starix: "Chose to play an easy map"
We interviewed Sergey "starix" Ischuk about him stepping into the active roster temporarily to stand in for Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács at DreamHack Masters Malmö.
So far, Sergey "starix" Ischuk, who had to step into the active roster due to Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács's injury, has posted good numbers, as he's currently sitting on a 1.24 rating from their two matches.
starix only practiced for a few days prior to Malmö
We have interviewed the coach and in-game leader of Natus Vincere to see how confident the team is, how their dynamic has changed with him stepping in and more:
Coming into this event you only learned you were going to play without GuardiaN about two days before the event, how much practice have you had together in this lineup?
We had like two practices with the team. We decided to take some rest after the major and we didn't have motivation to play with me after the major. Everyone was tired because of jet lag and all that stuff, so we dicussed the options we had for DreamHack. If we should take a stand-in, go with a mix, or with the coach. We had these three options and we decided that we are a team, so no one should come into our atmosphere and chemistry. We wanted to have the team power.
What about yourself, individually? How much did you play before the tournament?
I think about three days for four hours a day.
How confident were you in your individual play?
I don't know, if I played with the team I'd be confident, but playing this much only I can't say anything about it. It was a surprise for everyone.
In the first match you were the best-rated player against GODSENT, what can you tell us about Train from your perspective, having to call and play well to make up for GuardiaN?
We had a strong CT side against them, we took 12 rounds, we know we have a strong T side as well, but it was wrong. We were a bit nervous after we lost something like nine rounds in a row. It was really close, the pressure was coming to me and my team because we didn't expect to lose so much in a row. We didn't change a lot in our team, I know every role, I know what GuardiaN is doing so I just replaced him. I know all grenades he throws, so we decided to go with like a GuardiaN minus 20 frags.
Going into the CLG match, you nearly always play close against them, and now with GuardiaN missing the dynamic obviously had to change. Why did you decide to go with a map like Dust2 without him?
Every team makes three vetos, I lost the coinflip and they chose from the last two maps, Mirage and Dust2. The veto was predictable for us, so we decided to go with those two maps. They chose D2, because they feel like they're strong on this map because they won against G2 in the group stage. To be honest I feel like I don't have enough skill to play like Overpass, Inferno, there are too many rotations and timings, and it's a hard map to understand. I didn't play for a year so I lost the feeling during games. I can understand everything because I'm behind the team, but in the game it's really hard for me to control my guys and to be a sniper. We chose to play a map that was easy to play for me.
Coming into the tournament, what kind of a goal have you set for yourselves after losing GuardiaN?
We made a goal to make playoffs. It's our main goal, because everyone understood I couldn't do as much as GuardiaN. We didn't set a point like winning the tournament or getting to top two. The first point was to eliminate the group stage, so we did it and everyone I think is happy.
Looking at other teams at the tournament, Luminosity just lost in the groups, there's a possibility you will play them if they win against TyLoo, Astralis have yet to play against dignitas. How do you see yourselves fare against those two teams, who are considered top four in the world?
It's always hard to play a tournament right after a major. It's also like that in DotA2, you just won $10 million and come into a $250k tournament, the motivation is low. For example, understand Luminosity, one week ago they won the biggest tournament in the whole history of CS:GO and now they're going to DreamHack with a prizepool of $250k. For everyone it's the dream to win the biggest tournament, and when dreams come true, you think like "I'm done.". You don't have that much motivation.