allu: "naSu brought more stability"
Our very first interview from DreamHack ZOWIE Open Summer is with Aleksi "allu" Jalli, who walked us through the change from Tom "stonde" Glad to Niko "naSu" Kovanen and shared his thoughts on various topics surrounding the Swedish event.
ENCE are aiming for a top four finish in Jönköping
After their first match, we grabbed Aleksi "allu" Jalli for an interview, which goes in-depth into the change from Tom "stonde" Glad to Niko "naSu" Kovanen and how the new addition has been adjusting to leading the team.
First off, I'd like to get to the change from naSu to stonde after the Minor, how did it all come together?
stonde got sick after our ESEA Premier Finals and after we heard he cannot attend we started thinking about stand-in options, our first one was jOELZ (laughs), which was obviously a long shot, then disturbed and then naSu, those were our top three options. So we asked everyone and only naSu was able to attend with us.
When we got to [the Minor], everything in the team felt a bit better, we felt a bit more like a team, it felt like naSu brought a lot more stability to our team. In important situations he calms us down a bit more than stonde, so he offers a lot more in that sense. When we played in the Minor, we figured that if this feels so much better with one day's practice than it almost ever did with stonde, maybe we should discuss a change. Then we asked naSu if he wants to play, he said yes and here we are.
Since it's a new role for him, how has he developed as an in-game leader in the past few weeks?
It's been going great, obviously he still has a lot to learn, but he has a really good overview of how to run routines in-game, such as routine strats, routine defaults, he has a lot of ideas on how to play, how to do things differently and how to fix mistakes. He pushes a lot to communicate better, to play for our team, to fight as one, and overall it's been great, obviously he's a bit rusty, he hasn't played in a team for a long long time. But it has been going way better than we expected and I think we will continue to develop even more.
After getting fourth place at the Minor, what are the realistic expectations going into this event?
We aim for top four, so to get out of groups is our main goal and after that, we hope that anything can happen.
What about the other teams in your group then, Immortals are in this slump after the Cologne qualifier and SK are here with two stand-ins, how do you see your chances against those two teams?
I would say we are slight underdogs against Immortals, but against SK we should be the favourites / better team, as now they have the stand-ins. But I think we will make it through.
Lastly, a little bit about the Astralis match, you were 0-9 at the start but then got a string of six rounds, was that them slowing down or you adjusting to their play?
They got a pretty strong start, they led 9-0 as you said, but I think we kinda let them have the lead rather than them playing so much better than us. It was little mistakes that cost us the rounds, we are slow starters for some reason, but after we fought back for 9-6. That could've been enough, maybe if we got one of the pistol rounds, but we didn't and they obviously are a top-tier team and a hard opponent to beat for us. But I truly believed that we had a chance, this time it didn't happen, maybe next time.