FalleN: "I never felt we couldn't win at any moment [on Cache]"
To close out our coverage of BLAST Pro Series, we caught up with the tournament's MVP, Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, to reflect on the grand final and the event overall.
The Brazilians then secured Inferno, taking their revenge for the group stage loss to the Danish side on the same map. It was all decided on Cache, where Astralis went up 9-0 before SK mounted a comeback, took the last map to overtime and grabbed the title at 19-17.
We ran through each map of the final with Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo, who gave us his point of view on dupreeh's clutches on Mirage, what his team changed for the second time they played Inferno versus the Danes, and how they came back on Cache:
Let's start with Mirage in the final, you had a really bad start, then it seemed like you were going to come back into it but it fell out of your hands. What issues did you face in the first half?
I think we definitely lost Mirage in the first half, there were so many rounds where we had an advantage or we should have played a bit differently, but they were able to win incredible rounds. Two of them because of some performances from dupreeh, there was a 1v4 which we played badly, but it was awesome from him, and there's also the shot from connector. There were two things we could have done, we could have pushed the smoke and try to kill him or we could try to be in front of the shot and tank the shot for TACO. I tried to do that and I died together with him (laughs), so he played those rounds amazingly.
As T side, I think we played super well as T the entire tournament, good decisions, good calls, calm plays, and I was expecting to do the comeback, but I failed in crucial moments. There was the shot on Xyp9x, I really had the AWP right on his body, I don't know how it didn't hit, and then there was the round where I misunderstood the sound. I killed someone from catwalk, then I rotated to go with boltz from slope, and they had no idea I was there. When I saw the first guy, I thought the second one was on stairs, so I was like 'no one is defusing, so if I kill this one, I won,' and then I missed the shot. As soon as I missed the shot, I looked to the stairs and thought the second one who was coming from connector was going to kill me. And then nobody was there, so I got something wrong. That was too late. I choked it and I could have hit the second shot as well and they got the round. Without those rounds, I think we could have made the comeback.
Now that you mention the sounds, we've already seen a couple of tournaments played with the new sounds, is it something you still struggle with as players?
At first, it was very harsh to understand the sounds, but I think now it's even better than it was before, we can have a good sense of how far players are. I think it's really better, so it was a question of getting used to it. In that round I mentioned, I don't think the problem was the sound itself, he was on stairs but I couldn't see him get out and no one communicated that.
Going over to Inferno, you played it before against Astralis in the group stage and it went badly, were there any special adaptions towards the grand final?
Inferno is a map we've been struggling with a lot lately and there are so many approaches we've been trying to take differently every time we play the map. Today, the first time we played, I had some ideas when I woke up at 4 AM, I think I overcomplicated things a little bit and my team couldn't do what I wanted. Maybe what I wanted to do was bad as well, so it didn't work at all in the first map, but as soon as we lost it, we started talking about it to fix it for next time, doesn't matter if it was Astralis or not, we wanted to play differently. As they picked Inferno again, we knew that would be an entirely different match, we knew what we had to do.
As Cache is your least played map apart from Nuke, how much space did you have to adapt after the 0-9 start on the first half?
I never felt we couldn't win at any moment of the game. Of course, when we were 0-9 and we were making a lot of mistakes, some retakes that we could be holding, some lack of communication while using flashbangs in afterplants and stuff like that really cost us some rounds. They played well at the beginning as well, they were getting some crucial kills, some trades that did not go our way. When it was 8-0, I said 'let's just do an eco here, let's get some AWP and let's play slow, if we get six, we can get the pistol and tie the game.'
I'd like to touch on the issues on day one, do you have any comments on that, especially as all the players have been so positive towards BLAST despite all of it?
Yeah, I saw a lot of people on the internet saying 'why are the players saying good things about BLAST if they're suffering so much on the first day,' and stuff like that. The thing is, we understand that sometimes there are problems. They treated us very well from the first day, since the invitation, since we got here, everything was great. And when you see they're suffering with those problems, it was heartbreaking for us as well, because you could see that all the hard work was going nowhere. So we felt very bad for that, but I'm grateful that they really did a great job on the second day, the stadium was great.