Astralis clinched their tenth 2018 title in Lisbon with a 2-1 win over Natus Vincere in the grand final, where Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko & co. opened up with an Overpass win but ended up falling on Cache, a map they let through instead of Nuke in the veto, and Dust2 convincingly.
In our last interview from the tournament, the MVP, Magisk talked to us about the final veto and the victory, as well as about the award. He also briefly reflected on 2018 as a whole for him and Astralis and looked ahead into the next year.
To start off with the veto in the grand final, the main point was that Na`Vi let Cache through instead of Nuke, is that something you saw coming?
Yeah, we actually had a good idea that they would probably try to do something else now because we have been playing them so many times where we've been playing Nuke, and it felt like - at least from our perspective - that we had it under control every time we played against them. I don't think they have gotten over 10 rounds on Nuke, so I actually said before the final that I'm pretty confident they are going to veto Nuke.
We have been playing Cache once in a while to make sure we can play it just to play it against teams like Na`Vi, we know that people have to try something different because we're so strong on Nuke, people are experimenting with maps against us to figure out what kind of maps they can play against us. We had some preparation on Cache, we sat down and walked through everything before the final. We expected it, but we were better than I thought.
Considering how the map pool came out, were you confident about it?
Without Nuke, it's kind of different because whenever Nuke is in the map pool, we have almost won the map beforehand. Let's say in a best-of-five, we play their map first and then we play Nuke and if we win their map, we kind of feel like it's a 2-0. Obviously, we have to do the hard work, as well, but still, it's just a really nice confidence booster to know we have Nuke in the map pool.
You had a great tournament and this is your first MVP in your career, what does it mean to you?
I was wrecked in 2016 at EPICENTER (laughs), no, I'm kidding. It's really awesome to finally get the MVP. Not that it's the most important feeling for me, the most important feeling is to win, but it's nice to get some confidence for yourself and feel like you've been a huge part of winning, as well. I'm just happy that I finally got my first MVP, you always have to be happy about yourself, so it was a nice confidence boost.
2018 has been a particularly special year for you - your teammates had all been a part of the best team in the world at a point, but you hadn't -, is there anything at all that you regret from this year, any specific loss that you look back to?
No. Yeah, we have lost finals this year, we had a lot of tournaments, but in the end, sometimes you just have to accept the fact that people have a really good day and they play better than you. Yes, we lost finals in Sydney and Stockholm, that's just how it is. We know that people can beat us and we have to work hard every time to win, we do that and we prepare for every tournament.
It's nice to end the year in this way, I didn't expect it to go so well, I don't think anyone could have predicted us to win so many tournaments this year, but we just have to be grateful and not take it for granted. Next year is a new year and we have to keep working hard if we want to stay on the top. Everyone is going to look at us into the new year and that also means we have go home, make new stuff, evaluate if we have to change something, stuff like that. Even though we have a holiday now, we have to make sure that when we start next year, we work hard and don't take it for granted.
Looking into the next year, you already mentioned that the teams will look into you, a couple of players have mentioned they want to take you off the top, what's your response to that?
I don't really care if they want to take us off the top, everyone wants to do it. It doesn't really change the perspective going into a game, we know how to play against almost every team in the world and, of course, it just makes it more fun to beat them and destroy them every time.
If they want to think they can just take the throne away from us, it's okay for us because we know that we have everything in our hands and we have the ability to stay there if we work hard and develop all the time.