The Russian/Ukranian squad came in second at the CIS Minor after HellRaisers, beating teams such as AVANGAR and pro100 on the way, but Dmitry "S0tF1k" Forostyanko's men only played one official match since then, a loss to Sprout in ESEA MDL Season 28.
At the media day before the onset of the New Challengers Stage, we sat down with the team's main AWPer, DavCost, to talk about their expectations for the Major as they head into it as one of the teams predicted to go 0-3 in the first stage:
You haven't played much since the Minor two months ago, so tell me how the preparation has gone since then and how confident you are in your chances here.
We practiced a lot with the top teams. I think we played with everyone from the HLTV ranking now. We spent a lot of time discussing the problems we had at the Minor. We tried to make everything better quality, not just to play a lot of praccs every day. We feel really confident now.
Last time, before the ELEAGUE Major, you went out in last place of the New Challengers stage, what has changed for this time?
Last time we didn't manage to get the visa for our main firepower of the team, COLDYY, so we had to play with our coach who hadn't played for a really long time actively. Now is the first time we come to the Major with the full roster, I believe we will try to show our best and we'll see what is our placement here. But I really feel confident, as our roster now is the best we've had throughout the history of the team.
What makes this lineup the best?
With this roster, we managed to solve almost all of our communication problems and everyone believes in each other and what is important for the roster. We managed to stop arguing with each other after losses, and all the losses are just more motivation for us to show that we can come back better.
Since COLDYY missed ELEAGUE at the start of the year, this will be his first, and the same goes for somedieyoung - what does this mean for them, are they prepared for the challenge?
After completing the roster with somedieyoung we practiced a lot, we worked a lot on our individual game and we're trying to play all the tournaments at our top level. Personally, for us, the Major is not the only tournament of the year, and through this season we visited some good LANs, so I believe we are ready to play any tournament now.
These two guys worked a lot and they've got a lot of experience throughout this season, so our goal now is not only to win the Major, it's to come to the top and stay there for a long time. I think they feel confident, everything is going to be okay with them.
As one of the underdogs of this stage, what do you think would be the key for you to advance?
Like I said before, it's the first Major for us in the full roster and all players are here, finally. I believe the main goal at this Major is to show where we are and who we are as a team.
But still, I believe we can qualify for the next stage with the game we are working on, the game of the team, not the individuals. We're trying to play the game that the top teams are playing now, and I believe that will help us move forward and become the top-16, top-8, and stay there for a long time.