Natus Vincere made it to the ESL Pro League quarter-finals, but were ultimately unable to put up a fight against Liquid. We caught up with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev to hear about how his team is doing.
Natus Vincere opened up the ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals struggling, but eventually beating heavy underdogs ORDER 16-14 on Mirage. They then lost 2-0 to mousesports, but made their way to through the group stage lower bracket, qualifying for the quarter-finals with victories over Sharks and Ghost. They then went out to a far superior Liquid, and will be thinking about their last event of the season, BLAST Pro Series Lisbon.
You had a rough tournament, but you managed to make playoffs. On the Na`Vi spectrum of winning titles or going out in last place, where do you think you are right now?
I don't know, I think we lost our form and we need to win it back before the Major. We'll have a lot of practice time before that tournament. Of course, there's Blast Pro Series, but after that, we'll work very hard for the next Major.
Talking about Blast Pro Series, it's your last tournament of the season. Are you a bit tired, or do you feel good going into it? You already won one Blast this year...
We just want to fix our mistakes from this tournament and try to do something at Blast because the way we played at this tournament was not our best performance at all. I don't know what happened with us, but we need to get our confidence back. Blast isn't as important of a tournament for us like this one was [ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals], but yeah...
It's getting late in the season, most teams have played each other a lot, do you think they've figured you out? Or what is it, do you think, that's hurting you?
Yeah, we actually discussed this, how the other teams are preparing right now. I don't know, maybe they're watching us more, they're learning more and reading us more because we're always in some tournaments. Now they just feel more confident against us, they hit their headshots and they get confidence and they win really easily against us. We just need to stop it somehow before the Major.
Do you think some changes to the map pool, or coming up with new stuff, what is it you think you can practice getting ready for the next year?
Oh boy... I don't know... Just everything.
Maybe we should play Cache, I don't know. Maybe Valve will remove it, but yeah... We just need to find an answer.
Talking about the future, have you already talked about any kind of goals or stuff you hope to achieve?
Yeah, our main goal is the Major. We're going to skip everything and we're going to prepare for that tournament and see what happens there. We lost mentally against Astralis before the FACEIT Major, they went in stronger and with more experience, and I think if we keep working as we did before, everything will be good at the Major.
How do you feel about it being the first tournament of the year? Do you think teams will be well rested and ready?
Yeah, yeah. It's something new because everyone will create some stuff, and nobody will show it at the qualifiers or during the first stage of the Major, but during the playoffs, I'm sure we'll see some new boost or some new executes. I think it's going to be the best Major ever because all of the teams are going to prepare really well and the level of Counter-Strike right now is huge compared to two or three years ago. Everyone is on point, you know? If you don't have team chemistry, if you don't have synergy between the players... You need to feel confident to be on the top.
You need to feel confident to be on the top. So what is it you need to get that confidence? Do you work on it actively?
Results. Results and practice, relationships, everything. Every aspect, like in every sport. It's something we usually work on, but in the past few months... I don't know, we just didn't have time to work on everything. There were always some problems.
Do you think you can get it back before the Major?
Yeah, I think we have time to fix everything and prepare really well for the Major.