ropz: "ELEAGUE group exit affected our minds; we are starting to climb back"
We sat down with Robin "ropz" Kool in the wake of mousesports' victory over Vega Squadron at the ROG Masters EMEA Finals and asked him about his team's preparation for the tournament and the match against the Russians.
In the interview below, the 17-year-old discusses mousesports' performances in Krefeld, their expectations for this event and for next week's DreamHack Open Denver, the recent elimination in the group stage of ELEAGUE Premier, and more.
Although Mirage was your opponent's map pick, you still put up a fight by winning 13 rounds. What are your thoughts on that map?
We got off to a wrong start, I would say. We really hate morning games, and I think the same goes for Vega Squadron, so I guess neither team play at their top level. We did not react well, they were making a lot of contact plays, fast plays, and we could not adapt to that. And then we just lost some crucial rounds – I think we did not win the first pistol –, although we had a good start on the the T-pistol. But the pistol rounds on the first two maps were a problem.
Were you not expecting that kind of plays from Vega Squadron?
Actually, our coach told us before the game that they would play with a lot of contact and fast plays, but they just made a few changes. If they knew that there was a player alone on a bombsite, it seemed like they would just rush towards him. I was playing A as CT, I was alone a couple times, and they just ran out through smokes with three players. It seemed like that was their game plan.
You usually do not play Nuke. Why did you pick it now?
Actually, I would say that Nuke is one of our best maps. Our only problem on that map is communication, and since communication is crucial on Nuke, if we do not make good calls, the opponents will simply control the bombsites.
Still, I think that it is one of our best maps. chrisJ is playing as an AWPer – which is a bit different from what we are used to doing since oskar is our main AWP player –, and oskar is playing with rifles around A.
On Inferno, when suNny clutched that 1v3 in a force-buy, it seemed like you were about to win the game from there on out, but then you had some struggles. What happened?
That 1v3 was really unexpected, it was a sick play from him. But then in the next round… the thing is that in this tournament, you only have ten seconds of freeze-time, so we did not have time to prepare our game-plan. Near the end, we had to do a save round to try to win the game.
You usually remove Overpass, but now it was Vega Squadron who banned it. What did you talk about when that happened?
I am not that sure, our coach did the veto. Nowadays, however, we are trying to play Overpass sometimes, especially when the other team is not playing it. For example, we recently played against NiP on that map, and, although it is our first ban, we are trying to play it.
Yesterday you played against ALTERNATE aTTaX. What do you think of that game and about that opponent?
They did show some potential. On the first map, they took ten rounds from us and they surprised us with some things. I guess HUNDEN was calling some good strats. I hope things work out for them, especially given the fact that they have decided to start communicating in English.
About this tournament, how did you prepare for it?
We did not really prepare that much, we just wanted to come here and play our own game. This is not the toughest tournament, we were one of the favourites. We just wanted to come here and simply play without overthinking our game since it was supposed to be easy for us.
Now that you have qualified, what are your goals for the finals?
Obviously, we want to win, and we are happy that we have qualified Actually, there are a lot of tournaments running at the same time. If we qualify for ESL Pro League Season 6, for example, maybe we will skip this event. For now, it seems like we are going.
Later today, you will play against the winner of the match between Gambit and Seed. What are your thoughts on that game?
Gambit are looking pretty good, although they have not played that many officials and have been losing some online matches. I would say that they are not in the best online form, but they have shown some good CS at this event so far, so they look like a scary opponent.
And what do you think of Seed?
It is their first LAN tournament together, so they are trying to get their chemistry going. They have the Major qualifier spot, so they will obviously try to qualify for the Major. I know denis is a really good player, so I think they will do well.
You will be at DreamHack Open Denver next week. You do not have much time to prepare, but how will your preparation be like?
We will go home from this tournament and have like two practice days. Again, we do not want to overthink, we just want to make it comfortable for ourselves and play simple CS. Our biggest problem in our team is communication, so we are trying to work on that.
Lastly, you could not make it through the group stage at ELEAGUE Premier. How has that affected your team?
It is a huge contrast when you come from winning a big tournament – ESG Tour Mykonos –, and then you go out of groups in ELEAGUE. I mean, it has affected our minds… oskar had some rough games after ELEAGUE, but I would say that we are starting to climb back from that, and we are all just trying to do be in our best shape.