lmbt: "We decided to not give a damn about the map pick [vs. NiP]"
Facing NiP in the first match of the playoffs, mousesports went for a pick of Mirage that didn't end up going their way. However, with some adaptations to NiP's gamestyle, the European mixture managed to take the series by winning Inferno and Nuke.
I want to start with getting your general feelings about going into the quarter-final, playing NiP. Can you tell me a bit about the game plan, what you expected from the veto and how you wanted the match to go?
Our head-to-head history against NiP, to be honest, is really bad. We had something like 4W-14L before this, mousesports as an organization has never beat NiP on LAN in a BO3 I guess, so it was zero pressure, but we still felt something, that time has maybe finally come. We are a bit better team now, better ranked, maybe we should win today.
Preparation - we decided to not give a damn about the map pick, we were like "If they ban Mirage we will pick Nuke, if they ban Nuke we will pick Mirage, we don't care if they are good on the maps". And we knew what the third map should be, we knew that they would ban Dust2, we kind of expected them to pick Inferno as well, since we lost it to AGO, and were looking sloppy on it as well. But I don't know why they risked picking Nuke, yeah, we lost 16-2 to Na`Vi, but that was kind of just a bad game in general. Maybe they were practicing it a bit more, maybe we looked strong on Train, I guess it was a risk.
Starting on Mirage, you lose the pistol, then suNny has a 4k with a Deagle, which is becoming a trademark of his, just walking into the A site, but still, it doesn't end up being a good map for you guys. So what happened, what were the issues for you?
To be honest, we decided to play situationally, we didn't have some sort of a turbo-prepared game plan, and we were making correct decisions that were just executed badly. f0rest killed three guys, one by one, from jungle, for example. Then at a 9-2 score, or something like that, guys just said "OK, let's get the bomb down because that was the only round we actually won. Let's get the bomb down and we will win the clutch". That's how we ended up 9-6, we won the pistol, it was 9-9. Then we lost two really scrappy rounds, that was the only round from a game plan, to push underground in the first gun round. And the push worked, to be honest, but unfortunately, oskar got killed without a frag.
There were no bad feelings about the map, we had the reads, we had normal positions. They were playing some sort of A-B-C CS, very simple CS, and they were just hitting their shots. It was nothing special, we didn't feel too sad about the map. We just figured out that for following maps that they are playing simple, that they are playing kind of A-B-C, and that we don't need to overthink and overrotate at all. So, on the other two maps, no matter what happened on the map, the guys were just holding their guns out. We didn't have any bad feeling about Mirage, to be honest.
Inferno started interestingly with the pistol round, chrisJ was playing solo B, he tried to go for an info play, REZ killed him and pushed into B, but you still had four guys on A, they came into the site and you managed to kill them. What was going on, how did you have the read they were coming A?
We didn't have the read, but Chris only saw one guy, and obviously, until CT is smoked, they are not B. Also, one of the guys, I think it was oskar, he made steps on speedway and then came back, so if they would have heard the steps they might go A, we didn't know if he was in B or not. So that was the call, we knew as well that if they are already B, we will need to come for the retake anyway, it doesn't matter if we rotate one by one or all together, so we tried to guess - and it just worked.
You closed out Inferno and went on to Nuke, and it was a totally different Nuke to what we saw you play against Na`Vi. What are the biggest differences comparing the NiP game to the Na`Vi game?
I mean, as everyone knows, oskar kind of brought the shotgun meta to his position. So yesterday against Na`Vi it was not working, today he asked me "Do you still trust my shotgun?", I said "Of course I do, but if it will not work, then just play in the same way, but with the rifle, so you will have more versatility". And then he aced, got three kills, four kills and stuff with the rifles. He was still picking up the shotgun, but in general, he got a lot of multikills with the rifles and that was the only, small change.
We had a talk, but it wasn't a super big talk about the map. It was a talk just about this position, basically. He felt that something was wrong because of this vent change and stuff, he didn't feel comfortable. But then we figured out that nothing special actually happened in the Na`Vi game, everyone was just playing bad. And Nuke is a map where if you have bad rotations and communication, the thing that happened against Na`Vi will happen to you. So today, especially after the first map, we had better communication and everything was fine, obviously.
You mentioned that oskar didn't feel on point because of the small change. Is he generally a guy, it feels like he is at least, that can be put off by small things? And how do you deal with that as a coach?
No, no, no, not at all. He never gets put off by changes, he is one of the best guys at adjusting, he is doing it really quickly with these kinds of things. It's not like something happened about it. I'll explain it: before the tournament, we played the new version of Nuke once, we didn't have time to play it more, and in practice, it was no different. We won the same way, pretty hard on the CT side, I don't remember who it was, we won the map, and we didn't feel that anything was uncomfortable.
That's why, after Na`Vi's match, I said that we didn't have some super analysis, thinking that we have to change everything right now. We thought, "OK, maybe let's try to buy rifles sometimes if it will not work with shotguns". I don't feel anything bad about Tommy in general, he is a super good guy and he adjusts to everything, before the match, during the match, when changes came... he is just a good player.
Moving forward, you are in the semis and it's either SK or Na`Vi that you are going to be playing. Playing in Kiev again, you won the last tournament here, you are from Ukraine... so what's the feeling taking all of that into account?
We know that it will be hard to play against Na`Vi tomorrow if they win now, but on the other hand, we are the team that is always playing against the home crowd, in their home stadium, at every tournament. It will not add any pressure to us, but we want to play Na`Vi. Firstly, they want to get revenge for the loss in the group stage, secondly, it's a classic match, we've been facing each other a lot, we played at almost every LAN tournament, we played either in the groups or the playoffs. It's always nice to play them. On the other hand, we only played this SK at DreamHack Masters, but now they are improved, so it would also be interesting. But I'm cheering for Na`Vi, because I'm from Ukraine, right?