valde: "Doing well this tournament was more important for us than you think"
We caught up with Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså, the DreamHack Valencia MVP, after his team's victory in the grand final on Spanish soil over Luminosity to talk about his performance, his team's run, and the importance of winning before the break.
DreamHack Valencia came to an end yesterday as North, with local favorite Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas standing in, went on to raise the trophy after defeating Fragsters in the semi-finals and Luminosity in the grand final.
valde was named MVP of the tournament, sporting an impressive 1.45 rating after nine maps played and with a +1.30 rating in all seven of his team's map wins. The Danish rifler also topped the ADR (101.2), KPR (0.95), and KAST (83.3%) charts.
We talked to valde about what helped him reach such good form, having mixwell as a stand-in, the match against Luminosity, and the importance of bagging the last trophy after a complicated season before the player break.
Everything clicked, you were on fire and played really well. What was it about this tournament that let you get to that point?
I think it was the atmosphere within the team. Once we got mixwell as a stand-in we all knew it was definitely possible to win even though we didn’t really have team practice prior to the tournament. I would say the team atmosphere was positive the whole time and even when we had rough starts, even when we were down 0-6 or 0-7, we always kept calm and knew if we just got five or six rounds we could grind the win out. I also think it was the mental game that kept us strong this tournament and obviously mixwell, me, and the rest of the team had a high individual level which made it all possible in the end.
Talking about you and mixwell. It seems you guys hit it off right from the start. You were talking a lot to each other and showing each other stuff. How did that synergy work out? How did that connection go?
Yeah, I guess we just had good synergy. It took a day or two before we got to know each other because I’ve never spoken to him before ever in my life. I talk a lot as a person and I can be pretty aggressive, while he’s very calm and actually the opposite of me, so that’s maybe why we clicked so well. He just had some really nice inputs and he was always really calm, never stressing during communication and he wanted to do every single peek we told him to do. He was just a really great stand-in guy to have.
Let’s talk a little bit about the final. Inferno was a little bit tighter, it had a hard-fought first half. What did you think about Luminosity’s aggressive plays through smokes or the way they go for those more individualistic "YOLO" plays. Did you have anything in mind going into the final?
We actually discussed if we should start on the T-side, because we knew their T-side would be the best cause they wrecked G2 on it, but me and mixwell told MSL that we should start on the favorite side. We chose to start on CT and we actually had a tough start but we were able to grind it out. We lost the pistol but luckily we won our force buys which I think broke their mentality.
You could see they were really down after that. Our T-side on Inferno is really good and I think it's easy to call in English because we just played default every round without having to tell mixwell a thousand things at once. I think it was just running a really good default, we knew if we controlled the economy that they would be unable to use their double AWP setup because HEN1 and yeL are really dangerous when they’re on the AWP. I think controlling the economy is the most important thing on Inferno.
And then Mirage, did you expect Luminosity to let Mirage go through, especially after seeing how they played against Heroic?
Yeah, 'cause we knew they had to ban Nuke. I think they lost the last eleven official Mirage games in a row or something, but we actually got destroyed by them in practice right before this tournament, so maybe it was a bit surprising that their Mirage is so weak at the moment, but we are confident on Mirage and we knew we could play a better game than we did against Heroic. The third map would have been Train, which we also played two times this tournament and won both, so we were pretty confident on Train as well.
There were some moments, especially at the beginning of the first map, when things were looking tense. You could see when Luminosity won close rounds, like when HEN1 won the two 1vs1 situations against mixwell, some of the players went crazy, and then after you broke them you brushed your shoulder. Was there little bit of a competition prior to the match? Or were you just really heated up?
No, we were just really heated up. We had a really good crowd going and it was amazing to see so many people come out and support us. It was all show for the camera, it wasn’t anything special, 'cause I really like all of the Luminosity guys. I’m really good friends with the twins as well as with steel and their coach, zakk. They deserve some respect this tournament, they beat some really good teams.
I know they bootcamped in Europe prior the Minor qualifier, where they, unfortunately, didn't qualify, so I know they are a team that puts in a lot of hard work and they definitely have the talent to go far. I think they just need to become more consistent. I also think they have a really risky playstyle with the double AWP setup, some games it works really well for them and others not so much.
Do you think that is a playstyle that favors you?
Yeah, I think so, in some way. We play really structured CS, so we would smoke everything and flash every angle and stuff, so I think we can play really well against a team like that. It’s hard to say, though, because we didn’t put that much into it this tournament and we played kind of random ourselves.
You played with a stand-in and were one of the favorite teams to take the tournament. Still, how is it going to feel within the team to win a tournament again and lift the trophy?
It feels amazing at the moment because when we go home we have a holiday, and if we went out early in groups then the atmosphere in the team would have been pretty down. Doing well this tournament was more important for us than you think, and it is also a really good victory individually for mixwell cause I don’t know if he will be playing with us in the future, although I don’t think so.
I just to give final credits to mixwell for playing so amazing as a stand-in. It’s really hard going inside a team and everytime you make a mistake you may feel that the entire team will blame you, but he just kept totally calm and collected throughout the whole tournament and I respect him for that.