k0nfig: "Last year was really rough so I just want to see some nice stuff from us"
The first match on stage featured OpTic and Denial in their Group B opener, which the Danes were able to take without breaking a sweat, winning Overpass 16-8 and Inferno 16-5. We sat down with k0nfig to hear his thoughts early on in the tournament ahead of their matches against Valiance and NASR.
In the interview, k0nfig touches on issues with the computers, handling adversity, Ismail "refrezh" Ali's adaptation to the team, the match against Denial, their hopes for the tournament, and how OpTic compares to some of the favorites to take it all in Chongqing.
You just finished your first match against Denial, where you came out pretty strong, not messing around. How did it go? How did you feel that match went?
We felt really good as a team, but the PCs and monitors didn't feel that good, everything felt really slow, the spraying didn't really work, so we just have to think about the good things because there are small things at this tournament that need to be fixed.
It seems to be a bit like that every year, there are always some things that bother teams. What part do you think that's going to play in this tournament?
I think it's going to change a lot of things because if you come from home playing on a good PC and monitor and everything is nice and you're used to high fps and a fast game, then it's going to make a difference and play a big role for teams that are used to playing at home in their apartment, but you just need to focus on the game and not on the flaws in the tournament.
So do you think it's going to become a mindset thing? That the stronger teams, mentally, will be able to handle it better?
Yeah, I think it's going to be a mentality thing because if you tilt about the monitor being slow or about the PC being a bit laggy then you'll get mad at your teammates and so on, and so if you're just happy at this tournament then it'll be fine.
Before coming out here and thinking about the PCs or whatever, how did you prepare? How did you get ready for the event?
We were just playing like we usually do, just practicing and rehearsing nades and executes and learning tactics and so on. We have to put refrezh into all of our tactics since he's still a new guy and has a lot to learn, so we're just trying to help him develop as a player and trying to find our own game and trying to find ourselves.
Talking about refrezh being a new guy, you only played like three maps on LAN with him or something like that, not much...
Yeah, and we lost every one of them...
So tell me a bit about his adaptation. What are the things you have to work on more, or what surprised you?
I think the only thing he needs to work on is the communication part. He has such good aim and he's a really smart guy in the game, as well. He uses his head really, really well when he's playing, like logically and everything, he's a different player from niko. He's a different guy, of course, but I think the only thing he needs to work on is talking and communicating with the other guys because sometimes he's doing stuff he isn't saying, but he's a really good teammate, that's all I have to say about him.
When you think about niko, he's the guy that sacrifices himself and kind of takes the roles others may not want to play. How is refrezh? What roles is he taking and how are you restructuring around that?
He's like... I think he said when he joined the team that he can play anything and he didn't really care, so I guess he's the same as niko, but we don't want to put him in bad roles or bad positions because he's such a strong player so we have to have him a bit in front. He has to follow us when we throw an execute, he has to be the first, second, or third guy in, and not the last guy. That's usually cajunb or Snappi or JUGi depending on if he has the AWP or not. But yeah, he's such a good player that he has to be used the right way, I think.
As we said, you played Denial, now you have Valiance and NASR coming up. Your expectations I imagine are the playoffs, but how deep do you see yourself going?
After we make playoffs, I see us making it to the final at least. That's what we want to do, that's what we need because if we don't get this, to the final... and no pressure or anything! [laughs] But if we don't do well here, then I don't know, man. It's been a rough year for us already, and last year was really rough, so I just want to see some nice stuff from us, and I hope we'll show everyone. I don't know, I think... I hope... Maybe... We'll see! [laughs]
So you say no pressure, but...
No, no, I don't feel the pressure!
So coming up are Valiance and NASR, have you looked them up at all?
Yeah, we know Valiance, we've played them online, I think it was in the Sydney qualifier, and we know how they play. Casper [ruggah] and Snappi were watching demos and we'll be prepared.
How about NASR? They just took a map off of Valiance...
Oh, wow, maybe I should look at them now! I haven't looked them up at all.
So you're saying you want to make the final. The way I see it is the favorites are MIBR, then fnatic and G2, and then you guys. Where do you think you mix into that group?
I think at the moment, ranking-wise, we're last.
Yeah, yeah, ranking-wise you are, but how do you feel without looking at rankings?
The way we're playing I feel like we could beat G2 and fnatic, I don't think they're that much better than us, I think we're almost on the same level. MIBR is really hard because we haven't played them in a long time, we played them at the Pro League Finals last year, but that wasn't with this team... I don't know, I think we would be in the middle of that pack, second or third.
What about the tournament format, the best-of-two round robin?
I think it was good until teams started to drop out, that changed it. The fact that MIBR and AGO are in the playoffs without any risk of going out in groups is really, really wrong, but if they changed the groups or had someone else come, that would have been a lot better.