qikert: "My expectation is that we're going to make the top 10 this year"
The Kazakh squad topped the CIS Minor after taking revenge on Winstrike in the upper bracket final, locking down a 2-1 victory after their opponents once again gave them a tough time on the second map, Train, with a comeback from a 3-12 half on the offense.
We spoke to qikert after the triumph to get his reaction on AVANGAR advancing to the first stage of IEM Katowice and to find out how they approached the rematch with Winstrike. The 20-year-old also shared the team's plans for the next month before they return to Poland for the Major.
First of all, tell me about how you approached the rematch with Winstrike, to whom you had previously lost at the event?
We didn't even prepare for this team previously, but this time in the rematch, we went to the practice room, we watched their demos, we just prepared for absolutely everything. We were in their heads, so we thought it was going to be pretty easy to play against them. And so it happened, we knew absolutely what they were going to do, but they still surprised us. Their playstyle is pretty inconsistent.
We lost the second map because of me and buster, we died to a Zeus and they won a force round. We didn't deserve to win the second map, so I said 'it's fine, we're going to win the third map if we want to be at the Major, we're going to play flawless and not give our opponents a chance to grab rounds like that.'
The second map was generally a lot different to your first encounter on Train, where you lost it because of a poor CT side, while here you had a great defense but couldn't find a way through as T. What was the problem?
We had the wrong game plan as CT the first time we played against them, but then we watched our game and decided to play the correct CS again. They didn't change absolutely anything, so it was good for us, but when we went to the T side, we had a plan, as well, but something went wrong. As I said, we died to Zeuses with buster, so we didn't deserve to win the map (laughs).
You missed the Major last time after going out of the Minor early, what does it mean to get back into the cycle again?
Our expectation was the same as the result, but we're still pretty happy about it, we really appreciate it, our coaches, our players, our managers. We are just happy because of this result, previously it was sad for us not to make it to the FACEIT Major, but at the same time, we had really bad preparation. For this Minor, we prepared really well, we knew what any team was going to do here.
Do you have a plan set for the next month before the Major comes?
We are going to prepare the same way we prepared for this Minor. Nothing special. We are going to play praccs, watch demos, and just play our game.
At the end of 2018, you had a good showing at EPICENTER but couldn't repeat it in Chicago or at PLG. What are you missing to gain more consistency, to get to the next level?
I don't really know. We are always saying like 'we are unlucky, we are making mistakes,' etc. I think it's a lack of experience we were missing. Now, we are pretty experienced, we have been playing on LAN for two years, it's pretty hard sometimes to get used to that, so now we are only playing LANs and not playing a lot of online matches. It's a big difference from 2017 or 2018 and I think we are already a really good team. My expectation is that we're going to make the top 10 of your ranking this year.
Also, we are switching in-game leaders often. Sometimes I am the in-game leader, sometimes Jame, but at this Minor and previously in Chicago and in Abu Dhabi, it was Jame, he has been in-game leading for three or four months. But it's always changing.
So for now it's back to Jame?
Yeah. Agaaain. All the time we are changing in-game leaders, I don't know (laughs).
I don't know, sometimes one of us needs to rest. Sometimes we're tired of in-game leading, it's pretty hard to do, actually.