We caught up with the first Lithuanian player to make it to a Major, Aurimas "Kvik" Kvakšys, after Quantum Bellator Fire beat EnVyUs and AVANGAR on day five to clinch a spot in the next stage.
We caught up with Aurimas "Kvik" Kvakšys, the first Lithuanian player to make it to a Major, and quizzed him about the match against the Frenchmen, who had to play with coach Damien "maLeK" Marcel, as well as against AVANGAR.
The 22-year-old also touched on other topics, such as the criticism towards the Minor system and the CIS Minor specifically:
I'd like to begin with your previous match against EnVyUs, where you started quite poorly but were able to recover on your T side without too many issues, can you talk me through the match from your point of view?
The start was shaky, we lost the pistol round and then we took the forcebuy round. We knew that we don't have good antiecos and we tried to change things up, and they again won the antieco round. Everything fell apart, we knew they were playing with the coach, and we tried to catch them off-guard, but it didn't work.
That's why we lost the first half and then we just steamrolled over them in the second half. We started with a good pistol, we won the buyround, we just went with the flow, round by round. Our morale was getting boosted and everyone started to scream, we gave high fives to each other and we just built up our confidence to win the game.
Was it hard to deal with ScreaM in that first half?
Yeah, actually, ScreaM was the only problem, he was everywhere! He was peeking mid, then he came to B, we were really surprised. But then we knew that he's playing B on the CT side and we tried to avoid him, just pushed up banana to pull him back, and then we went to A where the coach was playing. We just used that to our advantage.
Considering you played AVANGAR three times at the Minor and lost each time, how were you feeling getting that matchup?
We were feeling confident because back at the Minor we hadn't been playing together for a long time, we were a team for about two weeks for that Minor, so we kind of knew we are more prepared for this Major. We knew we could win this match, not easily because every time we played them it was really close and we actually threw one game with a 9-1 lead, so we were confident going into this matchup.
It seemed like a comfortable match from about halfway through the first half, can you tell me about how it went?
Actually, our team is very morale-based. If we get rolling, we can stomp any team, win against any team, that's the way we want play. We want to win rounds in a row so that we can boost our morale and just steamroll the whole game.
I talked to waterfaLLZ at the beginning of the tournament and he mentioned that the whole team was quite nervous, did that get better as the event progressed?
Yeah, of course. Three of us are playing at this level for the first time, against tier one teams, so we're kind of feeling that pressure and especially against teams we know that we can beat. We have nothing to lose against teams who are tier one, so we're just kind of trying to surprise them, trying some new things that we normally don't use.
Playing against teams that we can beat, we have more pressure on us, because everyone wants us to win and knew that we could win. But yeah, after the win against EnVyUs, we got our morale up and we got one game to rest, but we still had that morale of winning the game and we were confident.
As such a new team and as a team that has never competed at a level close to this before, what does it mean to make the Major here?
It means so much to us. As a team we're playing for two or three months, and those three months are like 20 days of bootcamp, three or four weeks of rest, just really messy. But our goal for this event was just to gain experience, we weren't actually aiming to get to the next stage, but after we saw the draws, we knew that it could work and that we could beat the teams we were playing against.
Looking at the teams, there were eight teams we could beat and eight teams that would be hard to beat, so we kind of knew we could qualify if we get lucky with the draws and don't get tier one teams every time. We got lucky, I guess, but we're really, really happy about it.
With that in mind, what are you going to be aiming for in the next stage?
Gain more experience, I guess, play against better teams, we will try our best to win, we're not playing just to lose, we're playing to win every game, and we will try our best to win against better teams.
I've been asking all the teams that qualified about the change that Valve introduced for this Major, including the Main Qualifier teams into it - how has that been feeling for you guys, did you feel like this was a qualifier or did you already feel like you were at a Major?
Getting stickers was okay, but it's still a qualifier, I think, we're going with that mentality just that we got stickers. It's cool that Valve decided that and I think it benefits them as well. I think they will change the Minor system as well. But yeah, we were lucky enough to get this and that's all.
With how the CIS teams have performed here, what are your thoughts on the criticism that the Minor system has been getting lately, especially the CIS Minor?
I don't know, the Minors are built to get teams from other regions to the world, to give them experience, and I think that's okay, I don't know why people are blaming it. It doesn't matter, the better team will win any time and we're just proving that not every time is the CIS region that bad, they can win against better teams.
For example, Vega Squadron came from the Minors and look how good they are playing now. That's all about getting exposed, I guess, getting that experience and I think they should stay like that.