ANGE1: Adapted to North's playstyle
HellRaisers managed to upset North, making the semi-final thanks to a 2-1 win. Following the match, we talked to Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow about playing in front of a home crowd, adapting to MSL's playstyle and winning pistols and anti-ecos.
The house was packed for the second quarterfinal of the day in which HellRaisers took on North. Despite being underdogs and losing the first map, the mix of European and CIS players managed to overcome the odds and take the victory.
ANGE1 and HR put a lot of effort into anti-eco rounds
In a post-match interview, the team's captain Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow revealed details about his personal playstyle, preparation, the veto and more.
Let's start with your preparation for the match, from when you knew you were playing North. What were you expecting, did the map veto go the way you wanted it to go…?
We tried different variations of preparing for enemies. Like, against G2, we watched their demos twice, for every player, too many rounds, and then just forgot about our game. After that, we decided to just chill a bit, because it's pretty exhausting playing all day, we were practicing before, all the days. So we decided to chill a bit, didn't prepare too much, our analyst prepared information for us, key information that we read before the match, just to know the main things they were doing. And to be honest, they surprised us with some positions, but we managed to figure out how to play against it.
The map pool went the way we expected with Cobblestone and Cache on the first two maps, but we expected them to ban Overpass, but they banned Inferno so we banned Mirage.
Starting with Cobblestone, they had an advantage in the beginning, despite you winning the pistol round, they were controlling the rounds early on. What do you think what was the reason for that on the CT side on Cobblestone?
It was really shaky, we didn't know how to counter their B stat. Before the match we discussed to give up B on their executes, but mid-game I realized that it was not going to work. It is almost impossible to retake B in 4v4 situations. So I said to my guys to fight, anyhow, for long and that area. We tried, but we didn't practice that a lot before so we lost a lot of duels there.
On the T side it looked like you were going to be having a comeback on Cobblestone, but then you lost to USP's. How did that happen?
It was our big mistake, mostly individual mistake. The main thing about anti-eco's is to push zones slowly. Because it was an important tournament—the stage, first map—some of our guys weren't concentrated and pushed really fast, like we should take zones really fast.
But we should just molly one place, molly second place, out push it, check together, refrag… But two guys did a mistake, gave up an AK, gave up zones, North surrounded us and that's how it ended.
A bit about Cache, what do you remember about that map, what was the crucial moment, it was 16-14 in the end?
To be honest we should win on Cache much harder than we did. We did a lot of mistakes in clutches and B retakes when we were CT, we managed to somehow lose to three B executes in a row, despite waiting for them to come. We did a lot of stupid mistakes which we didn't do before either online either at this LAN. I expected us to bring a better score out of Cache, but I'm happy in the end, the win is everything, the score… you forget it.
The Palace "Ukraine" crowd erupted after HR's win
We saw another team kill on Cache, you had one in the map against NiP, you seem to enjoy that a lot, anything special going on there?
We are practicing that a lot, teamkilling. While practicing, we have a team kill every other map, so it's ok for us if we have some team kills in tournaments. And it's usually zero killing bondik, so bondik is really, really angry about it. [laughs]
Moving on to the last map, Overpass, it seemed like you had a much better T side than against NiP, what do you think you did better against North?
We won crucial duels against North, while against NiP, we lost them. First half of the map on the T side, it was about winning duels because I didn't do good mid round calls. But then I adapted to their playstyle, we did well in those situations, went out on a guy, refragged him and held the site. So the answer is, we managed to win duels.
You said you adapted to their style, what is North's style, what were you aiming to exploit about their CT side?
It's about them starting to push zones around A after any frag. If it's a 4v4, they will start pushing A slowly, long or banana. If you manage to catch a timing, rotate to B fast and go out there, there is going to be max 1-2 guys and they will be out of position. Because 5 seconds ago they gathered info there is no one A, they are trying to get closer and we are catching them out of positions. And we need to watch our back, of course.
In the end you won six out of six pistol rounds and you cleaned up all of the anti-ecos, you started every side 3-0. What is the key to that, a lot of people are struggling to get pistol rounds firstly, and then on the anti-ecos even more. What is your secret to that?
I think I'm just very good at pistols, that's why. [laughs]
We concentrated very much on not losing to force buys and anti-ecos, we did our best, we prepared the anti-ecos before, it wasn't just some random play. That is how it should be on LAN, when it's maximum concentration, after winning pistol it's not acceptable to lose to a force or eco.
About your personal playstyle, we saw some crazy pushes through smokes where you would lose a duel and a round for your team in the end. Can you tell me a bit about that, the thinking? There was one round on Overpass in particular where you pushed the truck smoke…?
That was not even one of my craziest moves. [laughs]
They just made the wall of smokes and bondik killed two guys banana, and I knew someone was coming out long. I was just trying to not step while going out of the smoke, while the guy from long was trying to kill a guy in toilets. Just to catch a timing while he is not watching the site.
But I think I stepped.
Lastly, you are playing here in Kiev, your home country and hometown, is there anything special about that, the crowd cheering for you?
It's always nice when the crowd is cheering for you, but I'm in this game pretty long so I saw a lot of crowds cheering for me and against me. It's not a big bonus for me, but it's a minus for the opponents, they are starting to do more mistakes and there is pressure on them. That is really good.
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.