TaZ: "I want to win this really bad"
One of the last few pre-interviews before ESL One Cologne is set to begin is with Virtus.pro's Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas.
After a rocky couple of events, Virtus.pro are coming into ESL One Cologne with a CEVO Finals victory in the bag. The team have been put into a group with Cloud9, mousesports and Immunity.
We talked to Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas in one of our pre-interviews prior to the major, take a look below to see what the veteran had to say on a number of different topics about ESL One Cologne:
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)
Hello, we did not bootcamp this time before the Major, but we were playing a lot from home, as players didn't have to travel back to hotels etc. It was just like in the old days, you wake up at 10 AM, play till 5 AM, go to sleep and do the same again each day. We did not focus on anything special.
TaZ and company are going through intensive training
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?
It's been a long time since we won a Major, I want to win this one really bad.
What are your thoughts on your group? Can you go through each match-up and say how it is likely to play out?
It is a very funny group, as both mouz and Cloud9 are hard opponents for us. Still I have high hopes for this tournament, and we should win against all teams in our group. We won't underestimate any team, we had this problem in the past. I want to take revenge on mouz and I don't want to lose to Cloud9, nor Immunity. Mouz versus Cloud9 will be very interesting to see, and it's hard to call a winner.
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?
I think that the group stage format is bad, yet again they make a Major with a BO1 group stage. It's almost 2 years now since we started talking about this problem. I don't see any difference, you will still have to win two BO1s to advance, or just have bad luck at the map draw and go home.
Your team didn't have the best track record in the recent months up until CEVO Finals, did you resolve your issues within the game? Did the win boost your confidence going into the major?
I guess we needed two very bad tournaments to resolve the issues in our team. CEVO just showed us that if we really want to work with each other, we can easily win events. Trust is needed in order to succeed, that win gave us some more confidence in each other.
Lately we have seen Neo come on fire, in some cases outshining both Snax and pasha, who have been instrumental in your success in the past. Does the aforementioned duo need to step up for you to come back to winning ways?
If we want to win, we will need whole team to step up. I don't see any pressure on them, they simply need to play their game.
You're known for being a team led by your emotions, both negatively and positively, has it been a topic of discussion within your team? Are you trying to make sure your emotions don't keep you down when you're losing?
Nah, it's not a big deal. We are not loosing or winning because of emotions during the game. We need to be on the right track before it starts, then it will be a lot easier =).
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?
In my opinion it shouldn't affect top teams. Gaming is fun, travelling is fun, it should work in the advantage of teams who attend many events, as they are on a roll. I love that we have so many events nowadays.
Is there anyone who you think is underrated and could surprise in Cologne?
I guess all teams played against each other in practice sessions, so it will be hard to surprise anyone. If I had to pick some teams I would say Luminosity and Flipsid3 can be fun to watch.
The level of teams has been evening out recently, a number different names have reached 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?
Bracket draw will be the deciding factor, also the randomness of BO1s in group stage might cut some of the top teams. I'd say that NiP, VP, fnatic and EnVyUs.
The team gained some much-needed confidence after CEVO
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?
I really like the current map pool, we should stick to seven maps, but fix the veto system, so teams really have to practice all of them. It is also nice to see that Valve tries to change maps from time to time. As for Train, we really like the map and feel that it is well balanced, as u can dominate on both sides. Still I don’t think we will get a chance to play it...
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?
Looking at other eSport titles, prizepool increase should be in the best interest for Valve. Still I'm very thankful to Valve for what they are doing with stickers, and that they support teams and players. I just want CS:GO to be stronger and bigger than League of Legends and DotA2. Counter-Strike is a legendary game with so much history behind players and teams, it should have a "World Championship" tournament like no other.
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?
Jumping with weapons should be fixed ;) It just kills the level of competition when you see a jumping USP/AK clutching the round. Beside that I would just fix the scout, I mean make it more expensive or something? It is very strong weapon in current meta game.
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 have no idea, but maybe finally the OLD MAN will shine?! Haha, I don't know for me it's just all magic, doping, cheats in mouse etc. I guess we had to come to this point some day... It is a step in a good direction.
Here's a list of all pre-interviews we have conducted so far prior to ESL One Cologne, check it out to see if you missed any: