Vega Squadron came back from a 1-2 deficit after the first three days of competition at StarSeries i-League Season 6 in the last day with wins over regional rivals Gambit and HellRaisers to earn a spot in the quarter-finals.
Ahead of their bout against Fragsters, crush tells us about the team after their time at the Major, their struggles playing online vs. playing offline, the current meta of CS and how it may change with the new economy, and his feelings going into tomorrow's quarter-final bout against the Danes.
Let's go back to before the event, you had a pretty good event at the Major, particularly the first stage, how do you feel the team has been playing since then?
We made some conclusions from our results at the Major, what we needed to fix, and we feel better now, I think. We didn't have enough time to implement some things that we wanted to, so we'll have to do it after StarSeries. I think we're better now than at the Major. We may not all be in perfect shape or form, but if we talk about the team as a whole, I think we're doing better.
During the group stage here at StarSeries you had two domestic rivalries against Gambit and HellRaisers, do you think that played in your favor?
I don't think so because we haven't played them much in practice. We didn't actually know how they play. We know them as much as any other team, so I don't think we had any kind of advantage.
So, you didn't react in any particular way when you drew them?
No, actually we didn't. We had a talk while we were watching Gambit vs. North saying that we were going to end up playing against them and it happened, but I don't know. It was OK for us, it didn't really matter to us who we had to play against.
Tomorrow you have Fragsters, who have been showing they're in good shape, a young and hungry team, how are you going about that match?
They're a really good team, I think, they've proved it at this tournament, and they've had some great runs at other tournaments. For example, at Bets.net. which was also played here in Kiev. They beat some good teams, there. They're surprising everyone and we'll expect some surprising stuff from them.
Have you had time to practice today, to prepare for the match a bit?
We were talking about the maps we'll play, but we weren't able to practice because of some external reasons. I'd say we're mentally prepared for the match, though.
Before the event, you said you didn't have much time before the Major to prepare for StarSeries. Did you come here with any particular goals?
We weren't talking about goals at this event. The main goal at each event is to win as much as possible, to play your best until the last round is over. I think that's the main goal, to show what we're capable, that's all. It's also good that we reached playoffs, though. It's Ukraine, it's my hometown, and jR is also from Ukraine, so it'll be good to play in front of our crowd. It's already good to have made the playoffs, but we want more.
You lost to Monolith in the EPICENTER qualifier right before this event. What happened? Was that an online vs. LAN thing?
Yeah, it always feels different. When you play online everyone is comfortable and nobody is stressed. Everyone does their stuff and everyone is confident. On LAN everyone plays safe. Online we have some problems because a few of our players have bad internet connections. Other teams play worse on LAN than online, so I think we have an advantage there.
How do you think you can correct the online results?
Well, we have to fix the internet connection, but we also have to fix some mental things. You can't read people online because they're doing stuff more confidently, and we need to play more individually online.
You're now ranked right outside the top 20, what do you think you need to make the jump and become a solid top 20 team?
We're trying to work on our teamplay and fixing some in-game stuff, which I think will help us a lot. I think we're capable of playing against almost every team on LAN and we need to get better online. We need to be more focused online than on LAN. It's kind of stupid, but you do need to play more focused online than on LAN.
I don't know. Rankings aren't always accurate, as almost any team can beat any other team now. On LAN it's easier to beat stronger teams. CS right now is a bit strange because FaZe can lose to some underdog, or like mousesports in this tournament, almost losing to Sprout and then losing the games they did. It's a bit random right now.
Why do you think it's kind of random?
People are trying to overthink things. The meta right now is that everyone is used to default things so you need to do things that will surprise the enemy to win rounds, but sometimes, when you try and surprise someone, they are the ones that end up surprising you.
Well, big changes to the economy are coming. Do you think that will change things up?
I think it will, yes, because pistol rounds won't have that much effect on the economy, and you won't have such a big advantage. Right now if you win the first gun round you're already winning 5-0. I think it will change some things, the first rounds will be stronger because you'll be able to buy more utility and stuff like that.
To close it out. How confident are you in beating Fragsters tomorrow?
We're all confident in the game. Everyone is focused every round, playing to the edge, and I think we can win if everyone is fully focused, but I won't say we're going to smash them. I respect those guys, I know them, but if we play our best we will win.