WorldEdit: "We can reach playoffs"
We sat down with Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin ahead of ESL One Cologne to find out how FlipSid3 Tactics' spirits are before the start of the major.
FlipSid3 Tactics are one of the four European teams to have secured places at the Cologne major via the offline qualifier, where they beat teams like PENTA Sports, KILLERFISH and dignitas.
The Ukraine-based team have shown that they were not just a one-trick pony as they have been able to adapt to life without Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, who was released in the aftermath of ESWC following an astonishing attack on his team-mates.
Read on to find out what Georgi "WorldEdit" Yaskin thinks about FlipSid3 Tactics' preparations for the major, why he thinks the new group format is "random" and much more.
How have you prepared for ESL One Cologne? Did you bootcamp beforehand or was it mostly online practice? Have you focused on anything in particular?
We have been training very hard for little more than two weeks, from 5pm to 1am, mainly against Cologne teams. We have trained a particular set of maps and worked on individual issues in our own games.
Is there anyone who you think is underrated and could surprise in Cologne?
This is the biggest event of the year and no one should be underrated. Everyone had to battle to get here and prove themselves. Every team has prepared and is motivated. There are no easy matches in this tournament. Even our team has to play at its best every map.
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?
Our minimum goal is get out of the group stage. At Cologne 2014 and at Katowice we did not make it out of groups. This is our major goal for this event.
WorldEdit believes FlipSid3 can reach top eight in Cologne
The level of teams has been levelling 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?
TSM, Cloud9, fnatic and Na`Vi. I selected these teams because their players have been very active lately. We have seen these teams play together really late into the night, so I believe they will be really well prepared.
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 personally do not like it because it is random. You cannot prepare to face all the teams, and you have no idea whom you will face if you do not win your group. You have to analyze so many more teams with such little time between qualifiers and the actual event. The perfect format for group stage is best-of-three GSL.
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 like train, but it's a new map for everyone and it needs time to get used to. I think there will be a lot of great matches on train, that is for sure.
What are your thoughts on your group? Can you go through each match-up and say how it is likely to play out?
In best-of-one matches it is stupid to predict results. I think we can qualify, despite the fact that our group is so hard. The group is very uncomfortable for us, but we practiced a lot. If we feel calm and confident, we can go through. I believe in 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?
It's a very good bonus but it is a popularity contest. Some teams don't make as much as others. It's good for us because it shows that, on top of salary, there are more reasons to spend more time playing this game for a living. It is also good for families of newer players to see that they can live off of their professional careers.
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?
The CZ is not so unbalanced right now. The Tec 9 armor rush is still incredibly imbalanced because the low recoil while running is very unrealistic. It is hard to take engagements with rifles vs 5 Tec 9s running and jumping.
s1mple is a closed case, argues WorldEdit
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?l
The team doesn't know much about doping, so we don't know if it's going to help. The game should be fair though so if people are using things that can enhance their focus and stamina that's really unfair. The right way to train is to play on a strict schedule over and over. If you can take something that can let you train for longer it is a big advantage. If those things are true about the drug they are testing for then I agree with ESL. I only know what I have been told about the drug and have no experience with it personally.
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?
It's good that it is like this because it develops and grows esports. Teams from NA are sharing strats and skills with us, Europeans. So it adds more elements to the game. You can notice mistakes faster the more you play against good teams.
Since s1mple had played such an important role for you in the past, how are you dealing with the change to DavCost, who you’ve been using in the past? Are we going to see a different team now that you don’t have such an individualistic player?
We have been planning since ESL Cologne was announced to play the qualifier with Davcost again and we have had over one month to play with him before this event. We have qualified for and played at ESL Katowice with Davcost. He has been a part of every ESL event we played this year and he is also a regular ringer for us in other leagues. It was a pretty normal decision that he would be our 5th for this. We have a team full of great players, so I think you will see strategies which highlight the abilities of everyone on the team, not only one person.
markeloff took to Twitter to show his relief after s1mple left. Is the team’s spirit better now?
Honestly, this topic is in the past. We are focused on the future and on doing well in Cologne. The team spirit is very good coming into ESL and we are excited for our upcoming matches.