TOAO: "Made so much progress in the past few months, it's still surprising to us"
At the end of the second day of the WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals, we sat down with AGO's Mateusz "TOAO" Zawistowski to talk about their Minor showing, China Top, and finishing first in the group in Barcelona.
AGO continues to put up solid results, finishing first in Group D with four wins in the same number of games, making the quarter-finals and the WESG World Finals in China. The Polish side picked up dominant victories over the Limitless and RESISTANCE before shutting out fnatic to earn the first spot heading into the playoffs.
Back at the Minor, you ended up losing to EnVyUs in a close match. With that experience and that result, how was the team feeling, how were you dealing with that loss?
We always come back to that moment, because we learned a lot in that game. We just threw that game—we were leading 11-4—so there was a lot to learn for us. Sometimes we come back to that moment just to remind ourselves what to do in that kind of situations, when we don't know what to do.
After that, we saw you playing online a bunch again, you had some good results, made it to top two in the ESEA playoffs. Did that help a lot with the spirit in the team?
We always knew that we could do a lot of stuff and that we could go far in the tournaments, but we just needed to prove ourselves.
Even for us, it's surprising still. We made so much progress in the past few months, it's still surprising to us.
You played Virtus.pro a few times online, I think you have a great record, how does that feel for you guys, considering they have been the main Polish team for years now?
Yes, we are 5-1 up in maps. And yeah, it's a great feeling, we always look up to these guys and they are always playing good, they are very tough to beat. We are always trying hard to win against Polish teams, because you just want to be the best team in Poland.
Winning against them really means a lot, and we are looking forward to winning against them in LAN tournaments because that's what is coming, I think.
Recently you went to China for China Top, you beat the two Chinese teams and then lost in the final to Vega Squadron. Tell me about that tournament, and that last match in particular, what did you think was lacking to pick up that trophy?
We should've closed this game 2-0 because we knew that we could win Train against them, we did it before, in practices, and we always find a way to do it. But this time, we were off on the T side, we didn't win the rounds that we should've, we lost four clutches—1v1's or 1v2's—that we normally win.
So it was really tough for us on the T side, and on the CT we just couldn't come back, it was too much to ask. On the third map... I can't really remember that map, it was kind of hard to play in China for us, it was our first time there and it's a very specific country.
You came here straight from that event, did that impact you, or maybe change your expectations about what you could do at this tournament? We see now that you topped the group, but coming here, the jetlag, not prepared specifically for this tournament, how was the feeling in the team?
Actually, we prepared for this tournament even before flying to China, so we were prepared, but we tried to fix the jetlag as much as we could. We knew that we were going to come here fresh if we sleep well and stuff like that, because we traveled for almost a whole day. It was really hard, but we managed to overcome the jetlag and we are here fresh and winning, I'm very happy.
Let's touch on the games, but without going into all the detail for all four maps, what went so well for you, what were the key things do you think in this group stage?
It's important to veto well, in a BO1 it's important to play a map that you can play, not just go for risks, that is never good. I don't know, I think that the first two matches we should've won and it just happened, we knew that we should win these games, and then we played fnatic and we knew it was going to be a hard match. But somehow, we won it very easily I would say, it should've been a even higher score than it was.
I don't know, we were prepared for this tournament and we knew what we were going to play against the teams here.
You are rising through the ranks, but you still miss a significant tournament win, just placing highly is not the same. With no obvious favorite here, no team showing up dominantly in the group stages... What is your goal here now?
I mean, our goal was just to leave the groups, to get to China, but now we are trying to do as much damage as we can and maybe win some tournament finally, since I have a curse that I'm always second, for years I'm playing games and I'm never first. It's tough for me but I'll try to do my best.