ImAPet: "[Role swap] wasn't because of allu, allu did us a big favor by taking one for the team"
Chet "ImAPet" Singh, gave us an interview about all things OpTic at ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals after the team exited the event in quarter-finals, losing a tight series to fnatic.
OpTic finished fifth-sixth at ESL Pro League finals following a loss to fnatic in the quarter-finals, where the European side clinched a tight Inferno, lost Train one-sidedly, and ended up falling short on Mirage, which went the distance.
The team stopped by during the semi-finals day, so we grabbed the coach, Chet "ImAPet" Singh, and quizzed him about their series against the Swedes. He also cleared up what the reason for the role swap between Aleksi "allu" Jalli and Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas was and discussed other topics, such as his synergy with Adam "friberg" Friberg.
At first I'd like to get into the quarter-finals, where on Inferno it was quite clear you were exploiting fnatic's B defense. Was that down to preparation or something you noticed throughout the match?
We noticed in the FaZe match they played on Inferno that FaZe was getting a lot of banana control, so we thought if they give us the same control, we'll do exactly the same, we'll hit B a lot. They were playing in sites a lot, saving nades, but if we did small executes and then re-executed it, then we would have the site for free pretty much all the time. That was the plan, we faked a little mid control but we didn't really go A that much.
I was watching a lot of their demos, because we had an extra day to prepare and stuff. I just told friberg that we should just hit B a lot and if they started playing it deep and double mollied it, we would just avoid it a little bit, take more mid control and hit A. But if they gave us banana like they did, we would just exploit it and do like three molotovs into the site.
Do you feel like you generally like to anti-strat a lot, or does that happen in just specific cases?
It depends on the team, sometimes it's better to play your game, but versus other teams it's nice to have anti-strats once in a while, just so you have something in your back pocket so they just can't overwhelm you when you run out of ideas.
Against better teams like FaZe it's nice to know all their tendencies and get a feel of what their players will do, even though you can't always predict it, it's just nice to know in the back of your head so your players don't get caught off-guard. For fer, you don't want to get pushed underpass or anything on Mirage, because you know he's going to do it. If you know he's going to do it, then you're going to be like two seconds extra careful about that position.
Going into map two, a very one-sided affair going fnatic's way on Train, what went wrong?
We just didn't have the right calls, early in the half we should have hit B more, because we knew flusha plays alone. But when they got double AWPs rolling, that's where we know they play two inside the B bombsite. We basically did all the wrong calls, nothing was going our way, we were pressuring yard too much early in the half, so that was just the biggest mistake. We just fucked up, pretty much.
On Mirage, a really tight match again, what decided it in the end?
I think the biggest mistake was that we were trying to use too much utility to get connector, which was our plan in the beginning, but in the timeouts we decided against taking too much connector control because we were spending like three smokes taking connector and we thought it was really important so that we could split A on them more easily.
But they were playing close ramp and default, so it wasn't the best idea, and in the timeouts we chose to go two halls, two ramp, one mid, we were trying to pinch them like this and search for entries. That worked and we stopped doing it towards the last round and it really hurt us a lot, because we got picked off, mixwell got picked off and the round just fell apart from there.
I talked to TACO after the group stage and he mentioned a specific connector smoke you were using while taking the control you were just talking about, can you explain what this was?
Yeah, we actually stole this from fnatic in practice, ironically, and did it versus them. It's basically that you molotov connector and then smoke the molotov, so it denies a lot of connector control.
Players like fer like to peek over the smoke, if they throw a smoke on the bottom, it makes it even better for you, so you're just taking advantage of the CT utility and then re-use your own utility, so you have connector for free all the time, you can do B splits for free all the time. The only real counter to it would be playing two short on Mirage, but other than that there's no real counter, you can't play in connector when teams do that, it's impossible.
In your Dust2.us interview, you said that you don't want to be the team that goes through groups and then fails in the playoffs. With this result it kind of happened the same way as in Oakland. What is the morale like in the team ahead of ECS?
We're not happy, obviously, but we're kind of satisfied because we communicated much better than at Oakland, the new role swaps helped a bit, people feel more comfortable, we just need to iron out the small mistakes, when people should push at certain timings and stuff.
We only had about a week of practice with these changes, with time it'll get better, but for now we work with what we have, hopefully it gets better throughout each event. I think in ECS we're probably make like top four, which is pretty easy to do, you win like two BO1's, standard GSL, so we should be fine in the future.
I already talked to friberg about the role swap, with mixwell and allu swapping roles, and he was happy about the change, what's your take on it, how is it going?
To clear up the role swap thing, a lot of people think it's because of allu. It's not really because of allu, it's because we wanted to fix all our roles, so in order to do that someone had to take one for the team. In this case it was allu, we all talked about it and we were like 'Who needs to take the sacrifice so HS can be the entry fragger?' and allu was a core member of the team when we went like mid on Mirage and stuff like this, so we needed him to take a step back and take the lurk position, because he's an experienced player, he knows the timings and stuff like this, and HS, who was lurking at the time, not so much.
So we swapped the roles so that HS can now entry, but in doing that we needed an AWPer in mid all the time, so we told mixwell to go ahead and do it, and then friberg and Magisk just have the same roles. That's how we fixed our roles, it wasn't because of allu, but allu did us a big favor by taking one for the team.
friberg is still a new in-game leader, what is the synergy between you guys, what kind of input do you have?
Basically, for LAN preparation, I will watch a lot of demos and I'll watch a lot of VODs before the match and see what's the best course of action. I'll see what the enemy team did right versus this team, what we can do better, what this team didn't do versus like fnatic for instance, and we just try to fix a plan.
If the plan doesn't work exactly, I have backup options that I can use in the timeouts that I keep in my notebook. Usually it works pretty well, I think most of our pauses were pretty decent, it's just that I need to get better at feeding him info so he can use it in the long term.
Something you talked about in the Peeker's Advantage podcast was the synergy between the in-game leader and the coach, have you reached that point with friberg where you understand what you need from each other?
Yeah, right away I knew I just couldn't put a structure in and just force it on everyone, we have people from so many different teams, we just need to make sure everyone is on the same page and especially me and friberg. There were so many ideas the first week of practice, it was insane, but now it's all good, we know everything we want to do, we play the same CS, we think the same, we talk the same, we have a lot of trust in our timeouts and stuff, so there's no conflicts.
I know how to calm the team down, he knows how to calm the team down, we just work really well together. I think I did that well with FNS as well, but it's not hard if you're just flexible as a coach. If you're not flexible, you're just going to get kicked from your team.