TACO: Practice, even against T2 EU, is better
SK head on to the grand final od DreamHack Open Summer after defeating CLG 2-1. To hear about the game, we talked to Epitacio "TACO" de Melo.
The Brazilians of SK managed to overcome Pujan "FNS" Mehta's CLG after losing the first map, Mirage, 16-9. With a 2-1 victory, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo and co. will move on to the grand final where they will face the winner of Immortals-fnatic.
Let's start with the Immortals game, you lost to them for the first time on LAN and you are maybe going to play them in the finals again. Did you go through the map, see what happened, why did you lose that match, what did they do?
They had good reads and they played really, really well, we have to give props to them. They are improving a lot with kNg. We are friends, we talk a lot, about the game, about strats, so every time we play against Immortals there are some mind games. Of course, we watched the game after, we know we did some mistakes, so for the grand finals, if we play against them, I think we are ready.
Against CLG you started on Mirage and they controlled the map, more or less, the whole way through. What do you think was the key thing there, from their side?
Mirage was our pick, I think we were kind of nervous. We the same things tried many times , we tried to execute A, explode A, but they were playing well there. nahtE, he outplayed me a few times on A, I was palace or A ramp and he killed me, that was important. I lost a clutch round to Rickeh as well, and that was an important round. I think our T side is our better side on Mirage, of course, we are good on CT as well, but T is our best side. And today it was not good, so it was a big problem for us.
Did you have a feeling they had a read on you, you play them in NA leagues as well?
I remember a Mirage we played against them online in ESL Pro League, we lost to them there as well. I think they know how to play Mirage against us, maybe. They are really good against us on this map. We tried to do some anti-strats as well, it was not working, but I think they were just better.
On the second two maps you had great starts, do you think that was one of the key things to winning those maps so easily, compared to Mirage where they a 5-0 start?
I think the biggest difference is that on Mirage we started playing kinda nervous, before the next map we had a conversation and said that we have no reason to be nervous, we think that we are better than CLG so let's prove it. Let's play our game, let's focus, let's make it 2-1 - so we did it. At the start we really hyped and I think it was good for us to start like that because it gave us some confidence. On Cobblestone, we had a great start and we know they don't play the map so much so we were just being aggressive, trying to find kills, trying to finds picks. That were the key points.
You mentioned mental reset between the maps, was that something you were always capable of, in the past, when you just started playing, were you always able to reset from a tough loss?
To be honest it was that I really learned in the past. We had many situations when we were nervous, in finals, semi-finals when we were maybe underdogs. I think, CLG, they are a really good team, but I think most of the people think that they are the underdogs. So after the first map, what I said to my team was: "Guys, they are the underdogs. Maybe they don't believe that they can win against us. Let's use that for us, let's play aggressively. Let's play our game". We did it, and that is something I've learned, and I think the experience we had in the past, a lot of grand-finals, semi-finals it helped in this game.
You'll be staying in Europe for a longer period of time now, is there any concerns about burnout and stuff like that?
I think we have many tournaments to play in Europe that is why we are going to stay here. Actually, it's easy for us because SK's office is in Cologne, and also, practice, even against tier 2 European teams is better for us. We've been practicing a lot in NA and there are not many teams to practice there. I think, going to Europe is going to help us a lot. We are going to find better practice, we can find new things to use in-game, we can learn new things, so this month-and-a-half we are going to spend in Europe is going to be really important for us.