The master of the mix, Shuaib “Shoobie” Saddique, has played alongside many up-and-coming UK talents on LAN one of which is Karrar “Karrar” Almayali. The rifler has now decided to go away from his mixing ways and take his first step into team CS with DuckDuckGOOSE. At their very first LAN they took down Viperio and look to go even further as they prepare for their match against K10.
Karrar sat down with UKCSGO and spoke about the controversial tech pause, how the team game together and why the team has yet to get an organisation. He even opened up about which organisations in the UK scene that the team had been in talks with. Read about all this and more in the article below.
What a win against Viperio, talk me through the game.
We came in pretty confident, we got battered by Verdant at the start, 2-0, but obviously they are the best team in here. They are the favourites to win. So we weren’t too upset when they beat us, yeah we made a lot of mistakes and we could have played better, but as Behindx said, we didn’t bring our end game, we weren’t focused enough. And we have moz who is a stand-in for Prime because Prime couldn’t make it to the LAN. We took the loss on the chin.
For the Viperio game we knew they had a couple weaknesses, namely they had their coach playing and a stand-in because they made some roster changes so we had confidence coming in. We knew there was stuff we can exploit, Tony (Behindx) made some really good calls and we played with confident.
When you look back at that game, you were 10-4 down and then you get the tech pause which sucked all the energy out of the game. Did you think the win was marred a bit by the tech pause or did it not really affect the result?
It doesn’t really affect it for us because we had a bad CT half and they were winning. It was 8-4 first half and then they won the first two rounds on their CT half. So they had the momentum coming in and the pause really killed any momentum they had. We didn’t have that much momentum. We just tried to keep the energy up, making jokes. Obviously we can’t talk about the game because its a tech pause, so we were just trying to keep the vibe there so we can try and mount a good comeback on the second half. We just took it round by round, one round at a time and we didn’t panic at situations and yeah, it worked.
Before you came into the event what were your expectations?
Honestly second or third place we thought we could make. K10 we thought we could beat them if we are playing well, Viperio we thought we could definitely beat them because of the circumstances they are under, but Verdant… I think of a good day we could maybe upset a map, but they are too drilled out, as artist said they prepared for us. On the first day, the travel day, we can hear them scrimming the whole day, they were preparing really hard so that set the expectation.
Let’s talk about your team, not much is known as DuckDuckGOOSE as you are new to the scene as a five. How did the team come about?
Well I had a main spot and I wanted to play with Fizzy and we know Tony (Behindx) through pugging. I asked him to join the project we were trying to make and he came in and got us luccs, a Lithuanian guy that we had never met, but he’s really good. He plays a lot of pugs so he’s more of a pugger and we didn’t have much information about his team play. But we took that risk and it paid off because he’s a really good player, he’s genuinely very good and smart. He adapted to the CS2 AWP style much quicker than other AWPers. Prime, Fizzy knew him, he trialled three guys before him, but he fit almost instantly with us. His role is the star player and he does exactly what we need him to do, takes his fights, and makes the good calls in dire situations.
Does he still have a spot on this team?
Yeah yeah of course. Moz is just a stand-in because Prime had a trip planned for months, it was just poor timing and we got Moz in, just in time.
How has Moz been as a stand-in?
A great stand-in. Obviously we didn’t prepare very much with him, but we can’t ask more of him because he’s just done everything and more. Very good player, I’ve been friends with him for years so I knew he was good and I recommended him instantly. As soon as Prime said he can’t make it I said “we can get Moz.” He was in a Div 2, but he took the gamble and left that spot to join us, and then we beat TLR so the gamble paid off.
How does it feel to be the only non-orged team here?
Not great. We’ve been a team for two months now, we expected to get an org by now. We were in talks with Raptors and TLR, but nothing really happened in the end as they picked up other teams. Hopefully with a good event placing here we can turn some heads and get an organisation coming our way.
How seriously are you taking this team? Is this something you want to build for the future?
Pretty seriously. This is a long term project, we knew that from the get go. We have our issues, we have our problems, but everything is there for the long run. No-one is looking at this in a short-term way, no-one has said that we need to make playoffs in the first season, advanced in the next. There was no certain milestones to hit, everyone is in this for the long run. We had ours troubles, but we knew we could work through it.
Your personal journey, we’ve seen your name at LANs playing alongside shoobie, what do you see the next step being for you?
I started mixing, all I did was mix then I played with Fizzy and Tony and thought, “I can finally get into a team.” There’s a different in experience when you are talking about a team versus a mix, you can’t really compare the two. I really want to take it seriously, I want to play a lot of team CS, get better, get smarter and who knows maybe get into advanced maybe higher, push through.