Lucky: "We're a bit limited as far as playing to our full potential [at WESG], but maybe we can play more freely and enjoy ourselves a bit more"
G2 started off their run at WESG with two victories over Singularity and Revolution on the first day of play and will move to the playoffs as the highest seed in their group at a tournament where their goal is to win it the tournament and take home the lion's share of the $890,000 prize pool.
In this two-person interview, Lucky and maLeK talk about several topics, including the team's objectives in China, bringing François "AmaNEk" Delaunay into the roster when they get back home, the team's problems with mid-round calling, and how the team is expected to change in the near future.
You've been on the team for quite some time now, can you tell me about your evolution in the team and if everything is going somewhat as expected?
Lucky: When I came in it took a while to find all of the proper roles, and adapt to them, but it's always a pleasure to play with players that I've always looked up to and used to watch when I was playing in smaller teams. It's all about finding balance. I'm a hybrid player with the AWP, so that makes me a more passive player compared to Kenny "kennyS" Schrub who's more aggressive in his comfort zone, while I like to hold angles in the double AWP setup, so I think that's good for finding that balance.
Have you prepared anything specific for WESG? Do you have any specific goals for the event?
Lucky: We only had a few days to recover from the Major, so we didn't do anything specific. We come from the Major, where we had some pressure to retain the spot and so on, so now at WESG we can play more freely and without worrying as much. We're a bit limited as far as playing to our full potential, but maybe we can play more freely and enjoy ourselves a bit more. The goal here is to win, but in the long term it's to become a consistent top team in the world.
So you decided to sign AmaNEk, could you tell us a bit about what you think he'll bring with him to the team?
maLeK: The big picture is for him to help Richard "shox" Papillon develop as a leader and to find a good dynamic that can help the rest of the players also develop within the team. On one hand, there's kennyS, who has been working better and better and will take on some more responsibility, which he is doing naturally. Then there's shox, who will move into the core on the attacking side and will become an IGL who is at the heart of the team's movement. Audric "JaCkz" Jug will move from the outer parts of the map to be with shox and kennyS while AmaNEk will take over the lurking duties. This will be good because shox and JaCkz get along quite well in the game, so we'll have an explosive trio, and with shox in the middle of the action it will help curb the situations in which he couldn't quite grasp what was happening mid-round because he was playing away from his teammates.
AmaNEk also likes to grind the game and he has a lot of knowledge, so we want him to have a lot of input in the comms. I don't want to put a co-leader tag on him, but I do count on him adding to the team tactically. We also have a lot of ideas for the CT side, so we have the luxury depending on the flow of a match to play one way or another and to be able to play double AWP setups with kennyS who is aggressive and several more passive players, or even with shox who has some aggressive peeks, so that's the idea.
We were talking about mid-round problems earlier, do you think AmaNEk will be a solution to those issues?
maLeK: Exactly, one of the things that we noticed is that having a gameplan or being able to figure stuff out in the early round is fine, we know how to build well, but it's really making those late round decisions and developing the round until its conclusion that we want to focus on, and we think that due to his profile, AmaNEk's arrival will help us.
You talk about bringing shox back into the heart of the action, and seeing kennyS continually improve. Do you think we'll see the best versions of them, perhaps even the players we saw back in the day?
maLeK: Right now it's the present, I don't like to compare to the past, for me what is important is that everyone is active and taking responsibility on the server, that's when shox plays at his best, when he's involved and in the middle of the action. As far as kennyS goes, we've had some small positive signs as far as his individual play, but he is also becoming very invested in the game and that's very good, it needs to continue.
Lucky was saying the goal here is to win, and eventually to become a top team. For you, outside of the server, what is it you want to see?
maLeK: For me, it's all about following a path, and I don't want us to be going in circles. In France, classically, things ended in shuffles and teams changing everything completely. The idea at G2, with Jerôme, the team's manager, is to make small changes if they are needed, and if changes are made, that they're not made as a reactive measure to a tournament result or something like that.
The ultimate goal is to get G2 back where it deserves, which is amongst the top teams in the world. I don't have a crystal ball to know at what tournaments this will happen, but we'll make it back. We've started to go down a road both in and out of the game to build something solid and to try to make up for lost time. What's happening now is that we have created a roadmap that allows us to look further down the road.