mertz: "We get frustrated when we see that the CTs are starting to mount a comeback"
North had a tough series against the Poles today, frontrunning on both Train and Dust2, but struggling to close out the matches on the Terrorist side. The first two maps ended up being traded, but on Mirage, North was able to dictate the game from start to finish, securing a 2-1 win.
To start with this match, in the pre-match interview aizy mentioned that your main thing would be to not overcomplicate things when playing against AGO. Can you expand on that, tell me what the game plan was going into this match?
We know, or at least we like to think that we are a better team than AGO. We knew that they've had a really good group stage, so we tried to not focus on the matches they had before and play our own game, exactly like aizy said, just try to not overcomplicate things.
You started the BO3 on Train, you start the map pretty well, and actually, it was similar on Train and Dust2, good CT sides and then struggling on the T side to close it out. Were there similar issues on both maps?
I think that when we get on the T side we are confident that we are going to close it, so if we don't close it out quickly we get frustrated. That's a problem we need to fix before we go into the semi-final now. But the main issue is that we get frustrated when we see that the CTs are starting to mount a comeback.
Their CT sides in general, is there something that you figured out about them that is pretty good, is it just the individual skill of the players?
They have pretty good team play, I would say. One of the things is that snatchie has been a really good player at this event, so we tried to figure out where he likes to peek and if they have any setups where he is the main guy we need to focus on. Other than that we just followed ave's anti-stratting and came out on top.
How much did he have prepared for this match, for an example?
Compared to other matches, we didn't have that much for this one, we've met them a couple of times online, they won in the qualifier for this event and we won in ESL Pro League, so we know kind of how the veto goes, what maps they like to play and so. We had two maps lined up, not Dust2 because they have no officials on it until now, so we actually anti-stratted on Mirage and Overpass I believe. They surprised pick Train against us, we thought they wouldn't pick it because it is their map with by far the worst results on HLTV. Coming into the Train map we were just confident that we need to play our own game, concentrate on that.
About the Dust2 game, was it frustrating to lose in that matter, they got 12 CT rounds in a row?
It was kind of a flashback to the mouz game in the group stage. It's always frustrating when the other side makes the comeback happen. Of course, we were all really frustrated and some of us get angrier than others. As soon as we sat down at the PCs we were done tilting and we were ready for the next map.
On the last map, Mirage, it seemed like you had a mega-simple plan, you just went A all the time. Was that something you had prepared or you just saw it worked and you continued doing it?
A lot of it is just ave and MSL doing their job. MSL calling mid-round and strats from the start, and whenever ave calls for a tactical pause he gives some input. So yeah, it wasn't really a plan we had from the start, but when it works, you don't need to change it I guess.
A few weeks ago you won DreamHack Tours. I guess for North as an organization it's not a big achievement, but for you personally, I presume it is. Can you tell me about that and what that meant for you as a player?
First of all, I could see that we were all really happy for the win that we got because we've obviously been in a slump for the past... I don't know how long. I think Katowice was the only event where we were not satisfied, but OK with, since we were such a new team. Since then we haven't been OK with any result we've gotten because there was just really nothing to be OK with. For me personally, it was a great victory, it gave us some confidence coming into this tournament, and that's something you can't underestimate.
You've been putting up better numbers at this tournament, pretty good numbers actually, so how has your adaption to the tier 1 been, do you feel like you are set to take on these tier 1 teams now?
We've been practicing against a lot of tier 1 teams, even in the Academy, it's just a different playstyle. I wouldn't say that it's me adapting to playing against tier 1 teams, it's more me adapting to playing in the style MSL runs in the team against tier 1 teams.
Moving on to the semi-final you play NRG, you got the "easier side" of the bracket, what are your thoughts?
We are going to be pretty confident coming into it, we won in the group stage against them even though we lost Overpass pretty convincingly to them. NRG is a good team, they have good players, really talented, I'm sure they are going to put up a good fight but I hope we are going to come out on top.