allu: "The main focus would be to take more time off so we can give 100% when we do play"

In the aftermath of ENCE's elimination from EPICENTER, we sat down with Aleksi "⁠allu⁠" Jalli who gave us insight on why they failed in Moscow and what the team is going through right now.

Not long after ENCE won their first $250,000+ tournament, StarSeries i-League S6, the Finnish squad was competing in Moscow at EPICENTER. As the highest HLTV-ranked team at the Wild Card Qualifier, they were promoted directly to the group stage and placed in group A alongside Natus Vincere, FaZe, and HellRaisers.

ENCE will need to add a new layer to their game now that people have stopped looking at them as underdogs, allu says

ENCE wasn't able to continue their strong run at EPICENTER, being eliminated after two BO3 losses: one to FaZe and one to HellRaisers. In our interview, allu explained how the team obviously didn't have the same energy that they did in Ukraine, which lead to this subpar performance.

A lot of players, especially younger ones, after getting a big achievement, a big win, have a motivation drop. Talking about your win at StarSeries, do you think that that affected you guys as a team at all?

Maybe a little bit, but, we are still in the learning phase as a team. Ok, even though we won StarLadder, it is a huge achievement for us, but in the bigger picture, it is not that big of a deal. We beat mousesports in a BO1, good team, but then again they replaced Snax right after, so the team most likely wasn't in the best shape, even though they won New York right before. Then we beat BIG, they are a good team, right? So that was a good thing for us, but then we beat OpTic, who are on a similar level to us, so that is nothing special, and then we beat Vega Squadron, who is also on a similar level to us. We kind of just did what we had to do. Of course, it is a good thing to win, good experience for us and a confidence boost, but in the end, we shouldn't get too hyped about it.

And why we failed here is not because our motivation dropped, it is mostly because we are really tired of playing. We practice so much, all the time, we have online qualifiers, we have ESEA MDL, we were in Kiev for nine days, we played a lot, with a lot of focus, there was a lot of wanting to win, wanting to improve. You put in everything, you put your heart there, you want to just beat everyone. And then we come home, we have half of a day off and then we start to play... and then we come here. You know, people are tired, it is mostly that. I think we played really badly here, we weren't ourselves I would say, but we still lost to FaZe, who have been struggling but are still a top team, and even playing badly we got a map off of them. Obviously, they weren't in the best shape either, I think that in our game they played pretty shaky. And then we lost to HellRaisers who are also a good team. So it is a learning process here.

You mentioned that you practice a lot. I think, on record and off record, a lot of people have been saying that you've been doing great in practice. What is different about the way you approach practice, compared to other teams? Is there something special?

I've played in a lot of teams, right? So the difference with this team is that we try to play "match moves" a lot in practice. We have strats that we want to practice sometimes, but mostly when we practice we try to learn how to adapt in certain situations, how to play and not overpeek, we try to play the clutches as you would play in a Major final, you know? Obviously, not play scared, but play smart. We try to implement that in practice so it transfers into the games. Obviously, there are one or two practices, here and there, where we just push a lot, but mostly our practices are really serious and we try to really focus on improving rather than just playing.

Some of these players in your team are pretty young, inexperienced, how do you get them to buy into that mentality that every practice needs to be played as if it was an official? Because a lot of people say that, but when they really go into the server and start practicing, it doesn't really hold up.

We just want to go high. We have our goal, together, to reach the top. And to reach the top we have to put a lot of effort and a lot of hours and everybody has to be on the same page. And also be focused a lot on communication, I stress it a lot to the boys that we have to speak all the time. In practice, even if we are tired, even if you are doing stupid moves, you still have to say what you are doing so that the practice is not useless. So you get the communication up. I feel like that is really key, when the communication is flowing you take more initiative, your teammates make better moves, you can play off each other. That is also one reason why we have improved a lot, the communication part.

Now we have reached the point where we have to practice other things, now people started to know a bit how we play, people didn't use to take us seriously, we were a bit under, now we are towards the top and people know that you shouldn't underestimate us. So now we have to start practicing how we can play our own game, but still adapt so it is harder to read what you do, as sometimes we play pretty predictable, I would say. Now we are trying to fix that. But mainly, the point is to get everyone on the same page, that we want to improve together and we want to go higher. If everybody has the same goal, all five of us and the coach, you will make it work.

sergej is very mature for his age, which helps him get along with the rest of the team and a veteran like allu

What are your impressions of playing with sergej so far? He wasn't playing on the top Finnish scene when you were playing in Finland, but now you are back and playing with him. What do you make of this guy?

I really liked him, we have a good bond, I would say. We are roommates and he is a really nice guy and obviously a really skilled player. He is calm and is one or two years more mature than his age, which makes it easier for the rest of us, who are a bit older, to work with him.

For a team like yours, you have probably three main things: qualifying for the big events, making the Minor and Major, and then the online leagues. You are in ESEA MDL, how big of a focus is doing well there and qualifying for Pro League, compared to these two other things?

The focus of qualifying for MDL playoffs and hopefully qualifying for Pro League is obviously important for us. But MDL is really hard, firstly when we practice, we practice against tier 1 teams. When we play in tournaments, we mostly play against tier 2 or tier 1 teams. Then, when you travel a lot and you practice a lot, you should have a good focus in MDL playing, let's say... after we won StarLadder we played against the Swedish team Flow. It is really hard for you to put 100% of your focus after you've just played on LAN against teams like BIG, mousesports, where you are hyped. When you go back home and you play against Flow, you don't get the same feeling, it is not disrespecting to anyone, you just don't get the same feeling. And then it makes it harder.

Now, we are going to take some time off, a little bit, as we dropped out here, and then we will really start to put our focus on qualifying for Pro League, and obviously the Minor, those are the two most important things for the rest of the year for us.

You kind of covered all of it, but still, is there anything else you will be focusing on as a team going forward from here?

As a team, mostly, I guess we have to, when the schedule is really hectic, take a little bit more breaks, as since we created this team six months ago, we only had a break during August for two weeks, but other than that, we don't really have any breaks and we practice mostly six days a week. So we play a lot, really a lot. And it showed here that we are really tired. When we went to Kiev, you could feel the energy, even in the airport, when we were traveling, that we are going there to play. We want to play, we want to win, we want to show ourselves. Then, when we came here, everyone is more like: "Ahhh... we are going to Moscow. We are playing EPICENTER... it's ok." People are tired. So the main focus would be to take more time off so we can really give 100% when we do play.

Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Netherlands Ernie_420
2018-10-25 12:13
i did it
2018-10-25 12:23
2018-10-25 12:38
2018-10-25 12:13
Netherlands Removed
Allu is underrated
2018-10-25 12:13
Sweden Dino1
Jokes and meme asides, he actually is Just look at NiP with Allu and without LUL
2018-10-25 13:20
allu's NiP is one of few NIP lineups that didn't actually win anything. But then again, it's the last that reached major final too.
2018-10-25 15:58
India Noobdian
True.NiP didn’t win anything in 2015 (when Allu played for them). Still were a top 5 team
2018-10-25 17:43
shox | 
India iejesus
2018-10-25 12:13
flusha | 
Germany felo
He's right! EZ4ENCE
2018-10-25 12:13
Germany ConAction
this is the new meta and I hate it
2018-10-25 12:14
Boo | 
France mbl4
Which new meta ?
2018-10-25 12:28
Germany ConAction
skipping events and always practicing so we will never really get any real Tournament with all good teams participating !
2018-10-25 15:31
Finland Bjorkki
More like there's so many big events now that teams get split up between different ones. Players can't perform and won't have time to practise if they have to fly to a different country and back home every week.
2018-10-25 15:59
Finland Kunumesh
Yeah, they rly shouldn't put out a shit ton of events and ruin the importance of said events. One big event for every big organizer per year and we're talking about important tournament (hopefully) roughly once in a month. This would mean more importance per tournament and therefore higher tier teams in said tournaments too. Or other option would be to very obviously distinguish tournaments as tier 1, tier 2, etc. by price money. Now every freaking "tier 1" tournament that isn't a major is worth $250k or just a few which are more (mostly league finals like ESL or ESC). They should pay more prize money in tournaments they expect better teams to be in. Rly makes no sense to have starseries for $300k with tier 2-3 teams and epicenter $250k with mostly tier 1-2 teams.
2018-10-25 17:42
Finland mattixboi
explain yourself
2018-10-25 15:30
Germany ConAction
skipping events and always practicing so we will never really get any real Tournament with all good teams participating !
2018-10-25 15:31
Finland Orchard
1/5 bait, try harder plz
2018-10-25 15:48
2018-10-25 17:06
China teguP
2018-10-25 12:14
Ence would be in top5 by Summer 2019
2018-10-25 12:14
Finland Smoonah
only if they -xseven +sunNy/zehN
2018-10-25 17:48
I think they just to fix him or change the role, kick would take too much time for them to adapt again
2018-10-25 18:19
Finland Smoonah
yea i guess. just watching him play on Mirage most of the time seems like he doesn’t know where to go or who to help around the map. he’s usually just alone and dies without doing dmg
2018-10-25 19:54
yeah, I think you should talk with Aleksib, maybe they will take it in attention
2018-10-25 20:55
mirage is bad map for him
2018-10-26 09:07
Finland Smoonah
bad map in general for ence it seems
2018-10-26 18:47
United States hellboy^
2018-10-25 12:15
Just go back to make news on HLTV
2018-10-25 12:15
thank mr. allu
2018-10-25 12:26
valde | 
Finland Juvi
Good read
2018-10-25 12:42
2018-10-25 12:45
2018-10-25 12:46
Finland mattixboi
haha space soldiers
2018-10-25 15:30
haha no bot ence loosıng for tıer 2 HR
2018-10-25 15:31
Finland mattixboi
if hr is tier2, space soldiers are like tier5, also your country's best player is in this "tier2" team lol
2018-10-25 15:32
hahah ss always tıer2 maybe ence best player vs xantares who is best 14 years old sergej or aleksib ? who ıs better than xantares ??
2018-10-25 15:35
Finland mattixboi
allu, sergej, aerial
2018-10-25 15:36
better than xantares or calyx you are the dream world luul sergej + aerial maybe =xantares , kids
2018-10-25 15:37
Finland mattixboi
can you write in english
2018-10-25 15:39
okey 14 years old sergej drinking to milk
2018-10-25 15:40
Finland mattixboi
he's 16, also you cant drink to milk
2018-10-25 15:44
sergej is talking okey kids you trash
2018-10-25 15:47
Finland mattixboi
? i cant understand u
2018-10-25 15:48
me too kids
2018-10-25 15:49
Finland Smoonah
xanaxtares is overrated onliner
2018-10-25 19:57
Haha better than botallu+15yearsoldsergej
2018-10-25 21:03
Finland eMBeJaana
expected tier 5 english from kebab, go back to school :D
2018-10-26 09:55
You dont want to understand you know bot allu and bot ence go north kids winter is coming
2018-10-26 10:39
everybody are better than overrated xantares
2018-10-25 15:37
haha lul stupid is talking
2018-10-25 15:38
haha lul 3rd worlder is talking
2018-10-25 15:38
haha nt Juha Sipilä you are the best
2018-10-25 15:39
erdogan talking??
2018-10-25 15:41
i dont like erdogan where is the finland japan ?
2018-10-25 15:42
Finland Abksmurffi
Really? Xantares is what sergej will b e in 1 year
2018-10-25 18:09
At least ENCE hasn't been stuck there for years..
2018-10-25 15:35
Finland lasarus
ENCE gonna be in major 100%
2018-10-25 12:54
2018-10-25 17:46
Thats called the astralic tactic botallu :) u should try it some time..unlike faze moneyhos, shows in their results what happens when u get too greedy (:
2018-10-25 13:12
problem is astralis can go any event but ence can only go ones they manage to get in. beggars can't be choosers xd
2018-10-25 13:17
They've done their 10,000 hours thats why, ence need to keep going it will come to them. They just need to stay as a team to achieve it.
2018-10-25 14:24
Also true but still skip would be my choice.. PS faze got rekt by navi Just now OMEGALUL what did i Just predict =]
2018-10-25 18:22
Unlucky tournament. ENCE still BEST
2018-10-25 13:13
This guy is spot on. Wise words, make notes kids.
2018-10-25 13:36
Sweden Dino1
Sergej is so similiar to ELiGE in some kinda weird way
2018-10-25 13:20
No he is better
2018-10-25 13:36
Both albinos?
2018-10-25 21:08
2018-10-25 13:48
just another fluke, now go back to TIER 5
2018-10-25 13:50
Iceland fatboislim
2018-10-25 14:23
LUL 16-7
2018-10-25 15:11
Finland mattixboi
it was 16-6 i think
2018-10-25 15:31
Finland mattixboi
lmao tyloo 2k18
2018-10-25 15:31
And your team should just stay in China since it's a wasted spot every single time they qualify for something international.
2018-10-25 15:38
last I checked, Tyloo are Legends at Major ENCE? still Tier 5 or even worst
2018-10-25 15:53
And what has Tyloo won? Nothing, ever.
2018-10-25 16:49
Finland eMBeJaana
this :D
2018-10-26 09:57
Asia Qualifier LUL
2018-10-26 03:59
Finland Taynz
Tyloo fan saying tyloo tier 10 at best then
2018-10-25 15:44
if Tyloo Major Legend tier 10, ENCE Tier 20 I reckon
2018-10-25 15:53
EU>Asia Ence >>>> TyLUL
2018-10-26 04:00
Finland Taynz
Ence >>>>>>>>]>>>> bot tyloo
2018-10-26 05:01
#EZ4ENCE Let`s Go AlluGOD
2018-10-25 14:10
2018-10-25 14:10
2018-10-25 14:22
god allu
2018-10-25 14:32
2018-10-25 15:12
Nice interview,
2018-10-25 15:16
This is a great interview. One of the most detailed and honest I've seen on here and with very little of the bravado and hulls hit you get from some players who are desperate to tell everyone how awesome they are. Allu is humble and is genuinely experienced now, playing in NiP, FaZe, Mouz etc has probably given him a really solid understanding of how the game works and how to improve as a team and it's showing. ENCE are really consistent now (losing to Faze and HR is nothing to be ashamed of) and they are a genuine threat to any team in any tournament (bar Astralis). Solid effort, no-one would have expected there to ever be a top Finnish team again a couple of years ago.
2018-10-25 15:27
Finland Abksmurffi
Not humble just a normal Finn
2018-10-25 18:22
allu | 
Sweden Draden
GOD allu
2018-10-25 17:40
2018-10-25 18:36
Makes sense, winning event was a big deal for some of the guys in team who never had win such big event (even allu doesn't have many wins honestly cuz faze and nip often failed xd...) so probably their mental state was just not very focused after victory.
2018-10-25 21:10
lol wow "we need more time off getting paid to do nothing, then we will start winning and maybe be a decent team."
2018-10-25 22:42
Finland Raffe_
I think there are too many "," and not too many "." ;D
2018-10-26 08:08
2018-10-26 10:35
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