What’s the mood like in the team? I know at Summit you lost to NRG in Winner’s Finals and then, unfortunately, lost to OpTic in the loser’s finals who at the time you probably thought you could beat and then you would have a good chance in the re-match against NRG. Did that match against OpTic just not go well individually or did you feel they were able to counter-strat you?
I think it was more individually. They were the better team that day. Also, Summit was not that important of a tournament for us. We tried a different approach before Summit and IEM Chicago in terms of strategies. Our coaches prepared most of the strategies for these two tournaments. Now we will go back to the roots where I prepare most of the strategies. Our preparation wasn’t that good, we played so many online maps that week so we couldn’t prepare for every opponent as well as we wished.
Speaking of online CS, I wrote an article about just how much online CS is happening. I know G2 isn’t on your level, in terms of ranking, but I looked into it and they had played 38 matches in 18 days between ECS and ESL. There’s just so much online CS and it’s so unpredictable.So we weren’t in ECS and we still are like “What? Who do we play next and what are the maps?”. I can’t really imagine how teams can be in both leagues. It’s so hard for us and we try to do our best and other teams try their best as well, but to be honest we get to the point where we don’t care anymore. You don’t feel like it’s an important match or an important map because you play, and if you lose, you have to forget about it immediately because one or two hours later you play the next match, and maybe even then you are playing the same opponent in a different league.
I don’t think it’s enjoyable for the viewers, but viewers need to understand as a player you can’t care that much because if you do and you let a loss stay on your mind one or two hours later you will not be focused, and you will lose again. And still now we have tilt issues, but it’s not just one player or the tension in the team, it’s that there’s so much Counter-Strike being played that it’s almost impossible not to tilt. We need to be more like FaZe who can lose a tournament and then directly move onto the next one mentally.
Congrats on your performance at the FaceIt Major! You made it past the challenger’s stage and now avoid having to drop back down into the EU Minor. If you look at even the closed qualifier for the EU Minor you'll see teams like Mouz, North, ENCE, OpTic. What are your thoughts on the Major system overall?
We've been through that also. It's very tough to qualify in EU. It was such a relief when we won the Minor in 2017. Back then there weren’t that many good teams. There were a couple, but now it’s a mini-major I would say. The Major had just finished, and some teams were already starting the Minor cycle again three weeks later. It’s crazy to go through all this process, it costs you a lot of energy. I’m happy we are on the better side this time. I think it’s very tough to please all the players, team organizations, and tournament organizers. I don’t have a solution for a better system so I kind of try to accept what their system is.
I know you recently secured your spot in Odense for the ESL Pro League finals. Will that be one of your last tournaments before the Major cycle starts up for you guys?
Yes. We have two weeks to prepare and then we have an event in Malta and then directly to Odense for Pro League. We could have had more tournaments, but everyone needed a break for sure even from each other as well. It’s good to regain motivation. Pro League is a big tournament and taking a smaller tournament before the Major would leave us feeling like, “Why did we not just end with Pro League?” it makes sense. If we end the year with a big tournament with high energy where we give everything then we deserve a break I think and we won’t play any more tournaments this year.
Lastly, I wanted to compliment you for using the M4A1-S on some maps I noticed. I think it’s underrated heavily even if almost all pro’s use the M4A4. Do you foresee the M4A1-S becoming more prevalent in the pro scene?
I feel like it’s a very good weapon. I used it during ESL Cologne a lot, but then switched back because sometimes in close range you just need to shoot faster. Now with the AUG money change, there’s a good balance, you can take whatever you need. If you play the close ladder on Train where normally you would need M4A4 because it shoots faster you can take the AUG and still have the A1-S equipped too. I just feel like it’s very good, and the silencer gives you options and also now with one more clip you can spam through smokes as well. I like the recoil as well, you win certain duels with A1-S you wouldn’t win with the M4A4 because of the recoil.
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