Snappi: "I think we have the best team at the tournament if we play up to our level"
After OpTic passed their first test at the Europe Minor by defeating 3DMAX in convincing fashion, we caught up with Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer to ask him about his team's progress over the last couple of months and their confidence to make it through.
OpTic's in-game leader shared what the issues were at the two DreamHack Open stops they attended since their debut at ESL Pro League Season 6 Finals, placing fifth-sixth in Austin and second in Jönköping.
Let's start with the period between your first tournament, ESL Pro League S6 Finals, and now - you struggled with a similar level of teams that are here at the two DreamHack Opens, what do you think was missing from the team that you've since focused on?
I actually think we needed time because we came from three different teams, basically, gade from North Academy, two North guys, and two Heroic players, so this was not just fitting one player into a playstyle that had already been built. We had to build it from scratch and take the good from everywhere. Obviously, my style is the one that we use the most, but, overall, I'm trying to figure out how to play the best. We also had to swap a lot of positions around because, initially, we just fit people where it made sense, but sometimes that just doesn't work.
I think the difference between now and those tournaments is that now we actually have a map pool - I think people are going to be surprised that we can actually, in my opinion, play all six maps. We proved that online because our Dust2 and Overpass have been looking good, and those were the two maps missing. We really worked on our map pool and that's the difference between now and then.
I don't think we were prepared enough for the other events because we just didn't have enough time, we spent almost a month in North America, and at that time, SK wasn't there, Liquid wasn't there, Cloud9 wasn't there, and NRG wasn't there, so there were no good teams to practice and we couldn't practice Renegades because we were facing them in the ESL One Cologne qualifier. So, basically, we didn't have good practice for almost a month and that really hurt us.
Recently, you've been looking on the upswing online, winning the qualifiers for Stockholm and the Europe Minor, how do you feel form wise? Are you at your peak?
I don't think we are at our peak at all yet, we still have a lot of work to do. I think that we'll probably need around five to six months before we reach our maximum potential, but right now we can definitely challenge everyone, maybe except for Astralis, but that's because they're just on another level right now. I think we can actually challenge every team except for Astralis at the moment.
You mentioned using your style and trying to come up with fitting in the rest, how would you compare how this team is playing now to how Heroic used to?
I think we rely more on defaults now. This team has better players individually and in Heroic I sometimes found it hard to just play a default style, because when we go up against Na`Vi, they have s1mple and electronic, and when we go up against Astralis, they have five really insane players individually. Even though I think the players I played with in Heroic were skilled they just weren't the best players in the world like some of the other teams we were facing.
Every time we went to the bigger tournaments we obviously had the worst seed, so we would usually face a top-four team in the world right off the bat, and then you have to play a different style. You can't beat them playing their style and that's the difference between this team and the Heroic team; in this team, we actually have the firepower to challenge them playing a more loose style. But still, I play with the same structure as I used to.
Looking at Group A here, 3DMAX, ENCE, and LeftOut, how do you feel about the group and your chances to win it after passing your first test here?
I think we've got the harder group, to be honest. I think in this group there are three teams that potentially could qualify for the Major, or have a really good shot at it. Getting out of this group, there's going to be one team left really disappointed. I think 3DMAX is a really good upcoming team, but they probably don't have much LAN experience, so I don't expect them to go out of the group, right?
I think that the three other teams have a really good shot at qualifying for the Major, so I see this as the harder group, but we are confident, we're playing good at the moment after the two last qualifiers as you said, and in practice we've been doing really well, so that gives you confidence.
What about the other group and your chances to go through to the New Challengers Stage?
I see them as good, I actually think that we have the best team at the tournament if we play up to our level. If we don't run into bad form at this tournament, I think we'll qualify.