f0rest: "We didn't know our Cache would be so good here"
After his team was eliminated from ESL One Cologne by Cloud9, losing 2-1 in the quarter finals, we talked to Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg about NiP's map pool, the group stage and what impact age has on Counter-Strike players.
NiP had a perfect group stage performance in Germany, going 3-0 against Cloud9, G2 and mousesports to secure the playoffs on the second day of the event. In the playoffs, NiP started strong, but the inability to close out Train cost them in the series rematch against Cloud9.
You went 3-0 in the group stage, easy qualification for the playoffs considering the opposition here. Did you expect it to go so smooth?
I don't think we expected it to go as smoothly as it did, I mean, we are still a bit unsure on which maps we should play. It ended up being Cache, three in a row. It's a map we didn't know we were so good on, we figure stuff out as we go and we played really consistent on that map. So we were very happy with the results and how it turned out.
Next were the playoffs against Cloud9, on Train you had a solid CT side, but then on the T side they just locked you down. I think you were involved in both of those shroud clutch rounds, can you walk me through both of them, what happened, how they happened?
One of the clutches, it was me and GeT_RiGhT, we were in a 2v1, and shroud was locked behind the six train. And we knew that we had him locked down, we knew where he was. It was just that I and GeT_RiGhT fumbled a bit in the communication part, on what we should do, when we should peek or should we go with the bomb to the inner site.
But we mistimed it, I mean GeT_RiGhT got killed by shroud and then I went for the refrag. I'm pretty sure I had him in the back, I was pretty damn sure that I was going to get the kill. I somehow missed 5-6 bullets and it cost us the round, he turned around and killed me. So that's the round I definitely take the blame for, it's also a round that could've changed the pace, the momentum of that T side train.
Anyhow, we ended up going into another clutch situation, which was a 1-on-3, this time I ended up with draken in a pretty awkward position, now we were locked behind the six train and quad and he was pushing forward. Same story there pretty much, we didn't really communicate, me and draken, on how we should peek and which angle he is holding. We were a bit stressed in that situation, which is not something I'm used to. I'm usually pretty collected and I know what to do in certain situations. I kinda froze there and did a few mispeeks and didn't land my shots.
After that came Cache, another Cache and another win for you. How do you think that will play out in the future, playing other tournaments, how will other teams approach your Cache?
As I said earlier, we didn't know Cache would be so good here. I was a bit surprised myself, practice results on Cache haven't been good. We still wanna experiment on the map pool we got, we don't know our map pool yet, we just want to play as many maps as possible. So this was kind of a good tournament to see and feel which maps we should play. I would argue that our Train is good, we did manage to get to a certain point where we could win T rounds, we just didn't seal the deal.
On Cobblestone though, we just fumbled a bit, didn't get into the game. We traded a bit on the CT side. We still have a few maps we haven't played or shown yet, we have Nuke, we have Inferno, we have Mirage, we have, let's see... something else. (laughs) There are a lot of maps that we still want to try and figure out, we want to play them. We will see. It's going to be interesting for sure. Hopefully, people might ban Cache in the future, which opens it up for us to play new maps.
When I talked to allu earlier in the tournament, he said something along the lines of "I don't know what is in his head, but after a roster change f0rest fires up". Can you enlighten me, how much truth is in that, since people say it a lot?
That is what I hear as well, people do say that a lot, that I get more motivated or that I play better. For me it's still the same thing, I still believe that I perform good enough, even though it might not go so good, I still feel in shape. Maybe it's just the whole mentality around the team that changes as well, and how we communicate and everything is fresh that everyone is a bit more focused and that is definitely something we should work on in the future.
Another thing about you... you are still young, but 29 in CS years, you are a bit further down the path. You still play very well individually, but what are your thoughts in general on age in CS? Is it important, and if so, why? Is it more the mechanical part or the mentality?
I think age is still a thing we don't know much about, we don't really know how long a CS player can play. I think I show pretty good individual skill at my age, I can still compete with some of the best players in the world. I can still put the numbers up there and I'm 29 years old, and I'm pretty damn sure I can keep on going for at least a few years, and keep this kind of a level.
It's still unexplored, we've seen Virtus.Pro, albeit not being so successful as of late, but they have won tournaments this year. They are still contenders, they play the Major final and these are guys that are old, right? They are a bunch of old guys like 30, 29, 30, you have this old squad that is still performing. So it's still something that is unexplored and I'm just going to keep playing as long as I feel I can compete with the best.
On the other side of the spectrum you have REZ, a new, younger guy. He seemed to struggle in the quarter final, on the big stage. Have you talked to him about that, have you been helping him out to cope with all the pressure? How has he been feeling?
Actually, he is taking it pretty well. It's the first time he played on such a big stage, in front of a big crowd and in an important game as well. I think it was definitely an experience he will take with him home and learn from. I'm just excited to see him grow as a player. He hasn't been to as many tournaments as the rest of us, like Xizt, GeT_RiGhT and me. He is just going to get better and better, that's what I believe, and I'm looking forward to it.