AZR: Comfortable with Nifty calling

With the Asia Minor around the corner, we reached out to Aaron "AZR" Ward to hear about Renegades' preparation for the event and how they are dealing with the loss of Yaman "yam" Ergenekon.

Renegades have so far been at and made it through each of the Asia Minors, but haven't been able to take the first place, losing to TheMongolz once and TYLOO twice.

AZR revealed that they have been focusing on playing without kassad's mid-round input

This time around, the competition seems to be tougher than ever. Alongside TYLOO, vying for a spot at the Major Qualifier will be another Chinese team in Flash, a strong Australian side in Immunity and potential upset teams such as TheMongolz.

In a pre-event interview, Aaron "AZR" Ward touched on the calling situation, preparation, goals for the tournament and the opposition they will face at the Minor.

After IEM Sydney, which you attended shortly after assembling your current roster, your team stated that you will be focusing on and preparing for the Asia Minor. What did you do in the last couple of weeks, what did you focus on?

In the last weeks, we have been mainly practicing without our coach calling/talking each round and trying to follow the Valve ruleset. We have also expanded our map pool as previously we didn’t have a lot of time to get all the maps to the standard we wanted.

Are you satisfied with the improvements you've made since IEM Sydney?

Yes, but there is still a long way to go. Losing Yam meant we had to basically start from scratch. Living together in a house is speeding up the process but there is still a lot of work to be done.

One of the biggest question marks for your side was how will nexa cope with the IGL duties on his shoulders. How has he been dealing with the added pressure and the responsibility of the role so far?

We have been experimenting in this area a bit lately and currently, we feel the most comfortable with Nifty calling as he is a native English speaker and can get the words out faster. Without kassad being able to talk each round was a major contributing factor and for now, this is the direction we are going with.

In our interview, nexa mentioned that he thinks FaZe's style would suit your team. Is that something the team agrees on, are you trying to play a FaZe-like style of CS now?

We do watch a lot of Faze demos but it's really just because they are a top side and not specific to their style. They have such strong fire power sometimes they can make the rounds work with individual talent so we try to watch a variety of top teams.

Renegades moved away from the kassad-nexa calling combo to accommodate to the Valve ruleset

You'll face teams from a bunch of different regions at this event. Did you try to prepare for them and watch their demos, and if so, how hard was it?

We always try to do some preparation, but it can be tricky as there is not always a large volume of demos or information on some of the teams in attendance. I think we will just play to our own strengths and that should be enough to get us the win.

With two teams going through to the Major Qualifier, where did you set your goals for this tournament? Will you be disappointed with "just" a top two finish?

We are always disappointed with coming second each time. We are confident we can take this win and move onto the Major Qualifier.

I think it's safe to presume that you expect your team to take one of the Major Qualifier spots, but what team do you think will take the other one—and why?

I think it will be between Tyloo and Flash. Both teams are quite new so it’s hard to see which one is stronger at the moment.

What is your take on Asian teams building multinational rosters, like the one you have? Do you believe TyLoo, for example, are stronger now than they were at the previous Minor?

It’s too early to tell, BnTet seems like a strong fragger but with DD taking over the calling it might impact his game like it did for Fancy1. The communication probably won’t be as strong as the old full Chinese lineups so it will be interesting to see what their teamwork is like.

What is your take on the state of Australian CS:GO at the moment? We've seen different Australian lineups going overseas and having varying levels of success, Chiefs outperforming you at IEM Sydney... How do you compare the scene now to what it was when you left to play in North America?

The scene is definitely a lot stronger than when we left. It seems like Immunity, Chiefs and Tainted Minds can trade wins on any given day. There is starting to be more opportunities to travel overseas for these teams which are helping with the motivation and dedication but the scene still has a long way to go to catch up to NA or EU.

Australia Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Aaron 'AZR' Ward
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United Kingdom Tendies 
2017-05-31 15:10
India TYZ4 
azr he is the north american player
2017-05-31 23:11
koosta | 
United States kooster 
but renegades he is the australian stars
2017-06-02 06:37
Israel Netanyahu 
2017-05-31 15:10
France Static2k 
2017-05-31 15:10
Malaysia gkshiang 
Tier 5
2017-05-31 15:10
Malaysia gkshiang 
Without SPUNJ
2017-05-31 15:11
Australia so_obvious 
2017-05-31 15:10
mohamed | 
Georgia bacchus 
If they don't qualify for the major I swear to god I will fist myself
2017-05-31 15:10
Malaysia gkshiang 
BOLD Statement Im looking forward to it already
2017-05-31 15:12
I will not give you the satisfaction of watching my sexy ass fist myself, however I do promise that I'll actually fucking try to do it just because I'm a nasty motherfucker.
2017-05-31 15:12
Malaysia gkshiang 
Real F*cking Aussie spotted XD
2017-05-31 15:14
Not an Aussie I just live here I'm from Asia m8 give aussies some jack daniels and 500 bucks they will try it
2017-05-31 15:15
Honestly you just need the Jack Daniels.
2017-05-31 15:53
wow you're a kinky fuck aren't you
2017-05-31 15:53
Azylu | 
New Zealand Azylu 
I hope you're joking, I want you to see the European minor then the major qualifier and tell me what teams Renegades will beat to make it if they get past Tyloo, Mongolz, Immunity and Flash
2017-05-31 15:12
Don't care. They did before they can do it again... Even tho they had spunj topgun and havoc back then I hope :(
2017-05-31 15:13
Azylu | 
New Zealand Azylu 
it was also an easier minor with a lot less capable teams
2017-05-31 22:14
Summer | 
China ezpz95 
Um... I don't really think Renegades can qualify for the major. I do think they can get one spot of the major qualifier from Asia minor.
2017-05-31 15:14
now wondering if I made a big mistake
2017-05-31 15:14
Malaysia gkshiang 
Ayyyyy Fisting is free
2017-05-31 15:15
They won't qualify for the major qualifier, BnTeT and flash gaming are too good
2017-05-31 15:36
okay, good, nice
2017-05-31 15:11
Azylu | 
New Zealand Azylu 
that's nifty!
2017-05-31 15:11
Netherlands YourT 
Plz, just get out K
2017-05-31 18:29
Indonesia DezfanzeR 
gl gl <3 xD
2017-05-31 15:11
Brazil chococaine 
They literally brought this nexa guy just to be the igl and then put the awper to igl lmaooooo
2017-05-31 15:16
You dont know shit my friend. He was brought in cuz he is talented, and he ended up calling cuz they had noone else...and he never was igl before.
2017-05-31 23:09
Go #nexa
2017-05-31 15:27
God BnTeT
2017-05-31 15:28
BnTeT God
2017-05-31 15:37
finally renegades have got the brains to stop making nexa call, jesus christ. he can frag, its just the IGLing has put him into a role and positions hes not comfortable with. shame theyre making nifty call tho, dont know why any of the aussies cant
2017-05-31 16:08
Bring back spunj, they have decent awp now.
2017-05-31 16:13
Turkey nonstopg0_0 
Nice jokE ;))
2017-05-31 17:11
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
wow, I didn't know about who is calling... unexpected... good luck boys! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-05-31 19:27
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