valde: "It's always important [to win] when you face other Danish teams, to establish the hierarchy"
The Danish rifler talks about the importance of winning against OpTic in their opening match, the preparation going into it, the thought process behind the recent changes in the roster, and the need to have a good showing in Kiev after an underwhelming Major run.
Let's get straight to it, how important was winning the match against OpTic?
It was really important. It's always important when you face other Danish teams, to establish the hierarchy. We also just beat them in the online qualifier for ECS, so I think we came into the match with the upper hand and we showed we're the better team.
Especially after switching players and making changes. Tell me a bit about the transfers, how it went down and the thought process behind the signings.
Yeah, it has been a bit of a chaotic period, getting everything in place, but the thought process was that cadiaN would be perfect after MSL was no longer with us because he's both an AWPer and an in-game leader, which is exactly what we needed after we lost mertz.
In terms of bringing gade on, he's a good entry fragger and that's how we're trying to use it. He's also really willing to learn and has a really good mindset for a newcomer. We had him on before we got Kjaerbye, on a trial period, so I think if Kjaerbye wouldn't have come from Astralis back then, we would have gone with him. It was pretty natural that he was the one to come in for niko.
Talk to me about the differences between cadiaN and MSL, be it AWPing, leading...
I think cadiaN is much looser and more diverse. That's not a bad thing towards MSL, who was a great leader and I actually miss him a little bit, but he runs a very structured system where everything is set in place, very tactical... Obviously we still have tactics, but everything is a bit looser and it feels a bit more fresh with cadiaN on the team.
Losing niko is another interesting topic, since he was somebody a lot of people like because of his firepower. You said you miss MSL a bit, do you miss niko at all or do you see it as a good change?
I think it was a good change, but we didn't get rid of him because we didn't like him or because he didn't fit in. You know, these days in Counter-Strike there are buyouts and contract stuff that gets in the way, so I think getting rid of niko wasn't something so much that we wanted to do, but we had to do it because of contractual stuff and so on.
We won a huge tournament with him, and I think we are all forever grateful for what he brought to the team before Stockholm. It's a trophy we have for the rest of our lives, so it was short but it was a good period, with niko.
We established it was very important to beat OpTic, but tell me a bit about how you came into it, the mental work and the preparation that went into it.
We knew that the veto would come down to Overpass or Inferno. We saw they lost a match against aTTaX on Inferno a few days ago and we thought they might be a bit shaky in terms of confidence, so we were pretty sure it was going to be Overpass. We did our usual preparation and had a good idea of how what they like to do, their structured playstyle, and I think it can be pretty easy to read if you do your preparation well. That's what we did and I think it showed.
Other than mousesports, you're one of the favorites to have a really good showing. After the Major, how important is a strong finish here?
It's of the utmost importance. The Major was a huge letdown for all of us and it was definitely not what we expected coming out of a big tournament win, but that's how it goes sometimes and it's what makes it fun to play, it's like a rollercoaster with its ups and downs. The Major was a huge down for us, but now we have a fresh start with two new guys. We just have to take it one game at a time and so far we're really happy.
What do you think it is that happened after winning DreamHack Masters. How did the Major fiasco happen?
I wouldn't say we were overconfident because we really knew teams were going to study us. I think it was a mixture of not having time to go home and prepare new stuff, and it was such a big relief to win that we failed in the consistency department.
Now we won a big tournament and I feel like we know what we need to do for the next time if we can't get so lucky as to win another big tournament. It was a case in which multiple things went wrong, but we're past the Major now and we have a lot of tournaments ahead of us and we're just looking forward.
To close it off, as you said, it's a fresh start with two new players. Some teams go straight into a honeymoon period while others seem to struggle to get things rolling. How are you feeling? Where are you on that scale?
I think it's a mixture between both. We actually had a really good start online, we're 6-2 in Pro League and we qualified for ECS. This was our first LAN match, and we won it as well, but in terms of a honeymoon period, cadiaN is bringing a new playstyle and it's going to take some time to adapt. A lot of us are not used to the way things are run now, so it's probably going to take a few months to get into the groove and hopefully, we can show a better North in like half a year.