daps: "It was all just about practicing better and knowing what to fix"
This time around, NRG changed up their veto, and after starting horribly on Inferno, managed to strike back on Nuke and then seal the deal on Train, with both maps going convicningly their favor.
In the pre-match interview, ImAPet mentioned that this was going to be a different match than the one you played against Liquid before. So what were the feelings, thoughts going into the matchup now?
I think that over the tournament, we gained a lot of experience and composure. The first day, when we played team Liquid, we just landed and played 10 hours later, so it was a little rough, we didn't get to warmup or practice. But over the course of the tournament, the North series helped us the most, I think. The series was a little closer, but we started talking about everything, communicating more, and fixed a few of our strats that we used over the tournament. Overall, we came into the vetos differently because we messed up the vetos versus Liquid the first time and it just kind of panned out.
What do you think you messed up in the original veto?
Well, I don't know why we picked Cache. Recently in scrims we've been destroying teams on Cache so we kinda felt really confident on it, even though Nuke was the obvious pick. I think the only reason we didn't pick Nuke was that they had a close game versus Astralis and Astralis is probably the best Nuke team in the world, in my opinion. I think that's why we shied away from it, but this time we were more like: "Nuke is one of our stronger maps" so we picked it.
Nuke has been updated a couple of times in the past few months, smaller tweaks going on on the map. At the same time, I guess it's a hard map to get good practice on because a lot of teams don't play it. So what are your thoughts on these little changes and practicing, playing Nuke at the moment?
I think Nuke is a pretty good map, the vent change I don't think was that important or great, but overall the map has slowly gotten better. The only reason I don't like Nuke as much is that you can't do too much on it. It's pretty favored around outside control, executing upper isn't that strong, it's mainly just quick rushes that work upper. Overall I think Nuke is a pretty good map but I just think it can get stale pretty quick.
Moving into the match against Liquid, you started 0-8 on Inferno, obviously not a good start. Is it just the young guys, playing on the stage for the first time for some of them, that played into the start of Inferno?
I don't think we were nervous at the start of Inferno, we just really couldn't trade. There was a round nitr0 was under porch and we just couldn't kill him, and I don't think it was a badly played round. It wasn't really nerves, we just weren't hitting shots. We grinded out five rounds and made it kind of respectable, overall, I think that after the North series we started to find our composure on LAN and everyone is fairly calm, no one is losing their shit, our retakes our good, people are talking a lot more and it all just came together.
After that it was the Nuke game that you kind of had control from start to finish, how did you see that map playing out? Was winning the second pistol what allowed you to close it out?
Yeah, T-side pistol on Nuke is really important. A lot of the strats and defaults we run on Nuke can snowball if we get T-side pistol. We sort of had a game plan coming in, of what we wanted to do, we didn't anti-strat them at all, we just kind of know what we want to do on the map.
One of the things that you did was use that molotov to prevent the outside smoke wall. Did you actually expect it to work that well, it seemed like it messed up their outer takes a lot?
That's not something we do too often, but a lot of teams have been doing it to us so we just figured out it is good, because whenever teams do it to us it really messes with us. And I know Nuke is a map Liquid don't play that much, so we threw a wrench in, I don't think they have a reaction to it that is practiced that well. I'm sure they know how to play it, but they haven't had the reps they've had on maps like Inferno and Mirage, for example.
Lastly, Train, what do you think was the key thing to getting that good CT side and winning the map?
Well, CT side Train has always been our worst, by far, so we were almost leaning towards picking T side when we won the knife round. There is not really anything to it, we didn't watch any of their Train, we just kind of remembered how they played from scrims. I wish I could give a more in-depth answer, but on Train we just played our own game and kept it cool.
You mentioned a lot of things that went into this win, but people will still be wondering how did NRG manage to upset Liquid, who were a contender for the tournament. So maybe reiterating some stuff that you already said, what got you into the position to beat Liquid?
I think, to go back to what TACO said, I assume that when he said "Stay humble", he meant... in practice, we get carried away a lot. I think ImAPet came in and definitely gave us a bit more structure in practice. It's not like we didn't practice properly, but sometimes the scrim would just deteriorate over time, like when we are winning by a lot or they are winning by a lot it sort of gets messy. So I think we used the practice time after our losses really effectively, and the composure is the main thing. The players on my team all have insane skill, it's not like they can't outaim other people on other top teams, it was all just about practicing better and knowing what to fix.