We sat down with Janusz "Snax" Pogorzelski after his mousesports beat FaZe in a three map opener at the ELEAGUE Studios in Atlanta to talk about joining the European combine and opening a new chapter in his career.
mousesports struggled on the first map of their opening match in Atlanta, Train, giving it up to FaZe, but were then able to recover on Cache and Mirage to seal the deal and move on to the Group B winners' match where they will face Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's Natus Vincere.
After a tumultuous time which eventually saw him depart his longtime team, Virtus.pro, Snax has regained his motivation after joining the European side mousesports. Now looking to get back in shape, the Polish player shares his impressions about the move and how his adaptation to the team is going in the following interview.
You've had some time now to play a bit more with the team than going into Cologne, how is the adaptation coming along?
I think it's really very good. I don't feel 100% yet, as it's hard coming into a new team. You have 5, 6, or maybe even 7 maps that you can play, so you have to learn every map, every new strat, every call, new comms... It's hard at the beginning. Maybe not the communication as much, because I can speak basic stuff in English and it's not hard to speak the Counter-Strike language.
I think I'm kind of getting used to it, now I'm just looking to get back in shape because I lost it somewhere when I was in VP. I lost my motivation there. I think we're in a good way now and it's nice to get a new experience.
You lost your motivation in VP when you were struggling, what does joining mousesports and being able to play on a team like that mean to you?
I want to say that my motivation didn't fall because of results in VP, it was more about issues within the team. It wasn't fighting, but things just weren't going well... I just wanted to clear that out. Now, when I stepped into the mousesports lineup, I got my motivation back. I feel like it's a really nice new experience with the boys, they're really nice and I like them.
What are your first impressions of the team? What did you expect and how is it turning out?
I wasn't expecting anything, I just wanted to go and see what's going on in this team. I feel like I have a lot to learn from these guys because in Polish CS things are done a bit differently than in European CS. There's a bit of a different approach and I'm having fun with it. It's really nice to learn new stuff.
What would you say some of those differences are?
The preparation, for sure. That is different. Also the courage and will to win.
How have you had to adapt your playstyle after the move?
In the past, I was moving around in different roles. I think now there's no support role in CS, I think there are only three roles: attacker, lurker, and sniper. Everyone can support. If you're the first guy throwing the nades, then you're the support, but if you don't have the nades and the second guy does, then the second guy becomes the support, so everyone is kind of a support in this game.
I feel kind of good in every role, so I can adapt. I wouldn't feel bad lurking or just attacking, it's really up to the guys. I feel like what I need to work on most is focusing on my crosshair and giving good comms in English, because it's hard since my whole career was in Polish. That was the main issue, although not really even an issue, just something to work on. I think I'm already halfway there, or maybe even more.
After you were knocked out in Cologne, chrisJ said you'd practice pretty hard for a week to get all of the basics down before coming here. Were you able to do that?
I think so, yeah, we got through the basics. We had a good week, even though it was very long. We practiced every day from noon to ten, so it was a lot. We didn't prepare 100% for this tournament, but I think we feel great. Well, maybe not great, but good. We feel good.
The match against FaZe was pretty hard fought. You're both standard-based free-flowing teams, so what do you think was the key that gave you the edge over them?
We just kept calm all match long and we were trying to do our thing. We weren't as confident on the first map and we weren't communicating as much as we should have. After Train, we needed to boost our confidence, to play like in practice and go out and kill them like we normally do. Just staying calm really helped us.
Has any player on the team impressed you particularly?
Yeah, suNny. He's very smart and he's still young. He impressed me a lot in-game. His style, his way of doing things in CS... it's very good. I could say all of the guys on the team impressed me. When I see them play, they're all really skilled, but Miikka maybe slightly a little bit more.
I was chatting with a couple of players earlier and we talked about the beginning of a tournament, about getting into the groove of things and getting a feeling for the place during the first day of matches, which can sometimes be tricky. How has it been for you here?
Yeah, I didn't feel good during the first map, on Train. But after that, I just told myself I needed to step up because I know what I'm capable of. So yeah, just being able to stay calm all match long, that was the most important part.