STYKO Talks Apeks’ Squad Rebuild

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STYKO Talks Apeks’ Squad Rebuild

The Slovakian rifler reveals how Apeks masterminded a remarkable return to the professional CSGO scene following a short hiatus 


Apeks had announced taking a break from CSGO last September so that they could assess their situation and come up with a strategy to improve their performances. After a series of disappointing performances, the Apeks hierarchy felt the need to press the reset button. Nine months afterward, the risky move has seemingly paid off as the Norwegians are about to participate in the Paris Major 2023 alongside the best Counter-Strike teams on the planet. HLTV.org did an excellent breakdown of the team’s resurgence, and they interviewed Apeks rifler Martin “STYKO” Styk as part of their feature. 

STYKO joined Apeks months before Apeks’ sudden intermission. The former mousesports star had a front-row seat to Apeks’ rebuild.  Apeks moved out Asger “⁠AcilioN⁠” Larsen and Hugo “⁠chawzyyy⁠” Günther after the team’s failed PGL Antwerp Major qualification campaign. Justinas “⁠jL⁠” Lekavicius and Richard “⁠shox⁠” Papillon came in as their replacements. STYKO talked about the heightened expectations following the signing of the duo. 

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“Expectations were high. The duo was nicely balanced in a young rifler and an experienced veteran. We thought it was a good move. We originally had some other players in mind, but some talks fell through and in the end we went for shox and jL without any trial period as we had to sign a player and start the season with a full lineup.”

Things, however, did not improve immediately, and they failed to qualify for the IEM Rio. They then lost to BIG Academy in the Fragadelphia 17 Semi Finals, which rang the alarm bells and prompted Apeks to take a break from upcoming competitions. 

“The withdrawal was purely the decision of the organization. We, as players, had no say in it. In the heat of the moment, we wanted to keep going and playing; we had a pretty decent chance to get deep into ESL Challenger League, I think. But in the end, the decision to withdraw was correct and we benefited as a team.”

STYKO revisited the days of uncertainty during the hiatus. 

“We played individually and rested, we tried to reset mentally from the challenging period. We had frequent team talks about what is going to happen, what decisions are being made by the organization because, at that point, we knew that sticking with the same roster would be impossible.”

The veteran lost Apeks’ in-game leadership role to the team’s new recruit Damjan “kyxsan” Stoilkovski. STYKO, however, feels the inclusion of the North Macedonian was the missing piece of the puzzle. According to him, Apeks were in dire need of his rich Counter-Strike prowess and meta personality. 

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Apeks are now set to make their Counter-Strike major debut, and STYKO says he and his teammates are ready to take on any challenge that comes their way. Their current priority, however, is their first match against Team Liquid. 

“We are ready for whatever challenge. But now the focus is on our opening match-up versus Liquid. We will come with the same approach as we did for the RMR. It worked and we focus on one game at a time.”

STYKO Talks Apeks’ Squad Rebuild
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