BIG had a rough start to IEM Chicago, losing to fnatic on Cache in their opening match. They bounced back in a big way, however, as they defeated Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev & co. in the first round of the lower bracket to stay alive in the the $250,000 tournament.
In the interview, tabseN talks about BIG after the Major, he opens up about not being able to concentrate during the past couple of weeks as much as he would like to, how his side is feeling ahead of their next matches, the secret to BIG's online success, and what they need to do in order to become a real title contender.
Let's go all the way back to the Major. It was a good tournament for you, becoming Legends and all, but after that you were expected to be able to do a bit more, I think, at Medium Events like StarSeries or summit. How do you feel about those events? Do you think you should have done better, or do you see them as decent results?
I definitely agree that we should have shown better results, in Kiev particularly. We lost a game against Fragsters which we shouldn't have. We were leading 15-8 or something like that and we lost the lead. They then played pretty well on Nuke and caught us off-guard. At summit, we said we wouldn't take the tournament too seriously because we wanted, mostly, to get used to the new time zone and to get ready for the event here in Chicago. Even though we had a pretty good run, the last two days were on me. I have a big impact on the team and if I don't feel good I can't give 100%. It's really unfortunate that it happened during the last few days of summit, and here as well...
I've just been having some personal issues that have been keeping me from concentrating as much as I could.
So yeah, we had a good talk yesterday, and I think we figured out a lot of stuff. We got very motivated for the match against Na`Vi, and we really wanted revenge for both Cologne and the Major.
Since you brought up the revenge, go ahead and tell me about how it feels. Did you believe you'd come out as strong as you did today?
It feels great to beat one of the best players in the world, maybe the best duo in the world, s1mple and electronic, they are amazing. We believed that we could win, but it's Na`Vi, so you never know. They can come out and do whatever they want and just win, so I feel really happy about this.
Tell me a bit about the keys of the match, what were the things you said: "OK, this is what we need to do in order to win?"
We tried some new stuff on Dust2 and it worked really well, although we weren't able to win the clutch rounds at the beginning and they just killed us. Other than that, we had some really good communication going on, we were really motivated, and I tried to fix my issues which I think really helped us with the win—me being there for the team again.
Let's rewind to yesterday and the match against fnatic. What went wrong, there, how did you let it slip?
We kind of knew how they play because they've played many officials on Cache. They played a kind of gather style, we call it "Bulgaria style," when one player goes door and two are main and they do a default and try to put pressure to get out with grenades. As I said before, it was my fault. They were hitting A more often and I just wasn't feeling it. I missed a lot of shots, easy shots. I didn't feel confident and they used it against us. They were putting so much pressure that we had to use all of our equipment early, which benefitted them. They just waited until we didn't have equipment, then hit the site, and killed us. We talked about it after, and we understood what went wrong, which is why today was completely different.
You're doing pretty well online, you're third in Pro League where there are a lot of matches being played, what's your secret behind the success?
There are too many matches online, and we just don't care too much, we use it as practice. If we lose, we lose, but we try to take the best out of it. It kind of worked, we won a lot of matches against good teams and that made us confident and comfortable playing online games. We were facing teams in ways we may not on LAN because you get afraid of losing a round or something like that, whereas online you just don't care sometimes. That's probably in our favor. If we don't take it as seriously, as we do in Pro League, you see how it goes. When we played Pro League last time, a year ago, we took it really seriously, we prepared for every team and every match, but after a loss, we'd get mad or sad, it'd be chaotic, so this time we're trying to make it better and it's working out.
You're standing in the top 10 now, but right on the edge, what do you think the team can do to solidify its position amongst the best? What do you need to get there?
Someone said this in another interview already, I think it was gob b, he said we're not ready to win an event right now, and I totally agree with it. We need to work on a lot of things, especially regarding our mentality. If we get to the point in which we can say we're strong enough mentally... say, for example, that we can get back into a game that we're losing by a lot, a game in which we lose the pistol rounds and we're down 0-7 at the start of the half, but we're able to bounce back, then we'll be ready. If the communication is still good, the motivation is high, we try to all give our best, then I can see us winning a tournament. Right now we're a top 10 team, for sure, and we can maybe beat some of the top teams, make them struggle, tickle them a little bit and try to do our best, and I think it's just a matter of time until we win an event, but we need to work on a lot of things before that happens.
So you struggle with mentality, but is there something you can pinpoint, what it is it you struggle with, and have you found any solutions you're implementing?
It's really hard to say because every person is different. You need to find a solution for everything. I can say that for myself, if I have personal issues which I think are bad for me, I get really affected and I show it, I show it in my face. I let my emotions get ahold of me. I always try to be calm, although I obviously have emotions. I try to be a hype person when we win, and I try to cheer the team when we lose, but if I have stuff going on behind-the-scenes then it's really hard to focus on everything.
You have one chance left. Two matches, you have to win both. That chance could have been gone against Na`Vi, but you prevailed. How are you feeling looking ahead?
Right now, after beating Na`Vi, we feel like we can do anything. We feel really confident and we know that if we do everything the way we did today, being motivated and so on, and if we hit all of the factors we need, we can beat anyone. It's a hard thing to do, but if we can, we can even repeat the Cologne run. It was the same, we had one chance and we did it. It's all best-of-three from now on and our map pool is fine, we just need to work on some small things on each map and we're good to go. I see us going through to the playoffs!