s1mple: "I'm proud and happy about the work that we did as a team"
s1mple had yet another great event and was consistent throughout the event, putting up big numbers against the likes of fnatic, Cloud9 and Astralis, edging out his teammate Denis "electronic" Sharipov in the MVP race.
After winning his first Intel Grand Slam title with this Natus Vincere squad, which was also the first event they won that featured all of the top teams, we talked to s1mple about the tournament and the teams they faced in the playoffs.
The last time we talked you said your goal was to win the big tournaments with Astralis and FaZe in attendance, which you absolutely did do. How does it feel, what are your first impressions?
It feels really great, I'm proud and happy about the work that we did as a team, before every tournament. And yes, finally we did it, it's an important win for us, at a tournament where all the teams are. Now we know how everyone plays and we know that we have one week to fix everything and prepare for ELEAGUE.
Once again, you played the final against an unexpected team, similarly to StarSeries. Is there a wish that you got the win against FaZe? Would it be more satisfying?
I would say that if we would win over FaZe I would be more excited after the game, firstly because if it was FaZe, they would have the chance to get the first Grand Slam. BIG is a really good team, they prepared very well for this tournament and they deserved the final. But playing against them it is a bit different than playing against FaZe or Astralis, because in those matches you can be the underdog, they are really good teams. When you are the favorite, it's more scary to play against a team like BIG, there is more pressure. It was very weird to play the first two maps, I didn't have any emotions, I don't know what happened with me. Maybe it's because when you play the final, something always happens. But still, it would be exciting to beat FaZe, Astralis or another team with a big name in the grand final, it is more exciting I guess.
The only map you lost in the grand final was Dust2, as a team, you don't feel comfortable on that map yet?
Yeah, I think that not all players know how to play on their positions, we all have time to fix this still. I don't know, against BIG there were so many stupid mistakes like contacting mid when they had a force-buy so nex did an ace. Also when we lost a force, when they went out catwalk, there are so many mistakes that happened again and again.
On that map you went for a lot of entries, maybe risky peeks with the AWP on the CT side. Because the team isn't practiced on the map, did you feel that you had to do those plays, to get the entries early, sometimes doing too risky plays?
At the end of the CT half I did two risky plays because I just wanted to win those rounds, I knew that it was going to be hard on the T side for us. But still, I did everything that Zeus told me, before I do something, I always ask Zeus if it is going to be ok with the team and if it is not going to fail the round for us.
In the semi-final against Astralis you did a lot of force buys, something you kind of are famous for at this moment. Was it a plan to not allow them to build an economy by going for a lot of force buys? And who calls them?
kane said we should force buy before the first map, Overpass. He always says that if you kill three on your force buy and still lose the round, you should still force. You shouldn't allow your enemy to get a better economy, to get double AWP or something like that. For example, when we know that they don't have an AWP on the CT side, I'm trying to not buy the AWP at all because if we are to lose a round they are going to take my AWP, so there is no point. It is really comfortable for me to play with different weapons. And it's a big boost for your economy as well.
You got the MVP here, it's the fifth of this year and seventh in total, I guess this is the favorite one considering the size of the tournament?
Yeah, this one is the favorite because we put in a lot of work. We had more confidence because we knew that the strats that we do are working. We just practiced a lot for all tournaments with this lineup, and when the tournament starts we are still practicing.
Now you are the longest standing team in the top 10, you said that you are feeling confident in this lineup, do you feel that you've been together for a long period of time as well?
We feel like we always fix our mistakes, if we have some problems we always try to fix them. Everyone works really hard, all of the players, the coach... We always listen to kane, he is one of the smartest people I've met in this game, he explains a lot of things, stuff about the economy and everything.
As a team, you were making all of the playoffs, then you won a couple of smaller tournaments, now you won the big tournament as well. Is setting the sights on winning the Major, is that the next thing maybe?
The next three tournaments are ELEAGUE, DreamHack Masters Stockholm and the Major, the most important tournaments for us are ELEAGUE and the Major. Of course we want to win them. At DreamHack we are going to test some new things, maybe play more maps that we usually don't play to get more experience.