Lekr0: "We disagreed on the Train pick vs. Winstrike [...] it affected our mentality going into the match"
The beginning of the New Challengers Stage saw NiP get off to a good start with a win over FURIA, but things quickly went sour for the Swedes when they lost a close encounter on Mirage with Renegades and went 1-2 with Winstrike pulling off another big upset on Train.
In the fourth round, Lekr0 & co. survived a back-and-forth battle against Vega Squadron, who stole away their pick, Overpass, despite the Swedish team's comeback efforts, with NiP then winning Train and closing it out after a tight Mirage.
As they head into round five, we quizzed the in-game leader about the team's rustiness following a two-month long break from a LAN environment, their losses in the second and third round, and their narrow series against Vega Squadron.
Let's begin by going back to your first games here and how you ended up in the 1-2 pool. The form that you displayed during the first two days wasn't up to par with the expectations, what do you attribute that to?
I think the LAN pressure got to us a bit, at least to myself and some of the guys, I think. In practice, we have been playing really well, we didn't expect us to struggle this much, either, but as long as we just keep fighting I think it's going to be fine now that we warmed up a bit.
Do you feel like the couple of months that you had off LAN events played a factor in this?
I think so, a little bit. I still think it's good that we prepared for the Major, I still think that's what we should have done, but not being to a LAN environment might have affected us a bit.
Was that a matter of choice or did it just end up that way because you didn't get invited to any of the earlier events?
No, it was a choice of ours, we felt like we should focus on the Major. In January, we had like one month of practice, I think that was the perfect amount to prepare for the Major, but you never know what is best. Maybe we would have gotten tired of going to LAN before the Major, you can never know, really.
Did you have any specific approach to this type of teams you are facing here?
Most of it was just being prepared for our own game, preparing for that and not trying to antistrat the teams. A lot of these teams are so random and if they are aggressive, they can still push 10 places at once, so you can't just antistrat aggressiveness. You just have to be ready for what style they have and not try to focus on what specific rounds they have.
You were really behind on Overpass before you came back into overtime, how come you had such a hard time dealing with Vega and what did you change to pull it back?
I think we struggle on our T sides so far, something we need to talk about and fix. That's our main issue, our CT sides have been really good, so we're going to keep doing what we're doing. But I think what's been lacking these games are the T sides, as long as we fix that I think it's going to be fine.
Some are of the opinion that the AUG is affecting CT sides, do you think that is the case, that map balance is being affected by the AUG?
Yeah, I think right now the AUG is a bit too good. Sure, I like that there are some meta changes in CS:GO, as well, like in other games. Sometimes it's this gun or that gun, we had SMGs for a while before, they were really good. It's nice to have some change, but later on, I just see the AUG getting nerfed so we can have the AK and M4 as the main weapons, I think.
On Mirage against Vega, you started off well but couldn't keep it up from 6-3 on, losing the last six rounds of the half - what changed?
We started off by playing a lot of strategies and once it was going pretty well, I started calling some defaults and they were making some random pushes and that surprised us a bit in some places, they got flanks where they shouldn't have. I think that's what was the most annoying because I know they like to push several places at once and if you leave one open, it's going to be a big hole on the map. I think that's what happened here.
Towards the end of the map you lost to a couple of pistol buys, one on B, that could have been a turning point in the match, what happened in that round?
I think the round where we lost the B antieco was when f0rest rotated to the site. I think if we prepared for the round more, if he stayed Edward, for example, I could have baited for him from back site. But instead we both played site and they overwhelmed us with the P250s, so there was no bait setup. They overwhelmed f0rest first, I tried to help him and then they got to me, I missed a few shots as well. I think it was just mispositioning. Later on, in the A retake with our double AWP, it didn't work as well, I think we rotated too far back in CT spawn, that affected the retake a lot, we couldn't flash for GeT_RiGhT when he is playing on the left side and not the CT spawn. It was just a bit of mispositioning in two of the rounds. We're going to have some talks about some of the rounds, but I think it's simple fixes.
You were talking about warming up to the event now, with one more match left to advance, how do you look at the fifth round and the potential opponents you'll face there?
I think it's pretty good for us. We had a rough start this tournament, we started off really well against FURIA, but then something weird happened on Mirage against Renegades, our CT side was really bad and that affected our mentality a bit, losing to Renegades. It got over into the Winstrike game, we disagreed a bit on the pick of Train. I trusted our Train and I wanted to play it and there were different opinions there, so it affected our mentality going into the game, but I think we're on the same page now, we had some talks about the vetoes and stuff, so I think we're comfortable for the fifth match.