SHOOWTiME: Goal is the playoffs
With DreamHack Austin looming on the horizon, we sat down with Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves and quizzed him on Luminosity's preparation for the event.
Luminosity secured the very last spot at the DreamHack event after topping the North American qualifier, beating CLG, compLexity and Misfits along the way.
It will be the first offline event in quite some time for the Brazilians, who have only competed online since ESWC 2016, where they were sent packing in the group stage after being forced to play with a stand-in.
SHOOWTiME discusses the latest team results
Read on to find out what Gustavo "SHOOWTiME" Gonçalves had to say about his expectations for DreamHack Austin, the latest results, Marcelo "coldzera" David's criticism while stepping in for SK Gaming, and more!
Let's talk a bit about your latest performances. You placed 3rd-4th at iBUYPOWER Invitational Spring and at the DreamHack Open Tours NA Closed Qualifier after losing against Cloud9 and Misfits, respectively. What have you learned from it?
About the iBUYPOWER defeat, I believe that it was a normal result, considering that they are one of the best teams in North America. We managed to beat them on one map and, although the outcome was normal we could have played the last map better. After playing Overpass against Cloud9, we changed our style on the map and I believe we have improved a lot on it. The series against Misfits was a really close one, we made many mistakes and Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan was on a really good day, and they beat us.
Last time you were at a LAN event was in Paris at ESWC 2016, where you failed to get through the group stage after losing against both Platinium eSport and k1ck.oldschool. Do you think that nowadays, with your team's progress, you could do better in the tournament?
On that occasion, we did not have our AWPer, Gustavo "yel" Knittel, who was sick and could not travel to France. We played with a last-minute stand-in, David "Xp3" Garrido, who now plays for Denial. It was really tough for us, the line-up was new, and playing with a stand-in and communicating in English really took a toll on us. I am sure that, if it were today, our performances would be way better. Today, we are much better organised, and with the full line-up we could go further.
Back in March, you qualified for DH Austin after defeating Misfits in the semis and CLG in the finals. How have you been preparing and what have you improved since then?
We have been focusing on maps that we did not practice much, and are we essentially trying to practice in accordance with the opponents we come across in the tournaments in which we are playing or are about to play, because we know we need to have a strong map pool, with a lot of options and ways out. In the last week, we have been intensifying our practices for the final Pro League matches and to be in good shape in Austin.
You will play against HellRaisers in your first match in Austin. What are your thoughts on them and on the two other teams of your group (Gambit and Heroic)?
HellRaisers are a team that have been improving a lot in the last few months. I believe they are one of the teams who have improved the most after the ELEAGUE Major, and I am sure it will be a very tough game. Our group is really hard, Gambit and Heroic are also some good teams – it is worth reminding that Gambit just made it to the cs_summit final and are Major Legends. Heroic have also had some great results, last week they beat Virtus.pro in the Pro League and they also made it to the IEM Katowice semi-finals after a really hard group.
Many consider you to be the tournament's underdogs. Do you think that this factor can help you surprise other teams? What are your goals for Austin?
We might surprise since only a few people believe that we can do something in a group with Heroic, HellRaisers and Gambit. I believe that every team will prepare to face us because there are no unbeatable teams, anyone can beat anyone, especially in a best-of-one match. Our main goal is to reach the playoffs, and I believe that, in a group like ours, that would be a great achievement in itself.
Your countrymen Immortals will play against Liquid, and eventually G2 or Cloud9 in Group B. What do you think of their chances?
Immortals are already well established in the scene and I believe that, if they play at their best, they will advance from the group stage. On a good day, they can beat strong teams, just like they did at IEM Katowice. I believe they are candidates to win the tournament. I will cheer for them to make it to the playoffs. And, who knows, we could have another moment like we had in the grand final of last year’s DreamHack Austin [Tempo Storm vs. Luminosity].
SHOOWTiME admits that being kicked by Immortals was a hard blow
Many believe that, after SK and IMT, you are the next Brazilian team to succeed. Does this bring you pressure or confidence?
It does not bring pressure because we challenge ourselves to improve and reach the top. We know we are just at the beginning and that there is a long road ahead, but we believe that, with hard work, perhaps we will soon be at the top alongside those teams.
In January, after beating Selfless 2-0, you guaranteed a place in the ESL Pro League. What are your goals for it and for the rest of the year?
Our goal is to reach the playoffs. We have a tough task ahead because we need to win every game remaining in the round-robin stage, and we still have to face Cloud9 and Liquid. It is still possible, we only depend on ourselves, but we know it is hard and we will do our best. As for the rest of year, we want to play in as many LAN tournaments as possible. We will have the qualifier for the Minor coming up, and we want to be there.
Last year, in July, you were dismissed by Immortals for a player (zews) who had not played the game for a long time. Was it tough for you?
Yes, especially because we had won DreamHack Summer, but it was a decision I respected.
A month later, you joined SK to replace fer on a temporary basis. Many spoke about some comments that coldzera made publicly about you. How did you deal with that criticism and with the pressure of playing for the world's best team?
At first, I was very upset, but I know he was worked up, and right after he apologised to me. No doubt that there was a lot of pressure to replace Fernando "fer" Alvarenga, one of the best players in the world, right after the team had won a Major and was number one in the world. It is not easy. But they did everything for me to be as comfortable as possible with my playstyle, which is very different from Fernando "fer" Alvarenga's.
Despite that, what were the positives that you took from that experience?
They taught me a lot. I changed some aspects of my game thanks to the opportunity of playing for a very experienced team, a two-time Major champion. I am grateful for the opportunity and the trust they had in me. Albeit temporary, it was an experience I will take with me for the rest of my career.