The first match of the main tournament at EPICENTER, FaZe - ENCE, went all three maps, but the European mixture was victorious. A strong CT side on Mirage decided it in the end, after both team's won their opponents' map picks.
In our post-match interview, olofmeister touched on the team getting back in form, their busy schedule online and the mood in the team, amongst other teams.
The online season obviously started, you are in ESL Pro League, you are in ECS, you played 32 matches already in a short period of time. Tell, me how has that been going for you guys?
Online is... very interesting. It is hard to be super motivated, but at the same time it is super important to play these games because you qualify for really big events. However, we have four games every day basically, and at the same time we want to practice as well, so we practiced maybe four maps the same day as well. So we played for maybe eight hours straight when we had officials, which is hard for us.
Since we haven't really gotten the results we want to get, we want to practice more and get back into it, and it is also hard to prepare for people when you have, every day, two new teams to play against. And then, at the same time, we vetoed in advance, so we played the same maps against the same teams in two different leagues one day after another, so it was super hard to play sometimes. I think that they should go back to BO1s because now you have so few weeks to put every game in, so the games are not good, basically.
Both leagues also practically have the same format, wouldn't it be better to have something different between the leagues, in your opinion?
I totally agree, it feels like you play the same league all the time, the same people in the same way... it's just weird.
Coming into EPICENTER, we saw Astralis pull out and mousesports as well, was there any thinking that you guys could also skip this event and focus more on practicing?
Eh... yeah, we didn't really want to pull out because this is a very good event for players and we want to play events, we want to improve and at the same time, it is hard. In one hand, you can go home and practice a lot, but we always feel like we learn more when we play officials. So we want to just keep grinding and learn from our mistakes. And we are getting better and better every day with NiKo. It is a big difference having karrigan and NiKo as an in-game leader, I would say, we are learning every day.
Back in New York, NiKo mentioned that when you started losing, the mood in the team started deteriorating. Is that something you worked on in the meanwhile, is that something that you can even work on specifically?
I mean, it is hard to work on it because when you are winning a lot and you have been winning a lot in the past, it is easier to have the confidence that you can still win it. And when it goes hard for you for a period of time it is... we never give up, it is not something in that way, but it is easier to still believe if you have been winning a lot. I don't know how to work on it, we have to improve our game, then we will win, and with that, confidence will come.
With the two teams that I mentioned pulling out it is maybe a bit worse of a field, but there are still Liquid and Na`Vi here, two of the top three teams. So what is your thinking coming into this event?
For sure, that Astralis and mousesports pulled out makes it an "easier" event, but it is still super hard and as I said, we haven't really played that good lately. We just want to go far this tournament and there is a chance for us to win, we always aim to win, of course, but mainly it is just a chance to improve our game.
Touching on the ENCE game, they have been a team on the rise, you played them on Train first which is one of their stronger maps and it looked pretty easy for you guys. What do you think happened, did it seem that they were off their game or something like that?
They probably didn't play their A game but I think our Train is getting a lot better lately in practice, and I think it showed here. We have worked on some stuff on Train that we can use and I also think we played Inferno and Overpass maybe 20 times out of those 32 maps online, so it was nice to play a different map. I think that we have improved our Train a lot and we got some good, key rounds that we won.
On Inferno it started well, then on the CT side you won the pistol and second round and then they just started rolling. What was the issue on the CT side and do you think the new economy played anything into this?
I would say that me and Finn (Finn "karrigan" Andersen) didn't do enough from B. They focused a lot on B, NiKo even mentioned that to us, that they like to go B a lot, but we didn't do it good enough. I think we also did one mistake, that we bought when it was 11-7 or something, we should've just played to the score, gotten more utility the next round because we didn't have that much utility. But it was mainly that I and Finn messed up on B.