GuardiaN: "We broke Cloud9 on our CT side when rain won the eco"
The European team got off on the wrong foot in the title decider as they were humbled on Mirage, but turned the match around on Inferno and Train, with GuardiaN earning the MVP award after putting in a 2.11 rating in the final map.
In our post-match interview with the AWPer, we discussed the team's adaptation throughout the tournament, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač's growth as an in-game leader, Håvard "rain" Nygaard's insane 1v3 eco and the rematch against Cloud9 in the grand final.
First things first, this team went through a rough period in the second half of 2018. How does it feel to finally break that burden and pick up a tournament win here in Atlanta?
It feels good to win. This has also been great practice right before the Major because we played a lot of best-of-threes here. The games were close and we know what we are capable of... even down 13-14 on Overpass [against Cloud9] we can still come back. I think we showed great results. Even if we had not won here, we would not be sad or anything, we would still have gained a lot of experience before the Major. Obviously, it feels really good. I think we have a shot at being a contender for the Major title. We'll see, though.
The start of the tournament didn't go as planned. Two tough overtime losses to Cloud9, but the team managed to pull it back after taking down coL and BIG. How did the team adapt throughout the tournament?
First of all, we came from iBUYPOWER, where we did not practice at all... We were kind of rusty at the beginning of the tournament. We had to warm up, then we could finally practice and figure some stuff out. So, the first game against Cloud9, I think it was a positive loss. After the game, we reviewed the demos and watched what we could have done better.
I think NiKo as an in-game leader grew a lot this tournament. Throughout the tournament, he made great calls. YNk helped him a lot as well. Everything was positive... I don't think there was anything negative, even the first loss to Cloud9. So yes, it's all good, especially for NiKo, he grew a lot as an in-game leader here... It will be very useful for the Major.
Do you think playing the consolidation final hurt you in terms of just playing too much CS, or was that the perfect warmup after beating BIG in a three-map marathon?
It's tough to play two best-of-three matches in one day. Especially mentally... If you played three maps, like we did against BIG, where we had 16-14 scorelines in the first the two games, and the third map... I don't even remember the score...
It was 16-10.
Yeah, so, it was exhausting, and coming into the grand final against Cloud9, they had the time to prepare and relax before the game. The first map was a slap in the face from Cloud9... They were hitting all of their shots. I think we were just feeling exhausted at that point. Of course, they play great CS. autimatic was picking us off with the AWP... He played great on Mirage. They were just a better team. As I said, it's really exhausting to play two best-of-threes in one day. There is nothing you can do but play, have a break between games to recharge, and get ready for the next best-of-three. That's all you can do.
What happened on Mirage?
I would say they were just hitting all of their shots. As I said, autimatic was picking us off with the AWP. He would push down mid, he would play slow, he would be holding B and rotating pretty well. I think autimatic did a great job against us, and also, RUSH had something like 15 frags after three or four rounds, so, that shows they were hitting their shots. There is nothing more to say. We played our game, but simply we weren't hitting our shots. Just a great game by Cloud9 overall.
Inferno was a different story... Your side jumped out and took control for the most part in the first half, but things began to look shaky in the second. Walk me through the process of keeping the composure to force the decider.
First of all, we broke them on our CT side when rain won the eco. Great shots... One of the craziest things I've ever seen. I think we broke their esteem and we learned from that before because the same thing had happened to us against BIG [on Train], we won the pistol and then lost an anti-eco, which hurt us. I think we need to work on that and find some kind of anti-eco strat. It will get better.
They just started pushing us and winning rounds. I think we got lucky in a few situations because especially in the 3v3 and two guys literally had 1hp, olof, and AdreN, they somehow won it... That was a key round and then I had the lucky shot with the CZ in middle. I think we had some luck with our T side, but they played great all game. I can't say they were a bad team or anything. They were a great team, and I think they are getting even better. They can upset a lot of teams in the future, but they also have a lot to work on as we do. So yes, it was a good final (laughs).
The series came down to Train, a map Cloud9 had not really played. How was the team's confidence going into the decider?
So the plan was, we checked the stats and we saw that they didn't play Train all that much. So, we were pretty confident heading into the third map, especially after playing Train two times this tournament. We knew the mistakes we had made before and we worked on them. Obviously, we were lucky as well (laughs). When AdreN won that 2v4 eco on B and the 1v4 play from me before. So, if we had not won those rounds, maybe it would have been a different story, but I think those two rounds broke Cloud9 on Train, especially since they had not played it in a long time. Those two moments were key to winning this series.
What does it mean to you after going through all the trials, tribulations, and then, come back to ELEAGUE to defeat Major Boston champions Cloud9 in the grand final?
It's kind of small really. It would have been sweet if it were the Major (laughs). It's nice to defeat them. They had defeated us the past three or four tournaments or so. It's always nice to defeat them and I'm happy we finished it off in a good way. It feels great, and props to Cloud9, they played really well.
To close this interview. What's next for FaZe?
Next for FaZe is a bootcamp before the Major. Perfect our game and our map pool. We have to work on a lot of stuff. We have to make AdreN more comfortable to speak in English, so maybe a lot of FPL and a bootcamp at home. That's our plan to prepare and obviously win the Major.