ANGE1: "I could say we are top 2"
We kick off our pre-SLTV StarSeries V Finals coverage with an interview with Virtus.pro's Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow, who recently led his squad to a third place finish at Copenhagen Games 2013.
Prior to that Virtus.pro proved they can play at TECHLABS, where they defeated ESC Gaming twice and took home a second place fnish, after even giving NiP a run for their money in the upper bracket final.
Now the Russians, Ukrainians and the sole Kazakhstani are hoping to try break through in Kiev, where the SLTV StarSeries V Finals will kick off on Thursday with them facing off against Na`Vi.
With only a couple of days to make adjustments based on Copenhagen Games, what are the things you will focus on during this little time off?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: We will watch demos, and look for key mistakes that were done at Cph games. Then we will find options not to make those in the future, and practice as much as we can.
What did you learn about your team at Copenhagen Games? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What is the one thing that can push you over the top?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: I'm glad that we can concentrate on the key maps, even if it's not our best, and win those. And I can't say our way to the upper bracket final was as confident as I want it to be. And now, looking back, I think we showed half of the level we will be at in 1-2 months.
You will face Na`Vi in the first round of upper bracket. How much will you prepare for them specifically, knowing it a few days in advance? What do you predict will happen in the match?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: Na`Vi started to prepare for SL, while I was still in Copenhagen. So the main thing I could be sure of, there is no easy game for us there.
You saw NiP and ESC play at Copenhagen Games. Who do you expect to win that match? Who would you rather face and avoid? Why?
It's obvious that NiP is the favorite in any match, especially when it is on LAN. And if I had an option to choose enemy for the second day of StarLadder, it wouldn't be NiP :).
ANGE1's Virtus.pro is looking to break through in Kiev
Do you think the relaxed schedule of SLTV StarSeries V Finals which allow you to only play one or two matches a day is better than Copenhagen Games' packed one with multiple matches? Why?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: I slept around 3-4 hours per day at Copenhagen, while we played 17 maps for 2 days. So yes, its was veeery hard, especially cause of 6-7 hours pause between NiP and WW games. StarLadder schedule is much better for teams, but maybe less comfortable for viewers.
You have made a solid case for yourselves being a top four team in the world. Where do you rank yourselves right now? What do you make of your chances versus VeryGames? Do you think being tired affected your play versus Western Wolves (who were fresh off a match while you had to wait for a while to play)?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: If everything is ok and conditions are equal for both teams, I could say we are top2. But we still haven't played against VeryGames @ LAN, so it's difficult to compare us. WW is a good team but I think the result would be different if we played this match on time.
Why did you not participate in RaidCall EMS One qualifiers? It can't be easy having to watch both RC EMS One and ESEA Finals from home, especially due to visa issues, while you seem to be in good form. Do you have anything planned for later in April or May? Does that increase your motivation for SLTV StarSeries V finals?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: There was some personal issues our players had to fix, at the same time as EMS qualifier. We are going to attend TechLabs at Minsk in ~1 month, and every big tournament this year. And StarLadder is not just a regular tournament for us, it's a chance to compete with the best teams from Europe before the eyes of Ukrainian audience.
After looking like you were going to take a map from NiP in Copenhagen, a five-on-two loss led to your team losing composure and ultimately falling off a cliff. What happened?
Virtus.pro ANGE1: That was a regular B+C fake on dust2 :). Me and kucher were faking middle, while our mates with bomb were on catwalk. We killed 3 NiP players while faking, but someone continued to advance to A plant with bomb, where he was successfully killed. Then we found ourselves in a 3v2 situation, which we couldn't win :)
We will publish another pre-event interview today, followed up by members of the final two teams tomorrow, as well as our usual viewer's guide, event preview etc. so stay tuned to HLTV.org for your SLTV StarSeries V Finals coverage.