qikert: "In the last round, KrizzeN said 'f*ck it, I'm going to kill them' and he did"
The Kazakhstani side opened the tournament with a 8-16 loss to Renegades on Train, but they went undefeated from that point on, beating FURIA, G2, and TYLOO to lock a spot in the New Legends Stage with a 3-1 record.
Shortly after qikert & co. denied the Chinese-Indonesian squad a comeback from a 5-15 deficit on Inferno to secure the series and a place in the next stage, we interviewed the 20-year-old about the match and about advancing from the New Challengers Stage for the first time.
Starting the event with a convincing loss to Renegades, how did you come back from that, being able to win three in a row to qualify for the next stage?
It started from the map veto, we expected to play Cache, but somehow we went to Train and it was pretty hard to play against them because we prepared Cache the day before and we didn't really know much about what they were going to do. Also, we had a really bad start, that didn't really help, it's pretty hard to play without a pistol round and the first buyround. It's always hard, especially on LAN, to go through that.
Renegades generally ended up being quite the surprise with a 3-0 sweep, was it a surprise to you to see them so strong in the opening match?
No, actually, I knew they were pretty good, but yes, I didn't expect them to go 3-0. They did really well, they prepared, they deserve this.
You did win 2-0 against TYLOO after all today, but it got uncomfortably close on Inferno, where they came back from 15-5 to 15-14 - you looked quite stressed, so talk me through your emotions while this was happening.
It's also about flashbacks, we had a lot of games like this, where we are getting comebacks, we were leading with a big score, like 14-7, 15-7, and somehow they were coming back on us. That was pretty unusual because we just said that we wouldn't f*ck up (laughs). At the end of the game, in the last round, 15-14, KrizzeN just did the job, he said 'f*ck it, I'm going to kill them' and he did it, he won the most important round by himself.
What was it like playing and preparing for TYLOO overall?
First of all, it was hard to prepare, we really didn't have their demos, especially on Cache, they had their previous lineup with only three of the current five players, they have a new roster and we learned from their old demos. We were watching their main trio and that's how we prepared for Cache. But for Inferno, we prepared absolutely everything because they had a lot of maps at the Major here and it was much easier. That's why we got a really good start and most of the game, but, in the end, it somehow went wrong. They started taking rounds and we didn't really expect it, but KrizzeN ended the map.
Was that just down to stress?
I don't know, we were playing structured CS, not giving them a chance, we were always 5v4, but something went wrong every time. I don't know why. Just some unlucky rounds as usual for AVANGAR.
You have been in this stage before, but you weren't able to reach the top 16. What does it mean to be able to do it a year later?
It means a lot, but not really that much because we expected this result, it was one of our goals. But our main goal is to reach Legends status, top eight, so it's more important for us than this result, but still, it's pretty amazing for us. We are all happy, at the end of the end match against TYLOO, we were pretty happy, we screamed for the first time in our lives, usually we say 'okay, let's not show emotions,' but this time we couldn't hold back our emotions.
With advancing from the next stage being your goal, what is it going to take for AVANGAR to reach the playoffs?
We have to just keep going, prepare for our enemies, playing our game and hitting headshots. Hitting insane shots, that's our main rule. Hit insane shots. The main problem is adapting, we have to work on it because we need to adapt to our enemies much faster, against TYLOO it was pretty hard on Cache in the beginning.