ShahZam: "I'm speechless, I can't believe it; I won't lie, I went outside and cried"
Going into the match against Vega, they are a team that a lot of people can't understand how they play. What did you do to prepare for their game style and to get this win here?
It seems like the general consensus about Vega is that they are a very loose, unexpected-type of a team. That makes sense and we experienced that, we actually played them in practice during the bootcamp. They kind of ran around everywhere and ran all over us. Going into the match we were actually expecting to play Cache because it is a popular map for them, as well as for us. We thought we could kind of bait them into the pick by vetoing Mirage, which is also a map we are comfortable with, but a very strong map for them.
Unfortunately, all of our preparation for Cache kind of went out of the window when they went for Inferno, but regardless of preparation, we are still really confident on the map, we've only played Inferno throughout the whole first New Challenger Stage. We figured that because of that they would probably do a lot of anti-stratting because we only played Inferno and they picked it instead of going for Cache, it was unusual. So stanislaw had that in his mind when he was making the calls and, taking advantage of it, anti-stratting the anti-strat, if that makes sense. So that was the game plan going into the game.
So I guess that worked out with the CT side you had?
Yeah, we had a slow start, losing pistol, and we managed to win a lot of rounds straight. And on the T-side pistol the whole idea was great, we ended up in a 3v1 situation, which we blew because of some miscommunications. That was unfortunate, it gave them some momentum to get a string of rounds. It felt like in our early gun rounds, we were trying to make individual plays to just secure the match because we were so close, and it was just costing us rounds. As soon as we slowed down, reset, and found our rythm, things started going forward.
So you feel like the pressure to close the game, especially with a lot at stake?
Definitely, there was a round where we were 5v4 and I think stanislaw wanted us to fall off or just hold but we ended up trying to walk into B, I thought I would beat the spool guy's contact, so I peeked spawn where I shouldn't have and that cost the 4v4 reset. And you can't do those - which is a lesson learned obviously.
Just talking about Vega's style, unstructured and wild, can you draw any parallels to playing lower-tier NA teams, when you are playing open qualifiers or similar stuff? Are there any similarities between the two?
The thing, playing NA teams, people are going and individually making plays, but Vega Squadron is definitely a really good team. It is coordinated chaos, if that makes sense. That crazy play, that is unexpected, you can clearly see that they are communicating very well while they are doing it, they are working together, so I can't really compare it to NA teams. It is a style that works for them, luckily we came out on top today, but I still think very highly of them as a team.
Tell me how you feel about the group stage that you played here, the performances you put in as a team?
I'm very happy with our performance, to be completely honest, you know, our first matchup was against Astralis, the current best team in the world I think anyone would say. So we can't be too heartbroken over that defeat. We had to focus on what was ahead. It is super unfortunate about the Space Soldiers situation, but we still have to do what we have to do, regardless of that. Going into the BIG match was where we really showed what we were capable of, I think we were extreme underdogs in that match. Even going into it, I think all of the guys were confident that we were going to be the better team.
You made the Major for the first time since Cloud9, a lot of time passed, you went through a lot of teams; Conquest, OpTic, Echo Fox, Misfits... Do you feel like you found a stable home now in compLexity here?
Oh my god, of course. Someone like me, I've played for so many organizations, so many different rosters, it is all, honestly, a great experience that created the player I am today, I definitely learned a lot through the years. compLexity is an organization like no other I've never experienced, they truly treat me like they care about me, they make sure we have everything we need, it is like a big family, and honestly, I'd never want to go anywhere else. I hope I can retire under compLexity.
Tell me about the feeling of getting to the Major, adding your name to the list with your second attended, which is a big achievement for a lot of players?
It is been a looooong, hard work, I always felt like I got really screwed with Minors previously. Even though Echo Fox, and then going to TSM and Misfits, we would qualify for the Minor and then a roster change would go down and we would be able to go to the Minor. So I think three Minors in a row, for three different Majors, I didn't get to play in. And you know, I always felt like I was cursed, that I kept getting screwed, that I'm missing out on these Majors, I stay at home and I watch them... I love CS, I watch all the Majors, all the matches and with Misfits, with the last one we were so close, against Space Soldiers, our decider match was a 13-16 loss on Train. Being so close to that and losing was heartbreaking. Now, finally, I'm speechless, I can't believe it. I won't lie, I went outside and cried.
I wanted to ask you about your teammate yay, who is the youngster not many people know about. He's been playing for compLexity for a while, but outside of that, he didn't play a lot of international tournaments, this is his first Major and all of that. What can people expect from him in the next stage?
He is a phenomenal player, I don't think I've ever seen anyone dedicate as much individual time into their own mechanics and skill. He is super young and super committed, he's got that dedication and I love it, I love playing with him. I think that, in previous times, before I and stanislaw joined up, he and ANDROID didn't have any leadership to really guide them the right way. I think that is a big problem in the NA scene, you've got all of these talented players that have the work ethic, the mentality, but they don't really have the right leaders to guide them and really teach them how to play proper CS, how to be good teammates... It is shown, it is fortunate that stanislaw is good at doing that, we are really lucky to have him because otherwise players would be rotting away, not really reaching their full potential. We are very lucky to have stanislaw.
More interviews from the FACEIT Major New Challengers Stage:
gob b: "I'm looking forward to the fifth round, now we can show we're a really good team in the BO3s"
bondik: "I enjoy when someone is showing emotions and I like to do the same"
xccurate: "We changed so much on the T side of Inferno [after playing OpTic]"
gla1ve: "[As an IGL,] cadiaN is really good at the same things as FalleN"
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"