s1mple: "Zeus likes to joke sometimes; everyone understands this is the most important tournament"
Natus Vincere started off their Major campaign with a win over G2, defeating the French team on Inferno 16-7. The win comes after Natus Vincere showed some holes at the ICE Challenge event, and their IGL saying that the Major is "just another event" for them.
As we know, you didn't have a bootcamp between your last tournament and this one, you played online. What were you working on? Was the focus on what you already have, building on that foundation, or did you more so change up and add new things?
Firstly, we didn't have a really good bootcamp because, due to our sponsorship obligations, because we needed to go to this tournament [ICE Challenge], meet some people... After that tournament we didn't do a bootcamp because electronic should become a father. He should've been a father three or four days ago, but it still going on, you never know when it will happen. Because of that, he needed to spend time with his wife, it is a very important step in his life so it is pretty easy to understand why we let him do this.
Online, we worked more on our rounds and our game, our understanding of all of the situations we have on maps so people are not going to be confused if something happens, they will expect everything.
ESL did some changes to the Major, there is a different format, a bit updated, and there is a crowd here for the group stage. So what are your thoughts on what they did with the Major this time?
I really like the new format, now it is not random to pass the group stage, you always have a chance to win a BO3 and show all of your game in that match. The thing that they move the stage is kind of fun as well. But with the viewers, I think that if you allow viewers for games at this stage, it should be full. Now it is half-full, of course, if there would a Polish team at this Major, everyone would come and watch every game, but still. However, the new thing that is added, instead of the classic hand warmers, under the monitor you have a red light, like a warmer, that you can use to warm you hands whenever you want. It is pretty cool.
I know Zeus said that you are approaching this Major as "just another event", but is this tournament just another event to you or does it have a bit more meaning?
It is a very important event for all of our players. Maybe... I don't know, Zeus likes to joke sometimes, but everyone understands that this is the most important tournament, that we have a lot of experience to go to finals again, and to do one more step to get this trophy. It is going to be hard, all teams are here for about two weeks, all of the teams that really want to win a Major, and everyone is upgrading their game every day. They are watching demos, adding new rounds and strats and they are trying to prepare for every opponent much better. That is what we are going to do the next days.
As you said, Zeus likes to say things that can be controversial. It gets you a lot of attention from the public, people start talking about you as a team, before this Major there was a lot of talk about what is next for Na`Vi, if you need to change players... Does that put pressure on you, as a team or personally?
It is not putting pressure on any of us, we all understand that we need to play better, that we need to upgrade our game. Sometimes, when some players have a bad day, they always work really hard on their mistakes. And I don't feel any pressure at all, I feel like we have a good chance to win the Major. The tournament in London was just a random tournament, nothing really happened, we tried to test sometthings and that is it.
Do you think that people are, because of some comments and because you placed second in that ICE Challenge tournament, unfairly underrating you?
I mean, I'm really happy if someone underrates us, I like these teams. I know about some of them, because we saw how everyone seeded. It was fun to see G2 put us in the 7th place, I think they are the only team that put us that low, so it is pretty nice to know that your enemy thinks you are playing bad. But only you know how you are playing, all of the fans, people, they see one picutre of the team, but only we see the real picture and what we are doing to win these games.
G2 put you pretty low in the ranking and you ended up playing them. Did it add some special flair to the game?
Yeah, I watched their games a lot, actually, at the last stage when they played against fnatic and TYLOO. After the first map, when fnatic beat them on Mirage, I turned off the stream, I thought that G2 had a low chance of winning, but they managed to qualify. They are showing good results and I know that their team is working really hard, their coach is really fun, always trying to add structure and discipline. So good luck to them in the next games.