Interview WITH HeatoN




Hello Emil. For the few readers out there who might not know you, could you please introduce yourself?

Hey, my name is Emil Christensen, nickname HeatoN, I’m 21 years old from Stockholm, Sweden, and I’m the team captain for NiP.



You have previously played in clans such as SK and the old generation of NiP, can you give a brief summary of your history as a counter-strike player?

Well ill start out when I joined NiP, because that’s where the fun starts!


I joined NiP in early 2001 and we started out by winning All the CPLs that year, including the World championship where we won vs. X3 in the final. After that we ran in to some problems, we didn’t have any sponsors at all, and some of our managers fooled us pretty big. So we decided to join SK who could sponsor us with trips etc. back then, and we formed a new team with me, Potti, Xeqtr, Xenon and Dark. It started out really bad in one of the worse tournaments ever in LAN ARENA 7 where we finished something like 18th? Just 1 week after that it was time for CPL again, and we came out on top as always, with a great performance!


After that it was a big gap with tournaments for a while, and we ran in to some internal problems, and we changed our team quite a bit, but always me and Potti in it, for the next coming 6months, with pretty bad results, and after our 3rd place at CPL Winter, we decided to take in Ahl, and Fisker from Team9, and it started out great, and later on that year both element and SpawN joined in, so Brunk left, and we won all 4 CPLS including WCG Korea.


In 2004 it started out as normal, we won the first couple of tournaments, but then we ran in to some problems and “only” got second at CPL Summer, and we decided to take in Hyper from EYE. It started out great on the practices, and we were about to go to WCG when SpawN got sick the day before, and we got to take in ahl for the event. He were supposed to sit that tournament, which meant we hadn’t practiced anything with him, so we only got 4th there. After that we managed to win 011 LAN with a lot of great teams there and we felt like we where back on track.


During the last months of the year we ran in to some problems with the organisation and it resulted in that we couldn’t go to CPL Winter. We then decided to leave SK and join NiP again, because now we had a really serious team behind us that would make sure everything was really professional, and the new team consisted of me, Ahl, Hyper, Spawn, Potti and Vilden. We started out really bad by only getting 3rd at CPL Spain, and we really felt we didn’t have any chemistry and we did some pretty bad results after that too, which resulted in us splitting up the team, 4 of the others went to SK, while Potti and I decided to stay. After that we took in walle, zet and ins and started building a new team. And so far it’s been quite alright results, including 2 tournament wins, and a lot of top4 places in big tournaments, and we have really high expectations for the next year!



You left the organisation SK to form your own organisation and try your luck at NiP, how did it feel not having the security SK provided you guys with(salary and stuff), and going to start from scratch again?

We actually had it all secured from NiP before we went there, and it was also a lot more professional, always getting salary on time etc, so it feels a lot more secure here than I did in SK.



Then something happened, Hyper, SpawN, ahl, vilden and fisker decided to leave you and Potti. This shocked the entire scene, both Swedish and international. Did you guys simply need some fresh air after playing together for that long time?

We didn’t have fun together when we played, and that caused bad results which in the end caused us to split up, simple as that.



What consequences, both positive as well as negative, did the break with these 5 players have for both you and Potti?

I mean I have played many years together with some of those guys, and I really like them as persons, and we have great memories together. But on the other hand if it hadn’t happened I would never have been so close friends and having such great time as I have right now together with walle, zet and ins, who are some of the best guys I have ever met.



Keeping focus at Potti it seems like the two of you are inseparable. You’ve been playing together since the very first version of NiP, and besides his shorter inactive period in the new NiP, you’ve always stuck together. How much does this guy mean to you?

He’s my best friend outside gaming as well, and I really felt I missed him during his inactive time, and I can’t imagine playing without him again, he’s the nicest friend you can have.



Does he in anyway affect your performance and motivation?

We try to help each other out a lot with gaming and to get motivated, so if some of us are having a bad period or something, we always get each other back on track to perform better.



What other players would you point out as some of the most important in your career and why?

Potti: Of course , my best friend who helped me become what I am today.


Medion: One of the oldschool NiP players who learned me a lot about the game in the early days, and also a very nice friend. Not to forget Spawn, Ahl and Fisker. We all played together for a really long time and won almost everything you could. We had a great time, and I couldn’t have done it without them.



You’ve been to a whole bunch of events, countless CPL’s, WEG, ESWC etc. Which event stands to you as the biggest you’ve ever attended?

CPL will always be the biggest, since it’s so well known.



You’ve had your victories and losses. Which specific match and event that you’ve won is the most important to you, and with what match/event have you been the most disappointed?

The most important victory I have ever had was the final vs. 3D in WCG 2003, we where down 2-10 and won it with 13-11. That’s by far the best gaming memory I have. And the biggest disappointment i have had so far was losing vs. 3D in WCG 2004, we really had that game, and one stupid round stopped it all.



You attended CPL Winter in Dallas in the end of 2005 with NiP. Pretty early in the tournament, you faced your old team-mates from SK, how were the team’s feelings about this match, and how were your feelings in particular?

Well I was really looking forward to that game, but when I saw it was on cbble I already almost knew that we had lost, since we’ve never really practiced that map before. But I really felt we would get back from loserbracket and play them again so it wasn’t hard for me at all actually.



SK ended up winning the game and later on the tournament. I’m guessing it wasn’t exactly what you had hoped for. You where knocked out by JMC, who took 3rd, so how are you feeling about the event when you look back at it now?

Well I’m really satisfied with our performance, EXCEPT for the one game vs. JMC. I have no idea what happened, we just had one of those games where nothing worked, and it’s a shame it came then.



Let’s turn focus to WEG season #3 for a while. How was it to be a competitor at this type of event compared to CPL and ESWC etc.?

This if by far the most professional event I have ever played. They really listen to the players input there and fixed everything we asked them for, no problems at all. Playing on live TV only made the experience a lot better.



You only played like 1 match a week, what did you spent your time on besides practicing?

Not much actually, almost the only thing I did there was work out together with Potti, and playing CS, and of course sometimes go out and have a look at the city!



The tournament it self was dominated by the Chinese team wNv, who won the final against project_kr. Why didn’t we see NiP in the finals, what went wrong versus the Koreans?

De_train went wrong! We really had the game there, and we messed up some T rounds that we had, and we lost in overtime. We knew that they were really strong on dust2, and we couldn’t do much about that, so a really bad day I guess.



The matches were played with live audience and were broadcasted on television, which is something we don’t see much of in Europe. Did this affect the teams in any way, putting extra pressure on you, giving you extra motivation etc.?

It’s really fun to play on a good stage like that was, you couldn’t hear your opponents but you could still see them sitting a few meters from you, and with spectators screaming just beside you when your doing something nice, gave you a incredible feeling, so it only boosted us to play even better!



Looking at the current lineup in NiP, you have an excellent balance between routine and (earlier) upcoming players/talents. How do see this new team forming compared to the old all-dominating NiP?

I hope that we are able to reach the same high level as the old team. I think we have a great mix of players and I have really high confidence that next year will be great for us!



You’ve shown an incredible stability in your performances, but you still lack a top result (with NiP). Why do think this is so, and when will we see NiP on top again?

We had some really bad luck, and it’s only a matter of time before we get that first big victory!



What will the future bring for team NiP? What events can we expect to see you at - SHG Open 2006 (a Danish LAN with 100.000 DK Kr. for the first place) perhaps?

We will try to go to every CPL Worldtour stop, and ESWC this year. But I don’t think we are going to attend SHG, we have a really busy schedule, but if we get some extra time there, you never know!



Thank you very much for your time, last word goes to you, so if you got any sponsors, friends, whatever you would like to thank this is the time.

Ofcourse I would like to say thanks to all our fans, and all the people behind us! Our crew on our site, and last but not least SteelSeries, Icemat and Softtrading for supporting us, and giving gamers what they want!



You’ve shown an incredible stability in your performances, but you still lack a top result (with NiP). Why do think this is so, and when will we see NiP on top again?

We had some really bad luck, and it’s only a matter of time before we get that first big victory!