MSL: CT sides were our main focus
North's in-game leader, Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen, was our next interviewee ahead of SL i-league StarSeries Season 3 Finals, which is set to start in just under three days.
MSL's North worked on their consistency over the last few weeks
The Danes' 5th-6th placing in Poland was among the topics we discussed with Mathias "MSL" Lauridsen in our interview ahead of StarSeries
The 22-year-old in-game leader also went over North's practice during the last month and the process of accommodating Philip "aizy" Aistrup, as well as their disappointing finish to ECS Season 3 Development league following the team's exclusion from the main league due to their former organization dignitas holding the spot:
Placing 5th-6th at IEM Katowice following a loss to Immortals, how did you view your performance there?
We were of course very dissapointed, we felt like we had a really good chance at getting to the final and finally play versus Astralis. But the fact is that Immortals were just way better on the day, we never felt like it was our game, we were always one step behind. Overall, in the group stage we played pretty well, but against Immortals it was not good enough.
Was there anything that you took away from Poland that you focused on over the last few weeks? Can you tell us more about your practice after IEM, was there a bootcamp?
We took with us that we finally had confidence back on cbble and that we played really well in the group stage. Our biggest problem was our CT sides and that was our main focus when we got home. Other than that, we tried to make ourselves more consistent by making more setups and routines which will help us at the big tournaments.
Right now it's only about consistency, we have an incredibly high peak level where nobody will beat us, but we can play incredibly badly as well, so that's what we're working on right now.
Last time we spoke to you, you mentioned that aizy split RUBINO's positions with k0nfig, have there been any other changes in roles or positions since then? How has aizy accommodated in the lineup since your first event with him at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas?
The T positions have stayed the same, but we have changed up some of our CT sides to make aizy more comfortable. Our T sides feel very smooth and it feels like the roles are set. As CT, we are still testing what is working and trying to figure out how to have the most consistent CT sides.
I'm really happy about how aizy has been in our team. He is a great team player and has helped the whole team a lot, including me. Now we are trying to get him more focused on his own game and when he will go off, it will be really tough for our opponents.
StarSeries will utilize the Swiss system in groups, which means you can meet anyone. Who do you see as your biggest threats in the best-of-one scenario?
I would say the team we have a hard time playing against is SK, but overall everyone is on such a high level right now that everyone can be a threat to us if we have an off-day. So, for us, it's just about taking one game at a time and showing up.
How would you compare the Swiss format with IEM's one, which was quite heavily criticized? Are there any downsides to the Swiss format that you can think of?
The two differences between Swiss and IEM is that it's easier to prepare for opponents with IEM's format, because you know your opponents beforehand. While with Swiss, if you're playing an early game, you will have very little time to prepare. But overall, I like the Swiss format the most. It's intense, exciting, and funny at the same time. The everyday thinking and waiting for who we meet is exciting.
Could any of the underdogs, especially the Asian trio, UYA, TyLoo, and MVP Project, have an impact in the groups in your point of view?
I think that maybe they can upset one team or two, but I don't think they will go through groups. The groups are too stacked, there are so many good teams right now and I don't think they are at that level yet.
Changing your organization from dignitas to North resulted in you losing a spot in ECS S3 despite your good results last season. You played this season's Development League and finished first, but in the end failed to qualify for ECS S3 by losing to fnatic. Was this a frustrating experience? What are your thoughts on ECS' slot allocation rules?
It was of course a frustrating experience. We really wanted to qualify, but we weren't good enough on the day and fnatic played better, so it's fair and square.
I don't like the ECS slot allocation rules at all. We qualified for the ECS spot after finishing last one season and I don't think it's fair that a team that has no results gets our spot. At the same time, I can see that it's because organizations need power so that players want to stay or join their organization, and I fully understand that. But what will the tournament organizers do if for example three of the best teams in the world change organizations at the end of a year? Then I don't think it's gonna work for them. I think it's bad for the CS scene, mainly because at some point it will not be the best teams in the leagues, just like we saw that either us or fnatic couldn't be in the league, because a team with no results had to be in the league. It will ruin the viewership experience.