The Danes are back on course after dropping a game to NiP yesterday, losing the marathon match 28-26. With their two opening wins, over compLexity and Rogue, and today's 16-3 of Spirit, Astralis advanced to the top-16 of the FACEIT London Major.
I'll start with the Rogue game, where you were a bit behind at one point, but at the same time, in the Swiss stage you have a few chances, even if you lose games, to bounce back, and with the seeding and the BO3 final game that is only more emphasized. Did it feel like you didn't have a lot of pressure, that even if you lost that game, that you could bounce back?
Yeah, actually for this whole Major Qualifier I would say that there was no pressure, for me especially. It felt like we play so good right now that there is no pressure going forward for us against these kinds of teams. Of course, they are hard to beat, but we still feel like if we have this many games in the Swiss system, we should be able to make it through no matter what.
Talking about Rogue, cadiaN is leading them and obviously, there is something there, you have three very good leaders in Denmark and then karrigan, HUNDEN leading outside of the country. What do you think about cadiaN's calling, is there a future for him as a top-tier caller?
cadiaN's playstyle and his team's playstyle are so similar to FalleN's and how he is in-game leading. They remind me a lot about each other. I think cadiaN is doing a really good job at setting himself in good positions and he is utilizing his players really well. They have a good structure and at the same time he is giving them a lot of freedom. But he is really good at the same things as FalleN, when you play against him and he is on the CT side, he is really good at killing you when you are building up the tactics, and that is something which is really hard to play against.
Why do you think Denmark has so many successful in-game leaders?
I guess it started from the beginning because we've always had a lot of good in-game leaders, even back in the days of Counter-Strike: Source where I started, also in 1.6 we had ArcadioN, ave, those kinds of guys. I think they taught a lot of younger players how to be an in-game leader and how to understand the game correctly. That is what we are seeing now, that's the evolution, the development of these young Counter-Strike players into really good in-game leaders—and I'm including myself as one of those.
Let's touch on the NiP game that went 54 rounds in the end. Obviously, it was a rough game for you guys, what were the struggles in that game?
Against NiP we knew it was going to be a really close game on Mirage, to be honest, because we won 16-14 last time and we were behind 14-11 I think. So we knew it was going to be a really tough game, we had a really good start, we got the CT pistol round as well, I think it was 11-5 and then they won an almost full eco with no armor. So that is why we got set back. If we wouldn't have lost that round I believe we would've won the game, since we had a really good understanding about how they wanted to play. But they also did some new things, some faster things, caught us off guard a couple of rounds in a row, where we had to save 3v5. NiP is starting to look like a really good Mirage team and they didn't do this three months ago, it is something new for them and I think it is pretty important for the map pool to be good on Mirage.
As Astralis was becoming this dominant force, the CT sides were impeccable I feel like, you were by far the best CT side team, but here, and at Stockholm, the CT sides were struggling a bit, you did most of your work on the T sides. What do you think about that, what are the issues on the CT side?
I think it is mainly about not holding the structure as CT, not playing together as much, taking too many individual chances, and not hitting the shots when we take these chances. Because it is ok to take chances, but if you don't hit your shots you are going to have a tough time. So yeah, I think there is a part that comes down to aim because we don't feel like we are on the same level as we were before the break. Also, just the chemistry in the game is not completely there yet, we have been having a lot of talks after Stockholm and also on this event, about how we want to play our CT sides. I believe it will get better the more we play.
Combining this event with Stockholm, you have back-to-back events two weeks in a row. You've been a team that has been emphasizing skipping events, having time off, this is the first time you have two events in a row since February, with StarSeries and Katowice, and this time it could go four weeks all combined. What do you think about that, what is your approach to not getting burnt out?
For us, it is really important for us that both of these tournaments were in Europe because that doesn't give us any jetlag, of course, that's the main thing for us, we don't want to travel to the United States, go back for a week and then travel to the United States again. We would rather like to stay there for three weeks in total and play both tournaments or something like that. We are trying to eliminate jetlag as much as possible because it is stressing our minds and our bodies a lot, we feel like, also with device's disease and such. That's mostly it.
Were you be able to practice enough and get in a good quality here as you would at home or bootcamping at the offices?
Yeah, the FACEIT Major here has been really good to us, with our own practice rooms where we can practice and talk a lot about what we want to do. So yeah, I believe being here is as good as being at home.
More interviews from the FACEIT Major New Challengers Stage:
cajunb: "I really want to win a Major, that's when I can retire and be happy"
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"