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Shox about the challenges up ahead: ”I can reach my peak form again”

av Simon Engstrand
Richard "shox" Papillon
Richard ”shox” Papillon

For a long time, Titan have been known for relying on superstars such as Kenny ”KennyS” Schrub to play insanely well in order for the team to win.
Recently KennyS as well as Dan ”apex” Madesclaire left Titan for Team EnvyUs, a move that also saw Edouard ’SmithZz’ Dubourdeaux and Richard ”shox” Papillon go in the other direction.
– I’m feeling good with my personal form, even though I know I’m far away from my top level, Shox says to Aftonbladet Esport.

For a long time, Titan was a team relying on the insane individual skill from the superstar Kenny ”KennyS” Schrub. However, in the recent french shuffle they lost their AWP:er along with Dan ”apex” Madesclaire in a trade for Richard ”shox” Papillon and Edouard ”SmithZz” Dubourdeaux.

Shox himself has on many occasion been considered a superstar in his own right, and this weekend he certainly has to step up for his team in the biggest major of the year, ESL One Cologne.
– I’m feeling good about my personal form, even though I know I’m far away from my top level. From the very beginning I’ve been working hard with the team aspect with Kévin ”Ex6TenZ” Droolans, focusing more on how the rounds are played, what we should do, what we shouldn’t do and so on, than on my individual performance and my own crosshair. However, when all the pieces come together I have no doubt I can reach my peak form again. In terms of Cologne, it all depends on us being able to find the right play style versus our different opponents, but if things go well, shoxieJESUS could appear, a smiling Shox tells Aftonbladet Esport.

How do you feel playing with the new team?
– Really great. We had a really hard debut at the Cologne Qualification with only 4 days of practices but we managed to do well and I was really happy. At the moment we’re bootcamping and we’re continuing to put in work. Everything is going well, I can feel that we are growing and learning after every match, and that’s the most important factor for me. I definitely have faith in us and know that we can do something big together.

What do you predict for the major?
 I can’t really answer this question because I’m not fully aware of the shape of the others teams, I’m just maximum focusing on my own and I definitely trust us to make a semi­ final. It’s going to be really hard with Fnatic and Na’Vi in our group, but it’s all about the mentality. We have the power to do something great, now let’s just see how it goes on the server.

”We’ve got better tactics and team play”

The summer of 2014 came with a large scaled French shuffle. 2015 brought us something similar. Both Team EnvyUs and Titan had shown a lackluster performance and changes seemed to be on their way. In the middle of July a trade between both teams was made.
– We have two totally different teams at the moment, especially in terms of game style. I think they’ve got a more skill based team overall, but looking at our Titan lineup I have no doubt that we’ve got better tactics and team play. Now it all comes down to us hitting our shots on those important days. Ultimately it’s still too early to judge who is the best team, I would say they are ahead us with their victory at IEM Cologne, but we’ll only be able to truly judge a few months from now, Shox says.

You and SmithZz switched teams, and it was made clear that you two are a package deal. Why is it so important for you two to play together?
– I don’t really know his point of view, but from my perspective I’ve played almost my entire career alongside him. Every big title I’ve won he was there, and that’s not for nothing. For me he’s someone you really need in a team. He brings so much in terms of team chemistry, and that’s the most important thing when you want to reach the top level. On a personal level he’s also a calming influence, me knowing he’s on my side helps me bring my A­ game. It would be very difficult today to imagine myself playing in a team without him.

What do you feel went wrong in Envy?
– We had some internal problems which we didn’t find the solutions to due to poor communication. We weren’t satisfied with our results, everyone had a different point of view as to why we had these bad results, but we didn’t communicate with each other. When you stop talking honestly and openly you come to a point where you just can’t go back, and we reached this point with Envy unfortunately.

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