We spoke to Denis "electronic" Sharipov after Na`Vi became the first grand finalists of the FACEIT Major.
Let's first talk about the added value this match had to you considering the comments you made following an interview with FalleN, is that something you felt you needed to prove in the game?
As for me, I'm really, really satisfied, I had a tough feeling inside to prove to him that this isn't right, to talk about a team that you don't even know how they play at the moment. You can only imagine it, you can only think about how they play, you didn't face them at this tournament, so you can't know how they play, you need to feel it in the game. I hope he felt it, we did everything right, we did everything we had been talking about and we played well, I'm happy.
The Dust2 pick from MIBR was generally quite a surprise, was that something you saw coming?
Firstly, we expected to play Inferno, of course, because we played Dust2 only once and we beat BIG on it, but we know that this game didn't show our level of play on Dust2.
We were expecting Inferno, but of course we knew they could pick Dust2 and we prepared the map, too. It wasn't a surprise for us, we were prepared to play Inferno or Dust2. But we knew that, for them, it would have been better to pick Inferno.
Apart from the beginning of Overpass, it looked very convincing, but it took you quite a while to close it out after you clinched map point, were you ever worried?
We were pretty confident when we got the 15th round, we started to play a faster game, we were rushing and we weren't patient. It felt like we wanted to win this game, so that is why we made a lot of mistakes, but we were pretty confident, as I said.
They started to make a comeback, so Zeus called for a pause and said 'calm down, guys, stop it, let's just play what we had practiced before, let's play our game and we will win this game,' and we did it.
What was the key to such a strong start on Dust2?
Before this tournament, we lost a lot of Dust2, it was 0-6 I think, and we knew that every team could pick Dust2 against us, so this was a high priority to prepare on this map. We did a lot of work on it, we changed some positions, especially on the CT side, and, after this, we felt that we found the key to this map.
We felt much better on the map than before and we started to play it much better because of a deeper understanding of the map after the work we had done before the tournament. It works now, as you can see, so we're pretty confident.
Edward has had an improved performance here, especially in the playoffs, what do you think that is down to?
Edward is highly motivated now to improve his game because, before this, he lost his confidence for some reason. I don't know why, but I think it's all about his mentality, about his mindset, and he also knew that he needed to work hard and find his game, find the key to this game. And he just practiced it a lot and we tried to cheer him on, we believed in him, and I think he can feel that we trust him and he can play better and better.
This will be your first Major grand final, does that put any pressure on you?
This is the first time, as you said, and I don't really know how to feel in this situation. When I go to sleep, I will feel some emotions, but, for now, I'm pretty calm because I understand that this is not the end. One more step is left to win this tournament, this is my dream, I thought a lot about this and this is what I wanted the most for myself and for the team, to win the Major. I know that the last step is going to be the hardest one, so it's too early to feel emotions.
In that last step, you have two different matchups possible, especially from your point of view and due to the history between you and Astralis and Liquid. Is there any preference as to who your opponents in the final should be?
It doesn't really matter to us who to play because both teams deserve to get to the final and they are really, really strong teams. I would say they feel confident, they're highly skilled players individually and, as teams, they play at a very, very high level. They're showing great CS at this Major and before this tournament, so we know it's going to be a tough game, it doesn't matter if it's Liquid or Astralis. We will wait and we will fight any team.