Vega Squadron squeezed out of the group stage winning against two CIS rivals, HellRaisers and Gambit, on the last day to make it 3-2. In the quarter-finals, Vega Squadron then beat Fragsters in very convincing fashion, and will today go up against NRG for a spot in the StarSeries grand final.
In the interview, translated by manager Alexander "Lk-" Lemeshev, chopper runs us through the keys to beating NRG, the squad's goals of playing like they do in practice, the problems they face against overconfident teams in said practices, and how Vega Squadron's style of play is not as erratic as it may seem.
We're going to see a rematch of the first match you played here, a close 19-17 map against NRG. Do you expect it to stay tight this second time around?
The key to winning it is to get a good start because we played them in the first game, which was very close, and we were even winning going into the last round. we could have won that match. They're in quite a good shape both individually and as a team, but we can still beat them. It all depends on how we start. If we start well, if we get that good feeling and can keep it going, we can win the whole thing.
What do you need to do to get that feeling to start well?
It's all about coming into the game fully focused. We need to warm up properly and we need our communications to be on point, that will be key.
You played them in a BO1, now it will be a BO3. How do you think your map pool stacks up against theirs?
In all of the matches in which you know your opponent, and your opponent knows you, you know what they're going to pick and they know what you're going to pick, so there are no surprises. I think the map pools stack really well, so we're just hoping for a good game.
I talked to ImAPet and he expects a brawl, a lot of clutch rounds and 2vs4s, 2vs5s, etc. Do you think it will have that back-and-forth feeling?
Yeah, I think the game could go that way. It could have a very fast pace because NRG are an aggressive team with a lot of early timing-based actions around their high individual skill. They are down to win some duels and then try to play the clutch, as they're comfortable playing those situations like we are. I think the pace of the match will be fast with a lot of aggression.
You're known for doing some crazy plays, trying to surprise, playing with a more erratic style. NRG don't do it to the same level, but compared to some of the other teams they also have a bit of that in them. How do you think the styles are going to clash, in that sense?
Even though it may not look like we're playing with structure, some say it's just chaotic with a lot of rushes and about winning duels and hitting headshots, but it's not really like that. We do have our structure, and we know why we play the duels we do at the time we do, and we know what we need to do for that to work.
It's kind of the same for NRG, both of us have good individual players that can afford to go for some of these overpeeks to get some of those early duels and leaving it down to the clutches. It may not look like we have structure, but from our point of view, we do. We practice that way and then we do it on LAN as well.
Talking about practice, jR said back in the day that you were having some trouble in practice with other teams because of the style you play. Has it gotten any better?
The thing is that nowadays we're practicing against all of the teams, but it came to the point that it's really hard because a lot of teams feel super confident in practice. Right now, it's not even that we rush opponents, we're the ones getting rushed. Teams will just rush out mid and smash us, without there being much we can do about it, but when it comes to LAN, teams are playing different.
That's what we feel might give us an advantage because if we do some aggressive stuff, we're still trying to make the same plays on LAN. On the other hand, other teams we practice play one way in practice and another different way on LAN, and I think that can be bad for them because if you try to overthink and play ways you haven't tried in practice it may not work.
You made top 4, which is pretty good considering some of the teams that were here, including several Major Legends that flopped out. How do you feel about that achievement and how confident are you moving forward?
As we say in Russia, "You get hungry as you start eating," and it's the same in this case. We already reached top 4, but we're hungry for more. The goal for us wasn't about a placement, but rather about playing the same way on LAN as we play in practice, to stick to the plan and play as we did before. I think we're playing well here, and as crush said in his interview the other day, we may be a better team that we were at the Major, even though we didn't have time to fix some things because it's just a couple weeks after the Major and we have some stuff we're planning on changing.
Even if you go 0-3, and you lose all three games, but they're all very close, it may be even better than losing 2-3 but getting smashed in some games and not playing confidently. Here, we know we can achieve more because we have the semi-final coming and the support of the home crowd. But yeah, the goal is to play as well as we can and as close as what we show in practice. That's what we want to show everyone.