GuardiaN: "Our goal is to win the title"

In our next pre-interview Natus Vincere's star AWPer, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, shares his thoughts on ESL One Katowice, current status of maps and weapons, recent increase of online matches and more.

Na`Vi were amongst the eight teams who claimed a ESL One Katowice spot in December by finishing in the top four of DreamHack Winter 2014 before falling to the current EnVyUs roster, back then still representing LDLC.

At the upcoming major, they have been given a test in domestic competition from the up and comers in FlipSid3, fnatic as the clear tournament favourite and the surprise of the main qualifier, Vox Eminor.


GuardiaN comments on ESL One Katowice and more

Take a look below to find out what Na`Vi's Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács had to say on a number of general topics surrounding ESL One Katowice, as well as additional ones, such as Sergey "starix" Ischuk's comments on the team's future at the beginning of 2015.

In case you missed our previous pre-interviews leading up to ESL One Katowice, check the table below:

Germany PENTA: "Aware of [Titan's] strengths"
Sweden Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson"We have something planned"
Australia Vox Eminor"Dark horse will be us or FlipSid3"
Finland Joona "natu" Leppänen"[stonde] will bring chaos"
Ukraine Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy"We don't feel any pressure"
Norway Morten "zEVES" Vollan"C9 can surprise in playoffs"
United States James "hazed" Cobb"We don't have a ceiling"
1. How confident do you feel with your preparation going into ESL One Katowice? Are you having a bootcamp or only practicing online? Is there something you focused on in particular (like new maps, individual form, scouting other teams)?
ANSWER HERE
We are bootcamping already for a week and we feel very confident with the way of our preparation for ESL Katowice 2015. Everything feels good at this moment so hopefully we will show much stronger game than we did past few months. We have prepared more maps  than we had at DH Winter, so everything feels more comfortable.
2. What do you think about your group? Can you go through each team and tell us how you think you match-up against them? Which two teams should be advancing to playoffs out of Na`Vi, fnatic, Vox Eminor and FlipSid3?
ANSWER HERE First game will be the hardest one as its always for us at major events. We always struggled in first group games and it was hard to comeback sometimes to secure the stop in the playoffs. First game will be against FlipSid3 which is a very strong team at the moment, which can go head to head with any top team. Their captain will be prepared very well against us and thats something we should fear, but at the same time we will show no respect and will be playing the game as its the finals. 
3. What is the minimum placing your team will be satisfied with in Katowice? Do you feel any pressure to succeed, will you be extremely frustrated if you fail to reach your minimum goal?
ANSWER HERE First we have to think about securing a playoff spot and then about placing in the tournament. But we wont be satisfied with top8, our goal is to win the championship. We dont feel any presure even we fail pretty hard, we have the support of the organisation and that makes us to play on our highest level at lan events.
4. The professional scene has probably never been as competitive as it is now going into this major, but who do you think will end up in the top4 (in no particular order)? And who do you see as the most likely surprise, whether to win it all or get out of the groups ahead of some big favorites?
ANSWER HERE I think top4 will be Virtus pro, NiP, fnatic and Titan. We might see some surprising results, like early loose of some top teams in quarterfinals.
5. Is there a player or two in your team who you will hope to make the biggest impact in order for the team to achieve its goal (whether in terms of fragging, calling the shots, awping, motivating the rest)?
ANSWER HERE I believe in  my teammates that they will show their strongest game in every aspect of the game and i will do whatever they will ask me to do to help them to reach our common goal, the championship title.
6. starix mentioned in a VLOG at the beginning of 2015 that his future relies on how Na`Vi will fare in Katowice. Can you elaborate on that? Is it possible we will see a player change in case of a failure next week?
ANSWER HERE I did not watch the VLOG, but yes we had some discussion and we will see whats gonna happen. I dont see any change possibility at the moment, we have improved since our last lan event. Even starix is stepping up his game and showing some great plays, so i believe it will remain until the major event.
7. There has been an increasingly high number of online leagues and cups lately. How did participating in them affect your team, do you think it helped in preparation or damaged you somehow? And how does it affect the scene in general in your opinion?
ANSWER HERE We are missing some online events, its pretty hard to keep playing in every single online event, so we will keep missing some events. The presure to play so many hours and officials every day is not a good thing in my opinion. It feels like damaging our preparation for lan events, because you have barely some time to discuss and practice something new, when you have 3-5 officials per day. 
8. What does your team think about the changes to Overpass and Cobblestone? Are the changes for the better or worse? Have you practiced them?
ANSWER HERE Changes are very good from our point of view. Maps are more balanced and we have played them few times, so yes, feels good to play these maps after changes
9. Do you like the current state of the pistols, Tec-9 and CZ-75 in particular? Would you make any changes to them or are they all finally balanced enough for competitive play?
ANSWER HERE I dont like it. Its becoming too powerful and sometimes you loose or win the round thanks to some lucky shot from these pistols. They should update the pistols and lower the damage of them a bit.
10. Reportedly the sticker money from the previous major, DHW, was split according to how many of each team’s stickers were sold. Which way would you prefer it this time, an even split between all legends/challengers or distribution per selling amount? Or perhaps you would like to see a part of it added to prizemoney?
ANSWER HERE I think this is not a question for me. I dont really care how much money will I get from people’s money, my goal is to win the tournament, so its up to the organisators or valve to decide how do they split the money. 
11. What is your stance on the current tournament system in the majors? Ever since DreamHack Winter 2013, the system has remained the same with a BO1 group stage, as well as a playoff spot securing a place in the next major. Would you change it in some way or keep it the same going forward?
ANSWER HERE I would probably add bo3 group stages, but it depends a lot on time and some events cannot afford so many long games because of viewership. Bo1s are sometimes very random at lan events and a darkhorse can win a favorite and presure them so much while in Bo3 the weaker them would have much more work to pressure the stronger team and beat them. Securing a slot for next major after getting into playoffs is fair I think and i hope it will stay as it is.
12. Since the start of 2015 the prize money in most tournaments started rising fast. Although no single tournament “outweighs” the majors yet, do you think that time will come? ESL One Katowice will be a huge event nevertheless - do you expect the viewership record will be broken? How many do you estimate will watch the grand final this time (record is around 500,000 from DHW)?
ANSWER HERE  Of course it will come.. If valve will use the same tournament tickets as in dota2 than we will have much bigger tournaments and the scene will be even bigger, we will get more people to watch the games and the 500 000 from DH will be easily broken. But I think it will be broken even at Katowice next week and not even in the finals in my opinion. Lets see

How confident do you feel with your preparation going into ESL One Katowice? Are you having a bootcamp or only practicing online? Is there something you focused on in particular?

We are bootcamping already for a week and we feel very confident with the way of our preparation for ESL One Katowice 2015. Everything feels good at this moment, so hopefully we will show a much stronger game than we did in the past few months. We have prepared more maps than we had at DH Winter, so everything feels more comfortable.

What do you think about your group? Can you go through each team and tell us how you think you match-up against them? Which two teams should be advancing to playoffs out of fnatic, Vox Eminor, FlipSid3 and yourselves?

First game will be the hardest one as it always is for us at major events. We always struggled in the first group games and it was hard to come back sometimes to secure the spot in the playoffs. First game will be against FlipSid3, which is a very strong team at the moment, which can go head to head with any top team. Their captain will be prepared very well against us and that's something we should fear, but at the same time we will show no respect and will be playing the game as if it was the finals. 

What is the minimum placing your team will be satisfied with in Katowice? Do you feel any pressure to succeed, will you be extremely frustrated if you fail to reach your minimum goal?

First we have to think about securing a playoff spot and then about placing in the tournament. But we won't be satisfied with top eight, our goal is to win the championship. We don't feel any presure even if we fail pretty hard, we have the support of the organisation and that makes us play on our highest level at LAN events.


GuardiaN believes in Titan's ability to reach top four 

The professional scene has probably never been as competitive as it is now going into this major, but who do you think will end up in the top four? And who do you see as the most likely surprise, whether to win it all or get out of the groups ahead of some big favorites?

I think the top four will be Virtus.pro, NiP, fnatic and Titan. We might see some surprising results, like an early loss of some top teams in quarter-finals.

Is there a player or two in your team who you will hope to make the biggest impact in order for the team to achieve its goal?

I believe in  my teammates that they will show their strongest game in every aspect of the game and I will do whatever they ask me to do to help them reach our common goal, the championship title.

starix mentioned in a VLOG at the beginning of 2015 that his future relies on how Na`Vi will fare in Katowice. Can you elaborate on that? Is it possible we will see a player change in case of a failure next week?

I did not watch the VLOG, but yes, we had a discussion and we will see what's gonna happen. I don't see any change possibility at the moment, we have improved since our last LAN event. Even starix is stepping up his game and showing some great plays, so I believe it will remain until the major event.

There has been an increasingly high number of online leagues and cups lately. How did participating in them affect your team, do you think it helped in preparation or damaged you somehow? And how does it affect the scene in general in your opinion?

We are missing some online events, it's pretty hard to keep playing in every single online event, so we will keep missing some events. The presure to play so many hours and officials every day is not a good thing in my opinion. It feels like it's damaging our preparation for LAN events, because you barely have any time to discuss and practise something new, when you have 3-5 officials per day. 

What does your team think about the changes to Overpass and Cobblestone? Are the changes for the better or worse? Have you practiced them?

The changes are very good from our point of view. The maps are more balanced and we have played them few times, so yes, feels good to play these maps after changes.


starix is stepping up his game, according to GuardiaN 

Do you like the current state of the pistols, Tec-9 and CZ-75 in particular? Would you make any changes to them or are they all finally balanced enough for competitive play?

I don't like it. It's becoming too powerful and sometimes you lose or win the round thanks to some lucky shot from these pistols. They should update the pistols and lower the damage of them a bit.

Reportedly the sticker money from the previous major, DHW, was split according to how many of each team's stickers were sold. Which way would you prefer it this time, an even split between all legends/challengers or distribution per selling amount? Or perhaps you would like to see a part of it added to prizemoney?

I think this is not a question for me. I don't really care how much money I get from people's money, my goal is to win the tournament, so it's up to the organisers or Valve to decide how they should split the money. 

What is your stance on the current tournament system in the majors? Ever since DreamHack Winter 2013, the system has remained the same with a BO1 group stage, as well as a playoff spot securing a place in the next major. Would you change it in some way or keep it the same going forward?

I would probably add BO3 group stages, but it depends a lot on time and some events cannot afford so many long games because of viewership. BO1s are sometimes very random at LAN events and a dark horse can beat a favorite and presure them so much, while in BO3s the weaker team would has to do much more work to pressure the stronger team and beat them. Securing a slot for the next major after getting into playoffs is fair I think, and I hope it will stay as it is.

Since the start of 2015 the prize money in most tournaments started rising fast. Although no single tournament "outweighs" the majors yet, do you think that time will come? ESL One Katowice will be a huge event nevertheless - do you expect the viewership record will be broken? How many do you estimate will watch the grand final this time?

Of course it will come... If Valve use the same tournament tickets as in DotA 2 then we will have much bigger tournaments and the scene will be even bigger, we will get more people to watch the games and the 500,000 from DH will be easily broken. But I think it will be broken even at Katowice next week and not even in the finals in my opinion. Let's see.

Look out for nearly every attending team's pre-interview similar to this one, before the major in Katowice starts to unfold on Thursday morning.

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Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Ukraine Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Andrey 'B1ad3' Gorodenskiy
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.83
Maps played:
899
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.16
Sweden Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1377
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.15
Finland Joona 'natu' Leppänen
Joona 'natu' Leppänen
Age:
34
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.88
Maps played:
188
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.16
Norway Morten 'zEVES' Vollan
Morten 'zEVES' Vollan
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.86
Maps played:
289
KPR:
0.60
DPR:
0.72
APR:
0.14
United States James 'hazed' Cobb
James 'hazed' Cobb
Age:
30
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
736
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.70
APR:
0.15
Ukraine Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Sergey 'starix' Ischuk
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
573
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.14
Guardian needs to carry hard for this one. and if starix won't show up, -starix +s1mple probably.
2015-03-10 17:13
So that they need another one to play ESL events?
2015-03-10 17:14
then +worledit.
2015-03-10 17:16
enough with these online only awpers. +flamie
2015-03-10 17:18
Enough with these -%playername% +%playername% shit. Im fucking tired already. You seriously think if they change someone like this it will help? Stop writing something if you dont understand what are you writng about.
2015-03-10 18:08
-Good Russian Guy +FODDER
2015-03-10 20:52
agree with flamie
2015-03-10 18:29
HAHAHAH -in game leader +2nd awper
2015-03-10 17:18
zeus ez igl gogo
2015-03-10 17:20
Zeus is the ingame leader. But yea, both worldedit and s1mple is a extreamly bad choise.
2015-03-10 17:20
S1mple is probably the best choice after esl cologne since there are no more esl events before after his ban has expired.
2015-03-10 17:28
Not really, they don't need another awper. Guardian is best as a lonely awper, instead of going Titan/mousesport style and going with 2 awpers. Plus there's no reason to kick one of the NaVi players, they know eachother well and it won't help getting s1mple to rage at them.
2015-03-10 17:44
Well... You should shut the fuck up.
2015-03-10 17:48
If you don't have anything useful to say, then don't say anything. Start a discussion/make a thread. There's no reason to say useless stuff like that.
2015-03-10 18:09
They already started the double awp setup with starix using the awp on maps like dust 2, and inferno. Obviously they want to go another way than you, and s1mples main role is secondary awper / rifler. He was only main awper in hellraisers, but people like you only know him from hellraisers. He has been in other teams before, including mix teams with flamie, and worldedit where he played secondary awper as well.
2015-03-10 17:51
hmm, that's true about s1mple, but I still don't think it would be a good idea, but let's wait and see what happense after katowice.
2015-03-10 18:08
WorldEdit will not leave F3. He is too loyal to Blade.
2015-03-10 18:07
#120
ceh9 | 
World mukas17 
Starix is not the problem. Seized is the worst player on the team. He had some good results a year ago, but has been failing super hard for half a year at least. He lacks experience, has bad communication, does stupid moves all the time that loose Na`Vi the round. -seized +dosia
2015-03-10 19:58
YES, but not with Dosia because Dosia plays Edward's role. You'd either have to add markeloff, flamie, or AdreN.
2015-03-11 03:53
nice
2015-03-10 17:12
#3
Petra | 
World forbii 
n1
2015-03-10 17:13
gogo B O Y S
2015-03-10 17:13
#5
bubble | 
Germany webaxebg 
nice read
2015-03-10 17:13
This would be fckn amazing! So i can bully my friend that NaVi is better than NiP :D
2015-03-10 17:13
Guardian BEST! GUARDIAN GUARDIAN GUARDIAN!
2015-03-10 17:13
gl lmao
2015-03-10 17:14
gl guys
2015-03-10 17:14
really? i thought you went there to lose
2015-03-10 17:14
Mad cause no AlluMAX
2015-03-10 20:41
lmao wat? i just thought it was hilarious to state something as obvious as "our goal in a tournament is to win it" and after all put it as the main title
2015-03-10 21:13
It's the internet, people don't get sarcasm here.
2015-03-11 12:39
yeah, won't happen
2015-03-10 17:14
not 1st :(
2015-03-10 17:14
Good luck GuardiaN.
2015-03-10 17:14
#15
 | 
Russia r4jkkYNWA 
ahahahahha gl
2015-03-10 17:14
" Their captain will be prepared very well against us and that's something we should fear, but at the same time we will show no respect and will be playing the game as if it was the finals. " This event is going to be fun to watch :D
2015-03-10 17:15
Quarterfinal only
2015-03-10 17:15
#20
 | 
Poland kubsonn 
i laughed so hard when saw this "Our goal is to win the title"
2015-03-10 17:15
#62
 | 
Slovakia crushyou 
looks like you never played any sport your goal is always to win
2015-03-10 17:45
Explains why he's silver, ques in to lose ;D
2015-03-11 09:15
#21
 | 
Poland wtfuwantdude 
BEST JOKE EVER NAVI AND TITLE LOL
2015-03-10 17:15
plz go home kurwa macz pierdole
2015-03-10 18:05
#90
 | 
Poland wtfuwantdude 
yes, vox will go home, np bro. cya
2015-03-10 18:08
HAHAHAHAH DREAM TOO HIGH MY FRIEND XD
2015-03-10 17:16
#24
Belarus 4rz 
Go Na'Vi!
2015-03-10 17:16
lets fucking goooo!!!!
2015-03-10 17:17
You can do it if u get in ur real level ;)
2015-03-10 17:17
gl gogo navi :)
2015-03-10 17:17
nt guardian
2015-03-10 17:17
#29
Portugal zpkL 
lol, try to past groupstage first.
2015-03-10 17:18
lol you fucking wont :D haha
2015-03-10 17:18
no chance
2015-03-10 17:18
Guardian is on point, Edward too. this tourney will be epic/.
2015-03-10 17:19
If someone from HLTV's staff is reading this, please did the same questions with someone of titan's players! ty
2015-03-10 17:19
"Look out for nearly every attending team's pre-interview similar to this one, before the major in Katowice starts to unfold on Thursday morning."
2015-03-10 17:23
Nearly? Which teams didnt want to?
2015-03-10 19:05
Our goal is to win the (sltv) title
2015-03-10 17:20
ayy lmao
2015-03-10 17:34
that is never gonna happen .. :d
2015-03-10 17:22
a bit of a reach there maybe Guardian.. still, love Navi and wish them the best :>
2015-03-10 17:24
No way. GuardiaN can't carry the whole squad by himself.
2015-03-10 17:25
edward and few incosistent players are here aswell. dont piss of na'vi that early! (:
2015-03-10 19:58
If there would be a change it should be seized in my opinion. Haven't seen anything from him in ages..
2015-03-10 17:28
Go Na'Vi !
2015-03-10 17:31
#47
 | 
Austria gex0r 
my favorite player <3
2015-03-10 17:31
lol he forgot to mention his own team when being asked about the top 4. well anyways, I believe Na`Vi can do this!! Da`Vi Na`Vi !
2015-03-10 17:32
good luck to them ! hope they go far !
2015-03-10 17:33
gl man you're a monster!
2015-03-10 17:34
#53
 | 
Ukraine Bastarne 
wish you luck Guardian
2015-03-10 17:36
going for first place you say? i toght they were aiming for second place thank you capitan obvious title maker
2015-03-10 17:37
#57
f0rest | 
Serbia dankooo 
its just for those who dont even read
2015-03-10 17:41
even if you dont read i think you shold know every team is going for the win (UNLESS THEY ARE SAVING STRATS DERPP)
2015-03-10 18:23
Na Vi can take this tournament tbh, EVERY na vi player is great on lan,starix carried the last major with him,edward?no need to say anything,zeus and seized are very good if they are on point,the only difficult might be ENVYUS
2015-03-10 17:39
#Believe In Na`Vi
2015-03-10 17:43
Would love to see them win
2015-03-10 17:45
Na'Vi destroy all
2015-03-10 17:46
GuardiaN seems like a really professional and down to earth dude. He has a great way to look on stuff and doesn't just talk for days about something he has no say about. Props to you GuardiaN, I will be cheering for you and your team!
2015-03-10 17:48
the best!
2015-03-10 17:50
wish you luck! would be cool to see Navi in finals
2015-03-10 17:50
gl #NAVIBOSS
2015-03-10 17:51
Every major had a new winner, times for that trend to continue :) #Na'Vi
2015-03-10 17:52
Yes! Exactly! #Na'vi
2015-03-10 18:03
#103
 | 
Hong Kong Sample_ 
Yeah and nip always in the final
2015-03-10 18:35
#113
Belarus f0E 
#Navi I'd like to see NiP vs NAVI !!!^_^
2015-03-10 19:20
Only way to Navi win this is Guardina 30bomb every game and edward is on point.
2015-03-10 17:54
Guardian and edward are always on point. Much more important thing is starix stepping up and seized not choking.
2015-03-10 19:04
ofc the goal is to win the title.... i mean is some team going there with the goal of losing -.- ..........
2015-03-10 17:54
huehuehuehue
2015-03-10 17:55
The coolest guy in PRO Scene tbh, very humble, he has the ego but he does not show it... amazing, wish more PROs were like that
2015-03-10 17:58
Gl to GuardiaN and NaVi i hope they can come on top
2015-03-10 18:05
2015-03-10 18:06
hoping for NiP interview soon.. <3
2015-03-10 18:09
we will see navi on final :D
2015-03-10 18:11
my goal is to be a millionaire, same probability
2015-03-10 18:12
#95
Argentina ffdd 
gogo edward :D
2015-03-10 18:15
#96
 | 
Netherlands Nieroth 
GL, would love to see them win it, even though I doubt that that is going to happen.
2015-03-10 18:18
hahah nice joke guardian
2015-03-10 18:19
Hope NAvi will take this major
2015-03-10 18:19
#99
NBK- | 
Czech Republic THE_WILLY 
Dreams ^^
2015-03-10 18:22
#102
 | 
Slovakia montty 
a goal properly set is halfway reached
2015-03-10 18:32
EZ
2015-03-10 18:41
"Our goal is to win the title" KAPPA
2015-03-10 18:49
anything wrong with that?
2015-03-10 18:59
where is the funny part?
2015-03-10 22:53
"...win the title"
2015-03-11 11:38
And? They are a team, of course they want to win
2015-03-11 12:28
know nothing innocent
2015-03-10 18:54
nice read
2015-03-10 19:00
slovak navi boss > kennys, jw, simple
2015-03-10 19:05
NAVI 2010 win this easily
2015-03-10 19:18
THATS THE BIGGEST BS IVE EVER HEARD..NAVI FOR THE TITLE!?DONT MAKE ME LAUGH.........................
2015-03-10 19:24
#116
 | 
Iceland fatboislim 
wouldn't be the first time na'vi played horrible for few months and then BAM they are raping in bigger lans.
2015-03-10 19:38
+1
2015-03-10 20:28
A team wanting to win, that's bullshit in your opinion? You stupid or what?
2015-03-10 22:54
best joke i heard in years
2015-03-10 19:28
#117
 | 
United States netsirt 
gl
2015-03-10 19:40
Slovakian eSport have to be proud! .)
2015-03-10 20:02
go home guardian u are drunk!
2015-03-10 21:15
i remember the last time a team say things like this, fxyo from epsilon, and right on the 3 next games they where rekt by 3 tier teams and then went on VACations xD
2015-03-11 00:39
#133
 | 
CIS chlenixon 
3 players in NaVi is 27 y old, one is 20 (seized) and one is 23 (GuardiaN) +seized +GuardiaN To HellRaisers, welcome back to top 5.
2015-03-11 03:37
edward and guardian ez 2 vs 5 every game
2015-03-11 09:23
No offence but you will be really glad for top5 place imho... not 1..
2015-03-11 10:51
best joke 2015
2015-03-11 12:51
Haha good luck GuardiaN
2015-03-11 12:57
XDDDDDDDDDDDDDD
2015-03-11 13:03
nice to have some goals... but real life is against you :(
2015-03-11 16:52
#145
 | 
Ukraine vols 
I remember 2010. People knew nothing about Na'Vi. They just came out of hell and raped the scene completely. I'm waiting 3 years for them to repeat it. Maybe it's time? :)
2015-03-11 18:02
"Our goal is to win the title" - They are a team, I think that every team want to win it :)
2015-03-11 18:24
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