G2: "The Titan curse is behind us"
In the last minute we have one more pre-interview for you, this time with the entire team including the coach, who answered all kinds of questions about the major:
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?
Jérôme "NiaK" Sudries: Hello! No, we haven't done anything revolutionary to prepare for this tournament. At the beginning of January, during the resumption of our trainings, we chose to work on the length, with MLG Columbus as our primary goal. The only difference compared to our previous tournaments is that we had a week of bootcamp in the south of France all together.
I can tell you that I am satisfied with the work we have achieved, I have a serene team who did not cease to improve since the beginning of the year and who now own the key to its destiny and is able to offer a beautiful game.
Have G2 slain their demons after joining up with a new organization?
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?Jérôme "NiaK" Sudries: As you know, with Titan we have experienced the gaming house full-time. We took a step back regarding the positive and negative sides of living and training together. I would say that the most important thing is to have a real cohesion and maturity inside of the team; this is what guarantees that the bootcamp will be efficient.
These are the reasons why we chose a 7-day bootcamp, in order to complete our preparation in the same atmosphere but without changing our habits. Everything went well, especially thanks to the optimal conditions we got – thanks G2, Alienware and BenQ – we will renew the experience !
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?
Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans: The tactical concept is very large but here I understand that you're specifically talking about about strats that may surprise. And, indeed, with the number of tournaments there are currently, it's very difficult to surprise with new tactics with a lots of stuff as this takes time to practice. But about the rest, we still have to be able to anticipate, to know the current meta and how to play against different teams to adapt well. CS is still tactical but less aesthetic.
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, Virtus.pro, Cloud9) and tell us how you should fare in them?
Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom: We have been working so hard lately on our team game and individual skill. Also analysing the game style of our opponents. I think the teams that we get don't really matter, it's all up to us. If we play well, we can beat anyone and if not we can also lose to anyone... We will focus only on ourselves and play the best we can. I believe that we'll make it to the playoffs.
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…
Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux: I think it's nice to have that system for the Major. It makes it special, and all the teams give 300% to perform at their best level for this event. We always remember a Major winner because it's something more important than every other tournament.
What expectations and goals have you set for yourselves at this event? What placing would you be satisfied with and what would be unacceptable?
Richard "shox" Papillon: We don't have any specific expectations or goals for ourselves concerning this Major, we just want to do our best and keep growing up as we are doing since early 2016. Clearly we want to pass the group stage and we would be really disappointed if we didn't. Going to the semis would be a really good result at this point.
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?
Richard "shox" Papillon: I would say fnatic, LG, NiP and Na`Vi for the top four. Concerning the underdogs, mousesports are clearly the most dangerous.
"No expectations or goals, we just want to keep growing up" says shox
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?
Edouard "SmithZz" Dubourdeaux: I think they are not unbeatable, no one is. But no doubt they will reach a top4 finish. I think LG or NiP could give them many problems at this tournament.
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?
Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom: America can be proud, it's amazing that 4 teams qualified for the first American Major! If I had to choose one between all four, I would say CLG! They are totally capable of beating EnVyUs and the other teams in their group. Otherwise, I don't think any American team will go really far in the tournament.
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?
Cédric "RpK" Guipouy: This update has quite modified the gameplay. Playing CT, the smoke-game is less efficient, so we have to bet more and do more choices to remain strong during the whole round. Playing as Terrorists gives us more possibilities. About the bomb's timer, it helps CT to get a better backup organization. When you play as Terrorists, you have to be more rigorous.
Ever since after joining Titan, the team hasn't been able to advance from the group stage at majors, will that be in the back of your minds while playing in Columbus? Has it affected your performance before?
Cédric "RpK" Guipouy: Even if I have only known the "Titan curse" for a little while, it is clear that in the end, it was playing with our minds. Now we are better prepared and globally stronger, G2 gave us a new dynamic and this period is behind us.
You have been criticized for not being able to close out matches after getting to big leads, and your recent match with mousesports in the Malmö qualifier was another proof of that, where does the problem lie? What are you doing to fix it?
Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans: It is always difficult to finish a match but we discussed this issue. When you achieve a very good first side, you have to play like it was a new game starting at 00-00 and with the same desire to make the difference. I ask my players to pay particular attention to the communication, be as calm as possible. These things have recently helped us even though we lost against our recent bane, mousesports.
You can go through the following list for our previous pre-event interviews in between matches in case you missed any: