allu: "So far at this tournament we've shown almost nothing of what we can do"
After advancing from the New Challengers Stage with a 3-1 record, ENCE opened the New Legends Stage with defeats to Renegades and HellRaisers. The Finns seemed down and out during the second map of the game against BIG on Train, but found a way to come back and skip the next European Minor.
In our interview with allu, we heard about suffering another defeat to Renegades, playing Dust2 against HellRaisers, their troubles on that map in general, and what he hopes from in tomorrow's 1-2 match against G2.
You went home after the last stage of the Major, you guys didn't play coming into the second stage, and you had a slow start on the first two matches. What was the feeling like coming back and in the first couple of games, do you think you were rusty?
After we won against Winstrike I went home, on Saturday, and I came back on Monday morning. So we practiced Monday just to stay in shape. Then we actually got the draw we wanted, we really wanted to play Renegades as we failed against them in the Challengers Stage, in that game they played really well, but our comms and everything was like at a funeral, no one was talking, everyone was in a totally different zone than we usually are when we play.
So we wanted the rematch, we got it, and then... Renegades are playing really well, what can I say. Our T-sides this tournament have been really bad. I mean, not necessarily bad, we just can't get rounds, when we get into good positions we don't close them out. Usually, we have someone from our team, it can be anyone, to turn one or two rounds in our favor, which gives us the advantage. But it hasn't happened at this tournament that often. I just hope that going forward we will show a little bit more individual skill and maybe grind out some T rounds in the process as well.
What about the HellRaisers game then, you ended up on Dust2, it seems like a map that really suits them? What was the thinking there and what went wrong?
We knew it would be Dust2, with 99% certainty, and I think they knew it as well. I don't know, they had a really good gameplan and I guess we started CT, lost the pistol, and then they abused our B hold a lot. They went B four or five weapon rounds in a row, maybe they went A one round in between. We discussed it with xseven and sergej that they need to talk more, who is holding what, and react to what your teammate says. So if one person holds tunnels and says "I'm going to peek window", then the other guy needs to understand "OK, I have to take tunnel now". And this is where we were kind of lacking in this game, they abused us really well, caught us off guard a lot, going B with the last molly tick and stuff like that. But we learned, it is our learning process.
Is that something you saw other teams do or is that a HellRaisers specific thing, running through that molly?
I think I've seen it before, a bit. I guess many teams have it, or similar strats, to exploit towards B. If the B guy or guys are not awake, it is really easy to trade, or even get the first kill, and then you get B, and B retakes are really hard. So it is a gamble, and they played well. As T we started to come back, we really believed in it, kudos to my teammates and myself that we kept our composure and really didn't give up until it was over. But then again, we finally got T rounds but then lost, I would say, stupid rounds, or rounds where we have the advantage but we just don't convert.
For example, the last round in the HellRaisers game, we had a good situation, we faked the mid-B split and pushed short, but Hobbit wasn't locked out by our CT ramp molly and he got two instant headshots, and for some reason we though ISSAA had the AWP on A, so the player with me ran behind me instead of pushing, and then ISSAA peeked wide and sprayed us both down.
Rounds like this, situations where we give the opponent everything have been happening a lot this tournament so far. And I think it is not what we usually do that much, I think that so far at this tournament we've shown almost nothing of what we can do. I think we maybe put too much pressure on ourselves, which is also really stupid. We obviously are not the favorites here, to necessarily even pass this stage, even less make a deep playoffs run, so why would we have to feel pressure? It happens to everyone, I put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and then we get locked down and we start to make stupid mistakes. I think that if we loosen up a bit, keep the good mood—which we still have even though we've lost a lot of these rounds which we normally shouldn't—, we still have time to show our best face.
Considering all of these mistakes, the pressure, all of that going on. How have you managed to win that Train game against BIG? They had the small lead, but round after round they were in great positions, but you managed to turn it around every time. How did you manage that comeback?
We discussed the veto, we knew that they would pick Dust2 again, and our Dust2 shouldn't be this bad as it has been. (laughs) We've discussed it a lot, and I hope we will play it against G2 tomorrow—no mindfuck—to show that we are not this bad. Obviously, the teams that we've lost to have played great sides, like BIG had a really good T side as well, HellRaisers also, they abused us, punished us when they should. So kudos to them.
But the Train game, we knew that one of BIG's best maps is Train, but it is ours as well. We discussed it before, that even if we would lose Train, we still want to play it, we don't want to go out of this kind of a tournament, lose, without playing our best map at all. So let's just go for it.
We had a good idea of how they play, they play front yard a lot and they forget alley a lot, so we abused that. At the start, they kind of destroyed us, I think we were down 7-0 as T, but we still kept believing that we can do it, then we started to get rounds and more into the momentum. They won the CT side 8-7, they won the second pistol and then we won two in a row before they won a round where they had one AK and the rest was eco, where we had a 2v4. At that point, at least in my own head, I was like "Oh, fuck...". It was also a miscommunication, some people said "Let's wait out the smokes", one guy didn't wait and just pushed, we got into a bad situation. But then we gather ourselves again, sergej won two huge 1v2s, really important rounds for us to win, and then at 14-12, I think, we only had one AUG and a force buy with pistols, and we managed to win this round. I was above six train, killed a guy quad, dropped down, and they kind of forgot that I was there, and then I got two more kills. I was thinking "What is happening here? What are you doing?". (laughs)
When we watched the VoD and we saw that at that point, their Train was like our Dust2. They made a few mistakes and we just punished them instantly. We managed to win, and then on Overpass we were really confident that that was our map, as long as we don't get put into a corner, we will have the confidence to take duels, have good communication, and be able to win the match. That is what we did.
Where do you take it from here? Playing G2 tomorrow, did you mentally reset with the win?
G2, we won against them before in the Challenger Stage and at DreamHack Winter as well, we beat them in a BO3, but that was when they just created the lineup so I don't put much weight on that. And similarly to us, they've grown through this tournament. They've had a rough start and they maybe lost to teams that they think they shouldn't lose to. And then they start to win, so they will most likely be really pumped for this game. They also most likely want revenge against us as we beat them a couple of times before. So it is going to be a good game and, obviously, we want, and we expect to win. Their map pool suits us pretty well, so we will see.