kNgV-: "It's hard to find a lineup with our characteristics"
PGL Major Kraków 2017 finalist Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe can't wait to get back on track of the competitive scene with O PLANO, a former MiBR line-up, which has been released at the start of the year after failing to sign the players with "75 percent devaluation for a contract renewal.". With players split between different organizations, it seems to be an impossible task for the Brazilians to unite under the banner of one. But the faith is strong between the players and they continue their search for a new home. In an interview with HLTV.org the star AWP has shared his thoughts on this situation and discussed some other related topics as well.
When I spoke with you at the end of November, you said the following: "I have a good relationship with MIBR, we have spoken a lot, especially after the departures of TACO and fer. I think our relationship has got a bit tighter." What changed?
Indeed, we had a close relationship, I had some honest talks with [Immortals Gaming Club CEO] Ari Segal and [MIBR Director] Fly before building the last lineup, I gave my feedback about what was happening at the time and I made it clear that I had a plan to build a team with LUCAS1, HEN1 and trk. The only thing that changed was that we could not negotiate our renewal, we did not have that opportunity.
When you decided not to speak with MIBR anymore, was there truly a plan, or were you operating on the faith and conviction that you would be able to find an organisation?
It was MIBR that decided not to negotiate with us, they made an offer, which they said was final, and told us that we should let them know as soon as possible if we were not going to take it. That's what we did, we did not have the opportunity to negotiate. Fly made it clear before we travelled that we should not have high expectations about the renewal. Based on that, we started thinking about which steps we would take if we did not renew. It would have been imprudent on our part to make a decision involving seven people based on faith. Our convictions were based on ourselves, we know what we are.
The average age on our team is 25 years, which means we're a young team, with the core of a Major finalist team, with three rising talents and a coach that won multiple championships. We have a team that has been tested against tier-one opponents and that climbed 220 places in the ranking in 30 days, breaking viewership records. Our team has a lot of impact on social media and is probably the most popular team in Brazil right now. Can you find another lineup like this in the market? These are our convictions.
Did you expect it to be this hard to find an organisation?
Yes, we knew it would not be simple to find an organisation. Just like it's hard to find a lineup with our characteristics, it is not simple to find an organisation to support a tier-one team. The difficulties when it comes to negotiations are part of the game.
A month ago, cogu said that there were talks with Flamengo and Envy. How are these and other negotiations going?
We are in a period that we call 'road show'. We are open to offers and we are evaluating the opportunities that are being presented to us.
As time goes by, the window of opportunity gets shorter, and soon the team will start dropping down in the ranking. Do you feel pressure to find an organisation? Do you feel that you are gambling with your careers?
I do not think that the window of opportunity is getting shorter; in fact, it will get bigger in the following months. I do not feel that we are gambling with our careers. On the contrary, I think we are preserving our careers. The choice of a new organisation needs to be carefully made. We are the ones who will be signing contracts, we need to have synergy with our new home, our careers and dreams will be tied to that organisation.
We are aware of the difficulties and the pressure to compete at the top, and we are searching for an organisation that can provide a healthy and productive environment so that we can give our best. To reach the top you have to be 110 per cent committed, and we need support.
Given the current economic climate because of the COVID-19 pandemic, do you think it is difficult to find an organisation willing to meet the release clauses of so many players? Are Sharks, MIBR, FURIA and DETONA willing to negotiate?
The coronavirus has had a financial impact everywhere and it has been a tough situation for everyone around the globe, but we cannot escape the fact that our scene has grown during the pandemic and that there is a wave of new [business] people entering esports. If we look exclusively at CS:GO, we can see more and more football clubs building their lineups, we can also see successful football players building teams based on their brands.
I believe there are opportunities. Our representatives and our lawyers have talked to the teams we are contracted to, and they are willing to negotiate. They each have their own terms.
Check out the end of the interview on HLTV.org.
Currrent O PLANO line-up:
- Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe
- Henrique "HEN1" Teles
- Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles
- Leonardo "leo_drk" Oliveira
- Alencar "trk" Rossato