GoMeZ: "Got an option to stay in RNG"
After Renegades finished their match with Fluffy Gangsters on day three at the offline qualifier, we caught up with the team's manager, Chris "GoMeZ" Orfanellis, to talk about all things Katowice and also the speculation surrounding the lineup and organization.
Renegades are currently at one win and two losses at the ESL One Cologne offline qualifier, as they lost to FlipSid3 and Splyce on the first two days and came back today with a win over FLuffy Gangsters.
The Australians have an option to stay in the organization
We grabbed the team's manager, Chris "GoMeZ" Orfanellis for a lengthy interview about all things surrounding the qualifier as well as the speculation surrounding the Renegades organization and their team.
I always want to get an idea on how teams prepared - what was the practice regimen like before the qualifier?
After our last event, which was ELEAGUE, we had the return tickets back to Europe, so we went to TaKeTV studios in Germany and stayed there for about a week. Then we just got the short flight over from Düsseldorf to here. So we practiced at a bootcamp for about a week after ELEAGUE.
Looking at the format, it's hard to prepare for specific teams, how does your team deal with it?
I actually think it suits our team at the moment. Earlier on in our careers as Renegades we were trying to anti-strat heavily, but it got into certain people's heads and I don't think we were doing it correctly. We're looking at sort of what's happening and trying to work out the reason why, so in the last month or so we kind of moved away from that, which goes back to the Korean Minor. That's where we started this new thing with Peekay, where we don't focus as heavily on what they're doing. We just watch it as a TV show and get ideas on how they play, a vibe more than a specific "If he throws that smoke, he's gonna go there", because it doesn't always play out that way, teams change tactics all the time. It just can't be done like that, so this actually suits us at the moment. We do wanna get back into preparing for teams better, but at the moment we're just playing our own game.
What do you make of the format overall, are there any advantages, disadvantages?
I actually really like the format, I don't think we can ever really move away from the BO1's without sacrificing teams. Three lives is obviously better than two, the only thing I'm not too sure about is the first round match-ups. I think some of those pairings weren't quite right in my mind, but other than that if you can get through that and don't get mentally drained by losing your first match, I think the system is far superior to anything we've had before.
Another thing that is new at this event is the technical pause and its rules about not talking during it. Thoughts?
Yeah, this is actually something that was brought up because of us. In our career we had a lot of technical pauses, but it was because our coach was using a wireless laptop, which was provided to him in a sound-proof booth. The Wi-Fi would always drop out every single round and we had to pause. People were saying we were doing it as a tactical pause, but it wasn't at all, we were doing it just as much when we were in the lead as when we weren't. We just paused every single round of the match, because Peekay plays such an important role in our strats. I actually suggested on Reddit that they should just pause, mute the TeamSpeak and no one could take their headsets off. That would be just as good, but the way they're doing it here seems fine. Once the players get used to it, it will be a much better rule.
Especially in CS we see significantly long pauses sometimes, do you think that could cause problems, as obviously not talking for 15 minutes straight can be quite hard mentally?
I think the key would be if the admins can identify what the issue is, if it's a full game crash or a blue screen, it's obviously gonna take more than five minutes, maybe then they should allow the players to maybe have a huddle or use their headsets and talk. But if it's something like "Oh, my TS is lagging" or someone's sound dropped out, CS alt-tabbed, or even a PC just restarting, I think those rules are great. If admins can identify it's gonna be a really long pause then they have to come up with something, because you're right, sitting there for 20 minutes not talking can be detrimental to mental health more than anything (laughs).
Renegades have survived day three in Katowice
Touching on the matches at least a little, you played FlipSid3, Splyce and Fluffy Gangsters, the first match was quite one-sided but then against Splyce you at least showed promise at the end. First of all, where do you see yourselves stand among these sixteen teams? Was there anything worth mentioning about the matches from your or the team's perspective?
Based of I guess pracc results we expected to finish somewhere around 6th-10th, we thought we'd be right on the border of qualifying or not qualifying, pretty much the same as we were before MLG. We thought it depended on the match-ups on the day, you can get a good or a bad draw. So we thought of it as about 50/50 if we qualify or not. There are some really strong teams in this qualifier. Obviously we wanted to qualify and we practised pretty well, so we have a good shot.
FlipSid3, we thought we would win that match and we just didn't. There was nothing really weird or anything I can say about it, we went back to watch the demo, we lost both pistol rounds and all the ecos, so that was a six-round buffer. I think we eco'd about eight teams in the 24 rounds, it was something ridiculous. We were just playing way too safe, we were playing not to lose rather than to win.
After that, people were trying to change too many things with regards to tactics and structure, only based off one loss. And the loss wasn't even as bad as the score looks. So we tried to change all this stuff and we just got absolutely obliterated by Splyce. We kind of showed towards the end the map and almost made a comeback, we just realized we needed to play our own game. But they were too far ahead and then they closed it out.
Today, we just said what I said before, we decided to go back to playing exactly how we used to play in practice and the Asian Minor. We had good results there against TyLoo and good results in practice, so we went back to that, which is SPUNJ calling and Peekay providing input. It worked today, we had a pretty good half and closed it out.
After you lost to two teams that are by no means big favourites, did that get to the players, affected the team morale?
Not really, we just took a step back and realized if we just play our own game like in practice, we can definitely beat these guys. You never know who you're gonna get in the next round, there are certain teams that we've beaten convincingly in practice and there's others we haven't. So we're just going to take the games as it is and stick to what was working, not gonna try to overthink it or change things on-the-fly. Hopefully that's enough to get some more wins and get us through.
Finally, I want to get to the deserved speculation surrounding you as a team and the organization, is there anything you can say on that subject?
So the League of Legends team was sold to EnVyUs and we had the option of staying with Renegades or being sold. We're looking at both options, still, stay with them or look at other options. We nearly had a buyer and it fell through at the last minute, which is what possibly started all this sort of self-doubt, we lost a bit of confidence, because that deal didn't go through. People started questioning what their future's gonna be, if they have to go back to their jobs, back to Australia, that sort of stuff. So I think that was playing on a few people's minds, whether they admit it or not, I don't know, but that was half the problem. Now we're just playing on the day, for the day and we'll just see how it goes. We're definitely going back to Australia after this tournament, flights are already booked and everything, so we'll take a deep breath and I guess analyze the situation, whether we stay or go, it's entirely up to us.
Make sure to check out the other interviews we have conducted during the offline qualifier: