s1mple: "[At the bootcamp] I practiced a lot individually"
HLTV.org talked with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev after Natus Vincere defeated HellRaisers at StarSeries i-League Season 4, going 1-0 up in the Swiss group stage.
The first map of the series between HellRaisers and Natus Vincere was a tightly contested one, as Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow's team pressured the Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko and co. despite playing with Kevin "HS" Tarn as a stand-in. However, Natus Vincere closed out the map and then took Inferno fairly comfortably, securing the 2-0 for the series.
Let's start with the Major, what did you think about what Na`Vi did there, the placing and the games you played?
At that point, we played two or three months together, as a five we didn't have a long bootcamp because of tournaments. First there was DreamHack, then the break because of New Year, then after we prepared for the Major. There, our road to the semi-final was not hard, to be honest, everyone can see that the only tier 1 team that we beat was fnatic. We faced against QB.Fire and then the important match was against FaZe because we played against them on practice, we knew what they were going to do, but something happened with us, it was once again a problem in our heads. We didn't play like we usually play on those two maps, Inferno and Mirage. It was not really a good and not really a bad result, it's just the beginning for us.
Before the Major you requalified for EPL, you played some EPL matches last week and you personally had some crazy games. How are you feeling about your form and about what you have shown so far this year?
The first two games in EPL, against HellRaisers, I didn't play on my form really, because it was the first day of the bootcamp and for the next three or four days of bootcamp I practiced a lot individually because we had a week break before that. So far we did a great result I guess, because we beat FaZe, who are favorites to go to the LAN finals, we won against HellRaisers, and won one and lost one map against North, but we had more rounds than them in total so it's really good for us. I'm just looking forward to playing more matches, last season we finished next to last so it's an important tournament for us.
With all that in mind, the tournaments you played before and your form individually, what was the expectation like coming to this tournament?
First of all I want to say thank you StarLadder for this great Swiss format with BO3's. Now it's not going to be random like in BO1 matches, that because of some mistakes of the better team lose to the underdog.
Our minimal goal here is top 8, like for any team, and I'm always saying that of course we want to win the tournament, but we are going to take it step by step, we didn't really practice a lot because of time constraints. Now that we didn't qualify for Katowice and we will have one month of practice, but we will have WESG in China so we will have to practice with our national team as well. I just want to get some time to practice together, like for one month, but it's not possible right now.
The first game you had here was against HellRaisers, playing against ANGE1, bondik, two players from your country, there are some ex-teammates between the teams, what was the feeling like going into that match?
For me, it's like I'm playing against any team. It's our opponent, I know that they prepared pretty well. Unfortunately, ISSAA didn't get a visa and I heard that woxic got sick yesterday or two days ago, so they didn't show their strongest performance because of these details. But it was a great match for us, we knew that they were going to pick Cobblestone or Overpass. We didn't start well though, we lost a full eco round because of miscommunication. But then we came back and we knew that on the second map, Inferno, we have 80-85% win rate so we were really confident, even though Zeus was feeling pretty bad, having some stomach issues.
Is there anyone you would like to get in the draw for the next matchup? Or is there anything else to add?
I don't really care who we are going to play because I know that we are going to meet strong teams if we are going to play well, it's going to happen sooner or later. I just want to say thanks to everyone for your support and we are going to practice more and more to get Na`Vi back to the top level.