fitch: "I'm trying to be the player that supports his teammates in terms of mentality"
In our interview with the 26-year-old fitch, which we conducted before heis team lost to forZe 16-8, we touched on his role of the experienced member of the team, AVANGAR's mentality, and recent successes and failures.
The last event I saw you at was EPICENTER, you had a good showing there, and shortly after that you had IEM Chicago, also a big event, but it didn't go so well. You played three maps and went out, so tell me, what went wrong in such a short span of time? Why were you not able to play well in Chicago?
The first thing was probably that we didn't expect to play Train against mousesports, that is why we lost. I don't know, something went wrong at the start of the tournament because we weren't really confident. Then also the map, we thought we were going to play Mirage or Dust2, but we played Train which is not our best maps or our second best map. That game just crushed us mentally, it was hard to come back from it. We played the second game against Luminosity and we were winning 14-8 or so and then something went wrong, we started relaxing, started to give them round after round and there was no way to bring it back. So after the first map, we played the pick of Luminosity... the whole game was wrong. I don't know how to explain it, but the feeling was bad.
Did you learn anything from that event, something that you can improve on moving forward?
Of course, I told my teammates to work on the mentality, because if you lose, you can't just be down. You have to be strong, keep believing. I think that they did something about it.
Is that your role in this team? Being the guy that has a bit more experience, leading them mentally, helping with the morale?
Yeah, of course, every time my team is leading 8-0, 9-0 or something, they start to relax. I'm always telling them 'Yo, guys, do not relax. We are still playing, we are still live. Come on.'. And I'm trying to be that player that always supports his teammates in terms of mentality. Of course, they believe me, they trust me because I am the older one, and they also try to be nice. I think we are good, we are becoming better and better from tournament to tournament.
Then you played the Minor Closed Qualifier, obviously, you were favorites to go through, but still, I feel like it was a big thing, that you really needed to go through. How did that go down?
It is all about the region, in the CIS region players know each other very well so that why it is really hard to play against CIS teams, it feels like everyone is on the same level. We won against UnderPressure with seized, hooch and starix, but they really surprised us because I thought we should've won against them easily. But it didn't happen, we played three maps, some overtimes, it was crazy. So they are really good. The first day we played against a fresh team, PUGSTAR5, that was not so hard. But finally, we secured the spot at the Minor.
After that you attended the Bucharest Invitational run by ESL. It wasn't a big tournament, a lot of people didn't follow it because ESL Pro League was happening at the same time, but what was that event like, in general?
It was kind of like DreamHack goes, DreamHack Winter or something like that, a gaming expo. A lot of people were watching different games, there were not too many people who were watching the CS games in front of the stage, but generally, the tournament was good. The first game was hard to play because the PCs weren't that good because of FPS and the monitors were 144Hz, we should've taken time to setup properly but we didn't have much time for that, and the first game we played against Windigo and we lost because of it. We should've warmed up to understand what is going to happen, how to play. Then we won the two last maps vs. Windigo and then played Vega Squadron in the final. Against Vega, I don't know, Vega just broke, something went wrong with them. I don't know.
With the win in Bucharest, the Minor qualification, did you get more confidence before coming here, what was the atmosphere in the team before coming to this event?
Of course, if you are winning, you are always getting more and more confidence. My teammates right now are really confident, no matter the enemies we are going to play. I hope this tournament is going to be good for us. My goal, to be real, is to be top three. Not top one, to be a dreamer, top three is good.