you help out, and how is the project in general going?
I work out by working in the store as a cashier, or simply sending out packages to the people ordering over the web shop. Building a brand takes time, but I definitely think we're going in the right direction. I do a bit of everything, that's the easiest way to describe it.
Seeing as you are a young professional player, I’m interested to know how you feel about Valve’s change to in-game coaching. Have you been coached a lot in your career?
I haven't been coached that much, and I kind of like the change to be honest. I think the decision was so heavily overblown that people only looked at the bad aspects and the fact that Valve is [bad] at communication.
But it makes sense, I think higher tier teams can afford a great "sixth player" and underdogs aren't going to be able to do that. I think this change allows for upsets to happen, and I mean, I think upsets are great and give new players great opportunity. Do you think Fnatic would have won DreamHack 2013 if NiP had a coach? I don't know, but I don't think so. CS is a fluid, emotional game, and having a coach keeping those aspects in check is a big deal.
You kind of answered my next question, which was do you think having an in-game coach would help your overall growth or do you think it’s better to play it the way Valve wants it to be: five-on-five?
Yeah, like I said, I think it should stay five-on-five, otherwise salaried teams with great coaches are going to have a huge lead [on teams below them]. It’s cool having an aspect of the game where we can admire coaches and what they've done and such, but I think a coach should practice with the team and make practicing easier, help individuals, call timeouts when needed and tell people what to think about, not read the entire game and make calls. That's just my opinion though.
Let’s look outside of CS: are you going to school right now? How’s that going?
Actually, not right now. I took a year off to figure out what line of school I really want to go in. I wasn't happy with my school or the area I chose to read into, so I'm just working and playing CS right now. I would rather work than study, but school isn't off the table once my break is over.
Is there anybody in the scene who you take inspiration from both as a pro and as a young adult?
To be honest, I don't really think so. I take a lot of things from other players and integrate it into my gameplay, but I don't really look up to anyone that much, other than my brother obviously.
But I actually like Richard Lewis a lot. I know that he's not a player, but he's within the scene and I just think he has such a great view on how to deal with things and life in general. He always stays legit, so he's probably the only person I look up to in that sense.
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say? Anybody you would like to shoutout, or any advice you would like to give?
Yeah, thanks for interviewing me and thanks to all the people that are following me and my team and cheering us on, this is just the beginning.
Thank you so much for your time. Good luck with your career!
Huge thank you to Linus for taking the time to honor this interview request. We wish him and the rest of the GODSENT Academy the best of luck with their future endeavours. You can follow Linus on Twitter at @LimponeCSGO. You can also follow the interviewer at @ohwhatitsmeels.