The Ninjas continue with their strong form in London by starting of the second phase of the tournament with a confident win over mousesports, 16-12 on Mirage. With the new invite rules, this secures them a spot at the New Challengers stage for the Katowice 2019 Major, even if they lose the remainder of their games here.
Following the game, we talked with REZ and heard about making the top 16 of a Major for the first time, avoiding the European Minor after attending four in the past, and how the team's style is fitting him.
You officially made the Major for the first time—if we are using the old naming and referring to the top 16 teams—, and you will now be skipping the Minor for the next one. So just give me your impressions about that.
Not playing the Minor means a lot to me, personally, because I have played so many Minors now and they are always tough, I would say that they are harder than the actual Major because you are playing teams that are really annoying to play against, low-tier teams which can do so well against good teams, they can surprise you. So finally, I'm able to skip that and play against the good tier teams, that means a lot.
Tell me about your new style and how it fits you, now with Lekr0 leading?
I would say that the way we play now is more... free. Maybe it doesn't really make sense because draken was a really free-role AWPer, he did what he liked, but now we do more what the team wants to do, instead of relying too much on an AWPer. I think it is simpler for all of us and I think Lekr0 does an amazing job at saying what he wants us to do. I think it is easy for us as well to do what we want to because Lekr0 is open-minded, he does a really good job.
Now that Lerk0 is in-game leading, where does dennis fit in the roster, what is his role now?
dennis is taking a lot of the tough roles, he does the dirty work. He goes in first, he goes for info plays. I would say that he is pretty much an AWPer, entry and support player. Every team kind of needs it and it is easy to play with a guy like that on your team. It makes it easier for everyone, he is open to dying first, he doesn't care much about stats, that's really impressive by him. He is a really good fella.
I'll touch on the game you had against mousesports, it was a bit of a wild game, some fast rounds, fast trades... What do you think was key to winning this match?
The key to winning against mousesports was that we did what we trained for a very long time, and that is keeping the calm. Because keeping your calm against a team like mousesports is crucial because they are really fast paced, they do a lot of explosive stuff and it can surprise you. And we got surprised, a lot, and we lost a full eco round—that was one of the rounds in which we got surprised—, but even though we lost that round we still kept our calm, we reset, forgot about past rounds and let the bad things go much easier [than we did in the past], focusing on the positivity instead.
Now that you made the Major and avoided the next Minor as well, how are GeT_RiGhT and f0rest, who had issues with getting to the Major? Do you feel like there is no pressure on them anymore, that they are more free to play their game?
I don't see any difference between them, f0rest and GeT_RiGhT. They do their job pretty well and they have always done it. They are never scared or nervous, they never feel pressure, I can sense it on them. That is what makes them so professional and legendary, they have this mentality going into every game. That is one thing I look for an I strive for as well. That is what I want to learn from them.
More interviews from the FACEIT Major New Legends stage:
JW: "We considered twist after the early StarLadder exit; he wasn’t really interested"
jmqa: "After the last Major, our practice wasn't great, we didn't have good conditions"
flamie: "We still want to play Dust2 because no one is playing it well"
SmithZz: "We aren't completely ready at the moment, but we are getting there"
RUSH: "Hopefully, after the Major, our ranking will reflect how we actually are as a team"