gla1ve: "If there's one map where it's possible for us to drop a 14-5 lead, it's definitely Mirage T side"
Astralis went 3-0 over the first two days of the New Legends Stage, looking convincing in their first two wins over compLexity and Cloud9, beating the latter 16-0. However, in their last match, Renegades pulled off a comeback from a 5-14 deficit on Mirage to win the opening match on overtime, with the Danes replying with strong CT play on Nuke and Inferno to close the series 2-1.
Let's start off with the series against Renegades and particularly dropping a 14-5 lead on the T side of Mirage, which is so uncharacteristic for you - what happened?
If there's one map where it's possible for us to drop a 14-5 lead, it's definitely on Mirage T side. I think it has happened so many times that we have been leading a lot on Mirage T side and then the opponent does a comeback. Usually, in the end we actually end up winning, but this time around we ended up losing. We really need to figure out what we do against when people get momentum against us when we are playing on the T side, especially on that map. Yeah, we have to think about it.
As you said, it has been something of a weakness for you, did you focus on Mirage during preparation?
Yeah, we have been working a lot on it, but it's not the map we have been focused the most on, like doing new stuff because I think we had a lot of good tactics on it before the player break as well. It's one of the maps that we have, of course we have kept up with playing it a lot, but still, we didn't make a lot of new stuff and I think we need to think about using more antistrats or something, we need to think about it.
Tell me about Nuke and especially the first half, where you again had some issues with the T side despite a strong start. What was that down to?
I think that is where you could really feel the meta with the AUG affecting us. It's not an excuse to only get six rounds, but still, I think they got a lot of kills because of that weapon. It's something we are trying to utilize as well when we are playing on the CT side. I'm not a huge fan of the AUG and I didn't feel like I'm that good with it, right now, so I have to practice it a bit more before using it. But I definitely feel like Renegades did a lot of good kills with the AUG and also there were some rounds that could have changed the outcome of the game that we should have won but lost in the end. I think it could have been like 9-6 to us instead.
In what way do you think the AUG is affecting the game?
I think it's affecting the game that the CT side can take a lot more duels than actually shouldn't be favoring them. Long-range duels against AKs, the AUG is just superior. With the M4 before, the AK was actually superior, so you have to think about it. I think that is where we actually need to think about how to use our utility to block off the AUGs, maybe do more set executes or something like that. I think we need to think a bit about it when we get behind and they have a lot of AUGs, how do you play against it.
Do you generally see it as a good thing for the balance of maps or not?
I think it's tough to say right now because it's still so new. Of course changes are good, but it can also be bad. I think maybe they should nerf it just a bit with some money, recoil spread, or maybe it shouldn't be as zoomed in as it is now, maybe a little less zoomed... I'm not sure what the nerf should be, but I think maybe something should happen. But it's also good to have some changes in the game, else I think it can get a bit boring.
Memes of not sleeping on Renegades aside, it felt like you saw something in them that they have improved on.
Yeah, I just said it before, it was in the first game of the event, I just said 'don't sleep on Renegades' because we have been practicing a lot against them and they have actually beaten us a lot. So I knew they were really good, when they started to lead against really good teams, I just said that. I know that they can do really well, I actually believe that they'll go 3-1 or 3-2 at this Major. I hope they will qualify because they are really good players. liazz is actually really good, then they have jkaem, who is a star player for them, Gratisfaction a good AWP player. I'm not too sure who is the in-game leader and stuff or how good he is, but if he is good, then I believe they are really capable of winning tournaments this year.
Aside from Mirage in this series, you have looked very convincing, what's the confidence like going into the playoffs?
Yeah, the confidence is good, of course, we just won 3-0 in the group stage, so we're really happy about it, but we also know that the ELO system is playing a part and we didn't play against the best opponents, even though I think Renegades is one of the best teams here, especially on some of the maps. Yeah, I think it'll be nice to play some of the more good opponents and hopefully we'll go the whole way, or at least go to the final.
Speaking of playing good opponents, something that a lot of people are obviously looking forward to is a potential meeting between Astralis and Liquid. Given what happened at the start of the year at iBUYPOWER, where you lost a series to them for the first time, how do you look at the matchup now?
I look at it the same way as in 2018, to be honest. (laughs) I still think that we are the better team if we play well, but if we play like we did at iBUYPOWER and we don't hit our shots and we are not that good strategically, of course we are going to lose because they have a lot of good individual players. Also, they are really good tactically. Yeah, we need to hit our A level to beat them, but I believe - I hope - we will.