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VPEsports spoke with Sprout’s Denis “denis” Howell before his finals match at DreamHack Open Atlanta.

The 25-year-old talked about his return to Sprout, his progress as a player, the competition in Atlanta, and more.

You can read the full exclusive interview below:


VPEsports: You rejoined Sprout back in September and mentioned that you learned a lot about things you want to change and how you want to move forward. After a couple of months, what would you say you’ve succeeded in and what do you think still needs some work?

denis: I wanted to change myself in terms of work ethic and motivation. I think I succeeded partly in that but also still slacking. I try to improve our game with watching demos and strats and mainly, in my opinion, I improved our overpass quite a ton. I still want to do much more though and I also looked for some improvements in my own game (new smokes, plays etc.) On the team side of things I wanted more variety in the game and add some stuff and I think we are on a good way.

VPEsports: Were there any major changes in how the team operated since you rejoined the roster in terms of roles, practice, strategy, etc?

denis: Not really major changes but as I said I think I brought some good stuff on overpass through demos and BIG and in general I always try to force people to be really good with flashes, like offering them and using them good and equipment usage in general. We just try to criticize each other there and constantly improve because when I was not in the team their CT side was slacking a bit and I think that plays a huge part in that combined with too many plays going on at the same time

VPEsports: You eliminated CR4ZY who were considered to be favorites to win alongside Heroic given their victory at DreamHack Open Rotterdam – did you expect it to go so smoothly in a 2-0? How much time went into preparing for them?

denis: I knew if we have a good start and if we play our normal game that we would have a really good chance to take the win especially given they also play with a stand-in. I expected mirage to be way closer but we were leading like 14-4 and after that we just wanted to force it. So if we stay more calm there, I think we would be able to close it earlier. Anyway they are a good team with good players and it was a really nice win for us.

VPEsports: You’ll be facing either Heroic or Virtuspro in the finals – do you have a preference? Have you faced either team much in officials or scrims?

denis: I don’t really have a preference. We faced Heroic in the pro league group stage and could/should have won. But we kinda threw that 3v1 against stavn there and after that they just kept rolling. They are both really good games and in good shape lately so I am looking forward to the game. It will be really hard either way.

VPEsports: Following up on a question that Pimp asked on the desk – on paper you guys have a lot of potential and even show that in the server a good amount of the time..but what’s stopping you guys from consistently being a top 15 team in the world?

denis: Since I am only in the team again for 2 months and I took 70-80% of the things Mirbit was doing there is still quite a transitioning going on for me. In general, it’s about consistency from individual players and also that we keep having calm communication. If we don’t want to force it and stop doing solo plays and communication/focus mistakes, I think we will be able to be consistently top 15 atleast. I think we have the potential to be even higher if everything clicks.

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