GruBy: "If we play the way we did today then I think we're going to win [against Valiance]"
AGO have made it to the quarter-finals with only two matches behind them, their loss to MIBR in a two-team group and their quarterfinal victory against Ukraine. Now, AGO will go on to face Valiance in the quarter-finals in a side of the bracket that also features OpTic and fnatic.
In the interview, GruBy and Tomasz "phr" Wójcik, who was helping with translating and also chimed in, talk about how the tournament is going for AGO, the state of the Polish scene, their favorites in the tournament, and some of the organizational issues they've seen.
How did you prepare for WESG? Anything special? How about goals for the tournament?
GruBy: We've been bootcamping for two weeks, we changed our training routine around a bit, and we were watching a lot of demos and just playing. As far as our goal, it is at least to make top 4 at this tournament.
Your first and only group match was against MIBR, did you prepare for it at all, what did you expect from it, and how did it go?
GruBy: We didn't prepare that much because we already knew we would make it out of groups, even before we got on a plane, so we just picked Nuke to surprise them and test ourselves on it as well. We hadn't prepared on it that much, but we prepared to at least do something, and that's pretty much it.
Did it go as expected?
What did you expect?
GruBy: To win. [laughs]
Only having that one group match, was it good or bad for you?
GruBy: It's good and bad at the same time. Good because we were through to the playoffs, which was good news, but bad news because we didn't play that many matches here, in China, and I think that the more you play the better you are, especially on LAN events.
Now you're in playoffs. You won your first match today and you're playing Valiance next. They have a couple of stand-ins here, but you've played the core before online and so on, so how do you see them as a rival?
GruBy We're not afraid of them, they have two stand-ins, they won't have EspiranTo and ottoNd, so it's a big downgrade for them. If we play the way we did today then I think we're going to win.
phr: Yeah, them not having two players is good for us, not having EspiranTo is a big downgrade because I think he's their best player, so we're pretty confident against them. I watched some of their match today against Singularity and I don't know what to say. I just watched from behind the monitors and I didn't watch it all, but they were struggling against Singularity, who we practiced against here, and I think we would beat them.
You were here last year, you're back this year, what do you think of the tournament?
GruBy: The screens are pretty bad, just like they were a year ago. I think they had some time to get some good equipment. Also, the place is worse, last year in Haikou the stage was better, and just the place, in general, was nicer.
How about the tournament format itself, having national teams, lots of teams playing at the same time and so on? Is it fun or do you not really care?
GruBy: It doesn't really matter for me, the tournament format is fine.
When you came last year you were a top 20-ish team. You've been going through some rough patches since then, where do you see the team is now?
GruBy: If we wouldn't have made some stupid mistakes last year we could have won the tournament. This year we're here with two different players and we're struggling, but we came here stronger and I think that if we don't make some stupid mistakes we can go all the way or take second place.
You're on the side of fnatic, OpTic, and Valiance. Do you think you're the favorite team on your side of the bracket?
GruBy: No, I think fnatic are the favorites, but I also think OpTic will beat them.
GruBy: Just a feeling I have.
So who do you think the favorites are, then?
After the tournament, when it's all over and you head back home, what's waiting for you there?
GruBy: We have an ECS Pinnacle Cup match against Heroic, then we'll probably have a little break because we don't have any tournaments or qualifiers coming up, I think.
Going a little bit off topic now, but last year and the year before the Polish scene was pretty strong, but it seems to be struggling a bit as of late. How do you see it from your perspective?
GruBy: The wrong players are on the wrong teams, to repair it at some point there's going to have to be a shuffle. The good players, and by that I mean the older players, are playing with bad players, meaning the younger ones, who just need some time to adapt to playing at a higher level.