Edward on rumors: "Nothing is going to happen"
Arriving at the IEM Katowice 2019 Major with a shroud of uncertainty about the atmosphere in the team and rumors about Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko's potential retirement and looming roster moves, many counted out Natus Vincere as a contender for the title. The CIS squad then impressed, showing a more rounded game than usually, and looked on route to the grand final when they were handed a shocking semi-final defeat by ENCE.
The game series against the Finns went the distance on Train and Mirage, where Aleksi "allu" Jalli and co. squeezed out narrow victoried after late-game comebacks, and was a complete Natus Vincere-sided blowout on Dust2. In our talk with Edward after the disappointing loss the Ukrainian player commented on his form at the event and the rumors of bad blood in the team.
The game against ENCE yesterday, 16-14 on two maps, very close losses, and a dominant Dust2 win. Looking at it even now it feels like you should've won it, but you just, somehow, didn't manage to do it. Does it feel like that to you?
You are totally right, we were leading 14-10 on Train and 12-6 on Mirage. So of course, it is a big upset for us. We thought that we were going to win the game because we felt that we are in really good shape as a team... but we were wrong. It happens.
Regarding those comebacks, at the start of the tournament it seemed like some of the issues you had in the past, such as communication, weren't that bad, that you improved on that. Did those issues that resurface in the comebacks by ENCE? You broke down, couldn't keep your composure and finish the games?
All I can say is that we didn't prepare as we could. It wasn't enough, our preparation wasn't enough to win this game. On Mirage, the third map, there was a round when we won the pistol round in the second half, we were leading 10-6 on the T-side. We went out A and I was the one that was planting the bomb and the teammates said to me: 'Don't plant, let us catch them'. So I didn't plant for 20 seconds, I was waiting for my teammates to get good positions, and, somehow, this idea went absolutely wrong. We lost three guys with guns, one with an AK, two with 'farm guns', but it doesn't matter. After that, I was thinking about why we did it. There was no reason to go and kill them, to get frags or something. I don't know. But we did mistakes, a lot of mistakes as CT on Train and on Mirage. And this is the result.
You mention preparation, and the whole of Na`Vi talks a lot about preparation, that if the preparation is good you play well. What does that preparation encompass? What was missing in terms of preparation for the ENCE game that you had, let's say, in the quarterfinals against FaZe?
Nothing different, actually. When I was talking about the preparation I was thinking about... You know, it is not enough to just play CS to improve your game. You need to do a lot of annoying work as a team. Discuss tactics, discuss many small details. That is what we missed, in my opinion.
You had a better tournament individually, statistically speaking, than a couple of previous ones. Where did that come from? Did you put in more time into the game before this tournament? Did you approach it with a different mentality perhaps?
I did a lot of thinking, discovering internally, soul searching perhaps, I'm trying to find my will, my motivation to improve myself.
How do you rate the tournament run that you had here?
You know, even if we [only] placed 3rd-4th, I'm actually satisfied. Because during the tournament I started to feel that we can beat anyone since our communication level has never been so good and I was inspired by this. So I'm satisfied after all.
There has been a lot of talk about Na`Vi coming into this tournament, like people unfollowing each other on Instagram...
It was about s1mple unfollowing Zeus, did you know that?
So there was a lot of talk about there being bad blood, that you are going to be doing roster changes...
It is sh*t talk, all of it is not true.
So the atmosphere in the team was always good before this tournament?
No, we had arguments between each other, of course, but we are always on the same page. It is normal if you have conflicts in a team. For me, there was nothing to talk about publicly, it is just regular communication.
I have to ask you about the rumors that there are going to be changes after the Major in Na`Vi. From your perspective, is anything going to happen? What do you think?
No, it is not going to happen. Nothing is going to happen.
Any final thoughts?
I just want to say thanks to the fans of the game, keep loving the game guys, it is really nice. It is just pure joy. Thank you.