From MM to NRG: Our Interview with nahtE

If you’ve been paying attention to NA’s CS:GO scene this year, you’ve likely watched the 18 year old phenom Ethan “nahtE” Arnold tearing it up for NRG. Ethan, a former rifler for CLG, boasts quite a few accolades for his age group. Ethan has played a key role in NRG’s rise to contender status, ranking 10th on as of this writing.

We’ve grown so impressed with Ethan as a player and esports personality that we wanted to get to know him a little better. We reached out over email with a few questions that we thought his fans might enjoy an answer to. Initially, we were looking for answers worthy of an article and hoping to get to know him better in the process. However, what we found was an intelligent and thoughtful young man paving his own path to a successful career in esports.

Not to mention his ability to frag:

The Interview

Let’s start off as cliche as possible: how long have you played CS?

I’ve been playing CSGO for 4 years, didn’t really play CS or 1.6.

Were you naturally good when you started CS, or did you get to this level with hard work alone?

I don’t remember when I first started playing, but I think I was just the average MM player back then. I only really started getting good at it after about a year or two.

When did you decide to pursue CS professionally? Was there some turning point that made you decide this was more than just a hobby?

I decided to start pursuing professional CS after I played a season or two in Premier in ESEA. I did pretty well being really young and still relatively new to the game, so at that point I thought to myself, “I might as well try to go pro.”

Professional gaming is a rather new concept, relatively-speaking. Were your friends and family supportive from the beginning?

I never really told my friends, but my family was 100% supportive on the decision to play pro CS, the main thing was having to move out to LA when I joined CLG. They were hesitant about it since I was still in school, but they said as long as I do online school they would be okay with it.

Did you ever have a rough patch in your career? What helped you get through that tough time?

I think the one rough patch in my career was at the end of CLG when people were leaving/getting cut. This was pretty rough because there was no one to pick up and I already knew people gave up on the team. Then we got dropped, I was more confident in me finding a good team than continuing with ex-CLG and making a team from scratch.

Who’s your favorite player to play against?

My favorite player to play against is probably coldzera.

If you had to pick, what is the one play you’ve made as a professional that you’re most proud of?

Not sure if I’m the most proud of this one, but when I was on CLG, FNS and I were on shroud boost (cache) and he baited for me and I got 5 and won the round. Didn’t mean much in the end because we still lost, but it was a pretty cool play.

Alright, let’s look at the flip side: are there any plays that still keep you up at night?

I’m sure I’ve made a lot of bad plays in my career that ended up losing my team games, but I don’t like getting held up on the past.

Do you use any odd or unorthodox training methods (in-game OR in real life)?

I just think the key to pro CS is consistency. I think one thing CLG did well was keeping people healthy and focused outside of [the] game and teaching good habits. I like to stay healthy and make sure my schedule is very consistent so I can get the most out of myself in CS.

Are there any non-CS games taking up your free time at the moment?

Not really right now, the only time I play any other games is during player break. I’m also really busy with school and other things outside of CS right now.

To close things out on an educational note, what words of advice do you have for any aspiring professional CS players out there?

For upcoming players, it takes a lot of dedication to get to the top of CS, even once you get to that professional level, there are a lot more layers than you think. Just keep focused and remember that CS, at least professionally, is mostly based on relationships when it comes to picking up players so always think about your future. 🙂