flamie: "When we watched the demos, we saw FaZe have a lot of problems as well"
We had a chat with Egor "flamie" Vasyliev about Natus Vincere's outlook at the ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals and their run to the semi-finals, in which they beat MVP PK, Heroic, and FaZe.
Natus Vincere are the first team through to the semi-finals after topping Group A. On the first day, the CIS-based squad beat MVP PK before facing a strong-looking Heroic, who took Na`Vi to their limit in their series.
Nonetheless, Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko & co. prevailed and went on to beat FaZe on day three, earning a ticket straight to the semi-finals in Dallas. Afterward, we grabbed Egor "flamie" Vasilyev for an interview about their group stage run:
Going back to yesterday and particularly your match against Heroic, which ended up being much closer than expected, can you talk me through the match from your point of view?
Versus Heroic, we knew that they have a very nice Nuke and that they don't play Cache as well, so we did some preparation, a little bit for Cache, but we didn't think they would pick it. We thought they might pick Train, but they picked Cache. We told ourselves that if we lose Cache, it's okay, we need to win our pick, Overpass, and the last map.
When we lost Cache, we didn't really tilt or anything like that, we just knew that the second map was our pick, Overpass. It didn't really start well for us on Overpass as well, we lost the first half 5-10 and even lost the pistol, so when the score was 11-5, we said "guys, we don't usually win the games against a score like that, so maybe it's our time to win the game, finally" and we started to win some rounds, we won the forcebuy, and won some crucial rounds.
We won Overpass overall, and on the last map on Mirage, we won the first half 12-3 on the T side, and we thought maybe the game is over, but you should never think like that. I'm always saying that, but you can't be ready for this, you know you're winning 12-3 on the worse side... We almost threw the game, we were losing 13-15, took the last two rounds and won in overtime.
We didn't expect to play such a close game, but they're a really nice team and we had a lot of practice versus them, because we thought they wouldn't go to Dallas, they didn't qualify. Then we just saw the news that they will attend, and, of course, they had good preparation for us, but we managed to beat them.
Can you tell me about your decision to start playing Cache from time to time, as a map that you never played, why now?
We don't really play it, we had like zero scrims on it, we just felt they wouldn't pick it, or if they picked it we would win, because we play better individually, but it didn't work, so I don't think we will play Cache anymore at this tournament.
What was so different about today? Being able to 2-0 FaZe is no small feat, what was so special about today?
Yesterday, we had like five hours of preparation for FaZe, we know they are a very good team, they just won Sydney, they're in good form. But when we watched the demos, we saw they have a lot of problems as well, so they're not unbeatable. We said that we had good preparation, we have good players, we're in good form, so we can win it, and we did.
Do you feel like skipping Sydney helped you in the end, particularly in regards to preparation?
Yeah, I think it really helped. We knew we could have visa issues, so we had a talk before Sydney that if we didn't get a visa, we would skip Sydney and have a bootcamp. Our goal was Dallas, so we had a good bootcamp and after that, we came here. One more thing is that we didn't travel like 24 hours from Sydney to here and we don't have a big jetlag, we only have the classic USA trip, so that's a little bit easier to adapt to compared to FaZe.
It's a given that s1mple is always going to be in solid form, but it has always been quite a question mark whether the other players would always show up. Is the rest of the guys in form as well in Dallas?
Yep, I think we're definitely in good form, everyone, even on Mirage when we won against FaZe, me and s1mple were bottom fragging and Zeus was top-fragging with electronic. Everyone can step up and I'm happy that everyone is playing so well.
Now that you've secured a spot in the semi-finals, you'll have a day off tomorrow, how will you use that? Do you see it as a good thing?
We will probably rest today, but we will prepare for our opponent tomorrow. It's not really good to have an off day before the semi-finals, because the teams from the quarter-finals play and they get a feeling of the stage or something like that, but, of course, it's nice to qualify for semis that early, we're happy we did.