kakafu: "We had four big events in which we performed well"
After a slow start with losses to Fragsters and OpTic, BIG stayed alive after taking Complexity out. The German squad is now the first team in the 1-2 pool ahead of the fourth and last day of group stage play at StarSeries i-League Season 6.
In the interview, kakafu talks about the team's break between the FACEIT Major and StarSeries i-League Season 6, the rough start in Kiev with two losses, the key to Denmark having a deep pool of young talent, and he defends BIG as more than just a one tournament team.
Last we saw of you on LAN was at the Major, where you made playoffs. How have you used your time between London and now? What have you been up to?
We're focusing mostly on ESL Pro League, on how to practice for it, then we played some matches, and we wanted to make sure we're prepared because it's very important for us. We want to make sure not to relegate again because MDL is super hard, every team that relegates has a hard time making it back up, so we're focusing on ESL Pro League and we just had like three days to focus on StarLadder. We played some during those three days, but we also had some free time because there were some birthdays and so on.
You opened up here in Kiev against Fragsters. Do you think you underestimated them?
No, I'm always watching tier 2 and tier 3 matches, and Fragsters was on our radar, so we knew that they have the potential to upset any team because their roster is really up and coming. They haven't played Nuke for a long time, so what we did wrong is think that we could take them on it. We won the CT pistol round but then lost the second round, which broke our economy and that made everything way harder.
On the T side we were up 15-11 and we couldn't close it, which shows we still need to put some more time into our Nuke. We're ready to play it, but the T strats look shaky sometimes and aren't always on point. We didn't underestimate Fragsters, they just played well and we had the chances to win against them but we just didn't take them.
Then came OpTic, a really one-sided match on Inferno. They have been having their own struggles as of late, while you come off of a good result. What happened there?
I think it's the typical Inferno match for us. I read a comment, and I know pros should not read comments, but somebody wrote, "It's the ELEAGUE Major all over again," where we got destroyed on Inferno, and it's actually kind of true, I think. In the end, we all agreed that we didn't play well. We weren't playing Banana as aggressive as we do in practice because in practice we were way more aggressive on all fronts in the map and against OpTic we fell back into our old structure again, where we get scared of Banana and then we hit the A site but we were not moving forward really well and our flashes weren't hitting...
I think the mentality of losing against Fragsters, being unable to reset, and starting poorly on Inferno and making bad calls and decisions hurt us. Also smooya not being in the game, he told me he had like two AWP frags in two matches. He was probably overreacting (laughs), but not being able to get Banana control and Owen not having much impact with the AWP are really the key points.
Do you think Denmark is just too strong?
(laughs) They are insane. What can I say? They have insane talents.
I actually have a story. I talked to HUNDEN and asked him why Germany doesn't have the same talents as Denmark, and he answered that it's pretty simple: In Denmark kids are going to LAN when they're 12-years-old while in Germany they're not even allowed to go until they're 16, so by the time German players start going to LAN, Danish players already have 50 LANs under their belt. So yeah, they have insanely good talents, there.
Today, you finally got your win against compLexity, another Major playoff team. You both struggled here early on, so what do you think went on with two Legends fighting not to go 0-3 here?
Neither of us are that established, we're not top 10 teams, compLexity and us, we still need to win more tournaments, or make more playoffs, before we can say, "OK, we're top 10 teams," although I think the potential is there. I think coL have to prove a little bit more because we had good runs in Belo Horizonte, in Cologne, we come from the Major, and we played the ESL Pro League relegation playoffs, which are four huge events in which we proved ourselves.
I think they have a bit more to prove than us, and when we started poorly with the Fragsters match that kind of pulled us down. We lost an Inferno after, and it's still a Swiss BO1, right? But this is an event we should prove ourselves. We had a bad start but I hope we can come back.
Some people have been saying that BIG is just a one tournament team, but you just said you play well at a few events, so what do you have to say to the haters?
What can I say to the haters? I don't know. (laughs) Most of the hate comes from Thorin. We always have these Twitter beefs, but I find it very amusing. I still follow him and retweet stuff, but it's just what I said. We had four big events in which we performed well, and not every team can make it out of MDL. People underestimate that league a lot. VP went down, Gambit went down, and these were top teams at the time.
Now mouz will have a hard time at the Minor, too, don't think they will have an easy time. Remember NiP also had that struggle. Tier 2 really isn't that easy because people prepare a lot for you. They know everything you're going to do because you have so many matches that they can just look and say, "OK, you play like this? We'll play anti," which is why Tier 1 have a tough time against Tier 2.
I hope people will just support us, we know we're not there yet, we're not delusional, we know we have to prove ourselves, but every tournament we go to we try and I think every tournament we go to we can compete, I'm 100% sure, so we just need to prove it.