SPELLAN: "We have a lot of things to work on"
On the second day of the Europe Minor, we managed to sit down with Windigo's Teodor "SPELLAN" Nikolov and hear about his team's showing at the tournament and their future plans.
Just a month into this roster's life cycle, Windigo managed to qualify for the European Minor, beating the likes of Envy and Heroic in the online qualifier. At the LAN in Bucharest, the Bulgarians were eliminated after two games, losing in overtime to Vincent "Happy" Schopenhauer's squad and then getting blown out by GODSENT in the elimination BO3.
Windigo players stayed in Romania, utilizing the practice area at the PGL studios, and we used the opportunity to sit down with Teodor "SPELLAN" Nikolov, who told us more about the team, their struggles and what they achieved so far.
I want to start it off by getting to know a bit more about the Outlaws and ex-Outlaws roster that you had and all the roster changes that you underwent. What were the key signings or changes you made to have this roster you have now?
It all began when CeRq left the team because he had a good offer from NRG. After he left, things just didn't work out with this lineup without him. Not all of the people gave everything they have for the team and we just decided to make something new with a fresh lineup, with new guys and with more experienced guys like bubble, pNshr, niki1.
With this five that you have, how does it work in terms of roles, calling, who is doing what in the team?
I'm the in-game leader right now, we tried with niki1 being an in-game leader but it didn't work well, so we changed it. bubble is our main AWPer, I'm the secondary AWPer. SHiPZ is the entry fragger, pNshr is support and niki1 is just a rifler.
You played the Minor Closed Qualifier and made it through, tell me a bit about that qualifier, winning those matches and getting the slot here...
We just knew that we didn't have anything to lose there, we knew we were underdogs and just played our game. We gave our best, we were confident and we won versus EnVyUs and Heroic, and in the end versus eXtatus in overtime. The atmosphere was perfect then, all the guys were pretty hyped, it was a nice start for the team. We were playing together only for a month before we qualified. We were really proud of those results.
After that, you had the ESL Clash of Nations LAN that you were invited to because you previously won the ESL South East Europe Championship with Outlaws. At that LAN, things didn't really work out for you guys, just tell me in short what the issues were at that event?
Back then, we didn't have an organization, before that LAN, and we didn't have an opportunity to do a bootcamp before it to prepare. And we were a bit shaky there, because of the missing bootcamp. Also, niki1 was calling then which didn't work out, and I don't know, we did a lot of mistakes, we didn't play our game like we do online, there was a bit of stress and things like that, we were not ready.
After being shaken at Clash of Nations you came here, and you played the first game against EnVyUs. You get to match point, 15-12 I think, but you don't get to close it out. Tell me a bit about that game, how did it feel to lose after such a tough match?
We could've won then, but we made a lot of mistakes in the last rounds, on 15-12 I think we were 3v2 and I and SHiPZ threw the round because of overpeeking in the post plant situation, and when we got to overtime, I don't know what happened. Like we choked or something and we couldn't close the game. We felt very bad after that, we were tilted and then GODSENT smashed us.
As you already started, the game against GODSENT, you weren't even in it. Was it majorly the EnVyUs loss that you couldn't get over, or was it GODSENT playing well?
It was both, they played very well, but even though we predicted what they were going to do, we couldn't counter it. They played very well, they outaimed us, and also we didn't play our game, we played very bad, it was a combination.
As you are still a pretty new team, probably have a lot to work on, but what are the takeaways from these first two LANs, what do you think are the main issues you think you need to be working on in the future?
We have a lot of things to work on, first of all, we will have the chance to bootcamp now, to work on our mistakes, to prepare for events. I don't know, we have to work a lot on our game, we just need time to improve.
You recently signed for Windigo, what are you going to get from the organization and what are they expecting from you, what do you need to achieve?
For now, they seem like really good guys and the offer is really good for us, and I hope to show our best and make them happy and keep progressing. We have a salary, we will have a gaming house soon, in Ukraine....
Will you be moving the whole team to Ukraine?
No, not long term, just before the LANs so we can have bootcamp there, we will play online for the rest.
Just to finish it off, the Bulgarian scene, what are your thoughts on it at the moment? Maybe two years ago you had E-Frag guys playing and having good results internationally, now they are split and you seem like the Bulgarian team. However, there are other teams and players around, what do you feel like the scene in Bulgaria is like now, what's good and what is bad at the moment?
There are not so many serious players in Bulgaria. I think it's only us who are playing serious and all day, professional CS. The other players are just not so serious. Maybe it's due to the fact that there are not so many tournaments in Bulgaria, the players can't achieve experience, I don't know, I hope for it to be better one day.