After securing only five rounds as Terrorists on Overpass and losing the CT pistol, Natus Vincere were staring down the barrel of the gun and a 0-2 score at the FACEIT Major. However, with a force-buy win and some clutch play down the line, the CIS side managed to turn it around and win the game 16-12.
We can start with the comeback you had on the CT side of Overpass against FaZe, you were 11-5 down. It started with winning the force buy, then winning all of those clutches, what was going through your minds during that?
First of all, I will say that we didn't expect FaZe to pick Overpass against us, so we didn't have a discussion about this map before the game. That created a little bit of confusion, but still, we want to play this map against them every time because we know how good we are on the map. Yeah, we didn't play very well as T, as the result of that the score was 10-5. Actually, it was a really hard game for us, they played really, really well, and the comeback was insane, with such a nice clutch by s1mple, quad kill by flamie... there were a lot of highlights from our players.
What inspires a comeback like this for you guys?
I think it is about the mood before the game. We didn't feel a change in our mood during the game when we were losing rounds or getting some clutches. It is all about the mental preparation before the game. If you feel calm during the whole game, the comeback is real, always.
Let's go back to the first game against Astralis, obviously a tough opponent and it was 16-14, very close. What are the key takeaways after losing that game?
As I said before to someone else, it is nice to play Astralis in the first match, it always gives us more understanding of our game, no matter if we win or lose the match. If you remember, the score was 14-14, before that there were many situations when we did a lot of mistakes, but in that situation, flamie gambled and he went B, leaving A long open, and they went A long. After that, it was 15-14 and we lost, 16-14, two rounds in a row, to our mistakes.
How do you feel about getting these two opponents in the first games of Swiss, how do you feel about the format as it is?
It is pretty hard because you never know who you are going to get, for example, if we lost the game against FaZe and we could be 2-0. It is a gamble who we would draw next, it is pretty scary. But I think the Swiss format is really nice, actually, I like this system.
Do you like the unpredictability, that it's exciting from a viewer side, or as a player?
As a player mostly, I don't know how the viewers see it, but I think for viewers it is great as well.
There has been some criticism about your play, maybe about the stats you are putting up. How do you feel about that and your place on the team?
Well, of course, I am having a tough period regarding my individual play. I'm working on it, and it is not only because of age, it is a mix of things. I'm working on it and trying to fix it.
When you touch on that, we obviously have a lot more older players now than we had in the past. How do you see aging in CS? Is it just down to the deterioration of reflexes and stuff like that, or is it down to out-of-game things?
There is a lot of factors, you can't pick just one thing. For example, look at Astralis, who are a really good team in terms of being team-players. Look at how they react on the map to any situation. For me, they are idols in terms of teamwork. It is not only down to reflexes and aim, it is all about understanding the game, the relationship between each other and the team. It is more about that in the professional scene.
I don't want to push you into retirement yet, but since you mentioned age, touching on that subject a bit more; you are obviously playing for a long time, what do you want to do in your career before you end it? Do you have any goals in that regard?
I want to feel that I and my team are the best in the world. This is the only task I have, but not only for one tournament, I want to be the best during the whole year.
More interviews from the New Legends stage:
nitr0: "I'm hoping we get Astralis, we can definitely put up a good show and a good fight"
Xizt: "Every loss is going to take a toll on your confidence, we had to slowly build it up again"
LEGIJA: "Before the Major, we said 'We will not practice to make Legends, we're here to f****** win'"
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"