TaZ: "Slowly grinding back to form"
Our next interview ahead of MLG Columbus is with Virtus.pro's Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas, who discusses his team's expectations for the Major after some mixed results.
Virtus.pro travel to Columbus hoping to turn around a poor run of form that saw them break into the top four at just one of the three events they have attended since the start of the year.
At the North American major, they will be in the same group as G2, Natus Vincere and Cloud9, with their first match pitting them against the French side.
Read on to find out what Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas thinks about the Virtus.pro's current state, the team's preparation for the Major and their expectations for the $1 million tournament.
How have you prepared for MLG Columbus? Was there a bootcamp prior to the major or have you only been practising online? Is there anything you focused on specifically?
After the Counter Pit League Finals we began a bootcamp. We will be bootcamping for a staggering 4 days and then fly to the United States. We are slowly grinding back to form, we just need to keep fixing the small things.
Recently teams have stopped bootcamping prior to big events or only do it for short periods of time, mostly for less than a week, why do you think that is? Is it as important nowadays as it used to be? What are the pros and cons for your team?
Nowadays, players are getting bored of the game very fast, they are very confident and do not see a reason to put extra effort and bootcamp. You fix your mistakes faster during a bootcamp, players cannot run away from their responsibilities and so they focus only on playing. But obviously, it cannot be a long bootcamp or you will just get tired of the game or of each other.
TaZ believes Virtus.pro can make top four in Columbus
There are many tournaments going on nowadays, usually at least two significant ones per month, does that make it hard for teams to be able to adapt and improve their gameplay significantly? Could it be part of the reason why CS:GO has become more based on individual plays rather than tactics?
I do think it is actually easier for teams to adapt and improve their gameplay. You have more information about other teams, and more "test" games from which you can learn things. I do not know if CS has become more individual based, it rather feels like communication and natural teamwork are taking over. Mid-round calls are the big thing nowadays, I guess.
Do you feel comfortable with the group that has been assigned to you? Can you go through each of the possible match-ups (Na`Vi, G2, Cloud9) and tell us how you should fare in them?
It definitely is a very interesting group. We like to play each of these teams, even though they are all strong. Na`Vi seems to be on fire lately, and they beat us in Croatia, but the game was very close. It should be a fairly close matchup, if we get to play them. G2 have looked good since the start of the year, even when they lose it is always a close game. Still, if we continue to improve we should be able to beat them. Cloud9 just won the iBUYPOWER Invitational, showing big improvements in their play. They can be the dark horse and should not be underestimated. The group will be stacked, and it feels like we are the underdogs. Do we have any believers?
Could there be a better system of seeding other than based on the last major and the qualifier? Current format practically ignores all competitions taking place in between the majors, which is five months' worth of events in this case…
I do not think that there is anything wrong with the seedings used at the Major. You get a seeding based on your results from the most important event there is. It could be different, but it is not bad at all.
What expectations and goals have you set for yourselves at this event? What placing would you be satisfied with and what would be unacceptable?
With how different teams have stepped up lately (LG and Na`Vi especially) and others are stagnating or even dropping off, who do you have as favourites to make the top four? And, on the other hand, is there an underdog who could surpass fans' expectations?
Fnatic, NiP, Virtus.pro and Astralis.
Can anyone stop this seemingly unbeatable fnatic lineup (barring group stage losses), which has won the last six tournaments they attended? If so, who? How do you see your own chances against what has become one of the greatest teams of all-time should you meet them?
We can stop them.
There will be four American teams in attendance (SPLYCE, CLG, Liquid and Cloud9), more than ever, is this the time to shine for North America? Which of them have the biggest chance to advance to playoffs and possibly upset one of the big names?
Liquid are in the best position to advance. If we continue to underperform, Could9 also have a shot.
Will Virtus have reasons to celebrate in Columbus?
Valve implemented the new timers shortly after the previous major - now that we have seen almost three months of competition with them, how do you think they affect each of the sides and the overall balance? Do you believe Valve achieved what they wanted to with the change?
I like the changes, you have more time to make a move. I do not know what Valve wants to achieve with its moves, no one really understands the updates. Still, it is fun to have see them work on the game continuously and try to make our community bigger.
After a long break from competition your showing online and at DreamHack Open Leipzig was poor. Considering those results, how satisfied were you with your performance at Katowice afterwards?
Our performance in Katowice was shameful... It is not about losing but about the manner in which you play, and we showed nothing to be excited about besides a game against FaZe. It is funny how people write that we were unlucky to face fnatic, but honestly I do not see a difference. For us, it is a matter of preparation, if we feel good about our game we can beat anyone.
What were you looking to achieve at CounterPit League Season 2 Finals? Did the event help fix the problems you have been dealing with lately?
We obviously went there to win. The event showed us that we are moving forward with our game, which looked better. Nonetheless, losing to Na`Vi was a disappointment.
Where does the run of bad form stem from? How much has your confidence dropped off in the past two months?
We are testing different things. Sometimes, you need to take a few steps back in order to move forward. I have confidence in my boys, we have all the talent we need.
You can go through the following list for our previous pre-event interviews in case you missed any:
|Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad: "Getting to semis is our goal"|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski: "Want to break the NA streak"|
| Cloud9: "Not content with summer 2015"
|Robin "flusha" Rönnquist: "LG & NiP our biggest threats"|