karrigan: "We still need to prove ourselves; we need to be stable"
The former in-game leader spoke about the pressure on himself and the whole team following their surprising triumph at EPICENTER last week.
We also asked the Dane about his decision to start playing with the AUG and SG556, which he has preferred over the M4 and the AK since the Russian tournament, and about FaZe's two matches in Copenhagen so far.
Let's go back to your interview with TV2 before EPICENTER, in which you were talking about the pressure on yourself after NiKo became the in-game leader. Since then you've won that tournament, so has that relieved the pressure at all?
We knew that the three tournaments that were coming up were important to see where the team will lie and see how stable we are as a team. By winning EPICENTER it gives a little bit more confidence to the team, I don't know if it released the pressure, I still think that we need to prove ourselves rather than having one tournament like North had and then crash out of another one. We need to be stable.
We have always been, since I came into the team, a stable top-five team in the world, and we need to continue that. We had some issues online, but the LAN matches we played at EPICENTER were really good, so I guess we have to see after Chicago how it feels. Right now, it feels good, everybody is happy and I'm trying to do the job NiKo wants me to do, and I'm just trying to improve on that in every game.
Speaking about the job, how would you compare it to your old role? Is there a noticable difference to you?
When I was the in-game leader, I was still doing a lot of the sacrifices - I'm still doing those, I'm the one dropping pistols, I'm the one dropping better weapons, buying all the grenades and stuff like that, trying to set up the teammates. When NiKo makes a call, I'm trying to help him make that call a right one.
For example, on Mirage, if we want to do a mid standard in a certain way on the map, I'm trying to set up rain or whoever, flash for them and smoke for them, stuff like that. I have kind of the same spots on the CT side and the whole thing, the difference is just that NiKo is calling and I'm just trying to help him in the way I can in specific situations.
Has the style of the team changed?
I think the big difference was, to begin with, that at the Major we played way slower than I do on different maps. When we came to EPICENTER, we started out very slow, as well. Na`Vi wrecked us on Overpass, so me, RobbaN, and NiKo had a talk about how to mix it up a little more, and I think we are now closer to the way I was calling, where I was mixing up some fast rounds, some slow rounds-
Right now, it feels like we've just gained our confidence back and obviously we have different mid-round calls, but, in the end, I still feel like this is the way we have to play with this team, you have to get those players in those positions. We haven't made so many new things, but the mid-round calling is always a bit different from player to player because he's in a different part of the map compared to me.
Going over to your matches here in Copenhagen, we wouldn't have expected you to go to a tie with NiP, tell me about the match and why you didn't manage to close it out.
To be honest, when you play the same team on seven maps within six days and three of them are Mirage, it is going to be hard not to completely screw up some rounds because you're thinking they already know this and stuff like that. It shouldn't happen like that, but often you're scared to call what you think is the right call because you did it so many times against them and what worked two days ago might not work now because they changed something up.
In the end, I felt like we weren't ready on T side, we couldn't close out the rounds, but on CT side we played really great. Today, I would say we had three really good halves out of four and that's why we're on four points now.
Talking about the other game against Na`Vi, you've been having problems on T side on Overpass against them in the past three matches or so, in which you weren't able to put up solid offenses - here you got nine rounds, does that come down to something you've changed in particular?
After the Na`Vi game on Overpass at EPICENTER in the group stage, we had a talk about playing too slow and against a team like Na`Vi, who gambles a lot when there are 40 seconds left, it can be really tough. If you don't try to counter those gambles and begin early round, then it's going to be really hard in the end.
I think what NiKo realized and what we came down to was playing a little bit faster on Overpass, so you kind of bait out the grenades, and then you can start mixing it up playing slower. They were just holding grenades the whole game, in the first game, and we didn't play Overpass against them in the grand final - I don't know why - but we played it today and I think you can see the difference. We played way different from the EPICENTER group stage Overpass and this Overpass.
In the last week, you've been one of the biggest users of the scopes, what has been the main motivation to start playing with the AUG and SG for you?
To be honest, I was kind of bored in Russia, so I started playing DM and I felt like it was actually a good weapon in DM. So I played like two to three hours of DM every day with the SG and AUG in Russia. I still have some awkward duels sometimes in where I shouldn't zoom and where I should zoom, but, right now, I have specific situations where I think it's really good.
Still, it's pretty hard to play without the zoom on the SG, that's one thing. If you play some specific positions, I think the AUG can be really good, it's actually kind of the same recoil and the same fire rate on the M4 and AUG, so there's no big difference there, you just have to get used to it.
Like I said, I'm still trying it out, I know what maps work right now, and I'm just trying to improve that. For me, it makes a big difference on Mirage, it means I have two playing styles. I can play passive with that weapon and I can play aggressive with other weapons, so I'm just trying to mix up my game on those spots.
Find a little bit more versatility?
Yeah, when you play Mirage B for two years in a row, you feel stale in the end, and we are playing double AWP and I'm not one of them, so I'm kinda just jumping B (laughs). That's one of the things why I'm changing up my B game on Mirage, at least.