EspiranTo: "I think invited teams thought they were going to go through [CPH Games] easily"
We caught up with Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas after his team, Imperial, lifted the trophy at Copenhagen Games 2018.
The 16-year-old Lithuanian was a standout performer in Imperial's run to the title, recording a 1.24 rating over 12 maps played in the main tournament. In the end, Imperial had to take down Heroic in the grand final to claim the $50,000 first place prize.
At the venue, dust2.us' Michael "Duck" Moriarty managed to speak with Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas about playing the BYOC, their expectations coming into the tournament and the feeling after taking down North and Heroic.
You just won Copenhagen Games, coming from the open bracket and going to the main stage, how are you currently feeling, after such an achievement?
I'm shocked because we didn't come to Copenhagen Games with the goal to win the tournament, we were really surprised that we made it this far and we are really surprised with our results.
So you came to the event to...
Qualify for the main tournament, and get experience to show what we can do.
Through this we beat some of the best Danish teams, we qualified for the main tournament without getting an invite, without going the easy way, we went the hard way. I think people should sit up and notice what we're able to do in the future.
You had to go through the BYOC qualifier before reaching the event. Do you see that as having time to practice beforehand and coming in warm, compared to teams that are just coming in cold?
I think the invited teams thought that they were going to go through this tournament really easily, but the qualified teams tryhard way more, they practice way more and they take the games way more seriously than the invited ones, that's why the upsets happened here.
The BYOC qualifier on the Thursday quite notably had quite a lot of delays, did that affect you in any way?
Yeah, because we didn't have a lot of sleep and the next day we had to play the playoffs, we had to play again until 2AM, so our gameplay was terrible at the end of the second day. It affected us in the Heroic match in the groups.
Through the qualifier playoffs, you had a fairly simple route, in terms of results. Did that set you up well going into the group stage games?
We were really confident because we got through the BYOC pretty easily. The only problem we had was with Tricked, because their playstyle is the opposite of ours and it really counters us, like Heroic as well, we had a really hard time against them. We were really confident after we won against Tricked since we lost to them last time we played on LAN, it helped us build confidence for the main tournament.
The only loss you had in the group stage was against Heroic, and then you faced them again in the grand final in a revenge match. Does getting revenge add some icing to the cake, in terms of the result?
It does, because the first time we played against Heroic we were really tired, the match was at 12AM, we didn't have much sleep that day, everyone was tired. Our gameplay was terrible and we couldn't do anything about it since the schedule was bad because of the internet problems, which affected us really negatively.
Throughout the tournament, your performances individually have been very good, topping the tables on occasions and keeping a high rating throughout. Are you happy with the performance, do you think it's the best you can do or can you do any better?
I think I played alright because I played the same way I play online, I played without fear, I took all the risks I usually take and that helped me to play better on LAN.
Speaking of online, you are in the ESEA Main playoffs, your first match is against LGR. I assume your main goal is to qualify for MDL for next season?
We must make it to MDL because that's why you play ESEA Main, there is no other point. We are going to make it probably, if we look at the results at Copenhagen Games, we should feel really confident about that.
In terms of offline tournaments, what's next for your team?
To be honest, I have no idea, but we are going to play all the qualifiers, for DreamHack tournaments, for IEMs and we are going to try our best to qualify for big events so we can prove ourselves once more.