James: "Underdog status favors us"

Today's pre-interview prior to ESL One Cologne is with James "James" Quinn, whose Immunity are going into the major as one of the underdogs.

As ESL and Valve held an Asian qualifier, giving out two spots at the major, Immunity were able to qualify alongside their countrymen from Renegades for their first major following experiences from multiple international tournaments.

James "James" Quinn was the one answering our lengthy interview prior to ESL One Cologne, which starts in just five days with the first group stage:

How have you prepared for ESL One Cologne? Are you going to or did you bootcamp beforehand or have you only been preparing online? Have you focused on anything in particular? (e.g. teams, specific problems at recent events)

Preparing for something as big as a major is a difficult thing to do for a team like ours. Our preparation hasn't been exactly what we wanted but we're making it work. We are getting a few days of bootcamp in before the event but it is not as much as we would have liked. We've been focusing on our own game quite a lot but we have also been doing our research on the teams in our group.

Is there anyone who you think is underrated and could surprise in Cologne? 

No one is really underrated in the tournament, this is the biggest stage in CS:GO at the moment, everyone is coming into this competition ready to play and wanting to win. This tournament has the best teams in the world, anyone can win.

James and company aim for some upsets

What are your team's goals and expectations for the event? Where do you draw the line of what you'd be satisfied or happy with?

This is our first major event and although we have played at a couple of international events and put up some good results, this is a major. We are going into Cologne knowing that this is a different atmosphere entirely, our goal is to try and get out of groups and upset some teams.

The level of teams has been evening out recently, a number different names have been in the grand final at events in the recent months (EnVyUs, TSM, fnatic, Na`Vi, Virtus.pro, Cloud9), who will be the favourites to make it to top four in your mind?

I really cannot say who will make it into the top four for certain, there are so many teams that can have hot and cold spells which can make the top four. I do think fnatic and TSM are most likely to make it in but the others I really cannot say.

What do you make of the change in the group stage format? Is it better to have a chance to play against more than three set teams before the playoffs? Is it going to be harder to prepare for such groups?

It certainly is going to be a lot more difficult to do research and prepare for our opposition, but we are looking foward to the new format. The more teams we are able to play the better, this format is better for us in terms of experience and it will only help us improve.

Train has been in the pool for quite some time, but ESL One Cologne will be the first major to feature it, how has it developed over the recent months? Was it figured out in terms of playstyle, strategy, etc.? Is the current map pool diverse enough?

Although Train isn't played too much down here in Australia we are still enjoying playing the map. Even though we don't get to play it often we still are loving playing all these new maps and we are really enjoying the map pool and how teams are having to be strong on several maps not just two or three.

What are your thoughts on your group? Can you go through each match-up and say how it is likely to play out?

We actually like our group, we feel we got one of the groups where we are a threat and will be able to cause an upset if teams aren't taking us seriously. Against Virtus.pro I feel that if we can get off to a good start.

Yet again this major has not seen a prizepool change, even though the sticker money is likely to get bigger, would you like to see it get increased?

With all that's happening in the world of eSports I can only see the prizepool getting bigger over time but at this point we are just grateful that there are people who put on these sorts of events that we are able to attend and we hope to be attending many more.

Immunity are in a group with Virtus.pro, Cloud9 and mousesports

Lately the outrage against certain weapons has decreased (e.g. CZ-75 at the beginning of the year, Tec-9 during the second quarter of 2015), are you satisfied with the way Valve balanced them out? Are there any weapons you'd like to see nerfed or buffed?

I certainly agree that weapons such as the Tec-9 are in dire need of more balancing, but I'm not sure how Valve would go about doing that. What I do know though is that the jumping scout definitely needs to be fixed. In my opinion, jumping and shooting is not something you want to see in a tactical game like Counter-Strike.

Do you think the new anti-doping measures being taken by the ESL are going to change anything from past events, has this been blown out of proportion since Semphis’ statements, or is it necessary?

I do think that it is necessary, eSports is becoming bigger and bigger and starting to be treated like a real sport and just like real sports we need anti-doping messures in place. Everyone who competes is playing at the highest level for such a large sum of money and reputation and cheating is not the only thing we need to be watching for. Performance enhancing drugs need to be taken seriously and I do think it is 100% necessary.

With the proliferation of both online and offline events, and having had at least one big event every weekend or every other weekend for the past few months, and with many teams travelling around Europe and North America—or both—, how do you think it will affect teams' performances?

Teams who are attending all these events are going to have their strenghts and weakness' tested, on one side it gives teams little time to go back and review their own demos and to do their reaserch on other teams but on the other side they're all playing each other so much at events they're learning patterns and tendencies every time.

You are coming into this major as one of the biggest unknowns for most teams and viewers. Do you think your label of underdogs could play in your favor?

Coming into this major as an unknown definitely favours us in terms of giving us an underdog status, being an underdog relieves pressure on us, but we still have our own expectations and we want to give everyone at home back in Australia a team to cheer for. 

You are going to be gaining some valuable experience in Cologne, as Renegades have been doing for the past few years. Do you think this will allow you to step out from under Renegades' shadow?

This has never been an issue for us, or something we've even thought about, we're attending events too, they may be a strong team, but our focus isn't on them, our focus is on the bigger picture. In Australia we have many supporters and fans which don't make us feel like we're in the shadow of Renegades, we have our own image and that's what we focus on.

If you missed some of our previous pre-interviews, check the following list to make up for it:

Poland Piotr "peet" Ćwikliński "We don't feel any pressure"
Canada Pujan "FNS" Mehta: "Having the same core helps us"
Slovakia Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács: "Facing Titan will be hard"
Canada Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Poland Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Australia James 'James' Quinn
James 'James' Quinn
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
No it doesn't.. "This tournament has the best teams in the world, anyone can win." Pls..
2015-08-15 20:58
2015-08-15 21:14
Immunity would get beat by EU T3 teams easily
2015-08-15 21:15
By Austria ofc
2015-08-15 21:16
gore > whole immunity
2015-08-15 21:17
Being the underdog means you are going to get your shit pushed in!
2015-08-17 01:39
The comment is no less factual than your "PLS"! there is plenty of factual evidence in all sports where the underdog has come to the forefront and won. Yes the likelyhood is low but it is a reality that any team could could win!
2015-08-19 03:54
2015-08-15 20:56
Sweden sk1n 
2015-08-15 20:56
4rd Edit: Nice Englando
2015-08-15 20:56
4rd ? :@ my eyes blown up
2015-08-15 21:14
Lithuania karkeris 
2015-08-15 20:56
Latvia SEHUN 
2015-08-15 20:57
james :D
2015-08-15 20:57
Sweden sk1n 
"First major to feature the map" I thought train was in Katowice????
2015-08-15 20:57
Brazil RisenNTC 
it wasnt
2015-08-15 20:59
it was back in 2014, but it was the old train.
2015-08-15 21:26
Nope, I remember TSM versus C9 on Nuke in Katowice.
2015-08-15 21:27
wait, who?
2015-08-15 20:59
Australia kTw0 
Wanna here a joke? UK CS Scene XD
2015-08-16 03:21
2015-08-16 03:24
2015-08-15 21:00
Jame | 
Bangladesh NyAn_NeKo 
2015-08-15 21:00
come on boiz plz do something this event GL USTILO and rick
2015-08-15 21:01
wtf I forgot that Immunity will play in Cologne, 2x 16-0 and go home pro players wannabe xD
2015-08-15 21:01
fak off nub
2015-08-15 21:02
Actually they will play at least 3 games. rekt scrub
2015-08-16 08:19
Gl boys. I hope one of the Aussies makes it out of groups.
2015-08-15 21:03
Argentina EnvyJ 
Underdog status favors them to go out in groupstage
2015-08-15 21:11
2015-08-15 21:11
f0rest | 
Serbia dankooo 
Nice try
2015-08-15 21:11
2015-08-15 21:13
gl imunnity bring the titule for us
2015-08-15 21:15
Titan is an underdog. This team is not an underdog. There a doormat.
2015-08-15 21:15
I agree. This "Underdog status favors us"- kind of thing is like a broken record. We've all heard it from every shit team somehow making a bigger tournament. Yet they are getting rekt like 16-4 16-5 in groups and are out.
2015-08-15 21:17
2015-08-15 21:16
an underdog is a team that could upset or is on some crazy run where theyre winning miraculous insane matches. this team is not an underdog, they are just shit
2015-08-15 21:37
You're wrong actually. An underdog is an unfavoured team in match, in other words the team expected to lose. Stop making up your own definitions.
2015-08-16 15:18
i say what the fuck i want bitch
2015-08-16 17:56
They probably will go out in groups but what else are they going to say though realistically? 'prolly out in groups lolol we're shit lmao ty 4 sticker money kids' :^)'
2015-08-15 22:06
lol I agree that they will probably struggle to get double figures in any game but to help the scene grow globally its important that they attend. I really hope they are able to put up a decent showing, even if they dont win a map.
2015-08-16 02:38
Sri Lanka King Ye 
not really
2015-08-15 22:14
0-16 with VP. Confirmed.
2015-08-15 22:28
no chance
2015-08-15 22:48
ScreaM | 
Dominican Republic casxd 
nt lebron
2015-08-15 22:51
Im sorry but no
2015-08-15 23:08
United Kingdom Alth 
2015-08-15 23:48
Like a Smart Man Once Said "No Chance" .
2015-08-16 00:16
Aleksib | 
Finland f1nch 
2015-08-16 00:35
said every underdog ever then not winning 5 rounds in the whole tournament
2015-08-16 02:04
Australia zilkossj 
Good luck Immunity. Gonna be a tough group stage for ya ;) no pressure or anything tho
2015-08-16 02:35
2015-08-16 02:40
underdog like hot dog
2015-08-16 03:18
hey HLTV thanks for the support, love you guys and be sure to shoutout any chance I get! :D sry for insulties!
2015-08-16 03:26
maybe they'll win 10 rounds total
2015-08-16 04:17
Australia Lolfeminists 
Intel wasting sponsorship on these plebs..
2015-08-16 05:12
nt JW doppleganger
2015-08-16 06:12
Australia ZRBB 
Immunity deserve their spot. If there were any Asian CSGO teams that were better than them, they would be at ESL instead of Immunity. RNG + Immunity top 2 teams in Australia / Asia / NZ
2015-08-16 07:59
Rofl Not even underdog, just noob team
2015-08-16 08:18
Australia vamped 
Remember renegades didn't get double figures the first few events.. Then they got better. Same will happen with immunity give them some time.
2015-08-16 09:22
nah ur dead
2015-08-16 12:28
You're so under the dog that all you can see is fur and feel his dong hitting in you the nose. GL, anyway.
2015-08-16 12:45
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