GuardiaN: I'm not setting high goals
Our next interview of the series ahead of SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals is with Na`Vi's sniper, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács.
Natus Vincere will return to top-tier competition fresh off a change, without Sergey "starix" Ischuk as the coach for the first time in two years, as he was relieved of his duties after the team added their third quarter-final finish in a row at IEM Katowice.
GuardiaN hopes to meet all the best teams to evaluate Na`Vi's progress
The Slovakian sniper discussed numerous topics, including his team's bootcamp ahead of the event in Kiev, their goals for the tournament and in the long-term, as well as the Asian teams in attendance:
Recently the team removed starix as the team's coach, who has been replaced by Andi. What led you to that decision and what can Andi bring to the table? How do the two differ in their style of coaching?
The team felt that the work between the players and the coach was not complete and because of that we decided that starix has nothing more to give us in the future as coach. Meanwhile, we are using Andi as our coach, he used to be our analyst for two years if I'm right... He initiated this himself, he said that he wants to become coach and he knows where the problem comes from. The work he is doing is amazing, in the past days he spent more than 15 hours in game looking for new things for us. Simply dedicated 200%!
Will we see any significant changes happening in-game, be it in the individual roles or the team's playstyle as a whole? What have you focused on since IEM Katowice?
I am pretty sure you will see a lot of changes, that we will show at the event. We fixed a lot of issues in the team, we became closer, that means we used this bootcamp to become a real team with spirit. It works perfectly at the moment and I am pretty sure we will continue being this way. We understand that CS is a high-stake game and some of us are old enough to know that CS is not infinite and we have this team to become a formidable opponent to the best teams in the world.
In a number of interviews, you mentioned the team was arguing a lot and that you needed a long bootcamp again to fix those issues. Have you been able to do that? Can you tell us more about your bootcamp?
I myself initiated to become the captain of the team outside the game and I initiated things to change in our team and told our manager about it. He agreed with me completely and beside the game we are having some movement exercises like running, jogas, mediations and everything that is needed to improve our focus in-game. I think we are at our highest peaks skillwise, that means we have to fix everything beside it. This bootcamp is probably the best we had so far in our careers I feel.
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?
In my opinion it should not matter who you are facing, but how you prepare for the certain opponent. You simply have to be the better team in BO1's to pass this group system. I want to face all the strong teams in the group and all along in the playoffs such as Virtus.pro, SK and Astralis to see how prepared we are and how much we have to work for the future events.
How would you compare the format with IEM's one? Are there any downsides to the Swiss format that you can think of?
It is hard to say if it has any downsides, you have to play all games the best you can. You can lose two games but still pass the groups, I think there are plenty of chances to fix your mistakes in your past games. The team that fails three times, we can say they were not prepared good enough to compete at the certain event. That's my opinion, but of course it needs time to figure out a perfect tournament system.
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 always loved to watch Asian CS since CS 1.6, they are very high-skilled players with awesome aim. The only thing they miss is a good style and teamplay to compete with the best teams in the world. Of course TyLoo already showed some potential and they have defeated some of the best teams, so I am looking forward to seeing them again at this event. I don't know the other teams from Asia that are coming here to compete, but I am sure they can show us some nice plays.
Considering Na`Vi's disappointing results as of late, what goals has the team set for themselves at StarSeries? What result would you be happy with and what would you consider a failure?
I have been always a humble person, that means I am not setting any high goals. Simply play our best and show that we can still win some games or maybe events. It is still in the stars, unknown how we will perform. But I am still looking forward to play against all the teams we will face. If we lose then we lose. We will still work on our game and will not give up on being the best team.
What about your long-term goals, what progress do you want to make over the next few months, ahead of the next Major?
Our long-term goal is to be the best team this year, to win at least one major and win as many events as we can.