TaZ: "I believe the thing that the Polish scene was missing, and still is, is ambition"
We sat down with Kinguin captain Wiktor "TaZ" Wojtas after his team went through to the semi-finals at DreamHack Open Montreal and quizzed him on the team's journey in Canada so far and the recent moves in the Polish scene.
Should TaZ's men manage to prevail in the derby, they will have secured their second consecutive final appearance at an international tournament after also making it to the title decider at the ZOTAC Cup Masters Finals, where they lost to MIBR.
In this interview, conducted by Dust2.us' Danish "Nohte" Allana, the 32-year-old discusses in-game leading for Kinguin, the upcoming match-up against AGO and the current state of the Polish scene, among other things.
You just played against Red Reserve, things ended up going really well on Dust2 and you closed it out pretty quickly. Overpass was a little bit closer, they put up an 11-4 half against, but you gave up only one round on your T side before closing out the match. What was the mentality like in that sort of situation?
I believe that it's good that they're listening to me in the team, that we're listening to each other. It's helping during this event as the main thing we had to do was not get tilted because of our lost luggage. That's what I was asking the boys to do, just chill, fix everything, and not worry about anything, right? It's very easy to get angry, it's very easy to talk about bad things, it's very easy to tilt, so that was our main focus — to get everyone comfortable and just enjoy our games and enjoy talking and having fun with each other. I'm just proud of the guys, that they were able to have this mental strength and go through this adversity.
You're in-game leading for Kinguin, it's a role you previously picked up on occasion for Virtus.pro. What are the differences between leading for your team here versus back on Virtus.pro?
It's very hard for me to tell you, I don't even remember how it was on VP. I can only say about how it is in Kinguin. I think that I have really good guys who can call mid-round, but there's an agreement that I make the calls and most of the time that is what we are going to do. I really have this support and trust from the team, and I know that, even though I can call something badly and put us in really deep sh*t, we can always start the next round and nobody is angry at me. I am the only one who gets tilted about my calls, but the guys know that I'm still working, still thinking, they know that I trust their calls sometimes. They come up with some ideas and we always have Loord behind us, and he is always making calls and giving us advice in freeze time. We have a good bunch, and I'm just happy that they're trusting my leading.
Kinguin had SZPERO on the bench before he got picked up AGO, and you are up against them in the semi-finals. Will that be a bit of a grudge match, are you going to have more fun playing against some of your countrymen?
For me it'll be mostly fun. I'm happy that we managed to get through the adversity, get to the semifinals, and tomorrow we will just play a little less stressed because of the situation [with the luggage], so that's good. It's always good to start a day not thinking about everything bad around you. I'm excited about the domestic derby, it's going to be a fun game and I wish them good luck, let's show some good Counter-Strike!
I also talked to phr about the Polish scene being able to grow a bit more with the old guard moving into other Polish teams. He talked about how Polish teams were very aim-reliant beforehand and that now they're getting a little bit more experience trickled down. Is that something the Polish scene had been missing?
I believe the thing that the Polish scene was missing, and still is, is ambition. I think that the people in Poland, players in Poland, are not ambitious enough. They play to have fun, they play for a spot in the semi-finals, they play for the quarter-finals. They go to an event and they want to look around and go to parties and stuff like that. I believe that the only mentality that can win you tournaments in the future is thinking about winning, and everything less than that should be a disappointment. Everything besides that should be more work. Working is not only playing death match, aim-mapping; it's more about watching games, learning how to use nades, learning how to position oneself, learning how to help the team, you know? Because Polish players are extremely skilled when it comes to aim, but they lack the in-depth knowledge of Counter-Strike, of basic fundamentals of teamplay. And they also lack, like I said, ambition. I just hope that it will change. I'm just sad that it's only happening when VP started to split, and I'm sad that the greatest things that Poland has had to offer had to fall for other players to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think that it should have happened without it, but I believe that the future is very bright for Polish Counter-Strike.