fox: "First LAN is hard, but our goal is clear"
We caught up with Ricardo "fox" Pacheco ahead of the Europe Minor Championship and picked his brain on dignitas' recent lineup changes and their preparation for the event.
Following a string of mixed results, the duo were replaced by Jorgen "cromen" Robertsen and Jesper "TENZKI" Plougmann, with Morten "zEVES" Vollan joining in as head coach to improve the team's tactical discipline.
The Norwegian team turn to the Minor after failing to impress in ECS Season 3, in which they finished at the bottom of the table, with just four victories from 18 games. En route to the Romanian event, they beat Kinguin, Red Reserve and Space Soldiers, and suffered defeats to Tricked and LDLC.
Let's start off by discussing the recent changes. What made you release Maikelele and pita, just weeks after the team was created? Was it because of individual performances or internal issues?
I cannot say that it was just because of one of the two. There was a little bit of both. But mainly it was about game style. There was a very big difference in the way we thought that we should play and what we wanted for the team.
To replace them, you signed tenzki and cromen. What is your opinion about these players? How are they fitting in?
I have a good opinion about them. If I didn’t, we would not have picked them. They had been on our radar for some time. As for their adjustment, it is going well, the way we expected it to go. It will take some time before everything is 100 percent, but it is going as we expected.
This will be your first LAN tournament. What are your expectations?
The first LAN competition for a recently-created team is always complicated. There are always certain situations that escape our control. But our goal is clear: we want to reach the Major qualifier.
How did you prepare for this tournament? Did you bootcamp or was it just online practice?
We practiced as we normally do. We created a weekly schedule and we practiced against good teams. This time, it was not possible to do a bootcamp, but in the future we will do some, for sure.
You finished at the bottom of the table in ECS. Was it a disappointment for you or something that can be justified by the internal problems you had at the start of the season?
When you are playing a tournament with so many world-class teams, it is normal that a team that is still being built does not have the results expected. You are facing well-oiled sides, who are better organised and have much more chemistry than you do.We were not disappointed because we had anticipated many difficulties, but it is clear that we wanted more than just last place.
Looking at this team and your previous one, what are the differences in terms of play style and the difficulties that were felt during the early stages of the projects?
Some of those difficulties were very similar and they happen in every new team. You need to lay the foundation on which the team can evolve, and that is not always easy, especially when you are talking about a multinational roster. At Kinguin, it was even harder because it was the first experience of this kind for everyone involved. Now, there is a bit more experience at this level, and that makes our job easier.
Last month, zEVES joined in as a coach. What is your opinion about his work so far?
His work has been positive, and we knew that he could bring the kind of structure that we were missing. For sure we are not yet at the level he wants, but we will get there, with time and practice.
You will face PENTA, LDLC and iGame.com in the group stage. What are your thoughts on these teams?
They are all quality teams, with several experienced players. But we are mostly concerned about ourselves. If we want to be at the Major, beating these teams is mandatory.