Interview with DIG CS:GO Captain Xizt

DIG captain  Richard "Xizt" Landstrom summed up the first half of 2020 in his interview to the official website of the organization. According to the Swedish veteran, it turned out to be unsuccessful, which forced the team to reconsider its approach to matches and trainings.

After leaving the vacation, the Swedes will not give preference to only Tier-1 tournaments and will focus on smaller events that will help the team to gain confidence.

Hi Richard! You’re now back from the player break - how are these first couple of weeks going so far?

Xizt: They have been pretty good, I would say, we've lost some important official games but in the first week we went with the mindset that we're going to take the official matches as practice and use them to improve for the bigger and more important tournaments, and just to get more experience as a team and try to grow and find out our weak points now rather than later.

I’ve talked with f0rest last month and he said that your planning on focusing more on smaller tournaments to get more experience, instead of focusing only on practice. Tell me more about that new approach.

Xizt: Before the break, we only played the important and the bigger tournaments to focus on them, but I think that was a small mistake on our side and we're trying a new approach now. We want more experience as a team on official matches, so we're trying to sign up on as many tournaments as we can. Obviously, we don't want to play way too much so we don't burn ourselves out, but I think it's going to be really important for us in the long run to play a lot more officials. 

You’ve already participated in Malta Vibes #6 where you finished in second place. What do you take away from that participation?

Xizt: I think that we got kind of outplayed in the final against forZe. We tried to focus on maps like Inferno and Overpass lately, trying to improve them since we haven't been that good on them before. I think it could have gone differently if we played other maps, but as I said we try to take it as practice, and in the long run, it's going to do great for us. Overall, although it's disappointing to lose in the finals, second place is decent.

So you're saying that since you're taking these officials as practice, are you playing more into the maps you want to improve and ignoring your opponent's map pool?

Xizt: I think that since we want to get a better map pool ourselves, we focus more on our maps rather than anti-stratting the opponents. Obviously, if a team has a really weak Inferno and we want to practice Overpass, we're probably going to pick the first over the other in that match.

You then ended up falling at the FunSpark ULTI without winning a match. What happened?

Xizt: Going into FunSpark, we lost the first match against Giants, the Portuguese team. I think it's the same thing there, it was a Bo1, we probably wouldn't have played Dust2... I wouldn't call this tournament less important because it qualifies for a really big one, but we wanted to improve our Dust2 and we fell Giants have a great one and we took it as an opportunity. In general, I think we have a really good Dust2, but unfortunately, it didn't go our way. 

Regarding the second match, we barely won the first map, Dust2, it ended up 16-14. Then going into Inferno and Overpass, it's two maps that we really wanted to play and improve and that's why we picked them. That game really showed we still have a lot to improve on those maps and we're going to talk through it in the next few days, what we need to change, watch some demos, and see what needs to be done to get better.

How do you look at the team’s progress since the beginning of the project, having in mind the month you spent without hallzerk and then getting back together?

Xizt: I think we started really well, playing the open qualifiers we won important games and had close games against top teams like fnatic. We had a strong start with the Bootcamp, and then we had to go to FLASHPOINT in USA, we couldn't use hallzerk. Fortunately, we got GuardiaN, who is a top AWPer, but we couldn't make it work as a team there and it kind of set us back. When we got back from USA and back to playing with hallzerk, it was still a tough situation with COVID-19, and everything being played online... I think the break was good for us, now we just need to reset and pick off all the good things we had before! As I said, I want to play more officials and get more experience. We're working really hard right now.

What’s the next big tournament you’re aiming for?

Xizt: I think the biggest tournament for us in Dignitas is going to be the second season of FLASHPOINT. Not sure when it's going to be, but I think that's going to be our main focus of this year. Hopefully, we can play other premier tournaments, but as things look, we'll probably have to qualify for a lot of them, so we're going to do our best.

Would you like to leave a few words to close out the interview?

Xizt: A big thank you for all the fans that have followed us throughout the year, even though we're not playing at the level we want to play at, but I'd like to let everyone know that we're working really hard and we want to win! We're doing our best to get there and hopefully, you'll see results as well!