After G2's double overtime win over Immortals in the first match of the Main Qualifier, we interviewed Dan "apEX" Madesclaire and asked him about the tough Inferno encounter, slow starts, and dangerous opponents in Bucharest.
There's this preconception that French teams have issues playing early morning matches, is there any truth to this from your point of view?
Yeah, I think mornings are difficult for a lot of our players, like Kenny and shox, they don't like mornings, so it's really hard when they sleep less than eight or nine hours. It's always been really hard playing early games, but this time we managed to play okay and that's nice.
In the first pistol round, where you were up 3v2 in the B bombsite and lost it after fighting one by one, was there some miscommunication?
It was totally a miscomunication, bodyy felt that he had to stay ruins to take CT spawn, but Nathan said "I'm gonna fake plant and we'll fight them banana", and yeah, bodyy stayed ruins and we just got wrecked because of it. That was a bad start, we had the advantage, it was a 3v2, I thought it was a won round, but not at all.
Despite that, you had a fantastic T side, being able to win 11 rounds, did it come down to preparation, was there something enkay J or SmithZz figured out and told you ahead of the match?
I would say we worked a lot on our Inferno lately. After ESL Pro League, we just played a lot of Inferno, because it was a big problem in our map pool. Even if it's the best Immortals map for sure, we weren't scared to play against them, because we knew they had the double AWP setup. enkay told us the things we had to know and it was pretty easy to read them as T.
What about the CT side, then, in the end you actually had to come back in the last two rounds to even take the match to overtime, what made it such a tough half?
First of all, we lost both pistol rounds, which is hard in best-of-one, unless you win the eco's which we didn't do. On our CT side, we tried to play mobile, but they always went to the wrong site, for example we had three B and they went A. That was their strength in this game for sure, they just outplayed us and our rotations, so that was really hard for us. But we managed to win the last few rounds we needed to win and at the end, we came back.
In general, it seems overtimes are often decided more by individual plays rather than big adjustments, especially when there is no break in between, did you feel like that was the case here as well?
Well, yeah, this game was like that for sure. We tried a few strategies that didn't work because of a few misunderstandings, missed timings. Basically, we just won the overtime by individual performances, Kenny saved one round, NBK saved one round. Yeah, we just played well individually, and that was what we needed to win this game for sure.
Now that you've beat one of the other favorites to make it through, who else do you see as a dangerous prospect in the rounds ahead?
As we could see at the previous qualifier, everyone can be dangerous. Vega Squadron won 16-2 against NiP on Cache, I remember this so well, that was crazy, so I think everyone can be dangerous. But if we play our A game and we focus enough, I think we're just gonna beat everyone.
We're not scared of anyone, but our problem is always against underdogs, we always play bad against those, so we went here with a main focus and we won't give up. Even if we'd be 0-2, we're not gonna give up, because we know that everyone here is really excited and they want their slot at the Major, it's really important. It's the most important moment for us as a team.
Talking about facing underdogs, going back to Austin and Tours, or even Pro League, you did have issues against them, did you try to figure out what the problem is and fix it?
We don't have the same mentality against underdogs as against tier one teams. When we play a tier one team, we have the best mentality, we give our best, but when the team is less good, tier two or tier three, we just play really bad, actually.
That's something we talked about before, like the early games, it's not about the early games but more the first game of the tournament. Except at StarLadder, we always lost our first match, we lost to Cloud9 in Austin, then to Tricked in Tours, at Pro League we didn't lose our opening match but we played pretty bad. We talked a lot about that yesterday, that we need to be awake really early in the morning and give our best for the first map. Maybe to communicate almost too much in the beginning to wake up, to stabilize communication and play together, and that's why we won the game I think, we just had a lot of power all the game long and I'm really proud of the team for that.