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Grayhound Gaming’s captain talks to us about COD, gamertags, and esports in Australia.

Chris “dexter” Nong came from playing Call of Duty and is now a pro CS:GO player. Dexter journeyed to IEM Sydney with his team Grayhound. After being knocked out in the group stages, dexter and his team were forced to watch the rest of the tournament on the sidelines. We caught up with dexter at IEM to chat about his esports career, how he sees the industry growing in Australia, and their IEM journey.

Dexter and the team knocked out at IEM

After losing to Fnatic in the group stages, dexter says they’ll need a bit more practice next time to beat their international foes:

Hopefully we’ll have a bit more practice coming into it. There’s only so much we can do playing against other Australian teams. Then we end up versing FaZe or Fnatic or whatever.

In order to combat the smaller server sizes in Australia, and play against international teams, many Aussies bootcamp overseas. We asked dexter if this is something Grayhound are looking at:

Yeah, definitely! Our patron, Xtrfy, are supporting us for bootcamping, so we’re definitely heading over for one.

Even though they didn’t make it through to the stage, looks like the Hounds had some fun at IEM regardless:

2019, and from COD to CS:GO

Like for many teams, there’s a lot of CS:GO on the calendar for Grayhound this year. We asked dexter what he’s most looking forward to. Looks like he has his eyes on the prize!

There’s two main competitions I’m most excited about. ESL Pro League Finals — hopefully if we make it. And then the Berlin Major as well. Going to the Minor and all that stuff, and just going to Europe twice, and having a little bootcamp there, and a bit of a holiday, and that will be a good way to spend a solid four months.

Dexter has been playing esports for a number of years. He started playing Call of Duty first, and now CS:GO. But do any of the skills transfer? We found out:

*haha* No, probably not. I probably thought so [that the skills would transfer] back in the day, but these days, not at all. Like, back then, I was just playing for fun, and that’s nothing compared to right now… No, no, I haven’t touch it [COD] for years; it’s just literally all Counter Strike. Counter Strike is my fun!

Similar to with woxic, we asked dexter what’s been one of the most exciting things he’s been able to do from playing esports:

Being able to travel, for me, is the most exciting thing. Just talking to the new people and all that kinda stuff, and yeah, that’s the best part of it… [Being from Australia] my favorite place [we’ve traveled to] is probably Poland. Katowice was very nice, and then we took a weekend trip to Prague and that was really nice. Definitely the best! Eating, going out, drinking the beer. *chuckles* That’s probably the best thing. It’s really cheap there too! It’s like $2!

Esports in Australia

Dexter has been playing pro esports since 2016. Globally, the esports industry has dramatically changed over the past few years. This change is seen in Australia too, albeit on a smaller scale. We wanted to know what it’s been like playing as the industry has shifted:

It’s gotten more professional I have to say. [Australian esports] is still below North America and Europe and what not. But it’s definitely growing a lot more. Everyone is taking a more professional route to playing the game, even just health, diet, all that kinda stuff.

Aussies want to see esports grow in Australia. Here’s what dexter thinks we should do:

Honestly, we just need money. People gotta have the ability to play full time. And if everyone had that ability, everyone gets better, and that’s the only way pretty much.

There’s some advice for Australian companies wanting to break into the esports scene — put more money into the industry!

In-game name: Where does dexter come from?

We like to know where players find their gamer names. Some of them randomly pick, others have a sentimental story, and some are more strategic. Dexter tells us the story behind his name:

It comes from one of my friends. I used to have another alias called Loratale, or something like that, and no one could — it doesn’t mean anything, I just made it up one day, it means absolutely nothing — and then no one could pronounce it properly. And then someone just told me to rename yourself to dexter. So that’s literally it!

That’s a more fun story than we expected. For our readers out there, if you don’t have an alias, just ask a friend and pick the first thing they tell you!

We thank dexter for the awesome chat and wish the team all the best for this year. If you want to hear more about Aussies in esports, read our interview with the Chiefs Esports Captain, Tucks. Stay tuned for more interviews from IEM Sydney, and catch up on all the results of the competition. There’s also some sweet Grayhounds floral merch if you’re wanting to support another awesome Aussie team.

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