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Interview

Interview: Ian 'Immi' Harding — NRG Esports coach

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Recently we spoke with Ian "Immi" Harding, coach of high-flying North American organisation NRG Esports, about his switch from player to coach, and his new team.
Ian "Immi" Harding was formerly the In-Game Leader and Awp'er for Team Endpoint. The Brit recently made the switch to coaching, making the switch across the pond, to the North American team of NRG Esports.

I caught up with him to find out how the move had been going.



You have been with NRG for just over a month, although it feels longer for me, how are you finding it?
It’s great. I’m really enjoying being a coach especially for these guys they’re all good friends, and all willing to listen to me and learn as a team. There’s only big things to come from this team.

Do you still live and work from the UK? How does that work for you? Do you think we will ever see you move out to the states?
I’m still living in the UK right now but I have applied for my visa - as soon as that comes through, I’ll be moving to the NRG house with the rest of the team.

Do you ever miss competing or are you enjoying your coaching role?
I thought I would miss playing but I really don’t. I know I’m by far a better coach than I was a player and it’s showing with our current results. I also enjoy coaching far more than I do playing - maybe if it was with a different group of players who didn’t really care about improving I wouldn’t enjoy coaching as much as I do.

With 13 wins from 14 games in ECS S5 NA, NRG hold a commanding position, what do you put this down to? Do you anti-strat each opponent a lot, or do you focus on playing your own game?
It really depends on the research I do and the opponent. Sometimes we will play our own game, sometimes we will adapt to the opposition. Once I’ve done my research me and Damian "daps" Steele will come up with a game plan together and we will stick to it throughout the game - it’s been going really well so far.

The team recently secured their spot at IEM Sydney alongside some of the world’s best teams, it’s still early days yet as half of the field are yet to qualify, but how do you rate your chances?
I’m not really sure yet as it’s going to be our first event together - on top of that, it’s going to be my first big event in general and my very first event as a coach. One thing I will say is I look at the teams attending and there’s not one team I look at and think “We can’t beat them”. I can’t stress enough how much potential this team has. The event will provide some much needed experience for the team and from there I can see us competing with the best regularly.

Are you looking forward to the UK hosting a CSGO Major later this year? Do you think it will help the scene in the UK grow, and help people’s perceptions of esports in the country?
I’m really looking forward to the CSGO Major this year and I’m really hoping to be attending it with NRG also. I don’t think it will help the “UK CS” scene grow in general because, to be quite honest we’re not good enough and we have the wrong attitudes. However the awareness drawn to the event to those who aren’t involved in the scene it might make them want to get involved when they see the amount of people here.

Any Up-and-Coming Player(s) to watch?
Outside of the players in my team, Owen "smooya" Butterfield (Epsilon ) & Aleksa "Impulse" Stankić (Valiance )
Finally a big thank you to Ian for taking the time out of his awfully busy schedule at the moment to answer these questions for me. Check out his twitter @immicsgo.


Header photo: Multiplay

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