jks: "We are more open to each other than we were on past rosters"

In a sit down with Justin "⁠jks⁠" Savage following Renegades' 5-8th finish at the IEM Katowice Major we learned about how the team managed to achieve Oceania's best Major result, and what they need to improve before StarSeries i-League S7.

jks was his team's best player throughout the run in Katowice, leading the charge with a 1.11 rating across 10 maps played. In the end, "The Boys" were stopped in the quarterfinals by MIBR, falling flat on the Spodek stage.

After their performance at the Major, jks is hoping they can win a tournament like StarSeries i-League S7

In our interview with jks, the Australian rifler shared his thoughts on what they managed to achieve, described what went wrong in the MIBR game, and what they will be doing to avoid burnout moving forward.

You had a day to collect your thoughts, you had a long Minor-Major Qualifier-Major run here. What do you think about what you managed to achieve so far?

I think that, overall, we are satisfied with our result. As you said, it was a really long run, we went through the open qualifiers which we played in Australia, then we went through the Minor, then we went through the Main Qualifier, then through the other Swiss stage after that... Overall we are pretty satisfied with the result even though it would've been great to be in the semi-finals, but you have to look at it from a bigger perspective, I guess. Obviously, we made some mistakes in the MIBR game that we can fix, they played very well also, but you can't really be unsatisfied with coming top 8 at a Major, right? Hopefully, we can just improve on that next time.

What do you think were the mistakes that you made in the MIBR game? Because it was the closest quarter-final on paper, but in the end, you didn't live up to the task.

When we finished that game I was pretty disappointed because I felt like we didn't really put up a good show for everyone at the arena, and especially the fans back at home. We made a couple of mistakes on the T-side which lost us some crucial rounds and they kind of strung the rounds after that together and they got a bigger advantage. I think that if we won one or two of those rounds on the T-side, which were crucial, I think it would've probably changed the way the game went. Then, on top of that, on the CT side, we lost the anti-eco and we didn't even get a kill, that was really bad, especially for our economy. We didn't win a round after that, it pretty much put a nail the coffin for us.

I think that our problem was that we weren't really following the gameplan that we set and we were kind of doing things that we never really did in practice. That is what we came to when we had our debrief after. So I'm not to sure what it was, maybe it was the stage jitters, maybe it was just the pressure getting to us, but I'd say that, overall, in some of those rounds we didn't follow the gameplan and it cost us multiple rounds, and on top of tht, they punished us a lot and played really well as well. It was kind of like facing Astralis, it was a brick wall in some rounds, especially on Train, it was very difficult on the T-side. It kind of reminded me of playing Astralis on Inferno, for example, you can't really get anything done. You get down to the 3v3s but they are just way more experienced and better at those situations and they just close it out.

This is the biggest achievement that you guys managed with any of the old Renegades rosters or the Vox Eminor rosters. With the latest roster change, what did the players bring that made you unlock this new level?

Outside of the game, in every roster, everyone got along with each other, we've always been really good mates outside of the game. I think that it is just a matter of what people bring in-game, how people see the game. I think that this time around, now that we have AZR leading and kassad as the coach, those two see the game really similarly, they are kind of on the same page about that. On top of that, me and jkaem are really open to the way we play the game and we follow the way they want to play. To add to that, we have Liazz and Gratisfaction who are the new players, and being a new player in your first big team, they want to do pretty much whatever they are told. They want to be a part of the team, do what is best for the team.

So putting all of that together, I think everyone is on the same page, that is the most important factor of it. Additionally, Gratisfaction and Liazz are both very skilled individually, even though Liazz has got some of the tough roles after joining the team, so maybe his stats don't show that—not that it matters. He is really good individually, he is a really good support player in terms of what we tasked him with, he has taken that role pretty well. It is an "everyone is playing for eachother" kind of a thing, so over time, I guess it will get better, once we get used to each other better, once we sort out some more things in game. Overall, I think that everyone just sees the game exactly the same way, the way we should play it. And we are always working on our mistakes, trying to fix them, and we are more open to each other than we were on past rosters. That definitely helps in fixing our mistakes faster. I'd say those are the main factors.

Renegades celebrating after securing a spot in the playoffs

One of the things you excelled in at this tournament were your mid-rounds, which were much better than they were before. Looking at your team's stats, your opening kills aren't that good, multikills as well, just fragging out isn't working that well. But in the end you get the rounds, so there has to be something you do in the later stages: how did that develop and why are you improved in that part?

I'd say it is probably because AZR is really good at midround calling. He has a really good read on the game when it is 40 seconds or below. Everyone feeds him info and having that info is very important, we can just decide where we want to go on the map, what is the best play to do. He has always been good in that regard, as a secondary caller, so I guess that, from when he wasn't a caller, plays into what he is doing right now. I'd say that is a really big part of it. I'm not quite sure why we do better in those situations other than that, to be honest.

About 4v5s, that is something that we are working on really hard. We realize it is an issue, especially on the T side, that is something we are working on and are trying to implement into our game more. It just comes with time, practice, and stuff like that. But I think we've done pretty well this tournament with fixing a lot of those mistakes that we have in the mid-round and I think our trading is actually quite good, it is something we've been focusing on a lot in practice. We have some more things we are going to work on between now and StarLadder [StarSeries i-League Season 7], just to help us get more opening frags and kind of make trading more beneficial for us, more advantageous for us.

As you mentioned, StarLadder is your next event, what is your short term plan until then, what are you going to be doing?

We have to sort out some visas for the US over the next week because we can't return there without them. We are going to be taking a small break here, probably in Poland, so we are going to be here for another 10 days on top of the 50 days or something like that we've already been here. But yeah, we can't really do much about that. After that, we are going to head back to the US and we're going to be treating the remaining two-and-a-half or three weeks like we did the time here, same schedule and stuff like that, because we really want to do well at StarLadder and hopefully we can win it. Because after the show we've put on here, I kind of realize that we actually can do a lot of damage at big events.

Is there any worry that you are going to be burning out from playing too much?

I don't think so, we are going to be using the next few days during which we are doing the visas [to relax], jkaem is going to go back to Norway because it is a really short flight and I think kassad is going to go back to Serbia also. For the Australian guys and the New Zealand guys, it is a little bit harder because it is so far away, if we did go home, we'd have four days max so it is not really worth the jet lag and the cost and everything. I think we are going to try to do things outside of the game instead of playing pugs, chill out a little bit, make sure we are hungry when we get back to NA to start the bootcamp. Not burning out is definitely something we are focused on, in our debrief yesterday we talked about how we worked really hard, that we deserve a break, of course, but we still have to stay on top of things. I think it is a fine line we need to balance.

You guys making the top 8 is the biggest success for an Australian team, Grayhound made it into the Major qualifier, also had a decent performance even though they didn't make it deep. How do you think all of this reflects on the Australian scene and the guys back home?

I think Grayhound had a good showing despite the losses, I think they had very close games against every team almost. It is nothing to hang your head in shame, they did really good. Hopefully, us advancing to the top 8 motivates more teams in Australia to practice harder, to make them more hungry to come overseas and play big events as Grayhound does. Obviously, it is a very good thing overall, the first Australian team to make the top 8 and the Major is obviously the most prestigious, biggest event, so everyone is talking about that event. So hopefully, on top of making the teams more motivated to play, it also brings more sponsorship deals to Australia, that would be good for the scene. I think it had a very positive effect overall.

Australia Justin 'jks' Savage
Justin 'jks' Savage
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2019-03-05 11:13
4 replies
2019-03-05 11:16
1 reply
Austria shaak!
2019-03-05 11:40
Poland Unluko
Nice roster
2019-03-05 11:36
bew | 
India Women
now they just need DickStacy
2019-03-05 12:06
2019-03-05 11:13
faveN | 
Israel wetz
2019-03-05 11:13
Canada HansROZE
One of the most overrated players of all time.
2019-03-05 11:14
9 replies
2019-03-05 11:18
shroud's flair lol
2019-03-05 11:19
2019-03-05 11:40
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
2019-03-05 11:53
2019-03-05 14:36
are u joking? did you see his aim?
2019-03-05 18:12
0/8 buddy
2019-03-05 22:56
Shroud's fan talking about other players being overrated. What a damn irony lmao. Unless it was a great bait
2019-03-06 01:37
Australia PuncherCS
canadian lol
2019-03-07 05:33
African Union _Hoidd_
2019-03-05 11:14
1 reply
2019-03-05 15:48
2019-03-05 11:14
Belgium HLTVnewfag
Mr Savage
2019-03-05 11:14
Finland JOP3
I just wanted to say: EZ4ENCE
2019-03-05 11:14
9 replies
Thailand wh1zGOD
RNG win ENCE on BO1(inferno) 16-12 and win 2-0 game on BO3
2019-03-05 11:17
2019-03-05 11:18
7 replies
Finland JOP3
IEM Katowice 2019 Renegades: 5-8nd Ence: 2nd Use your brain.
2019-03-05 11:19
6 replies
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
2019-03-05 11:54
RNG win ENCE on BO1(inferno) 16-12 and win 2-0 game on BO3
2019-03-05 12:11
Maybe if Renegades had ENCE's opponents? ;) Renegades did beat ENCE twice
2019-03-05 13:04
2 replies
So Liquid and NaVi are easier than MIBR?
2019-03-05 14:38
1 reply
Liquid and Navi are much easier to prepare for, still a good run from Ence. They still went deeper but I think based on this event we can agree head to head Renegades>Ence and it always has been like this
2019-03-05 15:21
Australia kaos0002
You know that out of the 3 maps that Renegades played IN THE SAME EVENT that ENCE lost every map, Renegades also were able to take a map of Astralis in a bo3, now how EZ4ENCE is that to do *cough* 2-0d *cough*
2019-03-05 13:10
2019-03-05 11:14
2019-03-05 11:16
2019-03-05 11:16
5 replies
keep your autism at home
2019-03-05 11:17
4 replies
nt prokda
2019-03-05 11:18
3 replies
nt no scene
2019-03-05 15:54
2 replies
says the Czechs...
2019-03-06 00:05
1 reply
2019-03-06 04:25
Finland Jardeet
im glad they addressed liazz getting the hard roles he isnt comfortable with... could see it in the games
2019-03-05 11:21
Norway PeteZz
Good interview my little God <3 Holy shit. They have to spend even 10 more days in poland. I would at least go to a cooler city. Like Berlin, which is probably 4 hours away with train/bus.
2019-03-05 11:22
jks probably biggest disapoinment ever in cs, going along with nex =s those 2 looked for some time like they would be the next big shit
2019-03-05 11:24
12 replies
hltv.org/stats/players/events/4679/jks How is this a disappointment you idiot?
2019-03-05 11:42
4 replies
oh he has good ratings, this proves 100% he is a very good player that never chokes eheh, anyone who dare say the opposite is wrong cuz rating proves it eheh eh eheh eh (reddit shroud fan mentality) xd
2019-03-05 11:45
3 replies
Ahh considering he is a solo anchor on bombsites and the game isn't in anyway played around him, He is an insane player I hope you're baiting i really do
2019-03-05 11:46
2 replies
nah I'm saying facts he can be good here and there, but he got into the scene everyone though he was a super star appearing, he is inconsistent as fuck, and if you ignore the rating and watch the pressure matches, his decision making is really questionable. but if you still disagree ok... I respect your opinion, to me he is a choker. seem him for long time, got hyped af on him in the past, big disapoinment, I dont believe he will keep playing good for long, he never did so far at least (rating doesnt matter)
2019-03-05 11:50
1 reply
He actually isn't that inconsistent, Again, The game isn't revolved around him, He is a lot like Xyp9x, Supports his entry fraggers getting the bombsite and he usually closes out rounds / clutches the most unlikely of rounds on T, CT he is an extremely good solo bombsite anchor and bails his team out a lot, He isn't a player that can single handedly win you games like s1mple, Niko, ect, He is a different player to that
2019-03-05 11:57
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
Are you ok in the head?
2019-03-05 11:55
4 replies
if you disagree you didnt wathc cs enough, or you didnt got the hype when jks was insane back in the day he is good, but he isnt that good, also inconsistent (if u one of those guys that think s1mple is the best ever, cuz he gets good rating, then I understand)
2019-03-05 11:56
3 replies
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
I dont give a fuck about rating lol. I just dont see how you could call some one who has helped carry an entire scene into relevance a "disapointment"
2019-03-05 11:59
2 replies
maybe I expressed myself wrong is not like he is shit, I think he is a disapointment cuz how good he looked back in the day, understand? is like coldzera winning MLG columbus being mvp and then become an average player, this would be a disapoinment for me
2019-03-05 12:04
1 reply
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
Mm ok i understand, disapointment is probably too strong of a word to use tbh
2019-03-05 12:06
He has just never played in a system that consistently brings out his strengths. You do have to consider even still he would be breaking off bad habits from when he played the game in Australia, honestly hats off to him because in this itteration he seems to be put in the right positions to be consistant
2019-03-05 15:23
+1 i always thought he will be one of the best players in the world, i still remember how he destroyed lg/mibr in dust2
2019-03-05 16:22
nt overrated boy
2019-03-05 11:35
Translation for those that don't speak Australian: "We like to bum fuck each other on the weekends"
2019-03-05 11:48
1 reply
jks | 
Australia CaZeR01
Nailed it
2019-03-05 11:57
Austria Firetruck
jks is Polish? Didn't knew that
2019-03-05 12:09
Damn he's savage
2019-03-05 12:11
Beast jks
2019-03-05 12:30
Agreed, it's also important to communicate outside the game in the game at times critically. Yeah the boyyyyysss!!!
2019-03-05 12:37
Best AU player ever
2019-03-05 12:53
thats good
2019-03-05 14:19
no homo tho
2019-03-05 15:24
jks is so cute. no homo
2019-03-05 16:24
jks | 
Australia Mosski
2019-03-06 07:23
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