phr: "After Furlan took the IGL role we have more freedom, everyone is making big plays"
AGOkicked off the tournament by beating their countrymen Virtus.pro on the first day, and kept on impressing after that. NiP fell in two maps before, today, Damian "Furlan" Kislowski and co. took down mousesports to book a playoff spot.
We talked with phr after the game and heard about the impressions of making the playoffs, his role on the team and more.
To start, I just want to get your initial impressions of going 3-0 here and going to the playoffs of a big tournament.
We are pretty happy with the result, our planned minimum was to get out of the groups, we did it with a 3-0, which is a bit surprising, even for us. We are pretty happy, what can I say, we are going further.
Let's start with winning against Virtus.pro, obviously, they aren't as good as they used to be, but they are a team that I guess everyone in Poland looked up to. So how was getting that victory against the legends of Polish CS?
Yeah, they are the legends and, of course, we are going into the match like any other, with full focus. I think that was the hardest match for us because they were focused as well, they wanted to prove themselves.
Is a part of it that you can't think about them as legends, instead see them as a normal opponent, so you don't put more pressure on yourself?
They are legends in Poland, everyone knows them, everyone wants to be like them, so it was pretty stressful when we played them for the first time [online], but this time it was just like any other match.
The next game you played, there was a similar thing but internationally, playing against NiP. Coming into that match, I guess you didn't have a feeling that you are playing against big players and a big team, even though it kind of is like that, you didn't play tier 1 teams on LAN that often?
Yeah, this is pretty much our first big LAN against tier 1 teams. To be honest, I didn't know exactly what to expect from them, but I expected a bit better performance. I think it would end in two maps, but closer than they were. We just made some big mistakes and that was pretty bad from us, but we are working on it, we are still new on this level.
On Mirage, against NiP, you had a couple of good mid-round calls that saved you even when you lost a couple of entry picks, you would rotate, play it slower, it seemed like you would always end up winning the round. Who is behind those mid-round calls?
It's pretty much everyone, after Furlan took the IGL role we have more freedom, pretty much everyone, and everyone is making big plays. When something happens, everyone reacts to it and that's how the round goes. It's hard to explain, but we have a few different styles that we keep improving.
After that you were 2-0 and you got to face mousesports. Tell me about going into that match, what was the mentality like, what were you expecting?
The mentality was good, the preparation was good as well, I'm going to be honest, we just didn't want to play versus Liquid, we aren't scared of them but we can see that they are playing very good CS at the moment. So we were hoping for SK or mousesports and we got mousesports, so we were pretty happy. We played them before, in an ESL Pro League match, we drew and pretty much threw the second map, so we were pretty happy with that opponent.
Tell me about your role in the team. Back when I did a feature on your squad, when you were just coming together, getting to the Minor, you were described as a support player. Now, at this tournament, you are the second highest rated player on your team, you've been playing pretty well. Has anything changed in the last couple of months for you personally?
I mean, personally, I was practicing a lot more, in the gaming rooms I was deathmatching for four or five hours a day. That's the first big thing that leads to me feeling good. The second thing is the new IGL, Furlan, and he is, like I said before, giving us freedom, so I can do more solo plays. But overall, my role in the team is mostly support still, sometimes second entry and sometimes, depending on the situation, I'm even the lurker. So pretty much everything.
You've been playing a lot of offline tournaments and online tournaments, lower tier stuff. Did that maybe hamper your progression in any way? Do you feel if you had maybe skipped some of those tournaments and focused on practicing, would that maybe help you reach things like this, playoffs of bigger tournaments, earlier?
We are mostly playing online tournaments because it's an official game, so everyone is playing at 100%. Sometimes on praccs, teams like to practice something, let's say, very stupid, that doesn't allow us to practice our stuff. So we are mostly playing online tournaments because of that. About the offline events, the last even was DreamHack Tours, we didn't get out of the groups, that was pretty disappointing from us. We did some practice after that, fixed our mistakes, and I think that's all.