OpTic missed out on the most recent major and have had a turbulent past year overall. Now the Danes are hoping they finally have found a stable lineup as they have gotten their first solid month of practice in with new addition Ismail "refrezh" Ali. We spoke with Snappi as he and OpTic finished their prep for WESG, which they hope will start their ascent up the rankings so they can compete with the top teams in Counter-Strike again.
You're coming up on a year in OpTic in April. Can you sum up what the experience has been like for you personally?
Our results haven't been what we hoped for, that's obvious to everyone. We haven't had a stable five man lineup for more than four months at a time, which has given us some instability. In the summer of 2018 we played some good CS at the EU minor beating ENCE and NiP to qualify for the Major in London. We all went on vacation with a good feeling. We made some mistakes coming back from the player break. Going to ZOTAC Cup Masters in China was one.
That left us with only four days of prep after the player break before the big two events we had coming up, DreamHack Stockholm and the London Major, which should have been our breakthrough events. Looking back at it, I wish we would have done things differently. After the Major, gade went to North and we got niko. Our first two events were pretty good. We didn't have that much time with niko, but got second, losing to NRG, at CS Summit 3 and made it to semi-finals at Starseries in Kiev, losing to ENCE. At Dreamhack Winter however, we completely flopped. We lost to Bravado and then lost a close BO3 to ENCE. Overall things have been disappointing and for sure not good enough, but we hope to turn the ship around with refrezh, starting at WESG.
I think there are a few misconceptions in the community on what the IGL position entails and how it differs from team-to-team. Can you explain what your role for OpTic is in the server and what your role is in preparation for a match? Are you calling strats or setups on both the T side and CT side for example?
It's my responsibility to call on T side, and therefore this is also where most of my focus is. I watch demos of our opponents and then make a gameplan. I discuss with ruggah who also watched demos on the opponent. Then I explain the gameplan to the team. If some adjustments need to be made to certain strats, in order to counter an opponent, we go over it then.
On CT I usually play solo sites, so I can't really read the game and call setups apart from the setups we figure are going to work in the prep. It's usually up to the players playing in the middle of the map to take initiative and call setups. I still watch demos and do prep on our opponents T side. So if I see something towards my site that's a tell then I will communicate it to my team, but overall on a bombsite like B mirage or ramp on Nuke, I can't really predict what will happen. Unless teams challenge me in those spots I don't really get much info. CT is more of a team task, everyone has to chip in and pass the information to their teammates.
Refrezh is still a relatively new pickup for OpTic. How has he changed the structure and what do you think his role in the team will be moving forward?
The main thing I really love about refrezh is that he is so hard working. I love it, and it also motivates me to work harder. Refrezh and I are always watching a lot of demos together to get new ideas and discuss pros/cons. I think refrezh is the type of player, that works best as a lurk/entry. He is great at going in first in set strats where he is set up with utility, but also has good game sense. This grants him a lot of freedom in the default to lurk doing his thing. I think that's the role we needed, and the role that is most suited for him luckily. On CT he has had to adapt to some spots and got some of his old positions , but he is a versatile player, so I don't think it's going be an issue going forward.Do you think he has a chance to be the next big star out of Denmark?
As I mentioned above he is versatile. He is a hardworking and talented guy, and those two things combined is a good recipe to become a great player. The next couple of years are going to show how much he can evolve, but I certainly believe in him.You have WESG coming up in China as the next tournament for OpTic in less than a week. It doesn't seem like any seeding was used for the group draw. Can you talk a bit about the format for WESG and what OpTic's expectations are for the event?
The format is kind of random. I guess with luck you can go very far without facing any good teams or you could end up facing MiBR, FNATIC, or NiP in the round of 16. We had great prep for this event, so I expect us to do really well.
OpTic qualified for ESL Pro League last season and also managed to hold onto their spot in ECS, but missed out on being apart of the Major in Katowice. What are your main goals for the remainder of the year for OpTic?The goals for 2018 was to get spots in ECS, ESL Pro League and secure our major spot. We managed the first two goals, but missed out on the last despite qualifying for the first major. 2019 is about getting to the top. We dropped a lot in the rankings lately because we haven't played much, but we have to be a Top 10 team going forward in 2019. So that and to qualify for the next major are the main objectives. Also winning an event soon would be nice.
Thanks for your time. Anything you want to say to the OpTic fans out there.
I'm reading the comments you leave on both Discord and reddit. I'm working harder than ever to prove most of you wrong. I will do anything in my power to make us succeed in 2019.