As ECS Season 2 was brought to an end, HLTV.org awarded the last MVP medal of the year to Nicolai "device" Reedtz, the AWPer of the winning team Astralis.
Following the final, we talked to the team's star, Nicolai "device" Reedtz to find out what the achievement meant to him, why he went back to full-time AWPing and what was difference in this match against OpTic
After a long period we finally have it - Astralis winning a big tournament and device is the MVP - how are you feeling?
Obviously I'm feeling really great. The whole team was the MVP throughout the tournament and it feels good to finally have it off my back, officially, I've felt like I haven't had choke issues and stuff like that for a while, but now I have an award to show and we also have the trophy to go back on.
This tournament you've had a massive amount of AWP kills, about 50%. Do you feel like you are gradually going towards a dedicated AWP, not a hybrid that you used to be?
Yeah, this year has been really rough for me in sense, because I started out as a primary AWPer and we switched around so many times. I've been thrown into the hybrid, I've been rifling when karrigan was full AWPing, I've been doing a lot of things and I finally feel like I've found my suite where I am the primary AWPer and I play the AWP a lot.
I still sometimes change up when we play five rifles, but I really like AWPing and I feel like it brings some calmness into my playstyle. Like, I could stress earlier if I played with the rifle because it's easier to be… I don't know to say it… You are faster at getting the duels than with the rifle and you have more action. When I'm an AWPer it gives me more overview, I can contribute with some calling and help and I can also just be there in the server instead of completely falling out of it.
Let's talk about the veto in the final, you had the opportunity to pick Dust2 against OpTic, you beat them on it in the opening match and you decided to go to Train. Tell me about the mindset behind that.
I think, in the grand scheme, in ELEAGUE we tried to play in our comfort zone, that meant that we played Overpass and Train, and also Cobble instead of Cache, which didn't pay off. So this time we were thinking of playing to their worst maps and it showed that we can actually beat them on Overpass as well. But we were counting on winning Train and winning Nuke in this series. Yeah, this time we played to their weaknesses instead of playing to our own strenghts.
Earlier in the tournament you were talking about your struggles on Overpass. It didn't show in the finals, do you feel like you matured over that?
I've watched a lot of demos lately, we've had a day off after we won the group stage so I had a lot of time, looking at heat maps and where I didn't play that much. It showed in the game against SK and it gave me confidence moving into the finals against OpTic.
I found a nice balance on how to AWP on the CT side, it's showing and I'm gradually improving - it can always be better, I can always look at more demos. FalleN has been the top priority at watching, he's really good at that map.
On Train, on your CT side, it seemed like you were always flanking them, whatever they were doing. What was the reason, why were you able to read them so easily?
I feel that when we won the rounds it was because of we had reads. But when we lost rounds it was because they were doing fast executes and we didn't really get to read them. They were hitting crazy headshots, they are really good aimers and have really good strategies. We knew when we had a read on them we would probably win, but when we go in aim battles, 1 on 1, they are really good at that. We need to go on what their weaknesses are instead of fighting at what they are best at. That was why we had so many backstabs on the CT side.
You finished 2016 now, we've had fox say you are the best European team, some people are putting you as the team that should win the Major. How are you feeling going into the next year?
Obviously everyone will be looking at how we are playing etc. right now. It's still hard to say who should win the Major, we had a really really good showing and we feel confident going into it. But looking at the Major Qualifier, there are 10 teams there that are capable of winning the Major. I'm pretty excited to see how the new system plays out, I've never tried it and we are going into it with full confidence.
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