20 Questions Robin “ropz” Kool: “Use all your opportunities fully, you never know if you succeed or not.”

For our second round of 20 questions we sat down with Robin “ropz” Kool, a young star from mousesports who told us about his journey to become a pro player.

Likewise to other best Estonian CS:GO players, ropz started his career in OnlineBOTS. Since the team disbanded, he started to play FPL challenger in 2016 instead. After several months of attempts, he succeeded in December and qualified to FPL. In January, ropz managed to win the first prize for FPL – his success definitely raised some questions about his abilities and Robin arrived to prove his skills in Faceit HQ in London in March 2017.

His road to the stars was followed by several pro teams. As Liquid was turned down by ropz due to him not wanting to leave school and move to NA, Robin joined mousesports instead in April 2017 catching their first bigger win in ESG Tour Mykonos.

1. How did you start playing CS? How long have you been playing now?
I first encountered CS when I started first grade. A relative introduced me to the internet world and CS 1.6 which is still my favourite game. I have been playing for about 10 years, but this includes quite a lot of breaks as well.

2. How did you know that you should make a professional career out of CSGO?
Honestly, I am still not sure that I know I should make a career out of this, it just somehow happened. CSGO used to be just a hobby but I am generally a really competitive person, especially in CS. I wanted to be as good as the guys I was watching in competitions and time did the rest. On the other hand, you need to have a lot of luck as well – the same way I made my name known, these kind of opportunities don’t come around too often and not everyone makes it.

3. Which characteristics did you develop in yourself the most?
I think you have to develop yourself in every way. Routine is the most important. Every day, before any kind of game, train your aim on bots or in DM. It doesn’t hurt to observe pros playing in tournaments and watching demos.

4. How do you prepare for an important game?
Before each game, we talk stuff over with the team – what kind of setups are we going to use against this team, what kind of tactics would work the best, how to react on certain situations etc. Of course, a DM session before the game.

5. What skills make a good CSGO player into a very good one?
It’s always said that a good player is made into a better one if they remove their ego and are always up for learning and listening to tips. These might not be important in a short period of time, but in the long run they help to understand the game better.

6. Have you missed something because of CSGO?
No. I’m still attending high school, which I miss quite a lot because of tournaments, but I get everything done anyways.

7. Do you have (or had) any favourite players who you have gotten tips or inspiration from?
My inspiration is n0thing, I discovered his fragmovies when I had been playing CS for about 3 years. I was a lot younger than he was in the fragmovies at the time and I wanted to be as good as he was at his age.

8. If you could choose any CSGO player in your team, who would it be? Why?
In teams where I’ve played, we have always been missing a good leader who is trusted by all players. gob b would be a great example for this, he has been IGLing thoughout the years and he has a lot of experience on this.

9. What do you think is the most valuable part of a team? What would a team need to become the best in the world?
Trust, friendship, commitment etc. Everything that unites the team and contributes to its development is important to become the best in the world.

10. You are from a relatively small town of Jõgeva – do locals already recognize you on the street? Are your friends and family cheering for you?
Most friends are following me online and some are even cheering for me. Jõgeva itself is a really small town, everyone knows everyone anyways.

11. Was it difficult to explain to your parents what you are doing? Do your parents and relatives understand what your job is about?
Most parents these days don’t really have any opinion on these kinds of things, it’s easier to just say no. You just have to talk to them like grownup to grownup and explain what it’s about, since they have never encountered anything like this before. When I won a few thousand euros from Faceit, my parents thought it was nice, but travelling around the world with a team, signing a contract etc.. it was on a whole new level for them and they weren’t really prepared for this. A huge plus was when Liquid wanted me to tryout and their owners explained the whole thing to my parents.

12. What is your role in the team right now? How did you end up deciding it’s the best one for you?
I’m generally a lurker. I like to control a part of the map alone and fully focus on my own game. I’m also really aggressive in a lot of tactics, for example if we execute B on T side on cobblestone, I’m always the one to find the first opening on B plat.

13. What are your expectations for your current Mousesports lineup?
Mouz hasn’t really won anything on CSGO historically and ended up as legends on a major. That’s why we have a new lineup, to accomplish all that. We already won ESG Tour Mykonos, but that included a lot of luck for us to get this far. Our main goal in the last few weeks was to finish in ELEAGUE playoffs, but we didn’t succeed on that.

ropz giving an interview at Dreamhack Open Tours 2017
14. What is the coolest tournament you have ever attended? Which had the best conditions for players?
ESG Tour Mykonos is the coolest one so far, it had an unreal location to host a CS tournament. However, the best conditions are on ESL tournaments. They have been hosting competitions for a long while and they know what players want.

15. When you were a rising star in FPL, a lot of players – even pros – were accusing you of cheating. How did you manage with these accusations?
I knew beforehand that it was coming. I tried to explain myself, but I understand why some people weren’t really interested in this and sticked to their opinions. It’s just an annoying period and you have to live through until you get it solved.

16. What can you recommend to young players who are dreaming of a professional esports career?
Use all your opportunities fully, you never know if you succeed or not. Even if it’s just luck, still try.
17. What’s the biggest challenge for you right now?
Maintaining the same grades in school I did before joining mouz. I’m a straight-A student and attend a lot of educational competitions etc.

18. What is your big goal? Where do you want to end up?
Every player wants to be the best. A major title would also be great. Most of all, I would like to bring people to play CSGO, I hope this game is going to last for a long while. I still sometimes download a 1.6 map and get nostalgic thinking it used to be the biggest esports game.

19. Who has been your favourite teammate so far?
I’m usually roommates with suNny on tournaments (they usually book hotel rooms for two) and I would say it’s him. We have a pretty similar sense of humor and can talk openly with each other.

20. Can you name an Estonian player who you think has the potential to be a great player?
I haven’t been playing CS with Estonians for almost a year now, so not really sure how everyone has been developing. A lot of players are really young though, so this means that Estonian CS is evolving. In my own experience, I would say ziila has a bright future ahead, but he hasn’t gotten a chance for it yet.

Photos: HLTV.org