draken: "We have all the right bits, we just need to find the balance"
NiP currently hold the first place in Group A at IEM Oakland, we talked to draken to get his thoughts about how his team is playing.
In the interview, William "draken" Sundin talks about expectations before the event, the keys to the play that has allowed them to positively surprise in Oakland, and what they hope to achieve in the Golden State.
Coming into the tournament, we've now seen you are solid, even topping the group at the moment, but coming into it what were your expectations? Did you think you'd be this solid?
Yeah, I think so. I had a good feeling about this event because we've been practicing so much, bootcamping a lot, and our new mental coach is really helping us a lot with routines and really being a team, getting good food, exercising, having a daily schedule... and we're putting a lot of work into CS so I kind of expected us to at least do well here. It was expected but it's great and it's a relief when it actually happens.
How important was it for you to play well here after having some rough qualifiers, missing the Minor, etc.?
It's important to play well, but even if we lost we would have to go home and work harder and get ready for the next event. There are so many events and so much competitiveness, you just have to go home and work on it, take the positives, and move forward. Of course, it would have sucked if we didn't make it out of groups. I think we're through at this point, and it would have sucked if we didn't make it, but in the end you just have to keep your head up and put in the work.
You've been playing for a while now as a team, but how has the team evolved, Particularly regarding the balance of experience and youth?
I think now we play more off of our instincts, at least me and REZ, when we get into our comfort zones. We go with the first play that comes up in our heads and we work from there. That provides space for the other guys in the team. We have diversity with experience, aggressiveness, and raw aim power. So I think we have all the right bits, we just have to find the right balance which is always hard but I think we're getting there.
Now that you've kicked off the tournament on the right foot, what are your expectations moving forward, and what were they coming in before the group stage?
We expected to maybe get out of the groups, but our goal is always to win. Now I think we have a solid chance to make it straight to the semifinal and even the finals if we can keep it up and just play our game and not focus so much on the other teams because that's what we do sometimes. We fall into slumps and think too much about this and that and we should just, as I said earlier, especially REZ and me, go for the instinct plays. When we get in that zone I think we're a really solid team.
About the Cloud9 match, did you think you were going to get out of it as easily as you did or were you expecting more opposition since Cloud9 looked good yesterday and in recent events?
We thought we would play Cache or Train, so actually, we were happily surprised when it ended up being Overpass because it has been one of our best maps so far. We lost the pistol with Stewie2K getting that quad kill which two months ago we would have probably not even recovered from, but now we just work and take the positive things out of every round. I think we're confident in the fact that if we keep this mindset we can take the next round and focus and put up a good fight. I didn't expect it to go 16-4, it was kind of a stomp, I thought it would be a bit closer, but I was pretty sure we could win that match, especially on Overpass.
And now moving on to EnVyUs, what are your thoughts on that matchup?
EnVyUs should be a good game. Now we don't have pressure so we can just go in and play our own game. Even though we don't feel any pressure because it's the last game and we're through we're still going to keep up the same exact mentality as if we could go out of the groups if we lost. It'll be relaxed but we still need to be really focused.