B1ad3: "We'll try to get an IGL, that's the main priority"
Gambit denied Natus Vincere revenge, beating them 2-0 on Nuke and Inferno, to seal their pass to the ESL One New York semi-finals where they will play against Liquid for a spot in the grand final at the Barclays Center.
In the 15-minute interview, B1ad3 talks about the keys to the victory over Natus Vincere, picking Train against mousesports, the atmosphere in the team, and possibilities for life after Abay "Hobbit" Khasenov, as well as the keys to the match against Liquid tomorrow.
You beat Na`Vi 2-0, the second time you beat them here in New York. Tell me a little bit about the veto and the feeling going into the same two maps, Nuke and Inferno.
We were thinking about picking either Train or Nuke, and we couldn't really decide what's better for us because I'm very confident in our Nuke but the players are always hesitating. They don't feel it's so good, but I told them that we have a lot of new stuff. I told them about the mistakes we made against mousesports and I told them that Na`Vi still has a bad CT side in my opinion, a lot of weaknesses, and that's why we eventually picked Nuke.
We knew they were going to pick Dust2 or Inferno, and I think they should have picked Dust2 because they play it really well. We don't play Inferno bad, we just make some mistakes because we don't have a good in-game leader who can properly get map control in specific rounds.
We have executions on A, B, and some other things, but we don't know how to properly control the map. We need somebody in the game to say you need to go here or there, who properly knows how to control the timings, etc. This time around we put Hobbit on Banana on the T side and it worked really well because he had a feeling about how he should play it this match, he had some intuition, momentum, and I think his impact was huge.
Talk to me about Nuke. A lot of times what will happen is that two teams will play a map, then if they meet soon after that the loser will pick that map with a new gameplan and win it. Was there anything you changed in order to stop Na`Vi from adjusting after the first match and improving on it?
Yeah, they picked to start on T side and we knew they were going to have a plan against us. We had a little talk before the match and we said we should stack bombsites on certain rounds in case we have some issues on the CT side. We knew they'd have a plan, but we also knew it wasn't going to be a perfect plan or something that can counter our CT side.
We had a couple communication mistakes, which is why we lost two important rounds. One time, Denis "electronic" Sharipov went through vents and nobody gave Hobbit the info, and another round nobody told Hobbit that they were going into Lower from Yard, so he just died and we lost those rounds. We just need to work a bit on communication.
We were prepared for most situations as CTs, we were being flexible and trying to react to all of the information we got on the map. We knew they analyzed our T side, I watched the demo and saw their reactions, so I prepared some new stuff this time around. I prepared some stuff to make them think we're going to do a specific round, but then changing a few details. For example we threw a few smokes to let them know that we were going to play a certain round, and then we tried to get into their minds and do some interesting rounds, some really fast rounds so they couldn't react. Nuke is a map in which if you don't react immediately, it's easy to lose the round, and it worked really well.
Let's rewind a little bit to yesterday. You picked Train against mousesports, who are known for having a good CT side there. What was the thought process picking it against them?
It mostly works like this: I watch our opponents' demos and try to see which map will fit the most for us and on which map they have the most weaknesses on. I saw some weaknesses on their CT side on Train that fit really well into our approach and the way we play rounds, so we had a talk and came up with a good gameplan.
At some point they were able to adapt, though...
It was T side, yeah. I think we have a little problem, which is that when we are ahead and winning easily we start to make unnecessary picks and it usually affects us a lot because we start to lose really close situations and it gets in our heads. We just need to fix this, to stop overpeaking and losing rounds. For example, when they went three Ivy and we knew they were going to make that play because it's a typical round from then. That was the point in which they tried to climb back into the game because they won it and got some confidence back.
There was some hesitation, players were thinking about not losing the map, but in the end we just called a timeout and made some set-ups. We knew how they were going to approach the T side, we knew about their patterns, and sharing that information worked really well.
Now tell me a little bit about the atmosphere in the team. With Hobbit on the transfer list, did that relieve stress? Are you kind of playing with nothing to lose? Do you think that makes it easier for the team to play here?
Well, I don't think so. We've known Hobbit is going to leave for about two months now. I think this is one of the main reasons we don't have much team spirit. When we're losing, we need some confidence, like yesterday, when we were unable to get a single round on T side against mousesports on Dust2. We were up 11-4, lost the pistol round and then we lost every round that half.
We just didn't have team spirit, we were losing all of our confidence... When you know one guy is leaving, it creates some issues in the mental aspect. All five players aren't sharing a goal and aren't trying to reach it together. I think that's the main problem.
We felt stress in Stockholm and at the Major because after every map we lost the atmosphere was very bad. The idea that Hobbit is leaving got in some players' minds and they feel like we're not a single unit. It's like everyone is separated, everyone has their own ideas, own problems... If we could fix everything together and be a single unit it would have been much better.
Here, in New York, I think we've evolved from what we had. We had a situation, which is that Hobbit is leaving, and from one event to the next we were able to evolve, even knowing that one of our players is leaving. Now, here, we all realized the flaws in the team, but if we can stay motivated we can try to not make the same mistakes again. I think we just evolved in the circumstance of having one player leaving, and I think that's why we're better now.
This circumstance is going to end, eventually, so have you thought about what will come after Hobbit? Would you choose an IGL, maybe?
I think we'll try to get an IGL, that's the main priority. If we can't find a good one, then we'll try to build something else. Something new. I think that the way we are playing here, without an IGL that has a voice, who has the priority to speak. If you see, we aren't playing bad here, we beat mouz and we beat Na`Vi two times because we built a default, we built rounds, we try to show players how they can react in different situations like one unit... In this scenario, I don't think you need an in-game leader.
If you have a good game plan for the first five or six rounds, you have a scenario for the second half, and if you practice all of this stuff, each player can create something during the match. Each player can find a flaw in the defense, or propose something during the game. I think if all five players are on the same page, you don't need an in-game leader. If they have structure, if they have a good gameplan, it's possible to play without an IGL.
To close it off, tell me what's happening moving forward. You're playing Liquid next, what's the plan?
I think we're going to do a mix of studying them and if I see that our own game is better then we'll just focus on that and forget about them. Where they're better, we'll try to find the flaws and adapt. Liquid had a lot of hype at the Major, which I felt too, but in the end, I found out that it's not as perfect as it looked before. I think they have a lot of problems that other opponents can use against them, so I think we have a chance.