GuardiaN: "We broke Cloud9 on our CT side when rain won the eco"

To close out our coverage of the ELEAGUE Invitational, we caught up with Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, the MVP in FaZe's victory, to reflect on the grand final and the event overall.

FaZe kicked off the tournament with a close loss to Cloud9, but bounced back with victories over Complexity and BIG to earn a nostalgic grand final rematch against the ELEAGUE Major Boston champions.

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.

GuardiaN believes his team has a shot to be a contender for the Major title

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.

GuardiaN says NiKo has grown a lot as an in-game leader

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.

Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
1172
KPR:
0.73
DPR:
0.69
APR:
0.15
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1141
KPR:
0.81
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.13
#1
 | 
Slovakia iLycan 
I remember guardian flick do u ?
2019-01-28 14:08
#4
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Nicr
2019-01-28 14:08
#10
 | 
Brazil NeymarJunior 
"I think we have a shot at being a contender for the Major title." Don't do this to yourself GuardiaN...
2019-01-28 14:11
#25
Rob4 | 
Brazil ruston457 
+1 kakak
2019-01-28 14:33
cry
2019-01-28 14:50
#40
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Just because you're not #1 xDDDDD
2019-01-28 14:52
undeserved win
2019-01-28 14:08
undeserved for guardian, or the rest of faze? I think guardian deserves the win, as opposed to anyone else on that shitshow of a team
2019-01-28 14:09
NA talking omegalul
2019-01-28 14:32
+1
2019-01-28 14:53
I am a BIG fan but I think c9 deserved more.
2019-01-28 15:03
big since onlinetares?
2019-01-28 15:12
+1
2019-01-28 15:34
#87
s1mple | 
Germany stanHD 
big gay
2019-01-28 19:27
;-) reply needs to have actual content
2019-01-29 14:33
Olof had 0.01 lower tournament rating than Guardian, but only guardian deserves? OK!
2019-01-28 17:03
#96
 | 
Europe UhddiS 
guardians final was impeccable
2019-01-28 20:29
Olof carry 2nd map, Guardian carry last. Would say both map wins equally important. Olof also carried in the 3rd map vs BIG.
2019-01-28 21:37
#99
 | 
Europe UhddiS 
u even said it ur self, "Olof had 0.01 lower tournament rating than Guardian" u cant give out 2 mvp's
2019-01-28 22:29
The guy I replied to said no one else than GuardiaN deserved to win the match. I’m fine with guardian MVP, I’m arguing that Olof deserved to win the match just as much.
2019-01-29 00:43
jeeze, you guys take shitposts too seriously. This isnt IEM sydney we're talking about KappaPride
2019-01-29 14:31
#100
 | 
Europe UhddiS 
He will defo get EVP
2019-01-28 22:31
#42
 | 
Philippines sup4hBas1c 
So xantares does? Cry is free
2019-01-28 14:56
No but I do remember olofmeister's 30 bomb
2019-01-28 14:22
#23
GuardiaN | 
Slovakia Ajko 
i remember
2019-01-28 14:33
rain shld be mvp even though guardian did some 4k and 5k's rain came in clutch when they needed it most
2019-01-28 14:42
#80
jasonR | 
North America J_Nasty 
So basically he says they got lucky and won both maps
2019-01-28 17:56
#2
 | 
Israel eraNero 
ya
2019-01-28 14:08
#3
 | 
Poland Astoner55 
Wp man
2019-01-28 14:08
#5
 | 
Norway Alexed 
Godian top3
2019-01-28 14:08
ikr
2019-01-28 14:08
the best awper ever!
2019-01-28 14:09
Me 1 awp kill at silver matchmaking Guardian 0 awp kill at silver matchmaking Me > guardian
2019-01-28 14:51
#50
 | 
France OtelloO 
Me 2 awp kills at silver matchmaking. Me>you>guardian
2019-01-28 15:22
Me 3 awp kills at unranked non prime matchmaking Me>you>him>Guardian
2019-01-28 15:24
#73
 | 
Belgium TomeCS 
Guardian 100+ AWP Kills in ELeague Invitational Guardian>you>him>her
2019-01-28 17:10
#79
 | 
Portugal Pog_Champ 
If you get 3 kills in non prime than you obviously a pro cuz you just killed 3 cheaters
2019-01-28 17:44
me 4 awp kills 1 assist with bots me >you>him> Guardian
2019-01-28 18:14
#108
 | 
Russia mrchirula1 
Me 2 kills at gold nova 1 mm Me>you>him> Guardian>bots
2019-01-29 08:34
god
2019-01-28 14:09
+1 name checks out
2019-01-29 08:02
#12
 | 
Germany k_den 
guardian and olof only players you can potentially respect on faze AdreN is cool too but he should have landed somewhere else
2019-01-28 14:10
#27
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
Hes done decent so far, and this was probably rains first good tourny in awhile
2019-01-28 14:38
#13
 | 
Lithuania SH4NKER 
nice
2019-01-28 14:11
Nice
2019-01-28 14:12
sasat' bl'ad
2019-01-28 14:13
Why not AdreN as igl?
2019-01-28 14:15
#31
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
Because he has never played with any of them, he may not be permanent. And he doesn't have practice calling on a english speaking team.
2019-01-28 14:39
and as a result of not having played with them, he is not aware of their capability, best sides and right spots to play, so yes.
2019-01-28 15:29
#66
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
Honestly Niko is in the best position for it, hes done it before and hes known the full roster for it
2019-01-28 16:22
I am not quite sure whether he should be the leader as he is wasting partly his potential but it was nice to see rain guardian and even olof coming live yesterday and not relying on niko to do a wonder
2019-01-28 16:55
#72
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
I think Niko was actually bottom fragging and they still won
2019-01-28 17:09
yea, most or half of the time he was bottom fragging, so that means the IGL role has an impact on his skills for bad. However, rain, olof and guardian came alive
2019-01-28 19:54
#95
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
Niko is still insane though, I remember on cache (vs big) he got 3 quick kills in a 1v5 and I legit thought he could've won it
2019-01-28 20:07
I remember that, but he had a good timing on them. If was a bit more lucky would probably have clutched it
2019-01-28 20:46
He couldn't lead Gambit as an IGL in Russian and you expect him to lead FaZe in English? LMAO. Use your brain a little.
2019-01-28 15:39
What is this brain in which you refer to
2019-01-28 15:53
To the guy asking why AdreN is not an IGL. I'm saying you don't need a lot to really understand why he ain't the IGL.
2019-01-28 18:02
Listen, gambit is a cause
2019-01-28 17:28
What?
2019-01-28 18:03
sry miswrote, meant to say lost cause
2019-01-28 18:04
Guardian respect.
2019-01-28 14:18
#21
HUNDEN | 
United States DervGuy 
I want GuardiaN to win a major :(
2019-01-28 14:28
#29
 | 
Hong Kong NyKnight 
me too :(
2019-01-28 14:38
#32
 | 
United States AproximateCS 
I just want any1 besides Astralis to win the major
2019-01-28 14:40
#46
HUNDEN | 
United States DervGuy 
Yes +1
2019-01-28 15:09
#51
 | 
India bozzmob 
FNATIC !
2019-01-28 15:23
Tbh I wouldn't mind if they win but London major was just overall underwhelmingly boring... Only 2-0s and no close maps. If the matches are close and entertaining I don't mind astralis winning
2019-01-28 15:36
#115
 | 
Bosnia and Herzegovina mantisbp 
Everyone knows the grand final match was Astralis vs Faze in semi.... Others match was so EZ fo Astralis..... Big teams, no one can performe i the moment... Only who can competative with Astralis next major is Faze and MIBR (reunited). OTHERS can only CRY!
2019-01-31 14:33
+1 But you forgot navi (the major final was shit but they can play proper cs)
2019-01-31 15:26
even down 13-14 on Overpass [against Cloud9] 13-4 ? was it right , your welcome
2019-01-28 14:33
#28
 | 
Spain 1492 
GuardiaN GOD TOP1
2019-01-28 14:38
#33
 | 
Indonesia segopecel 
major? hmm we shall see
2019-01-28 14:40
#35
Romania jDT 
damn...this guy is smart and have a big heart. you have all my respect man
2019-01-28 14:42
#37
 | 
Turkey Slapdash 
This is your major guardian. Come on work hard and get that trophy!
2019-01-28 14:48
0/8 Astralis are pretty sure winners Choko will go home before quarters
2019-01-28 14:57
#59
 | 
Slovakia sanjuro 
no, they are not, after all that constant shuffles in 2018, teams are improving, astralis not anymore 100% winner.
2019-01-28 15:47
shuffles means that they all suck only stable and GOAT team is AstraGODS
2019-01-28 15:57
Hello
2019-01-28 17:29
#85
 | 
Argentina MrRioKai 
They lost against liquid lmao
2019-01-28 18:40
They lost, cause shiit tourney They dont care
2019-01-28 19:28
#91
 | 
Argentina MrRioKai 
i mean, LIQUID, the beat team of the world vs the eu team, lmao. U cant lose against that, being the best of the best of the cs scene
2019-01-28 19:52
#86
 | 
Turkey Slapdash 
They will be contenders for sure but not like faceit
2019-01-28 18:45
They will prepare greatly
2019-01-28 19:28
A little bit annoying to hear players bitch about playing 2 bo3 in 1 day.. Come on you are sitting in a chair. Of course it takes a bit mentally but still you should be able to handle 2 bo3s.
2019-01-28 15:02
There is a slight difference as long as it was two consecutive matches. They barely had a break between them. However, he wasn't complaining or something, but just said that it is kinda exhausting. You gotta know, if you really play games not just watch them, that playing consecutive hours tires your eyes and has a change to give you a headache. These 2 matches took them around 6+ hours. In this case I do not think that their main problem is the mentality, but the natural exhaust they receive from staring at the monitor.
2019-01-28 15:25
+1 Ive heard of people working 15 h a day
2019-01-28 16:14
but they are not in a competition against other workers that did not worked that day
2019-01-28 16:45
Ok, go eat breakfast then go play faceit for 6 hours without anything else. If you trihard then: You’ll starve You will have a headache Your wrist might hurt Your eyes will star being sleepy Your back might start hurting
2019-01-28 17:31
“Takes a bit mentally”, what a joke. Competitions are extremely stressful, and having adrenaline pumping for such a long time can be super exhausting.
2019-01-28 17:38
Ladislav "Sosat Blyat" Kovacs
2019-01-28 15:15
lol
2019-01-28 15:24
god!
2019-01-28 15:18
fucking ladislav cyka kovacs
2019-01-28 16:03
Sosat Blyat
2019-01-28 16:13
#70
 | 
Indonesia youdelusional 
GODian. We want to see more of your performance on last train please!
2019-01-28 17:05
#71
 | 
Croatia Jack Russell 
One of the best clutches ever
2019-01-28 17:07
#90
rain | 
African Union Bruce U 
where can i see it?
2019-01-28 19:29
#105
rain | 
African Union Bruce U 
you're a man of great character! the clip was insane
2019-01-29 06:08
#94
 | 
Syria noo_true 
link
2019-01-28 19:58
#102
 | 
Croatia Jack Russell 
#101
2019-01-28 22:55
#76
 | 
United States snafusr 
"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." Good Guy Guardian
2019-01-28 17:29
godian
2019-01-28 19:55
#104
 | 
Singapore Trisha 
its rare to see a player compliment the opposing team this much even after winning the final interesting
2019-01-29 04:46
Amazing round
2019-01-29 08:22
#109
 | 
Czech Republic knox^ 
Nice anti-eco godian
2019-01-29 09:19
goat
2019-01-29 17:29
#113
 | 
Czech Republic berkley 
GODian deserved MVP
2019-01-29 22:01
#114
 | 
Australia W1CKZ 
What a display from GuardiaN, hopefully they can do well in the Major
2019-01-30 01:51
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