ESC Gaming7Western Wolves16n!faculty11Western Wolves16Absolute Legends5Natus Vincere16myDGB.net11ESC Gaming16CPH Wolves14fnatic16Natus Vincere21VeryGames17ALTERNATE18myDGB.net21
We decided to catch up with some of the favorites heading into the 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online this weekend to find out what they expect going into the event.
The first three questions are directed towards a member of each of the five teams we decided to interview; fnatic's Richard "Xizt" Landström, Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund from SK Gaming, Filip "neo" Kubski of ESC Gaming, Kimmo "BASiC" Fagerholm from WinFakt and eSrael's Martin "trace" Heldt.
How much has your team been preparing for this event, both as a team and individually?
fnatic Xizt: We have been practicing as usual for this event, which is 5 days a week from ~18:00 until ~23:00, and a top of that we try to play individually too during our free time.
SK|GeT_RiGhT: We've been playing as much as we can, there is always something coming up and so. But I think our prepartion has been decent, not the best or the worst at least! As for individually, it could be a lot better. As I've been that guy who have always had good hours before a tournament or at least felt OK with how much I have played, this isn't something I'm proud of myself.
ESC neo: We have been praccing for about 2-3 weeks, and individually playing some too. Unfortunately the times are pretty difficult and it's been hard to find pracc opponents. Mostly praccing were only teams that are going to attend that lan in IOS, so of course you had to be careful with showing your strats.
WinFakt BASiC: We tried to play with dRiim after a successful Copenhagen Games run, but we realized it wasn't going to work because he had to work in the evening and on the weekends and it was really hard for him to get time off work. We have practiced for one week with Metaphor, so we're not prepared as well as we could be and individually our preparation has been average.
eSrael trace: We have had a lot of official matches lately, so we haven't been able to practice that much, but we try to play 3 days a week. I played with some of the guys before so it was quite easy to get into the team. Individually we haven't been playing incredibly much, just the usual decent amount, but still enough so we should be on our highest level.
Looking at the bracket and who you will potentially face on your way to the final, how do you realistically think you will do in each match up?
fnatic Xizt: I don't really know yet who we are going to face in the first round since we are playing a qualified local team. It's always tough to play them because we don't know so much about the teams and most of them have good aim, so it's a bit random. I don't really want to speculate in who we will face in the second round, we will take one match at a time.SK|GeT_RiGhT: We're playing against the Finnish mix in the first round, I'm not sure how their forms are right now. But looking at the lineup, they are always good aimers and can do some big damage, we have to be ready for "random" stuff coming up, that we aren't ready for so to say. After that, We're probably facing ESC and after that I'm not even sure how it will go as they are a very skilled team and won IEM Finals, so I guess they are little favourites against us if we meet them next round. Who will win, don't know. We will see :) I'm looking forward to play my best and hope that's us on the 1st place.
ESC neo: Of course it's going to be very hard, mostly becauase as I said it's been hard to find pracc against teams not attending that lan. So probably every team will know what to expect from each other, and every game is going to be pretty difficult. Hard to predict anything.
WinFakt BASiC: We probably got the hardest first match, especially with trace having joined eSrael. The match will be tough because they have practiced a lot for this tournament and gotten good results against top teams (at least online). I have no idea how it's going to go, but it's definitely a winnable match if we play well and don't make stupid mistakes.I'm really looking forward to the fnatic match, because the loss against them last time was irritating and we were really disappointed due to making stupid mistakes and playing badly after good matches. fnatic has been strong since Xizt started calling, probably also because their game might have changed a little when cArn was changed to karrigan. Even though they would be favorites against us, I believe if we bring our A-game we can beat them.ESC has practiced a lot before this tournament and I think they are way better prepared than SK Gaming because of their recent player change. I can't really think about the grand final yet but if we make it that far, it will be tough.
eSrael trace: I see the first match against WinFakt to be the most even. I think we have a good shot versus WinFakt if we manage to play the way we're playing right now. We have some inexperienced guys in the team, so if we can keep the mistakes to a minimum I feel confident going into our first match, but it is our first LAN together, so everything can happen. If we succeed against WinFakt we are probably facing fnatic, which in my opinion is the strongest team right now. It is going to be tough and we have to play our very best if we want to advance in a BO3. We are big underdogs which suits me fine, it is usually easier playing with no pressure.
Is there any team and player who you think will surprise everyone by playing unexpectedly well, and who do you think will win the tournament?
fnatic Xizt: I think SK is very motivated with Delpan back in the lineup, so I guess they will be strong this event. I think the favorites for this event are SK, ESC and fnatic. I haven't seen so much from Wikipediots on LAN, but they have been performing good in the fnatic online league so far, so I guess they can make a lot of damage too. I think WinFakt is going to perform pretty well too if they get their aimers going, their playstyle is a bit like ours.
SK|GeT_RiGhT: I guess the Danish team can surprise and go the way to final. After adding our former teammate Martin to their team. I guess they are even better then before, nothing against zanoj at all. But, Martin can be so sick that you can not really understand how good he is really. Other than that, maybe someone from his team, like coloN or something, as Martin has already showed himself and I can not pick him out as a "unexpectedly well" as he always plays well.
ESC neo: From our practice games I'd say Wikipediots (editor's note: eSrael at 3rd Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online) and WinFakt might suprise everyone.
WinFakt BASiC: aslak has played really well in the latest tournaments where he's been and I think he will also be really good at this one. IEM champions ESC Gaming are the favorites to win it all in my opinion, because as I mentioned before they are well prepared and really good when they're motivated.
eSrael trace: I haven't got much knowledge about the remaining teams but I can't see either fnatic, ESC or SK lose in their first match so I don't think there will be any surprises. Well i expect my team mates to play well, and especially colon have something to prove against the big teams, which just makes him even more motivated, so I think he will do very well. And I only see ourselves as a team capable of surprising positively. I think fnatic has the best chance to win.
We also added some team specific questions to each player, those can be viewed below:
After winning Copenhagen Games, how would you compare the current fnatic lineup to the one with cArn? Do you expect to face problems when teams figure your style out and you need to start making adjustments in the middle of a match?
fnatic Xizt: I would say that we are relying more on individual skill now than before with cArn. We have changed alot of our tactics for this event so I think we will be abit unpredictable.
Do you think your win at Copenhagen Games is connected to ESC, SK and Na`Vi seemingly not being in the greatest shape or the fact you were able to play a lot on-site due to the event's BYOC format, or were you simply the best team there?
fnatic Xizt: Maybe! I think ESC had some internal problems and they couldn't focus 100% during the game. I think Na´Vi performed pretty well during the event, but I think both teams couldn't play out to their full level in the final because we had been up playing for like 15 hours.
You had to change your playing style to adapt to trace while he was on the team, when Delpan rejoined did you have any problems going back to how things used to be and how has the adapting been going in general? Do you feel like he is back to his normal shape?
SK|GeT_RiGhT: Delpan is an amazing player. We knew that before and everyone else knows that. Delpan is like before, the missing piece for us. If he's where he wants himself to be, I'm sure that he's playing on his maximun level as he wants to. As for the playing style, it's changed back to where it was before and it wasn't that big of a problem for us.
After some disappointing results with your previous lineup, how important is it for you to make the grand final this weekend and take down at least one top team (ESC) on the way? It's not a great tournament to judge your current shape with Delpan since one best-of-three will decide most of it for you, but would you feel like just beating ESC would be an improvement in comparison to your last lineups results?
SK|GeT_RiGhT: It's always important to make it to a final, doesn't matter what tournament it is and in the end to win it. As it's just 10k to winner and no one else gets a single cent, this is more important then every other tournament, just because how the prizemoney is dealt out. We beat fnatic two weeks ago at Inferno Online, so we know that we have a big chance to win, if we win against them ESC. It's just another step for us getting into better shape as we were before. As for the results before, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win. Anything can happen :). Maybe GeT_CrY or GeT_dRuNk.
ESC had a weak showing at Copenhagen Games, how much of this do you put on the fact your team always seems to play the best at the major events and maybe struggle at smaller tournaments? Will it affect your performance at IOS?
ESC neo: I think after winning such majors our motivation couldn't be on the same level as it was before, so I think we needed such event and result, maybe to "wake us up". Unfortunately because of the current situation it's also hard to get the motivation back when you hear it from everywhere that CS is dying and so on. It's been like that for already 2-3 years, that everyone has been repeating that CS is dying, and still somehow there are some events every year, even some new.
You will most likely face SK Gaming the semi-finals. You are 5-1 against that SK team in playoff series, how big of a psychological advantage do you think you have over them?
ESC neo: I think with the experience we've learned, we don't look back and think of how we've done in the past. We just take the match as it is and try to do our best at that right moment, without having any psychological advantages or disadvantages.
You placed 3rd at Copenhagen Games with big wins over Na`Vi and SK last month with Miikka "dRiim" Toroi playing. How would you compare your team with Janne "Metaphor" Halinen to the team in Copenhagen?
WinFakt BASiC: Both times we've gone to the tournament with very short amount of practice and we will probably be very similar as a team as in Copenhagen because due to our lack of practice as a team, we can't win games only because of good teamplay yet, we need good individual performances. In-game Metaphor plays very similar roles to dRiim in our team.
Looking at statistics, it seems like Timi "aslak" Verkkoperä had his career's best tournament so far at Copenhagen Games. How much does your team rely on him to perform to that standard to score wins over top teams?
WinFakt BASiC: aslak has improved his game in almost every tournament since he joined WinFakt. He can be a very dominating player and our game is based a lot on his AWP play. If a team has a strong AWPer, he can win games on his own when he's on. We can't expect him to always play great though, so the others also have to spark up and play well in important games.
You joined Xapso a little under a month ago, how do you think the team is developing and how would you compare it to SK or mTw?
eSrael trace: We are doing great and i see a lot of progress as a team, and I feel we play consistently well. Even though I believe the other 3 guys besides me and arcadion have some things to learn, I believe we're getting a hold on it, and it only looks brighter the more we play. Hmm I think it's hard to compare teams, since everyteam is unique. We have a ridiculously good awper which gives the team calm and confidence when we play, and a good solid ground to stand on with arcadion. We know what we're doing so we try to play calm and as a team, just like mTw did. SK on the other hand play a little more loose and rely on individuals not playing poorly.
Some people are probably wondering what led to your exit from SK after Copenhagen Games, could you shed some light on why you are not in the team anymore?
eSrael trace: It is pretty simple. We had some close games and because of that some unsatisfying placings. 2 players had trouble understanding Danish which sometimes led to lost rounds. I couldn't really do anything differently. I played very well myself but it just wasn't enough, and I guess it would take too much time for us to be consistent so they probably thought it would be easier just so take Delpan back.
eSrael trace: He's a calm yet very aggressive player and uses the AWP whenever he gets the chance. To be honest I can't compare coloN to anyone, he's one of a kind. Not only amazing with AWP, but also great with rifles which seems to be a rare thing for the main AWPer nowadays. Would also like to use this opportunity to thank eSrael and their main sponsor MSI for making this trip possible.
This article is only the beginning of our coverage for the $10,000 tournament as we will also have a lengthy preview coming out in time for the tournament as well as coverage live from Stockholm.
3rd Generation Intel Core Challenge by Inferno Online will kick off at 10:00 on Saturday with HLTV.org providing live coverage of the entire event on-site at Stockholm E-Sports Arena.
so what's your point?
i just read the first lines and after that i write the comment wow, because is nice :) and then i read the full article
i had the time to look at the reviews i was interested in. arcadion had the wrong flag in the 2nd part of the article.^^
Post edited 2012-05-11 01:54:27
he refered to turkish too.
btw, it's weird to see you referring to WinFakt as "your team"...
Martin "trace" Heldt
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth
Timm "ArcadioN" Henriksen
Morten "coloN" Johansen
Post edited 2012-05-11 08:49:13
Post edited 2012-05-11 12:10:06
ggglhf eSrael <3
gogogo coloN & trace!
eSrael : trace/coloN
SK : Delpan/GeT_RiGhT
ESC : Neo/TaZ
WinFakt : BASiC/aslak
fnatic : MODDII
Yes, they are.