jks: "With this lineup, it's definitely the best chance [to advance] we've had"
In our next interview from Atlanta, Justin "jks" Savage discussed Renegades' chances in the preliminary stage and their two matches so far.
We always like to find out how teams have prepared ahead of the biggest tournaments, so tell me how the preparation went and whether you've done anything special ahead of the Major.
Before the Major qualifier we had a bootcamp at our house in Detroit, we flew NAF in, because he doesn't normally live with us. We practiced for about six or seven days coming off the month-long break that we had. We tried to get as many individual hours as we could while we're on break, but obviously people want to spend time their families and relax before the season starts.
When we came back to the house we just tried to get back in shape by playing as many hours of CS as we could per day, getting a lot of scrims, about six or seven scrims a day and on top of that we did theory to get some more strats in, go over the strats that we had previously towards the end of last year, and that's about it.
What did you think about your first matchup, Vega Squadron, and how did it go for you in the end, what went wrong on Mirage?
We had a good game plan versus them, we watched their demos and we had an overall idea of what they were going to do. We haven't faced them before, they kind of reminded us of the Chinese teams, Flash and TyLoo, because they always forcebuy and push a lot of smokes. They played really well, they had a lot of really good shots on us, seemingly it looked like wherever we went they always had two or three people on the bombsite on T side, so that was kind of tough.
I'm pretty sure they also countered our pistol, so I think they had a good idea of how we played. On the CT side, personally I didn't play very well, I hesitated in a few situations and that cost us some rounds where we got our economy reset. I think it was just a combination of them playing really well and us being sort of rusty in the morning, but props to them, because they played really well.
They're one of the most aggressive teams, was that tough to handle?
We were caught off-guard for about two or three rounds on the T side where they pushed through the smokes in middle, and also a round on A, we knew that they were going to do it from watching their demos, but it still caught us off-guard.
In that sense, was the EnVyUs match-up more comfortable for you?
Yeah, I'd say it was more comfortable for us, just because we played them before and we have more info on them. We've played them in practice, we've also played them in official before, and we've watched a lot of their games, we also watched their game on Cache yesterday versus C9.
We feel more in our comfort zone that we've actually played these opponents before and we can kind of expect what to do, and we also had very a good game plan, the night before we went over some of their demos, our coach kassad came up with a good game plan and we all knew what we had to do.
Now that you've gotten a little bit more warmed up into the tournament, being 1-1, do you feel confident that you'll advance?
Now that we finally got a win under our belt, we can kind of relax just a tiny bit, going 0-2 today would have been really bad for us. Now that we have this win we can kind of reset and refocus on our next matches, which I'm not sure who we could play, but I think EnVyUs was probably one of the harder teams to play right now, so I'm glad that we beat them and we also beat them in convincing fashion, it gives us a confidence boost.
As a team that has been missing out on Majors for quite a long time, what is your goal here?
Well, obviously the goal would be to make it past the qualifier stage and then I guess we can set our next goal, which would be to get out of groups. It's been quite a while since we made it into the actual Major, and at a lot of our previous qualifiers we have had some disappointing results, I think we weren't really playing like ourselves at any of them, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and we just didn't really perform as we expected.
I guess the goal for this Major is to keep focused, stay sharp, and just make it past the qualifier stage, because after that, we can reset our sights and push for more goals.
Do you feel like this is your best chance to do so considering you've been looking up lately?
With this lineup, it is definitely our best chance that we've had in the past. I think we have five really good players that get along together and we know how each other plays in game. I think we have a good overall style that we're using right now, I think everyone knows what their role is in the team to an extent.
With the previous wins that we came off last year, with Starladder, iBUYPOWER, and Oakland games, which we obviously didn't make it out of groups but we still played pretty well, I think that should give us the confidence that we need to hopefully get out of the qualifier.