The esports division of the Sky Sport Breakers, Black Sheep New Zealand, formerly known as Breakaway Esports, have officially announced today that they have acquired a full New Zealand lineup for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive; staying true to their ethos of representing New Zealand talent. It’s been five months since Black Sheep last stood foot in the Counter-Strike community, with their previous lineup disbanding following the IEM Sydney Qualifiers after eight months with the organisation.
Coach and Management:
We caught up with team captain hue9ze and coach Jono to talk through what their journey to this point has been, and their aims for the future.
We started with hue9ze, who gave us some insight into how the roster first came to be, “We initially met at PingZero51 in September, afterwards I ended up contacting Jono about making an all NZ team. Jono, Jeepy and Particle were on board with the idea, so it was all go from there. As we were looking for a 5th player we stumbled across Addict, we picked him up instantly based on his experience and believe he can truly be one of the best players in the region.”
On the topic of the all Kiwi roster, he had this to say, “Time zones are definitely a big factor. Being able to start practice at 8PM has fit really well into our schedules, the downside of doing this however, is that we're forced to play till 1-2AM if we want to keep up with the constant improvement of the many teams in Australia. Another benefit is that since we're all in NZ, it makes it easier to organize travel to competitions within the country, and make regular use of the Black Sheep training facilities.”
We also spoke with Peter on what the organization means for the squad, “For the past couple months, we've been in contact with Black Sheep and they have been a massive help to us during our org-less limbo. I'm confident that they will continue to assist us and in-turn we will help them. They have the strong backing of the NZ Breakers and we’re excited that they’re just as focussed on long term stability as we are.”
He also added some thoughts on the squads aims, “Our long term goals, as previously mentioned, will hopefully be achieved early next year, as we are gunning for LPL Pro and MDL and won't stop till we achieve those goals. Representing an org like Black Sheep has been a goal for us since we formed as a team and we'd like to think we're up to the challenge of winning against the best teams in Australasia.”
We then chatted with Jono, who gave us a breakdown of what this roster consists of, and what he thinks the players are capable of, “Taking a brief look at our team, you can see that we've pulled players from all over NZ as well as different leagues, for example:
Cookie has been playing CGi and CGp with SYF gaming and, although it took a while, we convinced him to join us in hopes of making the team more cohesive, which it has.
Wolfah has been in and out of our team twice, the first time she left was unfortunately because of issues at home and now she's back and here to stay for the long run.
Hue9ze is a huge part of the roster, being the one that initially came to me with the idea of making an all NZ roster, I jumped at the chance, knowing that it would be a good experience for myself and jeepy.
However, finding Addict was an entirely different proposition for Jono, “We first heard about Addict through our mutual friend Sharky, who came to me when their previous team 'wonky' had died. He promised me that Addict was a good pick-up and was constantly and consistently improving and grinding. I chose to believe him as he is a good mate and I trusted his judgement. In my opinion, Addict has the potential to be one of the best players in OCE and with his constant dedication to the game he is one of the key parts in what made the team what it is today.
I've known jeepy since we started at the same high school and, together, we didn't really take CS too seriously until around late 2017, where we played CGo together and didn't do to well. However, in mid-2018 we had the chance to play at PingZero51, where we came 3rd and subsequently met hue, the rest is history.
We have had a constant struggle in trying to find the right 5th for a while, but with the return of Wolfah, we’re confident that all the players are in for the long haul and committed to taking things to the next level.”
You can keep up with all of the latest with the squad on Black Sheep’s Twitter and check out their announcement video below.