NEO: "Bootcamp after Cologne was probably the most serious we've ever had"
After Virtus.pro closed out day two at PGL Major Krakow with a 16-11 win on Cache against fnatic, we quizzed Filip "NEO" Kubski about the team's confidence following poor results, their change in leadership and matches in Poland so far.
After the Swedish match-up, we got a hold of Filip "NEO" Kubski to find out how their struggles affected their confidence going into the Major, what changed since Cologne, and how Virtus.pro's matches went:
Given your recent results and the poor period that you've had this year, what was the mindset and the confidence you had going into the Major?
The confidence was pretty shaky for us because of the results. But like TaZ said at some point, there were lots of mental games on our side, so it still feels like we came stronger here than in Cologne. Krakow is the goal for all of us and we've all been focusing mostly on that tournament. So it's all good.
What has changed since Cologne, then? I imagine you haven't had much time to fix things in-game...
Well, actually, after we lost in Cologne, we stayed there because of the football game for like five days. And that was probably the most serious bootcamp that we've ever had with this lineup. Everyone was so motivated to give 100%, so that gave us a lot, and obviously Snax being the in-game leader now, he's gaining experience from every game. I guess Cologne gave him a tough lesson and we're learning.
Who did the decision come from to change leaders, was it you who didn't feel up to it anymore?
I think it was my decision at some point, I decided to step down from that spot. I was leading for most of the time and after doing that for a while, it gets a little bit overwhelming, so I just needed a break from that. Snax stepped in, he's doing an awesome job, he's that great player, he can be a sniper, entry, be the star player, and then in-game leader, so that's all great.
Having Vega Squadron as your first match-up, do you think it helped you warm up, get your confidence up at the beginning?
From one perspective, yeah, but on the other side, we've practiced them a lot and they've shown some great CS in the past. It's not like they're a bad team, it seems like they're just not experienced probably, you can see their shaky performance here at the Major. Maybe their expectations were too high, or they wanted it too much, I'm not sure what happened to them, but they are a great team and they can play really well, so it's not like we felt it was an easy game for us. We just gave our 100% in the first game and now the second, and we'll do that with every game from now on.
Touching on the veto in that match, were you surprised Nuke came out?
Of course, that was their mistake, I think. On any other map, their chances would have been so much better, but yeah, that was a huge mistake. They probably already know that and they've learned their lesson.
Going over to the fnatic match on Cache, you had a great start going up 12-3 on the CT side, but then you had problems getting into the second half, can you go through the Terrorist side and your struggles there at the beginning?
We lost the pistol round because dennis made some amazing headshots, he was holding B by himself and he just defended it himself. But then I think we had some good rounds, but we couldn't close them, we had good openings, or we took the site but couldn't defend it. It felt like it was our mistakes that were made on the map. At some point we took A site but couldn't defend it, then we took B site and went too aggressive, I rushed CT spawn and tried to take too much area on the map. It was our mistakes and finally we made it, we corrected that and defended well after taking the A site.
Your next match-up will be Gambit in the 2-0 pool, can you go through the match-up, do you have a good idea of what they have in store?
I have honestly no idea what's going to happen, they've been a totally different team in practice than in official games. Among top teams, we make fun of Gambit. They're even close to getting kicked from the practice channel for pro teams, because they don't care about practice, it's not sure if they fight each other during the practice or if they don't care at all, they were late for every practice. It's like they're just a different team offline, who knows what to expect from that match-up.