Photo by HLTV

Interview with Karlo “USTILO” Pivac from Renegades

Alex catches up with USTILO at IEM Sydney 2017

Following Renegades’ elimination from IEM Sydney and our previous interview with Nifty at the event, we caught up with another member of the team, Karlo “USTILO” Pivac, to learn more about their future plans and recent roster additions.


Firstly, in yam’s long-awaited TwitLonger, he revealed his reasons on why he left the team. One of those was due to the team failing to improve and he was getting frustrated with the team regarding mistakes that had been resolved, which kept on emerging over and over again. Is this correct?

USTILO: What yam said is basically true, we’ve been over certain things and we said we would fixed them but we still really haven’t. It is starting to get better with our new coach (Kassad) and we’re resolving these issues we did have.

How does Kassad compare to your previous coach, peekay?

USTILO: The different style of coaches. Peekay likes creating strategies and he’s more of a morale type of guy. Kassad is a lot more strict I would say. He wants his strategies done in a certain way, while peekay was more lenient on us.

Renegades hasn’t won a LAN since ACL Sydney and placed second at several other tournaments including every Asia Minor Championship the team has previously attended. What’s stopping the team from winning titles?

USTILO: I honestly don’t know. In my time with Renegades, we came 2nd place twice or three times so far. TyLoo is a good team but we should be beating them. In finals, it seems the pressure gets to us a little bit but with the Minor coming up now, it should change and we should get the win this time (in China).

Caption: Renegades achieving second place at DreamHack Open Winter 2016. Photo courtesy of HLTV.org

On the topic of the Asian Minor, this will be the first time we’ll witness players with a different nationality outside of the Asia-Pacific region in the form of nexa and Nifty. Do you think Valve should change the Minor system and allow your team to also compete in the Americas Minor, so you could avoid the clash with the ESL Pro League Finals if you managed to qualify?

USTILO: I think what Valve doing is fine, like the core of our line-up is from Australia and you should go by your region. It sucks but you can’t do anything about it, but I think Valve and organisers like PGL are doing a bad job at organising their dates to avoid these event clashes and I don’t think it was ESL’s fault (,who planned the event a year ahead).

Should the Minor slots increase?

USTILO: It can be a good or bad thing I guess. If you give those lower tier teams a chance to compete against us,TyLoo and the better teams, they will always be improving so yes.

Which team(s) will be your biggest threat at the Minor?

USTILO: There’s been a lot of talk about this Flash Gaming, and I don’t think they’ve actually played an official yet, not sure if they have because I haven’t seen it. TyLoo with BnTeT as well, but they lost to ViCi Gaming in the IEM Sydney Chinese Qualifier so not sure what happen there. Lastly, the MongolZ although I didn’t play them in my time with Renegades.

With the Australian scene being saturated with more tournaments and the emergence of younger talent, why did Renegades pick up players elsewhere?

USTILO: We needed an AWPer obviously and we didn’t really think anyone from the Australian scene would fit the role, so that’s why we went with an American for that and picked up Nifty (ex-Selfess). For nexa, we needed an in-game leader and him being Serbian and you know with our coach, they work well together and have a good relationship. Another bonus is that he wants to call and there’s no one really in the Australian scene who we could get to call up to our standards.

USTILO competing at his first CS:GO Major – ESL Cologne 2015. Photo courtesy of HLTV.org

Any other tournaments coming up besides the Minor?

USTILO: Not that I know of, just the online leagues like ESL Pro League (EPL) and Esports Championship Series (ECS). So far it’s just the Asian Minor we have or maybe we’ll get invited to another DreamHack event.

Do you personally enjoy competing overseas?

USTILO: Yeah, but it takes its toll because being away from home for so long. People think it’s the best thing ever playing abroad but it becomes very tiring and you miss being with your family and friends.

Lastly, would you prefer competing at home while being salaried or in your current situation abroad in the Renegades’ gaming house?

USTILO: If you want to compete at the level we are, you have to move. You can’t live in Australia and try be the best (in the world).

You can catch USTILO and the rest of his teammate this week for the PGL Asia Minor Championship as they try break their second-place curse while securing their spot at the upcoming PGL Major Krakow 2017 Main Qualifier here.

Photo credits to HLTV.org

Freelance writer. Active contributor to the CS:GO scene in the Asian and Oceanic regions. Follow me at @flam3zcsgo on Twitter.

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