The Danish team struggled at their first post-break events, losing to Ghost at ZOTAC Cup Masters in Hong Kong and being eliminated by Heroic at DreamHack Masters Stockholm. OpTic didn't have a great start to the Major either, losing the opener to Liquid 16-4.
cajunb's team turned it around today, getting their first win by defeating Virtus.pro. We spoke to cajunb after the game, touching on the game against the Poles, the timing of the player break, and more.
I'll start with the rough run you guys had coming to this event: you did ZOTAC Cup Masters where you lost to Ghost and then DreamHack Masters Stockholm where it was Heroic and FaZe you lost to. Tell me a bit about that and how you felt those losses, and that all happening after the Minor which you played pretty well, and the hype was up for you guys.
We were of course very happy about the Minor, that we managed to qualify for the Major, we felt that at that point we were in a really good shape. We felt that during the player break we slacked too much, it was too much of a break, people didn't play at all. So when the break ended, we had 3-4-5 days, I don't remember exactly, of practice before we went to ZOTAC in Hong Kong, where we didn't feel prepared at all, against Ghost you could easily see that we didn't hit our shots, we forgot a lot of teamplay, our strats didn't work because we forgot how to execute them correctly, that cost us a lot of rounds. So it was really tough to lose to Ghost but I think they played well as well, I'm not going to take anything away from the win.
Afterwards, we went to Stockholm, where we won against fnatic, and after that win we were actually really happy because we needed some kind of... I would call it confidence. Since the loss against Ghost was really tough. It was an opponent we really think we should've won against. And then we played FaZe and we got literally destroyed. I don't know what went wrong, to be honest, we, of course, made a lot of mistakes, we know that, but I think they were just the better team that day. Then Heroic, the Danish derby, a match you really don't want to lose, and I think we just weren't there. They played really well, on the last map we lost two or three ecos to them, which was the crucial point where they just won the game. We were really down after that game because we feel like that is a matchup which we should win.
You mentioned that you didn't play enough during the player break, that you slacked too much. In a way, does it feel like this player break doesn't make sense if you have to play during it to be in form? What do you think about the timing of the player break and the Major?
To be honest, I think it is terrible (laughs). Because, when are we supposed to get a break then? If you take a break, other people, who play during the break, they will have some kind of an advantage because they are hotter, they are warm and we are not. I think the Major should be pushed a bit more back, maybe one and a half months after the player break, because then people would have been playing some tournaments and they are more "hot".
The Liquid game was pretty rough, but I don't think there is much to talk about it, but let's touch on the Virtus.pro one. Just starting it off, one of the first gun rounds you played they went for an A execute and you played pretty passive and won easily. It felt like the whole CT side developed that way, that you played passive on sites and won the rounds in the end. Was that the plan going into the game?
Yeah, our main focus point is that we always have an agreement on things which we want to do, we do things together, we don't do solo plays because that doesn't work in our game. We can't push alone, we need to do it together, we need to do setups all the time, that is our focus point on Mirage. But we also practiced against Virtus.pro and to be honest we knew some of their setups already, we remember them from practice. I wouldn't say we had an advantage because they know our strats as well, but it gave us some kind of an idea what to do.
It felt like you were going to close out the game simply, but then you lost a 4v2 on the B site when you had the plant. What happened in that round?
To be honest, I think first JUGi missed a shot in B apps, I should have killed him as well, I think it was just aim fails to be honest. That's the reason we lost that round, there is no real explanation why, we just didn't hit our shots that map.
Touching on you as a player now, moving away from North where you were kind of AWPing, then not AWPing for a bit, but overall there was a lot of AWPing and here in OpTic you don't have that duty anymore, you are mostly rifling. Is this what you feel like you should be doing? Is this the role that fits you more than what you had back in North?
Yeah, I'm not an AWPer to be honest, I'm not like JUGi, device, I'm more of a hybrid player. I really like my role in this team, so yeah, this is how I should play.
Your former in-game leader MSL has been picking up the AWP recently, which is interesting because he always struggled to work with a good AWPer in his team. How do you see that he can now play the AWP, is there something he struggled with in terms of using AWPs in former teams, maybe?
I think it was hard to play the AWP during my time in North but I'm not going to complain about him. It was just my style of AWPing and the way he wanted to call just didn't fit. I think it is easier for him to take the AWP because he knows how he wants the AWPer to be. And he is not the greatest aimer either, so for him to take the AWP means that he is good at positioning himself, he takes the safe shots, which is really good, and then he has four good rifles. But I think he has been doing really well with the AWP.
Lastly, you are one of about 15-20 players that played at every Major. This is techincally also the Major, but in the old version of the definition, it means the top 16. So you still need to get there to keep the status. Is that something that is on your mind, do you really want to keep that elite status?
I'd really like to keep the status, but not because of the status itself, but because I want to get further in the tournament, I want to win it. I've been in all of the Majors, but to be honest, I've only reached the semi-final so far, and that was 6-7 Majors ago. But I really want to win a Major, that's my goal, that's when I can retire and be happy.
More interviews from the FACEIT Major New Challengers Stage:
somedieyoung: "We pretty much knew everything North were going to do"
AdreN: "It's me and Hobbit who are trying to make the mid-round calls"
hutji: "During his 1v1, chopper said 'no worries, guys, I'm going to punch him'"
tiziaN: "I've actually practiced it 3 or 4 times, but I wasn't planning on doing that shot"
Twistzz: "We knew that bootcamping was the way better option"
BnTeT: "We're confident in our skill, but I'm not sure we're confident in our team play"
Lekr0: "I think I learned the most about [in-game leading] from pronax back in the day"
stanislaw: "We have all the pieces to really do some damage"
B1ad3: "We still haven't found the perfect in-game leader"
crush: "We didn't play much [officially] because we wanted to find our game"
Hiko "American teams are dependent on the momentum they gain"
NEO: "byali wanted changes even before Snax told us [he was leaving]"
DavCost: "The main goal is to show who we are"