ALEX: "We'll be able to have things that I like to do instead of copying [Happy's roles]"
The Francophone side are through to the IEM Katowice New Challengers Stage from second place at the Europe Minor, as they beat North, who had defeated Vitality earlier at the tournament, in the rematch.
You had already met North once before in the tournament and, there, you couldn't close out a couple of tight maps, what was different about this time?
I think the first time we played them we showed where our strengths were and where our weaknesses are. In practice, we were destroying people on Nuke CT, we had one good side and the second side was kind of shaky and they managed to come back in the first games. Today, I think we won crucial rounds at the right time to stop their comeback and we managed to take it.
Were you getting flashbacks to the earlier series after the first map today, after losing Mirage despite an 8-1 lead early? What was the morale like after the opening loss, did you manage to reset easily?
I think it was a little bit different to the first series because we only played like half of the first half, we dropped off in the second part of the first half. We just kind of fell asleep, to be honest, the communication was bad, people were saying like 'there's one here' and no one was doing anything about it, not moving around and stuff. We played really poorly. Between the two games, we just reset and came out with a strong CT half on Nuke, and that was it from there.
Do you have any plans set for what you're going to do in the next month before the Major comes?
Practice, bootcamp... I mean, we only played for like nine days before coming here and basically what I've done is taken Happy's roles and literally doing what he used to do. In the month, I think we're going to bootcamp and then we'll be able to work on new ideas and have things that I like to do instead of just copying what Happy used to do.
Let's touch on that as well. How happy have you been with your adaptation so far and what's specifically going to change?
I've been very happy with playing with the team. I've known apEX and the coach for years now, so it's very easy to come into the team and just get along with people, but in the game, it's been kind of tough. I used to be in-game leading in LDLC and just basically doing what I wanted to do and now it's very strict in what I have to do because we didn't have time to talk about anything, really. Coming into this month of preparation we've got, we'll be changing things and working on new things that I like doing instead of, as I said before, just doing what Happy used to do.
NBK told me about your role on the CT side and how you're in charge of a couple of more players on the sites. How has it been getting used to that part of your role?
That's been fine because that's what I used to do in LDLC. On Inferno, it's been kind of tough, I think that's where we crumbled against Valiance in the first game because I hadn't played Inferno with LDLC and it was tough knowing what works in the current meta and what we can't do because I played Inferno like six months ago. So it's more about adapting to what we can or can't do, how high we need to play and how far we need to drop back, stuff like that. But we had a talk about it after the Valiance game, I watched our game and I watched another game on Inferno just to see what was happening and it worked out. I think we got a bit lucky in the Inferno game yesterday against Valiance because there were a couple of times where I put us out of position, but ZywOo, amazing, managed to win us the round. Today was much better.
This is a milestone in your career in that you've made it through to the Major for the first time, tell me about what this means from a personal point of view.
It's what we all work towards, really, isn't it? We all dream of going to the Major, which is the biggest tournament, it may not be the biggest cash prize anymore, but it's still the most prestigious event and everyone wants to be there. So yeah, it's an amazing feeling to finally get there, I've been to two Minors before and didn't ever make it anywhere near a Major. Hopefully, I'll be able to go to many more.
You've made the first step happen, what is the next goal for Vitality within the Major?
I think we have a good chance of qualifying for the New Legends stage, but we have to prepare well because there won't be any easy teams there, but I think we can make it. And then we'll see from there. I think that's the main objective, to get to the New Legends stage.