In our last interview from DreamHack Open Winter, we got a chance to catch up with Will "dazzLe" Loafman and quiz him about Rise Nation's showing at the tournament and their recent uprise.
On the last day of the event, we managed to get a hold of Will "dazzLe" Loafman to talk about various topics surrounding the uprising North American squad, their recent experiences in higher-tier competitions, their upcoming events, and more:
You've now come last at the two biggest events you've attended, is that disheartening or are you taking it as a learning experience?
I still think it's good for us, because not many teams in our position are even getting to come to these events. We're definitely disappointed with the results, but the fact that we're even here is really good for us, it's really motivating that we even get a chance to play these teams. We're not happy with it, we're not content, but it's still good for us.
Two out of the three maps that you played here were quite close, do you feel like you could have come away with at least one of them? What do you think went wrong?
I think we just lack the experience, especially in mid-round situations we get really panicked and sometimes not make the best calls, and people are a little nervous and hyper-focused. I think it's just an experience gap that didn't let us to close the maps out or get as many rounds as we could have.
In your limited experience you got against European teams, have you picked up on anything that you can use in the future or in general?
I think it's the same thing of just not panicking too much when we get opening kills, when we get into advantages we can't throw things away, we really just have to capitalize when we make plays.
osorandom has been with you since the lineup came together, can you talk about what he does for the team in his role as a coach?
He's kind of a jack of all trades. He's our coach, he's our manager, and he's our analyst, all at once, so he's vital to everything we do and practice every day.
You've taken down some Pro League teams in qualifiers, do you feel like you're garnering respect from them or do they still look past you?
We definitely have more respect than we did when we started, but the mid-tier, top-tier teams maybe not as much. We don't really lose to the bottom-tier Pro teams in North America like ever, so I think those teams definitely respect us, but as far as everyone else, we have more to prove for sure.
Looking ahead, you have CEVO Main to finish up, the Dust2.us Masters, ESEA MDL Global Challenge, and most importantly a showdown with SoaR to determine who will go to the ESL Pro League. What are your expectations for these events?
We're pretty much planning on winning all of that, so we're going to win CEVO Main, we're going to win Dust2, we're going to win Premier, and we're going to get the Pro League spot.
Who do you think are three of the most promising young North American players, in MDL or Main?
I'm going to go with moose, Subroza, and ShoT_UP.
You're currently #7 in North America on HLTV rankings and #8 on the Dust2.us rankings, do you feel like those positions are accurate?
I think so, I haven't looked at the rankings in a little bit, so I'm not sure exactly who is above us and under us, but I think that's pretty accurate, yeah.
People are often commenting on there being a dearth of IGLs in North America, yet vSa rarely gets noticed or credit, can you talk about the work he puts in for you and his calling style?
vSa is really good, the vibes and the mood he brings to the team is vital to everything we do. He definitely doesn't get recognized enough and another thing is that he frags, not many IGLs can call and put up numbers and win big clutches, staying alive and being good players. He's definitely undervalued, underappreciated, and underrated.
He's a little loosey-goosey, we kind of get to do what we want to do, if someone wants to make a play, he'll let us do it, he'll adapt with what we want to do. And sometimes if he has an idea or something he wants to do, he's going to be authoritative with it and make sure we do it. So it's kind of a little bit of everything.