refrezh: "I didn't expect us to do so well against these established teams"

We sat down with Fragsters' Ismail "refrezh" Ali after the Danes beat Gambit to go 2-0 in Kiev to hear his thoughts on where the young Danish team lies right now.

Two solid victories against BIG and Gambit have given Fragsters a clean start at StarSeries i-League Season 6 in Kiev. Tomorrow, they will have the opportunity of qualifying for the playoffs with a 3-0 record were they able to win their match.

Tournaments like StarSeries are all about gaining experience for refrezh & co.

We asked refrezh about several topics, including the importance of going to events like StarSeries, having so many Danes around, the team dynamic with three brothers (two players and a coach), and what Fragsters needs to make the leap to the next level, among others.

I didn't get to talk to you yesterday, you won your first match against BIG, now Gambit, did you expect to have such a good start here in Kiev? What were the keys to those wins?

I didn't expect us to do so well against these established teams, but I'm very happy that we managed to keep our composure and win the games. The most important thing for us was to keep doing what we did in practice, not stray away from our gameplan, and stay as calm as we do in praccs because if you don't do that you end up in weird positions and situations you haven't been in before, which makes you lose rounds.

The core of this team has been together for a while now, and you've always been around top 20-30, what do you think you need to make the jump to the next level?

I think what we need most is experience, we have talent and a lot of dedication, but we need more time at this level, to go to more LANs, to keep performing, to learn from our mistakes, and just grind our way to the top.

Right before the summer break you played DreamHack Valencia, then you played Games Clash Masters not long ago, getting 3rd-4th place in both. What are the expectations and the goals for this event?

The first goal is to reach the playoffs, and then we'll set a new goal and see what happens. We want to do our best, and we want to win, but if we can't, we want to at least do well and not just lose in big fashion. We want to show that we can fight and hopefully there is a lot we can learn from this event.

For a while it was stavn and dragonfly, two brothers on a team, now you have the third brother, Lifedance, coaching. What's it like with three brothers on the team?

At first, for me, it was a bit weird, because as brothers they can say things to each other a certain way without getting mad, compared to just normal friends, but now I'm used to it and we're all really close friends, so nobody is left out. We care very much about each other and talk every problem through. We focus a lot on not getting mad at each other and if there's ever any conflict we try to solve it and end up with both parties happy.

North and OpTic are here, you're the third team making it in. Are you learning from them? Is there a particular closeness when you travel to the same events as them?

Of course, we do know each other, we've been to a few events with them before. Some of the guys on the other teams are older, more experienced, and have been on the pro scene longer, so we learn a lot from them, watching their demos and watching them play, so it's a bit of a weird feeling going to the same events as them when a year ago we were playing local LANs in Denmark and not a tournament like this.

So this is a big tournament for you. Do you prepare the matches any particular way, Be it making gameplans or preparing for teams a certain way? What's the dynamic?

We don't anti-strat heavily often, but we like to have an idea about how the enemy is going to play and we try to make it fit our gameplan. We don't watch demos to exploit many things, but I think we're going to start doing it more as we get comfortable in this environment.

Talking about comfort, what will make you more comfortable at events like this?

I need a second to think about this one...

I think the simple answer is just time, usually, time solves a lot of things, and I think having the opportunity to get to more big events will loosen up some of the tensions we have when we're playing on LAN.

You don't get that many chances to play at these events, so how are you going to make sure you have more opportunities?

The most healthy way to do it is to talk a lot about the games we played and to try to learn from the mistakes we make because, usually, in CS, it's a lot about knowing what to do in hard situations, so if you get the experience to know what to do all of the time you will perform a lot better and be more comfortable with the decisions you make.

Some teams will come to LAN and play above expectations on LAN, then go back home and struggle against teams of their same caliber. Do you find yourselves in that situation?

I think it depends, for us it comes in periods. We've been playing fulltime since the summer, but before that, it was somewhat part-time because we had a player still in school. Now I think our lowest level will improve and that will make us a better team.

So basically it's about becoming more consistent...

Yeah, exactly, when we can improve our C game, I think we'll become way more consistent than we are right now.

Denmark Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
tier 12321339 stfu
2018-10-08 20:43
World nouman 
better than tier 99999999 like you and me :)
2018-10-08 21:07
This is such an interesting piece of work! Have a less depressing day! -VeryDepressingGuy
2018-10-08 20:43
what is the kind of your problem
2018-10-08 21:00
Denmark how_much_ 
depression man, look it up.
2018-10-08 22:28
not bad dane bud
2018-10-09 00:08
Denmark how_much_ 
Thanks bud
2018-10-09 00:12
Brazil BCzOCoachdaG3X 
Shit event, nobody cares
2018-10-08 20:43
Denmark MetatronKbh 
You are here, so you are the same shit !!!! Low IQ 😂
2018-10-08 21:09
u should at least know how to make comprehensive statements before calling someone "low iq". B8ted btw
2018-10-08 23:51
u should at least know how to make comprehensive statements before calling someone "low iq". B8ted btw
2018-10-09 17:04
ZywOo | 
France Nez_Aigre 
2018-10-08 20:42
Xyp9x | 
China Autumn7 
2018-10-08 20:43
Lithuania gime114 
Refrezh > Spawn
2018-10-08 20:43
why do you compare those 2 completely random dudes? who dont have anything in common? its like blocker> device
2018-10-08 20:51
gob b > god b
2018-10-08 20:57
Lithuania gime114 
Gob b > Gob d
2018-10-09 11:09
Lithuania gime114 
cuz they black?
2018-10-08 21:16
Denmark how_much_ 
the correct term is african american bro, mind your manners.
2018-10-08 22:29
But he is danish? how can he be african american??
2018-10-08 23:01
United States hoobit 
Exactly wtf just call him black
2018-10-09 05:13
People are retarded
2018-10-09 08:59
He is black bro.
2018-10-09 07:04
i was joking i know that you compare them because they are black which i thought is funny so i made fun of it
2018-10-09 11:08
2018-10-08 20:43
typical bo1 underdog wins,nothing special
2018-10-08 20:44
2018-10-08 21:04
Spain elskio 
+refrezh -aizy
2018-10-08 20:45
Israel xpicyyy 
2018-10-08 21:46
Uzbekistan NoVodka4u 
Keep in mind that 2 out of 3 teams mentioned are major contenders and Gambit is a major finalist
2018-10-08 20:53
major winner in fact
2018-10-09 13:10
TriHard emotes in the chat!!
2018-10-08 20:46
12 btw haHAA
2018-10-08 20:47
twitch chat btw
2018-10-08 20:57
Sweden crindz 
this guy destroyed Gambit ez
2018-10-08 20:51
Bulgaria AboveYall 
new SpawN
2018-10-08 20:52
EZ FOR VIKING North or Optic should pick him up. We need to see him at more upper tier events.
2018-10-08 20:52
viking? LULW ))))))))
2018-10-08 21:06
Denmark how_much_ 
username checks out
2018-10-08 22:30
nt somali
2018-10-09 15:25
Ez spawn
2018-10-08 20:56
gambit? established? yikes
2018-10-08 20:57
2018-10-08 21:00
Ez ez ez
2018-10-08 21:08
-> Gambit -> established team LMAO
2018-10-08 21:09
The next SpawN fursur
2018-10-08 21:09
Israel xpicyyy 
-gade +refrezh north will dominate astralis
2018-10-08 21:45
Well to be honest Gambit is falling apart and BIG is showing to be a "1 good tournament per year" kind of a team. They're still better than Fragsters at least on paper so you have to give them that.
2018-10-08 22:03
1. Astralis 2. Fragsters 3. North 4. OpTic
2018-10-08 22:17
ez for Mr.African
2018-10-08 22:29
World Jeza 
Nice interview, guy seems humble. +1 for Fragsters
2018-10-08 22:32
Bulgaria Crazy_Gamer 
This arab gipsy thinks he and his bot team play very well after beat so weak teams! You are so funny
2018-10-08 23:05
United Kingdom oyyrofl 
Seems like a smart guy, good read!
2018-10-09 01:18
Guys got a level head and speaks well. Hope it goes well for the guy.
2018-10-09 05:05
Fragsters will win this event
2018-10-09 11:07
ez black man
2018-10-09 11:47
Refrezh is truly the black horse of this tournament.
2018-10-10 19:33
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