RUSH: "hazed brought up ImAPet as the best option we could have"
OpTic surpassed expectations at ESL One Cologne 2017, making the playoffs and taking a map off SK just a couple of days after their 0-3 run at the Major Qualifier. To hear about that and the team's new coach, we talked to Will 'RUSH' Wierzba.
After a 3-1 run in the group stage of ESL One Cologne, one of the most stacked tournaments of the year, OpTic managed a solid showing in the quarterfinals against SK, picking up a map in a 2-1 defeat.
Finally, I can ask you about ImAPet, he has been officially announced. I want to start with you getting him on the team. When did that start as an idea and how did it develop?
The idea rooted in hazed, he played with him before, so he knows what he can offer. We were looking at coach options when hazed became a player and he immediately brought up ImAPet as the best option we could have. So we looked into him a bit, and we trusted hazed's word, that he does a lot of work, that he has a good work ethic. He looks into the teams a lot and he did a lot of good work for CLG, as you can see they went from an average NA team to a team that can do upsets in Europe. There is proof right there that he is a good coach.
We got him before the Major Qualifier, so he was doing work for us while we were at the Major Qualifier actually. He did some research for us on all the teams. He did what he could, but he wasn't there, or here in Cologne. But he was staying up late every night, because obviously, the timezones are different. He was doing research on the teams we would play, sending us documents on Skype, we read the documents with vetos, what their tendencies are and so on. He did a lot of work for us from NA.
Touching on that, did he have any impact on the in-game leader role change? How did that happen?
That was only tarik, tarik said that he wanted to become the IGL. After we lost the Major Qualifier he said that he wanted to give it a shot because he thought that people were uncomfortable, which was true. Even myself, nothing against hazed's calling, but I wasn't comfortable under his calling, it was way too structured in my opinion and there needs to be more looseness to it. tarik said: "I know what the players want and I think I can really unlock them".
And I think he is right. He is still new to calling, but I think over time he will be better. And in terms of ImAPet, there is not much he can do to help him as an IGL, he gives him the information but it's tarik's job to use it in-game. Slowly but surely they are going to get better together, once they are together actually, in person.
In person... Do you have a plan to go into a gaming house or something, similar to what CLG have?
It remains to be seen, what we are going to do in that sense, but I think what we plan to do is bootcamps, scheduled bootcamps. We are not going to have everyone live together because people have obligations, people have girlfriends, families, stuff that you can't just leave on moment's notice. We plan to do bootcamps either before events, or if there are no events, then just do a two-week, three-week bootcamp at an OpTic facility that they will give to us.
That is when they will be in person and will be able to work very well. Because obviously, you can only do so much over the internet. Yeah, we are going to start practicing when we come home with ImAPet. Actually, we were practicing with him at the Major Qualifier as well, we played some scrims in-between matches and stuff like that and he helped a lot.
Let's touch on the quarter-final against SK. You played them with the same lineup in Sydney actually, but this was a way different match. So here on Mirage you won the game and you had a total read, you were making all the right calls. Can you walk me through that CT side especially?
On CT side we knew how they played, we knew what their default was going to be and we made a lot of new setups on CT that are good for SK's default. And on top of that ImAPet gave us a lot of tips on how they play the T side, that, all combined, gave us the good read. We were pretty confident on Mirage, if you look at our Mirage record for the last month or so, it is our best map right now, and it never used to be our best map, but we've gotten better on it over time. I guess we are confident on Mirage now.
The question you have been coming up for the last six months is the fifth player. Do you have anything new to say on that matter, that hasn't been published before?
We talked but once again nothing has been set in stone, as I've said before. We are going to have some serious team meetings with the organization and the players, we will talk it all out, we have a long break obviously, because we didn't make the Major, so we have a lot of time to talk about what we want to do for the future.
ImAPet is going to stay as our coach for a long time, I'm sure, but in terms of players, I'm not sure if we are going to keep hazed, I'm not sure if we are going to get a new player. It all remains to be seen at this point.