Aleksib: "AUG is boosting the CT sides at the moment, people feel really confident to take aim duels"
ENCE started the tournament with two wins in a row after matches against Spirit and G2, but they then got caught off-guard by Renegades, who grabbed a 2-0 win to reach the New Legends Stage at the expense of the Finns on day two.
We had a chat with the in-game leader about their two latest series, asked him about the strong CT sides on Train at the event, and looked ahead into the next stage and ENCE's outlook there.
Let's go back to yesterday and your loss to Renegades. The biggest takeaway from that was that your Nuke pick didn't work out - was it a surprise to see Renegades be ready for it?
No, definitely not. We actually practiced them on Nuke and we knew that they would be prepared for Nuke this time since last time Renegades hadn't played Nuke, I think, but with this lineup they have just started. When they didn't ban Nuke, we knew they were going prep for our Nuke and they were thinking we would pick it, but we were still confident on our Nuke. We played it, we lost I'd say three or four 50/50 rounds that were important and that really showed on the scoreline.
You were in a winning position on Mirage afterwards but couldn't close it out, what was the problem there?
Well, the most important thing in that series overall on both maps was our attitude. From the get-go it started to feel like nobody wants to be here, nobody wants to play like we did on the first days and we didn't have the same hype, we didn't have the same comms. So, we just knew that it was a very bad day for us and we lost 50/50 rounds here and there. Overall, when we went home, we were like 'we didn't lose to Renegades, we lost ENCE.'
Why did that happen, though?
I don't really know. It could be that the 3-0 was so close already that we didn't keep pushing. But I'm not sure, it doesn't happen very often, but this time it happened.
Going into today against Winstrike, what were the issues on your own pick, Mirage, where you couldn't get into the match on the T side?
Me and the coach prepped for Mirage the most this series, but they just shut us down from the get-go, the game was 3-2 or something like that and if we won the next round, their money would be reset. But then we had chaotic communication in our base and one smoke was delayed on middle and the whole round went south from there. They just caught us off-guard again and again and we just followed our gameplan, but nothing worked. They were hitting their shots, they were pushing every round behind us, every round in underground, it caught us off-guard, but I think next time we'll be much more prepared.
On Train it has been a trend here that the CT sides have been very strong and that was obviously the case on the deciding map as well, with you getting 14 rounds and Winstrike almost pulling it back anyway. What do you think makes it that one-sided here?
I'm going to say that the AUG is boosting the CT sides at the moment since people feel really confident to take aim duels that you wouldn't take with the M4, so it's a bit different when we went to do like an A execute, we knew that Boombl4 would play retake on A, but he just jumped on the ticket booth and just shoots one and goes down. You don't do that with an M4, I think. Overall, I think we are confident on our CT and we were very motivated this game, we just kept hyping everyone up, but when we got to the T side and they started to string rounds, we still knew we would take two rounds no matter what. It was going to happen sometime. We just grinded rounds, tried to stay calm and just took it home. They have really good CT sides if you look at their stats, they are playing like 12-3 CT sides almost every map with this lineup, so we just knew that their CTs were going to be good and Ts not so much. Maybe they caught us a little bit off-guard by stringing so many rounds and we were just sleeping a little bit, like we can lose a few rounds, but when they got to 10, I think then we knew it was game time.
Tell me about the opponents you'll face in the next stage and where you fall amongst them, how confident are you going up against the best teams in the world?
I think we can go however far we want, we just need to have the same motivation we had in this game, we need to have the same approach and we just need to play our own game, maybe try to avoid antistratting that much. It's so much different to play against a team like Winstrike and a team like [Liquid, MIBR] because they are going to do stuff that you expect, I think. Winstrike just kept pushing pop dog, kept pushing behind us on Mirage, no good team would take that risk so many times, but Winstrike just does it every time. We need to focus on that, but I think going into the Legends stage is really good for us, we're just going to play one match at a time and be very confident.
To expand on that sentiment, was it difficult to know what to expect against the type of teams you were talking about?
Yeah, that was difficult, and the fact that they are doing the random stuff. They are switching it up so much that if you're playing against good teams, I think they have the fundamentals that I can read better than a team like Winstrike. You expect them to do something, but they are just doing something completely different that they haven't ever done.