Astralis are still heavy favourites for the Major but the team had to go through the New Challenger stage to return to the top 16. While it isn’t ideal to have the best team in the world in a Major qualifier, do you think there was any advantage to it for you as a team?
I’ve tried both scenarios and I think you could say there’s an advantage to having tried the facilities and playing in them so you’re not so nervous and you could also say you’re prepared more when you come into the New Legends stage. I don’t know what exactly is the best [path] or if there’s that much of an advantage. I don’t think there’s a perfect way to do it.
With one of the most consistent, successful cores of players in CS:GO at the centre of the team, how important do you think it is that you not only get results and have skilled players but ensure team chemistry and open communication is there?
For our core, we talk about everything; we do stuff together, it’s never an individual thing. We win or lose as a team. Of course we can have bad games, but the others are there to help back up the player who maybe played a bit bad. For our team, the strongest part is our team-play and communication, everything goes around that. We are very good at building up the team. For some other teams, maybe it’s a bit more up and down and unstable.
Scenes from one country or region naturally have a lot of history, but this history can sometimes lead to issues between players and teams struggling to work around past conflicts. As an all-Danish team, do you think the scene is naturally moving towards more international lineups over the 'traditional' one country rosters?
I think a lot of teams are facing that issue and it's why they have to go international. I also think it is happening because there are no good players or free agents, or countries don't have a space for certain players in their own teams.
These players can easily join international teams or teams with three from a certain country. Over time, I think we will see more international teams that work and it will be the future, but for us, I think it's a benefit right now that we are all Danish players and communicate well. There's a social aspect which is good as well, so we prefer to be Danes.
Do you feel additional pressure being in the ‘harder’ side of the bracket with an opening game against FaZe Clan, with Liquid or HellRaisers in the semifinal, or do you not worry too much about who you face? You also have a bracket without either of the UK teams (BIG and compLexity), do you feel it’s good to initially have a crowd that is at least not cheering against you?
It’s always nice to get a good bracket, but for us it’s about winning the tournament and not single matchups in the quarterfinal. We could have met FaZe in the final. Of course it’s sad in some way that the quarterfinal could be the best game but for us, it’s just another game and we have to focus on that.
I think the crowd has an impact but FACEIT has really good booths so you can’t actually hear too well or see out of the window. It’s really tough to get that much of a feeling. We had it at BLAST Pro, but it really depends on which teams get fired up by that. I don’t think we do too much but for other players, it might be different.
Astralis won the ECS Season 5 Finals here at Wembley back in June, do you feel more confident knowing the venue has seen you lift trophies before, including just a few months ago against Team Liquid, who is another favourite here?
We have won ECS two times now. Having success in one place, or at the same LAN, doing great there as well, means we know what we are here for. The hotel, the environment aren’t new to us so there isn’t anything putting us in an uncomfortable situation. We’re used to everything. It definitely helps us as we know that we are capable of doing it again.
I wanted to ask you about two Dust II games. One in the final against North at DreamHack Stockholm and one from the group stage here against MIBR. Against North, I would argue that lack of Long control lost you the game. You clearly changed a lot of how you approach controlling Long as in this MIBR game, you played a lot of rounds with four A. Do you think you have to play four A to keep Long control at the moment? - Lynxx
I feel that on Dust II right now, Long control is key. We also knew that in the North game, we tried to take Long control as CT but it didn’t really happen. We obviously looked at our demo and looked at how to counter that. For us, it is to send four guys Long specifically because people don’t go B fast. People are going to look at our demos now from Spirit and MIBR, where we did it and it’s a mind game at that point.
Maybe you fake Long when you’re three towards B. That’s how the map is going to be played out for the next one or two months, I think. It is going to be all about mind games and Long control. It’s going to be a really fast-paced map so you have to be really adaptive.