I am privileged to have had the opportunity to interview Ethan “nahtE” Arnold. The 18-year-old star rifler currently plays for NRG Esports, and has featured for CLG in the past. NRG have had a breakthrough year, qualifying for top-tier tournaments and establishing themselves inside the top ten. They have also managed to win cs_summit 3 late last year, and are ready to make a statement at the IEM Katowice Americas Minor.
Looking at 2018 as a whole, how did it go? What was your favourite moment of the year?
2018 was definitely just our warmup year, we were new as a team and I don’t think we’ve fully reached our potential yet. My favorite part of the year was the start for sure, for me resetting completely with a new team was a great experience and going as far as we did was awesome. I’m not including any of our tournament wins because even though they were 1st places, some of our best-of-three wins meant more to me than those wins.
The year ended with a runner-up placing at SuperNova CS:GO Malta, where you fell to Liquid in the final, and then a group stage exit at EPL S8 Finals at the hands of Ghost. What are your thoughts on how those tournaments went?
I’m pretty sure us and Liquid weren’t fully preparing for Malta, so even though it would’ve been nice to win, both of us were fully focused on EPL Finals. Our loss to Ghost definitely shocked us because we thought we could go farther than we did and that being the last LAN of the year was pretty emo too.
As we saw in Malta, once again you and Liquid played each other in an important game. In 2018, we saw a domestic rivalry blossom between you guys. With that in mind, how will you try to surpass Liquid in the upcoming year?
Hopefully this year we can improve the weaknesses that have been losing us games for the last year. It’s definitely going to be tough seeing as they just got Stewie, but for me, this year is a complete reset and we’re starting from the bottom.
Going into the upcoming Major circuit, how far do you think you can go at IEM Katowice?
My only goal right now is to make the Major, after that I’ll start looking forward.
You will be the only North American team not making a roster change going into the Minor and possibly the Major. Do you think that gives you an inherent advantage over your domestic colleagues? Will you be the best-performing North American team in Katowice?
Whenever teams make roster changes, they’re either insane at the start or terrible, I’m just hoping for the latter. Again, I’m not going to place us in a ranking anywhere for the minor, we’re starting from the bottom right now.
In April, the new season of ESL Pro League will be starting. What do you think of the changes to their format?
Should be really interesting, I’ve always wanted a format more like the LCS where you play LAN matches for the season. Pretty excited to see how it goes.
Recently in the off-season, we saw Liquid, MIBR and FaZe make roster moves. Which move was the most interesting one? Should Astralis be sweating in their boots?
I think the Liquid one was most surprising. They were almost at the level needed to overcome Astralis, especially towards the end of the year, now we’ll have to see if the roster move was worth it.
With everything yet to come, what are your biggest personal targets and your team’s biggest targets for 2019?
Personally, my goal is to get into the top 10 player list for next year and also to stay consistently top 5 as a team. Our team’s biggest target for next year will probably continue to be Liquid, since they’re our best domestic competition.
Thank you for the interview, is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Looking forward to an exciting 2019.