For one of the final pieces of our coverage from DreamHack Open Winter we naturally talked to the tournament's Most Valuable Player, Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev.
Natus Vincere grabbed their first title with Denis "electronic" Sharipov following a turbulent tournament, although the grand final was a fairly one-sided affair, with the Russian-Ukrainian squad grabbing Cobblestone 16-4 before locking down Inferno 16-11 following a great Terrorist side.
We talked to Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev after the grand final to get his thoughts on his team's win, his amazing performance throughout the event, as well as plans for the next month, which the team will spend preparing for the ELEAGUE Major's Main Qualifier:
Let's get into the semi-final first, talk to me about Nuke against EnVyUs, which was a close affair and it took you a while to get into it and eventually close it out.
We didn't start well, but we knew that we would win the game, I don't know, everyone had a lot of confidence after the first map. We lost like five forces on the T side, so we were a bit frustrated on the T half. After we lost the pistol, then we forced twice and we lost it, but everyone knew we could come back because it's a CT-sided map.
Going into the final, Cobblestone was such a one-sided map, but Inferno was rough for you on the CT side, similarly to the Gambit match in the group stage. What do you think went wrong at the beginning?
First of all, we didn't expect them to pick Cobble. We expected them to pick Nuke because it's one of their strongest maps, but I think they decided to pick Cobble and maybe they saw we were playing bad on this map. We didn't really have time to prepare six or seven maps, but we managed to win this game.
The Inferno match was similar to EnVyUs on Nuke, because we lost a lot of forces as well. They were more lucky in this regard than us, for example when I was on long I wasn't watching my monitor and chrisJ walked into the smoke and killed me. Some of these situations. But we told ourselves that we need to take like five to six rounds and after that we can come back, because we knew that our T side on Inferno is good, everyone saw that against Gambit and other games that we lost, like for example G2 at ELEAGUE, we were winning 10-1, so...
Obviously you had such a massive performance throughout the entire tournament, is this something we can look forward to in the future?
Yeah, I hope so. I'm not going to change the resolution or crosshair and I'm going to sleep better, because I know if I sleep better I play better.
You have about a month and a half before the Major qualifier, what is going to be Na`Vi's plan for those several weeks?
We discussed having a break for a week or a week and a half. Then we are going to prepare before the New Year, we expect a lot of teams to prepare for the Major and the Major qualifier before the New Year. After the New Year, we will have like three to four days and we will practice before the Major qualifier. It's going to be an important tournament for our organization and team, so we hope we will qualify for the Major and show a great result at the Major as well, because every team is going to prepare for these two tournaments.
What will be the focus in practice? Have you noticed anything that you specifically need to work on in your first weeks with electronic?
We just need to work on our map pool, I guess. Of course, individual skill and everything, but our map pool and strats on some maps, we need to upgrade it.