After Astralis finished their first day at the ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals by picking up four points from two games, we caught up with Lukas "gla1ve" Rossander to talk about the stand-in situation and this event in particular.
With Ruben "RUBINO" Villarroel coming in to complete their roster, Astralis didn't have a perfect opening to the event in Odense, Denmark. After a 22-20 defeat to Liquid, who are playing with Wilton "zews" Prado, Astralis had to make a comeback on Train to beat Luminosity 16-11.
I want to start with an obvious question about RUBINO coming in as a stand-in. When you found out you couldn't have dennis here, how did the process of finding a replacement go, why did you decide on the Norwegian?
Yeah, we found on that dennis couldn't come and of course we were sad about that of course, because of how well BLAST went for us. Then we found out that we could play with RUBINO and we didn't have to use our coach, we could either pick RUBINO or pimp—who we were also talking about, who helped us qualify for ECS.
We ended up picking up RUBINO because he has a lot of experience, he has played with the North team before, he played on big stages, he has won big events. So we knew he would be the best fit for us right now. So yeah, he is a really good guy and a good player as well.
Tell me about the practice, you didn't have a lot of time, but how did it go and how did you work him into the team?
We had four or five days of practice with RUBINO and that's with six hours a day. We just decided to pick six maps without Cobblestone, play those maps, set him in some basic tactics, just like we did with dennis, switched it around a bit so he feels comfortable. Of course, it made us switch some roles, some positions on some maps, because we want him to feel comfortable, but we have been working really good around all of that and I think the best thing about it has been that everyone has been really positive about all this.
Talking about that, the positive atmosphere—playing with a stand-in is obviously bad, not having the whole lineup, but at the same time I guess it takes away some of the pressure because you don't have so big expectations? How has that been, both at BLAST and here? Is it easier to go over some mistakes and stuff like that?
I think the only thing is that you don't think too much about the mistakes you do, or the team does. That's the most important thing, because you still have exectations for yourselves, you still have expectations to win the game, but when someone does a small mistake you don't go too deeply into it. That is really easy with a stand-in, I'm not sure why, but that's just how it is.
I think that is why we have done well at BLAST, but let me be really honest, if we had device at BLAST, I really believe we would've won the whole tournament.
Touching on this tournament, the maps you had there, the first one was the Liquid overtime loss on Mirage. What happened in that game they also have a stand-in, a coach with them, so it was expected that you would win that game?
I think the toughest part about playing against people with a stand-in, or who are playing with their coach, is that you don't know which roles they are switching up, so it's really hard to counter them. Of course, we did some anti-strat against them, but it didn't work out so great because they maybe did something that we didn't expect and such. It can be really tough to anti-strat when you are against a team with a stand-in.
So yeah, we ended on Mirage, they got a good start, they won some crucial rounds in the beginning of the match. If we would've won them, I think the momentum could've turned around and we could've won the CT sides with a bigger score. We came back on the T side and we took it to overtime—but we felt that we could've won the match.
Both you and Liquid have stand-ins here and other teams have them at other events. But talking about Pro League now, what are your thoughts about the ruleset and the future of it? Are you as a player going to be pushing to change it, or is it ok as it is?
Actually, I'm mostly a guy that focuses about the in-game stuff, so I'm not too much into that.
The last game you played here was against Luminosity. A bit of a struggle considering what people expected from them, but they also showed some good stuff against HellRaisers, what went on in your match against them?
We didn't have a lot of expectations from them, I watched some demos, Danny (zonic) watched some demos of them. They have some good individual players and they have a lot of aggro stuff on the T side, where you just get caught off guard, and that is exactly what happened to us on Train. They caught us off guard, they had the momentum, we lost some crucial rounds there as well, and they just played really well on that T side. But I knew that if we just got 5-6 rounds and if we then don't go down 3-0 on the T side then I knew that we would probably win the game because our T side can be really strong.
With two games played now with RUBINO and some results being known, what is your feeling of the group stage? I know that before the event zonic said that the goal is at least to make it to the playoffs, play in front of the crowd, what is the expectation at the moment?
I think that after BLAST we realized that even with a stand-in, we can go really far and we can play really good. So our expectations for this event have probably been a little higher that what they were for BLAST, because we had absolutely no expectations for that event. Of course, we had individual expectations for ourselves and that is what drove us and kept us really strong. I think that going to the playoffs is definitely our goal here.