s1mple: "I hope we meet Gambit again"
After Na`Vi advanced to semi-finals at DreamHack Open Winter, we caught up with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev to talk to him about Denis "electronic" Sharipov's addition, their grudge match against Gambit, and the decider versus Heroic.
Natus Vincere are through to the playoffs at DreamHack Open Winter after a turbulent group stage, defeating Heroic in the opening match before dropping to the decider following a quintuple-overtime loss to Gambit. The Ukrainian-Russian squad then rematched the Danes and came away with a 2-1 victory, earning a semi-final match-up against Envy.
Let's begin with electronic, how has he fit into the team so far?
As I said before, he's a great team player, so when he got in our team, we just got something that we didn't have before. He's a really calm guy. Most of all I like to stay in clutch situations with him. He has some - I'm not sure how to call it - another way of thinking. He's really smart in the game.
Is it also the firepower boost?
Yeah, a big firepower boost. Not only firepower, he knows a lot of nades, so he gave us a lot.
As someone who also played under B1ad3, do you feel like he helped guide electronic the right way?
Yeah, B1ad3 teaches all players the tactical part, you know, and it's really helped every player that has ever played with B1ad3. He's really calm as well, B1ad3's a really smart person, one day when he becomes a coach he will be the best coach in the world.
Going into this event, what kind of preparation did you have considering electronic has only been with you for a short time?
We had a bootcamp before WESG for about a week and a half and after we came back we had a three-day bootcamp. So we just practiced, practiced, practiced together and it seems like we're becoming better and better. Our main goal for this tournament wasn't to win, we're trying new strats, trying our teamwork, it's our first LAN together so we're just trying new setups as well. It's a preparation for us before the Major qualifier first, and I hope the Major too.
Your first match against Heroic was fairly straight-forward, but I wanted to get into the Gambit clash. HObbit said that he felt extra pressure due to the history with Zeus, was there anything like that from your side as well?
I just wanted to help kane and Zeus, because it's like a rivalry between them. Gambit wanted to win because they wanted to see if they're better without Zeus and kane, and Zeus and kane wanted to win against them because of the situation after the Major.
Did you feel that during the match?
Yeah, I felt it and I tried to help my teammates as much as possible. But I hope that if we win against EnVyUs tomorrow and Gambit beat mousesports, we will meet in the final again, so it's going to be really great for all fans in CIS.
Tell me about the rematch with Heroic, there were a few issues here and there, what do you think went wrong especially on map two, Overpass, which you already played against them earlier?
First of all, we vetoed Nuke because it's their strongest map, we prepared Cache for them. I think they were scared to play Cache, we didn't even veto it in the second round. The first map was Inferno, we knew how to play against them. For us it's easy to get banana control and we just tried to rotate a guy from A to B and we tried to split from all sides. We won the pistol round after and it was easier for us, but after we lost the first buyround, we said that it shouldn't happen like against Gambit yesterday.
The second map was Overpass, we started really badly because of our economy, I don't know why we forced on the third round but we had a plan to do this force and they just pushed mid and destroyed our plan. The third was Train, it was a great half on T side for us, but after, when we lost pistol and the first buyround, it was really hard to play against them. But we managed to do it, our guys on A were calm and confident.
What do you think the semi-final against EnVyUs will look like?
They're a good team, they prepared really well for this tournament, I saw them play against mousesports and I was surprised they beat mousesports 13-2 on the T side. I guess they're going to pick Nuke or Train and... we're going to pick another map (laughs). It's going to be a good match, we came to this tournament to play more and more, to practice more and more, so I hope we win tomorrow.