nexa: "We antistratted the sh*t out of everyone"

We spoke to Nemanja "nexa" Isaković after Valiance shocked mousesports with a 16-14 win on Mirage.

The Europe Minor is already delivering upsets, as the big favorites of the tournament, mousesports, were upset by Valiance 16-14 on Mirage in spite of a promising comeback attempt from Chris "chrisJ" de Jong's side.

nexa went in-depth into how Valiance prepared for mousesports

Shortly after the match, we got a hold of nexa to first go back a few months to when the current Valiance got together and how they built the new squad and naturally find out what they did in the opening match to beat mousesports.

Before we get to the Minor itself, let's go back a couple of months to the combination of Imperial and Valiance. Firstly, for three of your players there's the issue of being in their first English-speaking team, how have they been able to deal with that?

At the beginning, it was really hard, especially for huNter and LETN1 since they had never been in international teams. As far as ottoNd is concerned, I'm pretty sure he had played in some international team before and he's from Finland, you expect him to speak decent enough English to play on a team. It was quite difficult especially because LETN1 is our IGL and then all of a sudden — he's like 30 years old, right — for the first time in his life, he needs to speak and communicate and tell everyone what to do in English. It was quite rough, but slowly we've been adapting, everyone has, our communication has gotten better day by day, game by game. We're right here now, so I would say it's going pretty well.

Do you think there are still any issues with that or have you moved past that already?

There are obviously issues, all the time there are some issues, but they are improving every day, it's getting better and better. You can't make everything perfect, so we're just looking for mistakes and when we find them we work on them and improve them.

When it lineup got together, did you build on Imperial's foundation or Valiance's given that LETN1 is the IGL?

My idea was that Imperial was on the verge of disbanding, we couldn't find an IGL, we tried so many people and there was no one that fit the team, and not just that, but also who is a decent IGL. I heard from huNter that they're planning on benching Impulse and jayzaR and emi is supposed to go to an analyst role. I just came to the idea, I know their playstyle, I've played with them before, they're a heavy execute-based team with a lot of strats and then I know how we played in Imperial when I was leading, or kRYSTAL and AcilioN, our playstyle was just loose, free, everyone was pugging and shooting heads. The thought in my head was that if we can combine the best of both of those playstyles, we could make something really great, and so far I would say it's been going really well.

Tell me about the leadup to the Minor when it comes to practice and especially how the break affected you.

I think the only one who went on a break was LETN1, the rest of us just played FPL. I wouldn't say it really affected us a lot. I think LETN1 needed the vacation to clear his head, to improve his English, to work on some stuff other than CS that would help us improve later on in the game. I wouldn't say it affected us at all, I think it actually helped us, just getting a break from each other, playing individually, getting up to form, getting ready for the Minor. I think the break benefitted us a lot.

Have you done anything special leading up to the Minor compared to what you would do for other events, then?

Well, we definitely did a lot more antistrats because we knew who our opponent was going to be. We know our group, right, we knew all the teams who are going to be there and who are our potential opponents and we just antistratted the sh*t out of everyone. It's the only different thing that we did because when we were in Imperial, we would just focus on our own game, we didn't really do that many antistrats and look at the opponent, we just focused on ourselves and getting our players comfortable in their roles, playing individually on a high enough level that we can actually win duels against really good teams.

When it comes to antistratting, is it more LETN1 and emi who do that or is it the whole team doing it individually as well?

Mostly it's emi, he antistrats the team, everything we need to know, pistols, strats, ecos, antieos, whatever. He just fully antistrats them. But also every one of us individually just watches the teams' demos and they watch for — for example, we just played Mirage and I watched ropz's demos to see where he goes and how he plays. You could see that in the game, I was pushed up close ramp in every round on the CT side, I even pushed close T spawn because I antistratted him and I knew what positions he plays. The same goes for suNny and chrisJ on B, we knew how they were going to hold, we had EspiranTo push underground, we had our AWP take aggressive B apps. We just did a really heavy antistrat and that's why I love being the underdog, I think I did an interview when I was at StarSeries and I said that I really enjoy being the underdog because of things like this. People can't really antistrat you because they don't know what to expect from you and you can antistrat the other team in anything you want to know.

Would you say that is the reason why you managed to beat mousesports?

Yeah, it was definitely the antistrat.

What was the morale like towards the end when you were dropping the 15-10 lead and it looked like mousesports were going to pull it back? Did you ever lose your cool or was it always calm?

We were always calm. We almost lost it when we threw a round at around 15-10 or 15-11, but I just told everyone 'boys, just relax, we're going to win this, just calm down, forget about this round, let's do an eco here and then we're going to win the next gunround.' I've been in those situations before and if you start panicking and start arguing and thinking about how you lost the rounds, you're just going to put yourself in a state of hell. You're just going to keep losing more and more rounds.

Is that what we can expect against Vitality, as well?

I don't want to spoil anything, but yeah, you can expect a good match.

Serbia Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
587
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.64
APR:
0.14
Netherlands Chris 'chrisJ' de Jong
Chris 'chrisJ' de Jong
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
1323
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.11
#4
 | 
Czech Republic Rewask 
We'll see against Astralis...if you'll get there...
2019-01-16 18:26
What if they do same to astralis? will u cry then?
2019-01-17 12:18
Nice job playing and winning today!
2019-01-16 18:26
thanks
2019-01-16 18:27
SAVAGE
2019-01-16 18:26
SHOTS FIRED
2019-01-16 18:26
#8
 | 
Hungary kNnc 
Awesome
2019-01-16 18:26
ez
2019-01-16 18:27
#11
 | 
Slovakia ypsylonnn 
cocky
2019-01-16 18:27
Based
2019-01-16 18:27
#14
liTTle | 
CIS Dowa) 
cant wait to see they get 0-16 now rest of matches
2019-01-16 18:27
#15
shox | 
Vietnam buai 
Arrogant
2019-01-16 18:27
#16
YEKINDAR | 
Russia k3ron 
Well f*ck..
2019-01-16 18:27
#17
grux | 
Sweden millekatt 
Only win you will get at this minor sadly
2019-01-16 18:27
#19
 | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
Big mouth gonna lose 2-0 to mouz in decider, they won just becouse mouz players were extremly underperforming and sunny failed to kill guy in the back in the last round...
2019-01-16 18:31
#24
oskar | 
Czech Republic PlaSSma 
+1
2019-01-16 18:30
#38
Kvik | 
Lithuania andy_ 
+1, I have nothing against this team overall but their behaviour really annoys me, why the fuck are they cocky already? Beating a top5 team in a BEST OF ONE 16-14 isn't that big of a deal
2019-01-16 18:37
#48
 | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
yes bo1's can go any way, you saw it in this game: won both pistols and after the 2nd one resetted mouz twice and almost choked it in the end (I can even metion stars like ropz and sunny underperfoming alot and oskar + styko not doing well ) Ain't that convincing to be cocky to me.
2019-01-16 18:54
#76
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
This aged poorly
2019-01-17 20:46
#77
 | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
Yes, we saw that mouz did not prepare much for this event. With preparation they would probably smash everyone here.
2019-01-17 20:50
Yeah now when you realized how wrong you were the excuses are raining
2019-01-17 21:16
#83
 | 
Czech Republic PaYaB 
yes, i made an silly prediction that went wrong how bad is that, we literally saw that they did not deserve it
2019-01-17 21:17
Yes 2-0 in the decider :) mousesports got smashed expected
2019-01-17 21:14
#85
Jame | 
Europe P3rial 
NT prodka
2019-01-18 00:15
#20
 | 
Brazil Collee 
k then
2019-01-16 18:28
#21
 | 
Finland yesyess 
nice, such a cool guy swearing
2019-01-16 18:28
Holy sh*t What's going on guys!?
2019-01-16 18:29
#25
 | 
Germany alspex 
rofl.. prepare ur anus
2019-01-16 18:30
#27
 | 
North America Kalihi_ 
"We got a hold of nexa..."
2019-01-16 18:31
#28
 | 
Turkey Slapdash 
Lul
2019-01-16 18:32
#29
 | 
Russia hanzjosha 
AXAAXAXAXAXAXXA
2019-01-16 18:34
#30
 | 
United States DervGuy 
HLTV D:
2019-01-16 18:34
#31
 | 
Europe Freeburger97 
watch yo profanity
2019-01-16 18:35
#33
Kvik | 
Lithuania andy_ 
What's the point of being cocky already? oh cmon
2019-01-16 18:35
very cool now do it on Astralis 🤪
2019-01-16 18:36
Toxic
2019-01-16 18:36
lol if the guy swears he is cocky. jesus christ those kids on HLTV are funny.
2019-01-16 18:36
you won 16-14, not 16-0 to antistrat "the shit" out of a team
2019-01-16 18:38
#40
 | 
Serbia Djomla. 
Not even close btw 4Head
2019-01-16 18:39
#43
NAF | 
United States Raptorial 
MINORSPORTS OMEGALUL
2019-01-16 18:43
best thread title
2019-01-16 18:43
#45
Twistzz | 
Russia Roneee 
D:
2019-01-16 18:43
antiwat
2019-01-16 18:46
expected from arrogant kid
2019-01-16 18:54
crazy bro, won a best of 1 against dedsports and talks about 200 iq antistratting through the whole match. valiance alias the genius squad
2019-01-16 18:55
#58
 | 
France PowwneD 
That nexa is funny
2019-01-16 19:40
antistrating mousesports >mousesports >strats pick one
2019-01-16 19:47
#61
 | 
France DesmondHumes 
Arrogant and cocky team . Excepted from him and Toxicpiranto
2019-01-16 19:58
#64
 | 
United Kingdom Exquis1te 
can we just come to a conclusion that everyone involved in that old Imperial team is a giant cunt and that includes loba as well.
2019-01-16 20:18
#65
 | 
Sweden Lagge15 
Wonderful interview. It really made me like Nexa and Letn1. I hope he didn't out too much of their tactics now since they still got many maps to play before the major starts.
2019-01-16 20:33
I wonder what's behind the *
2019-01-16 20:34
#71
 | 
Brazil davidS_ 
O They antistrated the shots of every mouz ayer, that's why they won
2019-01-17 01:32
o w0w
2019-01-17 01:55
#67
 | 
United States Donutboi 
He can’t be talking ha
2019-01-16 21:17
#68
 | 
Europe p1peb0mb 
L
2019-01-16 21:32
What you will say now huh ?
2019-01-16 22:03
#80
 | 
Serbia VaIiance 
"ez"
2019-01-17 20:53
#70
twist | 
Sweden d1no_cs 
oh god cant wait to see them at the major
2019-01-17 01:29
#74
 | 
France PowwneD 
you can wait more since they will not qualify for the major
2019-01-17 10:26
#78
 | 
Serbia VaIiance 
or they will
2019-01-17 20:53
#79
 | 
Serbia VaIiance 
Few weeks left don't worry
2019-01-17 20:53
#84
twist | 
Sweden d1no_cs 
Update they did qualify... THEY BEAT MOUZ :(((
2019-01-17 21:52
good guy nexa
2019-01-17 03:45
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