Our next interview from the Europe Minor is with NiP's new in-game leader, Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson, who shared his thoughts on the Swedes' shaky run thus far and told us how he's adapting to his new role.
After his last match of day three in London, Lekr0 sat down with us to talk about his new role as an in-game leader and his first experience in doing that in a LAN environment. He also shared his point of view of NiP's run thus far and the struggles they've had to overcome throughout the tournament up to this point.
Your group stage run was quite up and down, especially with how you started against Red Reserve where you came back from a pretty large deficit, how would you evaluate the group stage as a whole from your perspective?
I think we were pretty disappointed in the group stage. Sure, we managed to beat Red Reserve in the first game, where we felt we should have closed it out earlier, but, at the same time, we had a rough start, so it's kind of okay. Sometimes it happens at LAN in the first game you play, you get a rough start, but I'm glad we had the mentality to come back.
The Sprout game took a lot out of us, we were really disappointed and a bit angry with how we played, but we managed to talk it through afterwards and solve some things. It didn't show today against OpTic, but it's alright, still.
In the rematch against Sprout today, you looked confident in the first map, but on Mirage you once again started out poorly and couldn't come back from that even though the attempt was there - was that just complacency, or what went wrong there?
I'm not really sure. We got off to a bad start, of course, but we managed to almost throw the game from that point since we lost 13 rounds I think it was, just because we thought we had a read on what to do, on how they would play and how we should play against them, just because they're not a highly skilled team, just individually.
So we decided to take some more duels, just be confident, and I think we gave them duels they were more confident in than we were, so I think we kind of threw it with our mindset a bit. We realized we shouldn't underestimate them, so we played with full focus for the last game on Train.
Touching on the in-game leadership change, what led to that? Was it just dennis not wanting to do it anymore, or was it your initiative?
From the beginning, I don't think dennis has ever really liked in-game leading. I think it got to a point where he really didn't want to do it since Cologne was really bad for us and that is where we made the decision. He decided that he really doesn't want to do it and I volunteered, I said I could try it out, if the guys liked it we could keep doing it, and if not, someone else could try it. And they agreed to it after some practices that it was alright.
So it was right after Cologne that you took over?
Yeah, it was right after Cologne.
How has that progressed since then? How did it work in practice and what has it been like doing it on LAN here for the first time?
We played incredibly well in practice. I think that's also why some of these tight games are taking a toll on us, since we had really good practices. We expected it to go just the same, but of course the teams play differently, we ourselves play differently, so I think we just want to find the way we play in practice, the same confidence.
Myself, in practice I usually frag really well, but it's not the same when I'm calling on LAN, so I think I need to get used to playing my own game a bit so that I don't fall behind.
Do you just find your focus drawn to adapting the game plan rather than your own game now, especially in the close matches that you have played here?
Yeah, of course, when the games are tight, I have to focus more on plans and stuff like that. When things are going well, people take the duels they want, come up with feedback and take initiative. But when it's tough, everyone wants to be on the same page, we need one plan and that's the plan I have to come up with, so sometimes just looking for the answers takes a bit of my own focus away.
You still have one best-of-three that you need to win to go to the Major, either against OpTic - who you've already faced here - or ENCE, who you had faced in Cologne and it didn't go very well. How confident do you feel going into that after your run so far?
I'm not really sure who I'd prefer, actually, or how I feel about them. I think we played a really bad Inferno against OpTic. We got Overpass, but on Nuke we played really bad, we never got into the game, I think we should have warmed up more, our individual skill was really low for that game.
On Inferno, I think we just played ourselves, our individual game was the main factor why it didn't work as CT, that was the main problem, we barely got to play any T rounds on Inferno since it was 16-3, so it was a bit hard for us. I think if we just get into the groove like we did with Sprout here, I think everyone was feeling on point, then we can play against either team and then we don't care who, I think.
NiP haven't made the Major for a long time, how do you see this affecting the players that have actually gone through this? Does it show in-game or even out of the game how important this is for them?
Everyone has been spending more time playing CS and everything, the focus is just unreal, we have had so much practice. I think we're really prepared for this, I just hope we can show that and manage to qualify because I know everyone has been putting everything to this. Everyone in the team. From how much they play, I know how much they want to go through.