Jame: "Every win gives more confidence; you look at opponents differently"
The team from Kazakhstan has been the surprise of the tournament so far, beating both NiP and HellRaisers in BO3 series. The latter win came in just two maps, Inferno and Train, with Jame being one of the standout players.
In the post-match interview, we talked about the feeling the team had before playing on stage, losing clutches on Train, and how passing on the IGL duties to Alexey "qikert" Golubev rejuvenated Jame's game.
Going into the match against HellRaisers, what were your general expectations, and what did you think about the maps, getting Train and Inferno?
Nothing special. We approached this game as a regular match. Just a regular match against an average team. About the maps, actually, we didn't prepare Train and Inferno, but other maps: Cache, Mirage, Overpass.
On Inferno, it seemed like your CT side was pretty good. You were very active, pushing a lot, doing aggressive plays. Why did you decide to do those pushes and why were you so confident to peek mid, push banana as CT?
It's Inferno, you need to peek and play aggressively on Banana. Banana is a key point on the map and we tried to fight. Most likely, our players on Banana are better individually than theirs, so we won there. If HellRaisers played better on Banana, we could've avoided fights and played more defensively, but they were losing there.
Moving on to Train, it was back-and-forth at the beginning, but then you lost a couple of clutches, a 1v4 to ANGE1 and a 1v3 to woxic in the pistol. How was the team feeling after losing those rounds?
After ANGE1's clutch it was bad, but we understand that this is not the first time we lost three clutches and we know how to act in such situations so we didn't pay attention to it. When woxic won clutch, it wasn't that crucial of a pistol round as it perhaps seemed to be. We were sure that we were better on CT side than them.
Did you feel any pressure closing out the game, considering it was a big game, on stage?
The biggest pressure was in the beginning when we were waiting for the match. But when you get into the booths, it is very comfortable, just like you're playing at home.
You got a couple of big wins now, NiP in the group stage, HellRaisers now, you also beat compLexity in New York... do you feel like you are proving yourselves as a team now?
Every win gives you more confidence for further matches and you look at opponents differently, like they're equal to us. Before, it felt like we played against teams out of our league.
Next you are playing against Natus Vincere, a top 3 team, a very big opponent and especially here, in this arena, everyone will probably be cheering for them. What are your expectations from that match?
In regard to the crowd, it doesn't make much of a difference. We'll just try to play good Counter-Strike in the semi-finals of such a big tournament. So we don't want to build expectations and fall to the pressure, but just play our CS.
Recently you have been playing really good, you have good stats online and offline. What has been the key to your individual form being so good for about the last three months?
I passed the IGL role to qikert, though I remained in a role of secondary IGL, he took the biggest part [of the work]. That lets me focus on my game and it's just much easier. People don't understand how easier it is to play only thinking about the individual game.
Do you have any AWPers that you look up to, other players that you watch demos of and pick up stuff from?
Once I passed on the IGL role, I stopped watching demos. Before that, I was watching demos and looking up all the best AWPers in the world paying attention how they move and play. Back then, I didn't understand why I played so badly, but now, without the role of the captain, I don't even watch them.