daps: "Some analysts said we lost because of the maps we picked, which I heavily disagree with"

Our next interview from IEM Katowice features Damian "⁠daps⁠" Steele, who commented on NRG's shocking 0-3 elimination in the New Legends Stage.

Despite being favored to make it through to the playoffs, NRG were one of the two teams eliminated with a 0-3 record, falling back to the Minor system from where they came in this cycle following closely contested matches with NiP, AVANGAR, and Complexity.

daps went in-depth into why NRG went 0-3 in the New Legends Stage

On the day after their elimination, we sat down with the team's in-game leader, daps, to pick his brain on what went wrong in the second stage of the Major and to get his reaction on some of the criticism aimed at NRG for their vetoes.

Let's start off with your overall thoughts on your showing here, 0-3 was certainly not expected of you, so what went wrong here in the second stage?

I think every match was winnable, obviously. There were some analysts who said we lost because of the maps we picked potentially, which I heavily disagree with, I think if you actually watched the matches, it had nothing to do with the map choice. I don't think the maps were the problem. The biggest problem we had in this stage of the tournament was that we lost tons of man-advantage rounds. A lot of the time, I find, when we are up one or two people or get the entries, we rush into things for some reason instead of taking our time. It's not something that has really plagued us that much before, but it just weirdly happened in every match in this stage. I don't really know why.

As you say, this isn't very characteristic of you, so do you feel like it could be down to the team or individuals feeling the pressure of this stage?

I think in the first game versus NiP, it was a very winnable match. Obviously, we started off really slow, but we still got four rounds on the T side of Nuke, which is an average amount of rounds you get on T side Nuke, I would say, since Nuke and Train are the most CT-sided maps in the game. We had not a good T side, but we got enough rounds to win the match or come back. We lost both pistols in that match and we slowly grinded back and came back, we lost a 2v5 to REZ and f0rest, I think, at like 13-13, which completely just screwed us. And then we ended up losing the match. There were a lot of uncharacteristic rounds, I feel, which I guess you could chalk some of it up to pressure. I don't think it's the same pressure we felt when we lost the Minor for London, but I guess you could feel it a little bit.

You were talking about being criticized for your map picks and especially the pick of Nuke against compLexity was one of the most criticized. What was the thinking behind that?

We didn't necessarily underestimate compLexity, but we had a general gameplan that we were going to pick Nuke because we assumed they'd ban Overpass. They didn't ban Overpass and we didn't really have a gameplan for Overpass because we assumed they'd ban it, so we just wanted to stick to our gameplan on Nuke. Again, we didn't lose because it was Nuke. We got eight rounds on the T side, that's a good T side, and on the CT side, we got the pistol and then won the second round. So we were winning 10-7 on the CT side of Nuke, so it's not the map, it was nothing to do with the map, we just played terribly.

NRG's 0-3 record means they will return to the Minor system in the next cycle

There was one round in which we let stanislaw sneak into heaven, we had no clue he was even there because we played it badly, so that's a round where he got into heaven for free and killed people, which is down to a lot of bad rotations and miscommunication that led to them finding cracks and winning rounds. We slowly came back near the end, we got it to OT, we had match point in OT, we were at 18-17 and I almost won the 1v2, but Rickeh had a nice shot on me with the AWP, it went into another OT and we lost. Again, it has nothing to do with the maps. Nuke is a map we have been very confident on in practice, we have been scrimming some of the best Nuke teams in the world and doing fine on it - I know it's just a scrim, but we know how to play Nuke. We just didn't play it how we normally do.

ImAPet said after that match that compLexity weren't playing their usual, were there things that surprised you in their game?

Yeah, we got surprised in a few rounds, but overall... for NiP and AVANGAR, we just legitimately lost those matches. It was 13-13 versus AVANGAR on Overpass and we did the round where we boosted short, something we had never done before, to peek into blue door and [one of AVANGAR's players] was looking at it, that has never happened, ever. That's just ridiculous. Good for him for being that aware to look for that, but against any normal team, I feel like we would have gotten that kill and won the match after. I don't even want to say that was unlucky, just good for him for being aware. And then versus compLexity we had match point on both maps, on Cache and Nuke, as well. Cache is one of our worst maps historically and I think it's the only map we lost to compLexity in scrims, so they were obviously going to pick it.

Did you play each other a lot in scrims?

A little bit, not too much. They were the last team we scrimmed before this stage started. We scrimmed them on Mirage and Cache or something, yeah. They definitely play differently in scrims, I don't know if they're purposely trolling in scrims to not show us anything, but compLexity played better than I thought they would and we didn't play to our peak at all.

Unless there's something unannounced, you have over a month before StarSeries in Shanghai comes. Have you talked about any plans at this point for what you are going to do in the next month, how you will reflect on this result?

The first goal was to make the Major and we did that and we ended up making top-16, which is okay, I guess, but obviously, that would have been a fine result at the start of last year when we hadn't had any success yet. But now, expectations of our team are actually high compared to what they used to be. People expect us to actually do well consistently now, whereas at the start of last year, people didn't expect us to do anything. We did fail here completely, our goal was top eight and we didn't reach that and we have to play the Minor again, which doesn't even... I'm more worried about how we lost the matches here than having to play the Minor again. It's not that big of deal. I don't know if we have anything specific planned, we just have to reflect on it and go from there.

Whenever teams disappoint this badly at Majors compared to the expectations they put on themselves, they often look to roster changes. Is that something you would consider at all or is it out of the picture at this point?

I don't have an answer for that. We haven't talked as a team, really, about anything specific, so I don't have an answer.

Canada Damian 'daps' Steele
Damian 'daps' Steele
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
I disagree with his disagreement
2019-02-22 17:58
NEO | 
Slovakia EMCOR 
2019-02-22 17:58
you lost cuz you are a choker daps
2019-02-22 18:00
you are a virgin
2019-02-23 00:17
Back to the minor
2019-02-23 01:52
NEO | 
Slovakia EMCOR 
2019-02-23 05:15
Poland Unluko 
2019-02-22 18:03
he should have never left Eunited
2019-02-22 18:09
Bolivia V1ncentC 
-1 Eunited is a prison
2019-02-22 22:33
United Kingdom respi 
2019-02-22 17:58
NRG was too confident and laid back after initially getting 3-0, which unfortunately backfired on them to a 0-3 RIP
2019-02-22 18:08
faveN | 
Israel wetz 
2019-02-22 17:58
India Tritium 
Ez 1
2019-02-22 17:59
Brazil BrasCubas 
thx for ruining my pick em
2019-02-22 17:59
Ukraine gungrave 
u cant DISAGREE with score :D
2019-02-22 17:59
Poland Julka 
I still don't know what happened to them
2019-02-22 18:01
China serdim 
becasue stanislaw is born to destroy daps and his team
2019-02-22 18:02
Estonia Fannez 
very good speech
2019-02-22 18:03
United States Freakmode 
-daps +tarik Make it happen
2019-02-22 18:05
United States JacobSick954 
2019-02-22 18:17
United States Freakmode 
Why not
2019-02-22 18:18
North America J_Nasty 
After the major C9 needs to cut zell and pick up Tarik again
2019-02-22 18:41
United States JacobSick954 
This man gets it! Rush and Tarik!
2019-02-22 19:38
Tarik is going to mouz
2019-02-22 20:47
North America J_Nasty 
I know but he is still a free agent for now
2019-02-23 02:17
Germany Vini_1337 
2019-02-22 18:07
Gj Swanii
2019-02-22 18:09
2019-02-22 18:11
2019-02-22 18:12
Germany AYEONV 
2019-02-22 18:12
they lost because they fking sick duck
2019-02-22 18:12
sick duck? nice one, +1
2019-02-22 19:25
blah blah blah good luck at the NA MINOR CLOSED QUALS
2019-02-22 18:13
Estonia VatusNincere 
Erm they still have guaranteed slot at next majors closed qualifier
2019-02-22 18:42
nope cuz they went out 0-3 like mouz did at faceit major
2019-02-22 19:14
0-3 teams don't count for challenger stage anymore according to Valve, they have to play the minor.
2019-02-22 19:16
Estonia VatusNincere 
Oh really? Didn't know that one, thanks for the info :p smarter every day No matter how much I edit I still sound sarcastic lmao
2019-02-22 19:58
2019-02-22 18:16
Finland Smoonah 
+1 -fugly
2019-02-22 18:47
TLDR: Daps: "I am NOT the PROBLEM"
2019-02-22 18:20
France StickyRice 
i didn't know "ImAPet" was an "analyst" because he said teams like ViCi or Winstrike did upset because of map picks lul
2019-02-22 18:21
true, you lost because you suck
2019-02-22 18:22
daps is the problem! In nuke he was a joke
2019-02-22 18:25
Brazil steambored 
You lost because you suck LOL
2019-02-22 18:26
they lost because none of their fraggers were doing well, and fugly kept running out and dying AND a lot of your calls were questionably to just downright terrible. daps knows what he did wrong, lmfao
2019-02-22 18:29
China LeBronGames 
arrogant and overconfidence extremely unlikeable team
2019-02-22 18:33
sh1ro | 
Macau kazuk1 
because stanislaw > daps forever
2019-02-22 18:33
France Azowel 
Nobody cares, you are noob and you destroyed our pick'ems
2019-02-22 18:42
How much these shit'em ups cost?
2019-02-22 19:02
France Azowel 
2 points for me and lots of people, because everyone put them in "teams qualified" and also put coL in 0-3
2019-02-22 19:20
I mean what is monetary value of these things or it's just "prestige" kind of thing for getting them right?
2019-02-22 19:21
France Azowel 
oh, ok sorry. A Pass which cost 8.75€ (idk what is your money) allowed you to do the Pick'EM in order to upgrade a Coin (like 5 years coin, 201x coin ...) and in addition you can also drop some cases that you can sell. The Pick'EM allowed you to get some points in order to upgrade more your Coin and get more cases.
2019-02-22 19:29
Portugal xxxruixxx 
Yeah. Which makes them the most hated team at the present time. I hope they don't qualify for the next major. Chokers.
2019-02-23 21:00
Finland Smoonah 
you’re right, you lost because of yourself and fugly
2019-02-22 18:46
Bulgaria Villagers 
DAPS you put BIG, ENCE, HR, C9, NIP, Vitality, AVANGAR, G2 before Renegades??? That is why you lost, KARMA is a bitch. Enjoy the minor
2019-02-22 19:00
Dang so many mad people in comments. Never seen this many before. I guess literally everyone's pickems got ruined.
2019-02-22 19:21
Sweden Flukey 
They lost because old stanislaw decided to show up after 1 year of bottomfragging.
2019-02-22 21:03
i agree with daps they lost because they are straight up bad
2019-02-22 21:34
cype | 
Europe dip6o 
I mean those B hits on cache.... Pretty painful to watch. Overpass is one of your best maps, and you had no plan since they gonna ban it? Unreasonable af.
2019-02-22 22:17
cype | 
Europe dip6o 
You've just shit the bed completely, that's all I can say. And it's not even about pickems. It looked terrible from a top 5 roster perspective, sadly you're not a top 5 team as far as we can see
2019-02-22 22:20
They lost because Cerq choked (no getting around this, he had hardly any impact against Avangar on Overpass or against coL on cache, both VERY important maps for awpers) and Fugly played like a bot. Cerq is young so I think he can get over his LAN nerves. Fugly on the other hand...
2019-02-23 00:00
Finland Tusku 
in case you missed it, the results definitely had nothing to with the maps
2019-02-23 00:50
This team tries to game the seeding system. Tyloo 15th in challengers. LMAO. Renegades 14th in legends when they went 3-0 in challengers.
2019-02-23 09:48
China would_ 
salt all-day-long...
2019-02-23 12:23
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