zEVES: "Felt more confident today"
We talked to Morten "zEVES" Vollan whose team advanced to the playoffs at ESWC 2016.
Morten "zEVES" Vollan's squad Norse lost their opening match to Bpro but avoided elimination by beating GODSENT Academy. They beat Bpro 2-0 in the Group C decider match to advance to the playoffs and we caught up with zEVES after the clash to talk about his team.
Can you tell us how you prepared for this event? Did you bootcamp?
We've been preparing for about a month and tried to bootcamp at the House of Nerds in Oslo but the conditions there were not quite optimal due to cold weather. The computers were not up-to-date as well so we just went home after that. We practiced for a week at home and felt confident before ESWC.
You lost to Bpro yesterday in the opening match? What went wrong?
Some of our young players were not used to the LAN setting where you play with another computer and they were probably a bit nervous. It took a long time for us to get into the match on the T-side at the start but after the technical break, we talked, got a few rounds and felt really confident. We fell short on overtime.
Norse are through the groups
What about the elimination match you won against GODSENT Academy?
We didn't know much about them and want into it knowing we were going to win. We felt confident and the score reflects that. Also, they picked one of our best maps so that helped a lot.
Today you defeated Bpro in the best of three decider match to advance to the playoffs. Can you talk about this match?
I think that the players adapted to the environment after the first day and they felt more confident. When you're sitting up there on the stage, you have noise cancelling headphones and can't really hear the crowd at all. So the sound was way better in that way because when we were playing in the main match area where there are other matches going on, there was a lot of noise. We played with our own headsets in that area as well and didn't have noise cancelling headsets so it was hard to hear things in game. But in general, we felt really comfortable against Bpro and knew which maps we were going to play so we prepared a little bit because they haven't really played a lot of official matches with spyleader and nkl. So we weren't really able to anti-strat but we focused on our own play.
What are your expectations at ESWC? Your team has a lot of young players so how valuable do you think this event is for them?
I think this means a lot for the youngsters but I'm trying to avoid talking about it too much not to make them nervous. I'm just trying to make them play their game. Three of our players have no experience and this is their first international event so this is a really good experience for us as a team and as individuals. Expectation wise, we don't know who we're going to play in Round of 16 yet so I can't really tell. If we face teams like Gambit, Heroic, of course they are favorites. ALTERNATE aTTaX, Tricked, and some other teams are also strong but we have to see how the bracket turns out later today. We aim for the quarter-finals at least and want to reach the semis.
The Norwegian scene produces a lot of talented players like rain, jkaem, and RUBINO but a top team from Norway isn't something we see. What do you think the reason for this is?
Personally I think that, going forward, that won't be a problem anymore. Polly, I, and all the players you mentioned played as LGB and we were really good but the problem was that we didn't get enough salary compared to the living standards in Norway. So when our good players got offers from big teams that offered good salaries, they accepted. I would have done the same. Now we can actually put together a Norwegian lineup because there are a lot of sponsors looking to invest in Norway. There are a lot of good players but some of them are just playing pugs. We have talent but it gets wasted because the lineups are not complete. Game roles are an issue as we don't have a lot of good AWPers and IGLs so the roles are not complete. But I think that in the future, maybe next year who knows, there is a possibility for a Norwegian lineup like jkaem said at the WESG Regional Finals.
Anything you want to add?
Thank you for the interview and I hope the Norwegian and international communities want to help us and support us with our new organization.
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BenjaCS is a staff writer at HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.