dupreeh: Want to hold the #1 spot
The next interview in our series ahead of the SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals in Kiev is with Astralis' entry-turned-lurker, Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen.
For dupreeh & co. winning is always the goal
We asked dupreeh about Astralis' preparation ahead of the $300,000 tournament, being ranked the best team in the world and what that entails, the depth of skill in the team and the depth of their map pool, and what the Danes expect from SL i-League StarSeries Season 3.
Let’s talk preparation. There has been a fairly long period of time between IEM Katowice and SL i-League StarSeries Season 3. How have you prepared for the event? Did you bootcamp at the RFRSH offices, or do you go there as if it were an office? What have you focused on the most as of late?
It has indeed been a little bit of a break from events, which has been nice, time to renew ourselves and also catch up on our private lives, which was really needed. We took a break for about 4-5 days a couple of weeks ago, so people could relax after our victory in Katowice, but since we’ve been working hard to get back in shape, figure out new stuff, work as a team, and work with ourselves individually.
We’ve just made it home from a 3 day bootcamp at the RFRSH office, which was really great. Ever since we’ve started using that office the bootcamps have been super productive and we’re very satisfied with the facilities. Some of us, including myself, are going to see it as our workplace in the future, where we will go on a daily basis, to prepare, play and stream CS.
Astralis has now been the number one ranked team for four months, with maxed out points and several hundred ahead of the next team. Last time we saw this was early 2016 with fnatic and mid-year with LG/SK. Do you think that reflects how dominant you have been in the past few months?
Yeah, I’m sure it does. We’ve had some really great performances ever since gla1ve joined, and it’s been super great in so many aspects. I believe the game has changed a lot the last year, it’s gotten to a point where teamwork is really needed more than ever. Back in the days I feel like outstanding individual performances were the key to success rather than great teamwork, and this is where we’ve accelerated a lot. We have a unique playstyle and a unique way of approaching the game as a team, and that combined with people being able to do massive stuff as individuals, I think we’ve found the perfect combination of players, roles, and mindset.
I’m proud of my team, and I want to hold the #1 spot in the world for as long as possible. The competition is strong out there, so we’re doing everything we can to always improve and always try to be one step ahead of our opponents.
Three first places and one semifinal run in your last four events. It seems a bit like the run you had in 2015, although now you’ve won some bigger events. What did it take to get back to the top, and how hard is it proving to stay on top?
Getting to the top is the 'easy' part. As a new team, and especially with a new in-game leader, and with people playing new roles, I believe you always enter the game in such a new way, that teams need to understand your playstyle and how you approach the game. Same thing as when we added karrigan, he brought a completely new playstyle and a completely new way in handling stuff, and it takes time for people to figure it out.
Staying on the top is the difficult part. Teams can have a good run for 1-2 months and then drop off, but staying consistent is the key. Making deep runs in tournaments, winning some here and there is what you need, if you want to stay on top. Mindset is really important too, as just because you’re the best team in the world, it doesn’t mean people can’t beat you, and you always have to show respect, but never too much. Play confident, but show respect, because there’s so much talent in this game right now, and I believe the majority of the top 10 teams can beat each other back and forth. It’s all about consistency.
We’ve come to a point where people are starting to figuring us out, but it’s not as bad as people think. It’s great to feel that people have figured you out, because now the mind games begin. How are we going to play at SLTV? How are we going to approach the game differently from Katowice? We’ve figured out what to change, and what to keep, and now it’s about finding the beautiful balance of both.
Different players have stepped up at different events, which shows in the fact that three different players got MVP medals in your last three tournament wins. What do you think about the team’s composition or play style allows for this to happen?
It’s awesome to feel people stepping up at different moments, and we’ve gotten 3 MVPS for 3 different players, so it’s not just one guy in the team, or two, that has to perform for us to win, everyone contributes and everyone does something for the better of the team.
We have the perfect composition of players as of right now, no doubt. Everyone is on the same page, everyone contributes, everyone is satisfied with their roles and everyone wants to learn and improve, when something is not working out.
I, personally, have stepped down as the main entry fragger, and gotten myself into lurking and playing the outer positions on most maps, a role I had a tough time to learn, since it’s completely opposite of being an entry fragger, but I like my new role, and I’ve learned a lot as a player and I’ve developed my own unique playstyle in my positions - it feels great, and I am very confident in what I am doing. We did what was necessary for the team, and I’m happy that we decided to make that decision a few months back.
Astralis truly has a formidable map pool. What do you think has allowed you to develop such a strong set of maps. Does this have to do with having two new players on the team, who have been able to add fresh ideas? Does it have to do with team chemistry?
It’s a mix of a lot of things.
We decided to play as many maps as possible because if you have a lot of maps to play, you will have a great chance in a best of 3 series. Worst case is, that you go into a best of three series, and you end up having 2 maps that favors the opponent, and one map that’s also a very strong one for your opponent.
If you always end up in a situation where you either have 2 of their strongest maps in the map pool or simply have a map in the series that you don’t play, you’re in deep poop already before the game starts.
We have a lot of ideas in the team. I mainly create tactics because I am creative, so most of our set strats, I made up, then showed them to the team and we discussed what was good and what was bad. Gla1ve is great at creating default strats and making different scenarios for both bombsites so we have a great mix of things, which plays in our favor.
Whenever we go through maps, everyone is contributing to what could be a great idea, or how to approach a bombsite, how to defend one or how to rotate around. It’s not just gla1ve and zonic who does the work - everyone is paying attention to what is happening on the map, and everyone knows what each other is doing at given moments and setups.
Being the best ranked team in the world, of course the goal is to win every event you go to, but going a bit deeper than that, what other lessons or goals do you look to get out of events? What are you expecting from SL i-League StarSeries Season 3?
As the best team in the world, you can only underperform going into these events, and with the majority of the best teams in the world showing up, we will have to work hard for this title. Especially with the time off, it could’ve benefitted most teams in terms of preparations and how they want to approach the game, so it’s going to be very interesting, but winning is always the goal.
As for our team, I want to see that what we’ve figured out the last month works, and that we can maintain a great performance no matter what, and keep the strong mental game going, which I believe we’re the best at, right now, together with Virtus.pro.
I’m looking forward to seeing SK again, I think they’re a strong contender for this one, as they’ve had time to implement felps into their playstyle and I believe they will go to the final this time.