Luke “Havoc” Paton is one of the most accomplished Australian CS:GO players, competing at four majors across 2014 and 2015 and scoring wins on LAN against teams such as Fnatic, Titan, NiP, Luminosity and Liquid. Havoc, along with former Vox Eminor teammate Azad “topguN” Orami, have both returned to the game after lengthy hiatuses, joining a brand new Athletico lineup.
I spoke with Havoc about his time in North America with Renegades, his brief stint with the Oceanic super-team Legacy and his younger, far more inexperienced Athletico teammates.
I want to start with your time on Renegades. How did you personally handle living and competing over in NA?
Well, I really enjoyed it, of course. It was a dream come true. To play CS full-time, even if it was for a short period, was just incredible. I didn’t feel out of place at all over there; we all felt more than competitive in the NA scene.
As far as personal goes, my life was extremely bumpy at the signing for Renegades. A 5 year relationship with my girlfriend at the time was unstable – Working full time, constant travel with my team, and the dedication I had for CS:GO put pressure on our lives. It all aided in her deciding to end the relationship shortly after we signed for Renegades.
Biggest thing for me at the time was it felt like my dreams were coming true, and I couldn’t grasp what was happening; two completely different emotions. I thought I was handling it, but I amplified my social life to compensate, whenever we were home in Aus. For a while I wasn’t in the right mindset.
Things happen for a reason though, I wouldn’t be with who I am today or as happy as I am today without all of that happening.
You were previously the main AWPer for the team, but gave up that role upon yam’s arrival. How do you think his addition affected your game?
From memory, that’s not entirely true. topguN and I played all-round roles for years through CS:S and CS:GO, and yam slotted straight into that cycle of both of us AWPing in different spots on different maps. I think we continued like this until I was replaced by USTILO, or maybe just beforehand yam became dedicated AWPer.
I suppose our roles depended on map, position, etc, and that made things feel a bit chaotic and not flow smoothly, so we needed to change that, and I sort of started becoming an entry fragger.
I like to think of myself, historically, as being a very selfless player in the sense that I was always happy to do any role as long as the other players were happy. That’s probably why I could do any role confidently in Australia because I had experience. If having yam dedicated solo AWP is best for the team, then I would do something else. However, on an international level and with the personal troubles I was trying to get over, I guess that wasn’t a good recipe. While I wasn’t good enough in Renegades, I don’t believe it was a true representation of myself as a player. I know I am better than that.
IEM Taipei was your last event with the team and it ended with a convincing defeat to The MongolZ in the final. Do you think this result influenced the team’s decision to cut you at all?
In hindsight, I believe the decision was already made, looking back on a few things. However, had we won, perhaps it would have been delayed, or things would have improved; who knows? Like I stated before, I didn’t make it a difficult decision for the boys. The team needed a confident entry fragger & USTILO was owning.
I don’t blame them at all and i’m sure it must have been a very tough decision to make a reality. I love those boys and can’t wait to see them again.
Following this, did you receive many offers to join teams in or outside Australia?
In Australia, yes. In NA, I was asked if I wanted to put the feelers out to teams, but I wanted to just come home. Nobody would have been interested anyway. I was definitely lacking confidence and playing like a bot. Nobody knew any of my natural skill sets over there apart from being a shit entry fragger/support.
I tossed up staying in the states to stream/pug and rebuild my name as an AWPer or something, but I had just become involved in a new relationship and was head over heels in love. I chose to fly home and be with her and my family and see where life would take me. I do not regret that decision at all.
You did end up joining what many considered to be a ‘super team’ in Legacy, alongside topguN, ofnu, ap0c and Lightstep. What were the team’s and your expectations going in?
We just knew we had a sick lineup and wanted to see if we could win overseas quals and maybe follow in the Vox/RNG footsteps. Same as why most people are playing now, probably.
Why did Legacy dissolve so quickly after topguN’s departure?
Again, I can’t recall exact proceedings during this time, but we picked up busta in order to become more active and we were playing from the Legacy house a bit. We won a CGPL nationals and I remember performing very well and feeling confident being dedicated AWPer. After that, we lost an online qual to go overseas and I think from there things went downhill.
There were rumours of people leaving or being picked up by other teams. I genuinely have a blank space in my head at this period. The next thing I remember after being AFK for a month was being contacted to make a bit of a roster of myself, emagine, ap0c, ofnu and zewsy to try and get a contract.
I was half-hearted after spending a period of time away from the game and wasn’t feeling it. I sort of faded away. At the time, I was having so much fun with all the free time I felt I had, not being committed to prac 4-5 nights a week. I played CS:S and CS:GO actively from 2005-2016, without a break.
You’ve been out of action for almost two years now. What’s been the driving factor behind getting back into the game with Athletico?
Besides just straight up missing Counter? A “driving” factor recently has actually been PeetyG. If he wasn’t in contact with me, I’m not 100% sure if I’d be playing. However, there’s a number of other factors that have contributed over a period of time.
Including being in an extremely happy & stable relationship. My girlfriend has always been very supportive of me picking up the mouse again. She knows how much I enjoy the whole thing and would love to see me make a career out of it. Last July, we moved in together and I have been renovating the house, with half of it being completed. We now have a study with PC’s set up and a good internet connection, so that’s helped.
I also found some of my competitiveness again playing local footy last year with some mates. Lastly, I want to save some money and slow down on the social life I’ve had for the last 2 years. I think some people refer to that as “settling down”.
J1rah, Prodigy and Tim1 are names that people without a good knowledge of the Australian scene wouldn’t recognise. What can you tell about them?
Well, Azad and I only met them 2 weeks ago, just before the announcement. However, I can already tell they are very good players, definitely better than us right now. They all have a great attitude, complimented by high gamesense and knowledge. I must admit, I was very surprised because it’s been a long time since I’ve played with people outside a kind of “circle”. They have all the right ingredients to go the distance, and they are certainly making me more keen each time we play. It’s very fun.
Why did yourself and topguN team up with these guys instead of more established names? Did the failure of the Legacy project play into this at all?
PeetyG just wanted to see us back playing again, so he found the kids and made a roster. I definitely see what he sees in them also, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we progress as a team. There’s definitely things we’re both teaching each other. At the moment, it’s more them teaching us and getting up to speed with the meta and updates. If needed, I certainly hope our experience can help them as we compete more.
You’re a fan favourite inside and outside Australia. What can we expect from Havoc in the coming months?
Athletico will be practicing off the radar as we aren’t in any leagues or comps at the moment, but we will be entering as soon as available. Hopefully, we can bring some results for our fans, old and new!
Personally, I’m eager to get back on social media and stay active. Also, the moment my upload gets upgraded I will be streaming.
Expect to see me at IEM Sydney so come say hello!
You can follow Havoc’s return in Athletico on Twitter @LukeHavocPaton