During the playoff days of ESL One New York, after his team was eliminated from the tournament, we caught up with Nicolai "device" Reedtz to talk about Astralis' recent results.
I guess we should start with Malmö. Obviously, the big storyline there was that that was the first time you guys went out below the top four. So what do you think was the problem there, what did you talk about after the event?
Obviously, Malmö was a big disappointment for us for more than one reason. We always have the philosophy that if we just play our own best, then it doesn't matter if we win or lose, because a team can sometimes overperform and play better than you. But in that game we didn't show up and it was just a horrible showing. What we concluded from it... There were several things, but I just think that we didn't not prepare well enough and we did not play good enough team wise and aim wise.
Do you think that transferred over to here? Do you think you are still kind of catching up, do you think that you are just not in form right now?
I think that one of our main issues right now is that we are not in form individually, obviously, but there are more things. We are trying to adjust some things, micromanage some things in-game, and changes take up some space and also some focus. Other than focusing on your own game you also have to focus on the team game. It's a mix of different things and I think it's normal to see a bit of a dip in performance. I think we will just work even harder to get back up there.
I wanted to touch on the FaZe match that you guys played here, again FaZe beating you, it looks like they have the upper hand. Do you account that to karrigan or do you think it's something else, like a playstyle thing?
I think that their playstyle is really good against ours in some way. I've touched upon this multiple times, about Inferno. I think playing a BO1 on Inferno almost always favors the T side, because there is so much economy that plays into the matter of taking banana control.
I think that we played our economy a bit bad, we lost the wrong rounds to lose and, if you look at the first 10 rounds, we could've won half of them but we didn't, again, perform individually and in the crucial situations. But yeah, I think that they have it good playing against us, and all kudos to them for playing well.
Going over to Liquid now, they beat SK just before that. Did they kind of surprise you, did you expect a little bit more from yourselves against them?
I think that we actually expected a lot from them. We've never lost to them, I think, me, dupreeh and Xyp9x, if I remember correctly, so we always had a good streak against them. And obviously, we didn't underestimate them, but we still wanted to play with confidence.
We knew that they are a really great team and a fairly new team, but they have very strong individual players that right now are having a good period. It goes a little bit up and down in that sort of a sense and I think, even looking back at the BO3, I think that we played a fairly good series, but they also played their A game. I feel that we could've performed better as well.
Now going in to the rest of the year, I'm not sure how many tournaments there are going to be for you, I know you guys prioritize a lot, but do you think you are going to have time to come back from this? Do you think you will be able to improve, as the rest of the year comes by?
I think I can speak for myself personally, I think that right now I'm not in a big slump in any way. I'm putting up good numbers, but I still feel like I can get better with the AWP. And it's hard in some way, because there are so many things around the role that I need to learn, and it takes time. And we don't have that much time in between tournaments.
So I think, in the end of the year a lot of it comes down to it being individually good and being confident as a team. Because you don't have more than a maximum of two weeks between tournaments and you can't really prepare a lot of stuff. So all of it comes down to getting a good streak, believing in your teammates and just getting a snowball effect of good performances.
Lastly, I wanted to touch on this period that we have right now. We kind of see the same thing happening as we did last year, after the offseason the favorites are kind of dropping off, SK are having problems as well, and instead some teams that made changes are on the upswing. Some of the teams that didn't make changes but didn't have that much impact throughout the year, like Liquid, have now kind of improved. So what do you make of this period, why do you think this is the case?
I think the hardest part of all sports, and also esports, is staying at the number one spot. I don't think it's necessarily that hard to get there, if you have the right combination of players. But staying up there, and staying motivated and staying focused all of the time, it's really hard because you don't always know what to be better at—because you are the best in the world.
I think that is why you always see it. And also, coming back from the break, I think there are so many tournaments and maybe there are people that have that 10% more will to get better, they play a little bit more on vacation and then it's easier for them to get back to their normal individual performances. And I think that players that go on a little bit more of a hiatus from CS, they take a longer time to get up there.