valde: "It has shaken our confidence that we've lost to so many of these upset teams"
North opened up the tournament with a convincing loss to Windigo on Overpass, but they made it through the lower bracket of their group, beating ex-Space Soldiers 2-0 before taking revenge on the Bulgarian side with a close win in the deciding series.
After the Danes made it through, valde talked to us about his team's run to the playoffs and took a look at the new set of opponents they will face there, including their semi-final matchup in Vitality.
What was the start of the tournament like for you when you lost to Windigo convincingly on Overpass and how did you progress from there?
It's no secret that we had a really bad start to the tournament and I think it has shaken our confidence that we've lost to so many of these upset teams. We lost at the Major, we lost at Pro League, and we lost the opening game here against teams that we should be able to beat, in my mind. So that was a really frustrating start to the event, but we actually had really good preparation for the Windigo game, the first one, and we knew exactly what they were doing, but it was one of those times where you know what they're doing and they're winning anyway. It was really, really frustrating, we were all pretty down after that game, but we knew that once it goes into the best-of-threes, I think we have an advantage because we have a better map pool than most of the teams here, at least the underdog teams. I'm really glad we bounced back today because it was a rough day yesterday.
What did you make of ex-Space Soldiers given that they had just lost XANTARES, how did you approach them?
We actually decided not to prepare for that game because we knew they had a new player, they had just lost their best player, probably, so we knew they were going to play an unpredictable game. That's why we decided not to prepare and just focus on our own game. I actually think we played a pretty good BO3 against Space Soldiers. It got a little bit close on Inferno, but overall, I think we were the better team in that series.
Going into the rematch against Windigo, it went down to the wire, what made it so tough?
I think it's always tricky to play a team that you just lost to, both from their perspective but also from ours. We knew they were going to pick Overpass if we decided to go for the Cache ban and we knew that they would probably pick Cache if we went for the Overpass ban, so there were some mindgames in the veto process. But I think we were pretty confident going into the maps because even though we lost the first one that we should have won in my opinion, we had two really good maps in the end. I think both teams made a lot of mistakes today, we lost some antiecos, they lost some antiecos, a lot of clutch situations went both directions, so it was a really chaotic game. A team like Windigo is a really good upset team in the sense that they're really good at just running, once they do an execute they're just running and it feels like they're way beyond your crosshair. I don't know, they play a very unorthodox playstyle and it can be really hard to counter, actually, so I think they deserve some respect because they also have some fantastic talent on that team. I think the poizon guy is really insane and also SHIPZ was playing really well, so props to them for playing a good game.
Having survived the group stage, what is the team's confidence like going into the playoffs, where it's another set of teams? Did you prepare for everyone or was it more about the group?
It was more about our group because we knew it was going to be hard to get out of the group because all the teams here in the EU Minor are capable of upsetting each other. I also heard that mouz are out already, so we're not going to take anything for granted, I think Valiance has been playing really well so far and they also have some really good players. Vitality are kind of the same, in my opinion, a new team, they have some really good talent, ZywOo has been playing insane. Yeah, we're going to go home, prepare, maybe look a bit at their gameplay and it's going to be a fresh start coming into the playoffs. Now we can lose a best-of-three and not be out of the tournament, so far it's been backs against the wall all the time and now it gives us a little bit of breathing room and space.