s1mple: "I didn't expect to have such feelings after winning this final"
Shortly after Ukraine's grand final win and before the award ceremony begun, we managed to grab Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev for a short interview to get his feelings about the victory.
Ukraine, composed of three Natus Vincere members and two well known Ukrainians, Yegor "markeloff" Markelov and Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk, managed to take the win at the WESG EU&CIS Regional Finals, beating the likes of BIG, fnatic and GODSENT along the way.
As the dust settled in Barcelona, we talked to a happy Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev about the team dynamic, bondik's efforts and the Natus Vincere situation, now that they've added Denis "electronic" Sharipov to the mix.
I wanted to get some of your thoughts about playing with this lineup: it's the core of Na`Vi and two of your ex-teammates, markeloff and bondik. How was the atmosphere in the team, how was it playing with these players?
It was really great to play with everyone. We talked to eachother and we understood that we needed to play with our system, the Na`Vi system. It's slow, and here, there was a lot of patience in our team. Every time when we played a round there was 20 seconds left when we went on a site. I've never seen this before.
And everyone was listening to Zeus, the calling was great by Zeus and kane, everyone was ready to win this trophy. I mean, I didn't expect to have such feelings after winning this final, you know? I understand that we are playing like a mix team, but the emotions are really great after winning this final.
About the emotions, is it more based on playing for your country or is it as well the fact that you didn't win a tournament in quite a while?
I was really, calm before the final, I wasn't nervous at all before this final, but after we started playing, I started bad... But I don't know, it felt really good to win this tournament. Me, Edward, bondik and markeloff didn't win anything in 2017, only Zeus and kane won the Major—and we just forgot this feeling, to beat someone in a final and to be the winning team.
There were a lot of force-buy rounds that you won, especially in the final. Why do you think that is, is that more down to the way you played or mixed teams and all of that coming into play?
We discussed every force buy, when Zeus and kane call, we knew what we were going to do. Even if we didn't have preparation for this tournament, we talked about our four-five maps for this event and we were ready to play this. We had some structure, some planned rounds, even force buys.
We would go to eat and we would discuss our rounds, before the game. Unfortunately, we lost a lot of pistol rounds, but after, we just won a lot of forces, so I'm really proud of all of the players.
I want to get your thoughts on bondik, he is not playing in HellRaisers, he is benched and actually playing with the Chinese guys in TyLoo. So he's not active in a CIS or EU team, what are your thoughts on that, considering his performance here?
bondik surprised me a lot on this tournament, really a lot. He played in positions that are not his usual positions and he didn't communicate in this language for one and a half year, when he was playing with HellRaisers, and international team, and after that TyLoo. And despite that, he had a great tournament. If HLTV would give an MVP, I'd probably say that you should give it to him, because he was really the impact player of this tournament.
I'm really happy for him, it was his goal. He missed a tournament with TyLoo, he told them that he would come to this tournament no matter what. He came and he won, I'm really proud of him. He really loves Ukraine, you know, so he is really proud of his country as well. It's a big achievment for him.
I want to touch a bit on Na`Vi, now that you added electronic. How are things going with the team?
electronic is great, to be honest. When he came to our team, we had two weeks practice, and I saw that he has a different brain for the game. He knows a lot of things, he knows a lot of nades, it's so easy to stay in clutch situations with him. And B1ad3 from FlipSid3, he helped him a lot to grow up as a player. I don't know, what I want to say is thank you to B1ad3. Because he developed a lot of players, and everyone is playing in good teams right now.
The last tournament you have this year is DreamHack Winter, if I'm correct, what are your thoughts about that tournament?
We prepared well, but we need some more time. DreamHack Winter will be our preparation before the Major. Of course, we want to win this tournament, but there are a lot of good teams there as well. And we had only two weeks of preparation, now we are going to go back to Ukraine, stay there for 2-3 days to bootcamp more, and after that we fly to Sweden. I hope and I wish that we can show great results with Na`Vi as well.