bondik: "We still have a lot of gaps, we only had 11 days to play with each other"
After they clinched the second spot in Group A, we talked to the newest addition, bondik. The Ukrainian commented on Gambit's shakiness throughout the tournament thus far and backtracked to our interview with him at SuperNova CS:GO Malta, where he only stood in for Gambit at the time, to find out if he got what he wanted in his new team:
You had some issues in the group stage, particularly with Syman who beat you in the opening match and then gave you quite a hard time in this deciding match, too. Can you comment on the matchup and what the issues were? Did you expect this much resistance from them?
Overall, we have a lot of issues. We are a new team and we still have a lot of gaps. We are trying to work on it every day, believe me, we are getting better and better. We had only 11 days of a bootcamp and that's the only time we had to play with each other. It's a really, really short time and you have to play at least five different maps at the Minor, so we played a lot of CS, we discussed a lot of CS, we were living CS at the bootcamp.
About Syman, they're a young team, they played with this lineup for a lot longer than us, so it was a bit easier for them to play the game they wanted. I can't say we didn't respect them in the first game, I don't know why we lost, to be honest. I think we just put pressure on ourselves, we have two guys who won a Major and now they're fighting at the Minor and it comes with pressure. Yesterday, we talked, our manager helped us, B1ad3 helped us, we talked about it and we tried to fix our mentality.
When we interviewed you at SuperNova, where you were only a stand-in, you were talking about wanting to join someone who would allow you to play in more of a star role, to play more of the positions you are comfortable with, so is that what happened with Gambit?
Overall, yes. Usually, I'm playing the role that I want to play. I feel like B1ad3 gave it to me because I played alongside him for like six years before. I played without him for three years and I have to get used to this kind of playstyle, but it's much easier for me because I had already played his playstyle. Now, I'm happy with my roles in the team, I feel like I will also get better with every day, I will fix the mistakes that come from changing roles, you have some new things that you should work on and fix it with every practice. And then you are showing your best results in official matches.
What about getting used to communicating in Russian again, is that still rough or has that clicked into place by now?
It's funny, I think, because my brain is lagging sometimes, I want to call a position in English and then I realize it's a Russian-speaking team and I have to say it in Russian. I'm trying to remind myself 'what do I call this position?' and sometimes I call 'site, site, site!' They can understand, but it's not in Russian at all, it's not even close. But I'm happy that I switched to the Russian language again, and like I told you, every f*cking day I will get better and better at everything.
Gambit had been plagued by problems with the in-game leader position for a long time, what is the situation now? How does it work with leadership?
We have a minimal game plan for any game. We know which rounds will work, which won't, we have a backup plan, and if someone is feeling that some rounds will work, he can call it and everyone will listen to him, it's not a problem. Also, B1ad3 uses his timeouts and he's also helping us a lot. I feel like we still have some problems with in-game leading, but even that will get better with every day.
Going into the playoffs, all of the main teams have advanced, Spirit, Winstrike, and AVANGAR, alongside yourselves. How are you feeling among that competition after passing the group stage?
I don't like to make predictions, it's not good, but I think the strongest teams at this tournament stayed alive. The playoffs are a different stage and everything can happen there. For us, I can say that we just have to focus and do our best, practice, discuss everything more and more to get better, and then we can go through. I believe in it.