mixwell: Embraced the AWP, hate it
Following OpTic's elimination from the tournament, HLTV.org talked to Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas, who told us about full-time AWPing, coldzera's impact on Train and having hazed as a player and a coach.
The North American side managed to squeeze into the playoffs at IEM Sydney, bouncing back from the overtime defeat to North in the opening match of the tournament. In front of the Australian crowd in the Qudos Bank Arena, OpTic who are using James "hazed" Cobb as a stand-in, didn't show up against SK and lost 2-0.
Tell me a bit about the tournament, how did you feel going through it and how do you feel about the result in the end?
Coming to this tournament we knew it would be very difficult to make playoffs. We started playing against North on Inferno, we started 10-1 down, tarik made a hero play with the AWP and we came back and got five rounds on the T side. We played really well on the CT side, but ended up losing in overtime. It ended up being a good thing as we got good draws later, Chiefs twice and ViCi. We won the games we needed to win to go to the playoffs, we played SK, which is a really hard matchup because we know each other too well and we didn't prepare as much as they did for sure. They changed how they play, they played better than online.
We chose to play Train, which was one of their best maps, or the best map they had, because we are the only team in NA that is capable of beating them since we have a good idea of how they play, but they changed it and outplayed us individually and tactically.
And we lost 16-1. So well played by them and congratulations.
Talking about them changing stuff, what was the biggest thing that caught you off guard? What was the hardest thing to deal with for you?
For example, coldzera plays close ivy all the time, so when he hears someone ivy they take main control or ladder, and they push two guys ladder all the time. We should've prepared for these kinds of moves because we knew they do it, but we didn't do anything in the game, we let them take control and we slowly died.
That's why I was tilting so much, everyone saw that I was tilting because I hate when you are not even trying to do something to change it, you know? In game it's really hard because you don't really know what is going on, and hazed is playing so he is not behind us. So losing like this is hard for a player, but they played very well, and like I said, congratulations to them.
So you mentioned coldzera in ivy, the way he plays in interesting. He goes behind the server almost every round and it seems like a suicide spot almost as you can easily be molotoved or naded. Is there a way to stop it? You already mentioned why he does it, but is there a way to counter him with utility, how do you think about it?
We know that he plays there, but he smokes and he stays behind the smoke, he just plays as close as he can to hear as much as he can. To kill him you have to double nade him or something, but if he is not there you are losing resources, and you are losing the game by a lot so you don't have a lot of money, and he knows that as well, because he is smart. And he also baits for it, if you double nade and he is not there he will know that you have two guys ivy, so he plays with that too.
What we did online was got close without making noise, and he would have to go back without any information and his teammates wouldn't push mid. But that is also bad, because if they double smoke you are losing like 60 seconds doing nothing. So his way of playing is really smart and there is a way to counter it, but we didn't do it properly yesterday.
You mentioned playing slow and not doing anything on that T side on Train, why did that come down to? You had one fast round that worked and the following one was also close, why didn't you continue doing more explosive stuff? Why didn't the calls happen, what is lacking in terms of leadership?
Well, hazed is in-game leading… I guess it's pretty hard for him in a team like this, and it's hard to see what is happening. The only thing we could do was rush outside but that is not a way of winning the game either. It could work twice or three times but that is not enough to win the game. When you talk about how to make a comeback, you kind of need a game plan of how to play and how to make a comeback because if your plan is "rush outside" you know you will lose the game.
The tournament is over, one of the things that is at least decent for you is your form that has been coming up a bit. You had a tough beginning of the year, a bad period at the Major and Las Vegas. How do you feel coming from that period to where you are now, is it better, what changed for you?
I think the biggest thing that changed was, firstly, at the Major, I was the player with the least hours played by far. I had like five hours going into the Major because I had visa issues and it ended up being a big problem later because of what happened, stanislaw leaving and not having an in-game leader. A lot of stuff, personal stuff too, that made me play worse. But I realised, if I don't put that aside I will never go back to playing normal.
Also I've been AWPing a lot more than before. I've embraced the AWP role because we need it, I kinda hate it though. I hate it a lot, but I have to do it for the team. I'm getting better and better every event and hopefully I'll be one of the best ones in the world soon.
You played with hazed here, what do you think of him in terms of being a player? It seemed to be going well for him, apart from the SK game, how did you feel playing with him?
I think he has a lot of good things. First of all, he is smart so he kinda plays for the team in a supportive role, his individual level is good enough to play at a professional level. tarik told me he had problems with his attitude before, that he was very emotional, but he is not that emotional anymore.
So I think, overall, he is a very good teammate and he brings something to the team, but I think that as a coach he does a better job actually. I think with with another player we would be better, because having him as a coach brings us more than having him as a player—if we had someone better than him. I still think he could be a good player on almost any team.
I talked with RUSH before and he said you are going to make a decision on what is going to happen with the roster after this tournament. Has anything changed, have you figured anything out, what are you going to do moving forward?
We are still thinking about it, we want to do it as soon as possible though because the situation has been going on... for long enough. Training with different people all the time changes everything and I'm kinda tired of this, everyone is tired and we want to start playing tournaments like a normal team, to try to win the events and not try to get out of groups. We will do the move as soon as we can.
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.