flamie: "We didn't have good prep"
Our last interview before the start of today's $1,000,000 event in Cologne features Natus Vincere's Egor "flamie" Vasilyev.
Following a lengthy downtime period, Natus Vincere resurfaced in ELEAGUE a little over ten days ago where they topped group E ahead of FlipSid3, mousesports and Echo Fox.
Coming back from Atlanta, the team was expecting to put in a decent week-long bootcamp at their base in Ukraine ahead of ESL One Cologne, but the youngest member Egor "flamie" Vasilyev was hit with an illness and forced to head home to Russia to recover.
flamie was separated from the team ahead of ESL One Cologne
We talked to him about that issue, how it affected their preparation, what their goals are and more.
How have you been preparing for ESL One Cologne? The rest of Na`Vi have been bootcamping, but you were unable to go. Have you been able to practice with the team and follow what they have been doing?
We didn't have good preparation before the major, but I tried my best. I had a problem with my throat and had an operation to remove pus. After that, I needed at least 1 day to rest, so we played like 5-8 maps for this event.
How has the return of GuardiaN felt? It seemed as if the team dipped in performance since he took some time off after the last Major. Do you think the team will be back at its full potential in Cologne?
He is better and better day by day. Of course he is not in form that he was in before, but I really hope he will shine again at the major!
Na`Vi have been finalists in the last two majors, but you haven't managed to win one yet. Do you think the third time's the charm? What are your expectations of this major?
Of course we want to win the major, but now it's gonna be even harder cause there is such a small difference between tier2 and tier1 teams.
Na`Vi are expected to top group B
Your group consists of NiP, FlipSid3 and OpTic. What are your thoughts on the teams you will have to face? Your opener is against F3, do you think they could upset you being a local rival?
It's not the hardest but not the easiest group. All of the teams are very strong tactically and with slow plays. Opener against our good rival, F3 - they know how we play, we know how they play, I think it will be good match.
Pyth said he thinks they (NiP) will come out first in the group. Do you have anything to say about that?
We will try to afflict him and win this group :D
You guys have only played StarLadder, DH Masters, and ELEAGUE since the last Major. How do you think not having gone to as many events as many of the other teams in Cologne will affect you?
We had a lot time to prepare, but I think the biggest preparation is - LAN games. So it has both effects - good because we didn't show our rounds and bad - because we didn't play many games.
Is any other result that winning acceptable for Na`Vi? Who do you think are the top contenders to take the trophy home? Do you think any team could be a potential dark horse?
To be honest, I think we're not considering anything other than a win. For sure the top contenders are SK, fnatic, G2, NiP. Dark horses are VP & EnVyUs for me.
We have seen you guys practicing on Nuke, a map Na`Vi historically never played. What do you think of the map, and do you think it will be a good map for your team?
I hope it will be a good map for us and better than it was before. It's a new map and since nobody knows how to play it now, everybody is in the same condition.
With only hours to go until the start of the Major, here's some more of our content to pass the time: