We caught up with Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund after Ninjas in Pyjamas secured a spot in the DreamHack Open Valencia grand final.
NiP kicked off their campaign in Valencia by topping their group following convincing victories over Red Reserve and CLG. Today, the Swedes secured a spot in the final after beating EnVyUs on three maps.
You just came from behind to secure a spot in the final. What did you talk about after the first map [Inferno]?
We didn't really talk that much, to be honest. I think what everyone felt was that we weren't even playing our own game, and I felt that we had to regroup and talk more about the second map and focus about that one, and then just go with new motivation into it. So it wasn't like we were really that mad or anything like that. We're still experimenting a lot with the team, with the maps and such. So whatever the result, it's fine, but at the same time we want to be really good on Inferno, for example.
The second map was Cache, and you looked pretty good on it, just like you had in Cologne. Are you afraid that teams might start anti-stratting you on that map?
Eventually they will, but at the same time Cache is one of those maps that people don't really practice anymore. Before Cologne we didn't even know one good map we had, so it is kind of surprising that Cache seems to be our strong card at the moment, but at the same time that can change after the player break. But it feels nice to have at least a map that everyone feels comfortable going into.
You had a great start on Train, you were up 9-1. Then you lost some rounds, the second half was kind of slow, but you managed to break their economy and then win the match. How did it feel?
I was a little bit annoyed that we lost the pistol round since we were 5v4, but at the same time you can't really focus on that, so I just forgot about it, although I felt that we should've won that round because we had pretty good positions. But there was a small vunerability in our defence that they were always walking into, and then they won the round because of that. I think one of them baited on pop and we were stacking two guys there, so I guess it was unfortunate timing in a way. Everyone was so heavily focused on killing them when they were running out of connector and getting out to higher, but yes, I guess we won it pretty easily.
What do you think about Red Reserve? The match you played against them was a bit easy. Was it because of the map?
It might have been the map or because it was the first game of the tournament. You are always kind of shaking in the first games you play. I think they are a pretty decent team. I'm not sure where to put them in my own top 30 or something, but they seem to be growing a lot, they have had some good results online and they did pretty well at the GeForce Cup…They seem to be very good, and I think we can expect more from them in the future. It seems like more young talents are breaking out in Sweden, and it is nice to see them compete on an international level. Maikelele is a good player and a good guy, we have a good rapport. They seem pretty decent, but I want to know them better before I can give you my final opinion on that.
What do you think of their chances against Heroic?
I don't know how long they have been playing for, but I heard that they had a 10-day bootcamp before this tournament, so I expect them to give Heroic a really tough game. I think it's going to be a close game, but I'm not sure who's going to win it because you always have some special feelings for your Swedish comrades. But then again, the Danish guys also have MODDII, so I don't know. It will be six Swedish players in the server so… we will see. It would be fun to play Heroic in the final, but it's CS, you never know.
You didn't have much time to practice for Valencia because you played in Cologne. How was your preparation?
We kind of had some difficulties with our flights, REZ came home later than he was supposed to, but we practiced a little bit and we used the time that we had. But we had practiced a lot for ESL Cologne, so we weren't really stressing out about getting back to practice, we wanted to have a bit of a cooldown. We also used the three days we had back in Cologne to practice, so we weren't really off our game. We tried to put in as many hours as we could, although it was kind of impossible in a way. But at least we had some hours..
About REZ, how has he been adapting to the team?
Fredrik [REZ] is a really nice guy, he seems to be very down to earth. I don't known him too well, we have been only playing for approximately one month. I had never talked to him before, but from what I've seen he is a really good player and he can become even better than he is right now. He's a rough diamond that needs some polishing, and once that happens he's going to be a godlike player. I would not be surprised if he eventually becomes our best player.
In Cologne, despite losing to Cloud9 in the playoffs, you had a great group stage. Now you have the chance to win your first tournament with your new roster. Would this give you a boost for the next season?
Of course it would, but at the same time we're still experimenting a lot with the team. It's not going to be that bad if we lose the final, but at the same time it would be nice if we could win it so we can go into the break and everyone can relax a bit and feel we had a pretty decent last month. We will see, but I hope we can come way with the win.
I assume that in the following season you'll do your best to get back to the top, right?
Yes, our main goal is to be a top contender. At the moment, it feels like we are one, but at the same time it seems like we're something similar to a dark horse because we don't really know where we stand as a team. We're sadly missing the Major, so we can't really see how good we are, but our goal is to be a contender again, that's what we're aiming for.