After Space Soldiers secured a convincing 2-0 victory over EnVyUs in the grand final of the European Minor, we talked to a happy Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli about his individual form and his team's big achievement.
The Turkish side was one of the favorites to make it far at the Minor, but surprised a lot of people by picking up two series wins over EnVyUs and one over OpTic to move on to the Main Qualifier as the winner of the European Minor..
We had a sit-down with Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli after the match and touched on some of the key topics regarding his team and this event, such as the Mirage game against OpTic and Space Soldiers finally advancing to a Major Qualifier.
When I talked to Calyx, he mentioned your individual skill, that we all saw here was on a good level, and he said that you put in additional work in getting the aim on point. What do you think about that and what have you done in the past months about it?
I think that he is right, when I first came into this team my individual level... It was good but it was hiding behind the fact I was working very hard for the team, I was focusing on them, what we would do, and I wasn't focusing a lot on aim. In one moment they started learning and understood the plan I have, after that I told myself: "OK, you need to focus on your aim because you are not in a good shape and you are not helping your team".
So I played a little more, not a lot more, but I tried only to focus more on my aim, since I'm not a "born leader", I became a leader for Space Soldiers but it's not my first role, it wasn't my role in 1.6. When I lead, I forget to focus on my aim sometimes, I look at the radar, I'm asking something and it was very hard [to be focused on my aim] at the start. But now, I tried to figure out stuff, for example I hide and speak and stuff like that. And it helped.
Let's touch on the OpTic game and the last map, Mirage, where you had a big lead on the CT side, but then they started coming back. Two overtimes, but you closed it out. What was the mentality through their comeback, and how did closing out the game felt from your perspective?
Man, it was very hard, very difficult emotionally. Because it goes down and up and down and up. We had the game in our hands, and on the T side... We are famous for that, online, that sometimes we choke. We are winning 10, 11-4 and after that, we choke maybe because we feel overconfident. We maybe over peek, we make some mistakes.
On Mirage we also lost a lot of post-plant situations, but I watched the demo, they also played the retakes very well. The emotion was very tough, but at the end, I'm so happy that we didn't choke. And maybe all the choke we did helped today in the most important day. Losing is not important, learning is important.
Getting that win and earning a spot at the Main Qualifier, how did that feel for your team last night, when you had time to actually figure out what happened?
We felt very happy and relieved. It was the main objective for the team here, we were working hard for that and now we have a chance to go to the Major Qualifier, and I think we have a chance to get through there also. We will keep working because working is the key, we will watch demos and keep talking about what we can do more, what we can do better. Stay humble, work hard.
In the grand final, you played EnVyUs again, beat them again. You played against SIXER, who you know for a long time and you played with xms in France for a while as well. Did that play into it as well, wanting to beat them and continue the good streak against them?
They are my friends, I played a long time with SIXER, in 1.6, I may have spent more time during 1.6 with SIXER than I did with my family. We are professionals, we are playing, he wants to win, I want to win, that's good. It's a pleasure to play against them.
I want to get your comment on the fact that you've now had more success in CS:GO with a Turkish team than you had in France with all the talent that the French scene has. What do you think is behind that?
I think it was just my preparation when I started with CS:GO, I didn't believe that CS:GO would go far. I thought it would be as in 1.6, so I needed to find a job because it was not full time. When I first played, I didn't take the game too seriously, but when Space Soldiers came, they asked me for full-time CS and when I got full time I tried to focus more on myself and I think it was better.
Actually, when I was playing with Millenium at the beginning of CS:GO I was also working, I was working in the morning, I was finishing at 8, after that I practiced etc. So I wasn't giving all of myself, I was saying in my head that it's just a bonus, I'm playing and maybe if I win a tournament I will win money. I was giving my best, of course, 100%, but I couldn't watch demos etc. I think that played into it a little also. Now in Space Soldiers I am full time and giving all my energy, that's the difference.