apEX: "learned to play against them"
We had the chance to talk to Game Show Global eSports Cup champion Dan "apEX" Madesclaire of Team EnVyUs about their play at the tournament, and what lies ahead.
Dan "apEX" Madesclaire and Team EnVyUs won their first tournament of the year after sweeping Dignitas in a best-of-five final on de_cobblestone (16-4), de_mirage (16-7), and de_inferno (16-13). apEX runs us a little bit through the tournament, the final, and what's to happen next.
For the most part you guys were very superior to Dignitas in the final, perhaps with the exception of the last half of de_inferno. There’s not that much to say about it, but could you walk us throught it a little bit?
A couple days ago Dignitas just totally wrecked us. They played very well and we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t play well at all, personally, and as a team we played pretty bad. At the beginning of the tournament we didn’t show our level, but after the first match we learned how to play against them. We just watched demos and saw what they did, and we found what we have to do against them. Mainly on the first map [de_cobblestone], where they beat us 16-9 during the group stage. It was a good game for us in the final since we won 16-4 and cbble is a map on which you have to adapt to the opponent, which we weren’t able to do the first time, but we did this time around.
When you were watching the demos, what was the key you guys found to counter Dignitas?
I watched the demos on cbble because I got wrecked mostly on A long and they just played with three at A long at the beginning of the side. Nathan said "rush B, rush B," and they only had two players there, which is why hitting B was a good decision for us in the beginning. Also, after I watched the demos, we just changed how we control A long and we just killed them, making it easier for us to win the round, and that’s it.
Something I talked to Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt about was playing on de_overpass and losing it to CLG twice. Later on you lost it to Astralis as well. Nathan said you guys were trying it out against CLG, but it didn’t seem to be working out. You guys finally banned it for the final, are you guys going to be keeping it?
We hadn’t played Overpass at all in the past six months. We just picked it up again three weeks ago and we’re improving a lot. We went 16-13 against Astralis who are the best Overpass team in the world. We knew it would be hard for us to win on it, and we were a bit shaky on some things, but we’re going to come back stronger next event. We know what we have to improve, and of course we are going to keep playing it.
The tournament started out a bit slow for you guys, you had a couple rough games, even losing, which wasn’t expected as you guys should have maybe made it straight to the semifinals. It seems like there’s a pattern in your slow starts and strong finishes, what do you think that’s due to?
I think against lower teams than us, such as CLG, Dignitas, or Cloud9, we’re not playing very well. We’re making mistakes and not focused enough. We know they’re good, but we think if we just play normal we can win. But we can’t. The level in CS:GO is at the top currently, so you can’t do that. You have to be at your best to win the games and the tournaments.
Against CLG, Dignitas, and Cloud9 we didn’t play well. We almost lost against Cloud9 and CLG, we lost against Dignitas, but then when we started the semifinal against Astralis. We knew they were a strong team and we just played them really well. Especially on Cache, and even Overpass and Mirage. We just showed how we play for real, not how we played during the group stage. That’s a big improvement we need to make, because if we play CLG in two months, we’ll lose the match we just won two or three days ago.
Nathan has been calling two tournaments now, is it getting smoother? Is the team integrating his style more?
His style is a bit different than Happy’s. NBK is a bit more strict than Happy was. Happy had confidence in us, meaning he would say "I want you to do that, but if you don’t do it, it’s your problem, not mine." NBK is more strict, he’ll say "don’t do it, don’t do it," and we’re just trying to improve our style.
We just need time to adapt to his style, we’re not at our apex, our level, our top, but I think we can get there for the next tournaments like ESL Barcelona and IEM Katowice. I think for Katowice we’re going to be at our top level. We just need time and that’s it.
The decision to put in NBK as the IGL, is that because of meta changes? Maybe playing some more tactical CS, which seems to be helping out teams like Luminosity and Na`Vi?
We have a strange team, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work for us like it does for the other teams. We changed the IGLs because after winning in Cluj we lost in group stage at the FACEIT finals and our preparation was just so bad. We played like BOTs, we played so bad, we made way too many mistakes. We then played the same way again at the ESL ESEA final against Na`Vi so we just wanted to find a solution and find a way to improve.
Happy and NBK talked, and that’s the decision they made, because they are the leaders of the team, and we accepted that because even if NBK had never called before, we are confident in him. We trust him, and I think it’s a good thing. Even if Happy starts calling again in a few months, if he does, because if things work like this we won’t change, at the moment it’s cool and I hope we can keep improving more because we will need it to win tournaments.
You guys are headed to ESL Barcelona now, it has a strange system…
Exactly, like Gamescom. What are your thoughts about it? Is it more about fun, or do you still keep it competitive?
It’s always competitive. We’re there to win a tournament, and that’s it. But this time it is more fun, of course. Katowice is coming right after, so we have to take it seriously. It’s an important tournament, because after it we have a bootcamp, so we have to be ready and confident for Katowice. Of course it will be fun, but we have to take it seriously and try and win it. This system is pretty cool, though, we played it the first time we ever played together at an event and it was pretty cool.
Also, fnatic will be there and there’s a big rivalry between us so it’s going to be cool.