Despite being out of competitive games for months, Tyler ”Skadoodle” Latham jumped into Cloud9 and immediately showed he’s one of the very best players on the North American scene.
After a dominant performance against Team Liquid in the ESL ESEA Pro League, casters named him the best AWP:er in the region by far, but titles like that is not something the newly recruited player worries about.
– I personally look past those, worry less about what people think and instead focus on my own game and to improve everyday, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Only months before the now infamous betting scandal was confirmed by Valve, Tyler ”Skadoodle” Latham and his iBUYPOWER presented their best LAN results ever on European soil as they came in second place at FaceIT league season 2, losing to Fnatic 1-3 in the finals. But then in January, the reports of foul play in a game between Latham’s team and NetCodeGuides.com were confirmed and the team was disbanded shortly after.
”Fully confident I would come back into the scene”
Even though his name was cleared and he wasn’t suspended like his teammates after the scandal, Skadoodle didn’t play in a solid lineup for three months. But when Cloud9 decided to pick up the AWP:er he showed the world that he hadn’t missed a beat, and soon started putting up dominant performances. Most notably against Team Liquid in the ESL ESEA Pro League where he carried his team with some huge clutches. Now he talks about how he stayed focused on his professional career after all that went down, and his feelings about once again getting to travel the world to play CS:GO.
You haven’t been a permanent part of a squad since the iBUYPOWER drama happened, yet you seem to have conserved your form in an amazing way. How have you been working the last couple of months to preserve your competitive edge?
– I’ve used most of my time streaming CS:GO pugs a few times during the week, and mostly watching the top tier teams play on the sidelines. I played just enough to maintain my skill and to make sure I was ready to come back whenever it was time to play competitively again.
After the whole deal with your last team, how did you reason about your future career? Was it always guaranteed that you’d keep playing professionally or did you have any doubts?
– I was fully confident I would come back into the scene and play professionally again but I wasn’t sure when. The iBUYPOWER incident put a halt on my career for a short bit, but I’m now past that.
Joining up with Cloud9, the most well-known of the US teams in Europe, how did you feel when you got that opportunity?
– It’s always a good feeling to play for a team that has the resources to put you into a full-time CS:GO position, the opportunity was there and I felt that this would be the best choice for me to take.
”Hoping to bring consistency to the Cloud9 team”
After your show against Team Liquid the casters said you were the best AWP:er in North America by a longshot. What are your thoughts when you hear that? Do you feel any pressure to perform?
– Sometimes I think back to the time when I was a clear ”nobody” in the CS:GO scene and how hard I’ve worked to improve myself as an AWP:er and player in general. And to think some people in the scene consider me the best AWP:er in North America is a great feeling. Everybody has their own opinions and we should respect them. I personally look past those titles and worry less about what people think and to focus on my own game and to improve everyday. The pressure used to be a problem especially when I was at the stages of ”proving” myself, but now that I’ve got the experience it’s not so bad.
Will you bring something to the team that you feel they’ve been lacking in the past, in your opinion?
– Personally, I consider myself a very calm player, and I’m hoping to bring consistency to the Cloud9 team. With my knowledge and experience hopefully I can bring something to the table.
How does it feel to once again be able to travel the world and compete at the largest tournaments available after your hiatus?
– It feels good to do something you love and to travel the world to different tournaments. Instead of sitting in your room all day playing CS:GO you get to see what it’s like across the pond once in a while. It’s in large part possible because of both tournament organizers and especially our awesome sponsors like G2A.com, LogitechG, HTC, and many more. They are the driving force behind the scenes that makes all of this possible. Coming back and working for Cloud9 is one of the best decisions I’ve made.
”I think we are behind EU a lot”
After the Katowice major, a lot of people talked about the difference in communication between EU and NA teams. Is this something you’ve acknowledged and are working to improve now?
– I think it just really comes down to what teams are really prepared and which teams aren’t. It would make sense for a team to have very calm communications because they know what they’re doing and what their teammates are doing around them, so they only need to say so much. A team that shows up unprepared may often over call some things and it can be very chaotic at times because people aren’t one hundred percent sure what’s going on around them. They just want to make sure their teammates know what is and isn’t covered etcetera. Obviously this could go into more depth but this is just my personally opinion on it.
How do you think the ESL ESEA Pro League will help the US community? Will it possibly help close the gap to Europe in any way?
– The league has bumped up a few more lower tier teams and it’s giving more players a light to shine in and more opportunities for sponsors to come in and invest. We are playing for a lot of money and with more teams in the pool, the NA scene will have more competition and that will only make us better. I can’t comment too much on the gap with EU because only so many teams get the opportunity to play them but I think we are behind by a lot.