phr: "We're still underdogs, but we're playing some really good CS"
AGO had an automatic berth to the playoffs due to playing in a group that had two teams forfeit their spot at the event in China, but the Poles went on to beat Ukraine, Valiance, and fnatic in the playoffs to clinch a spot in the grand final.
In the interview, phr touched upon the veto, the keys to the match against fnatic, preparing for the Swedes, and issues with the monitors that have plagued the tournament, among other topics.
Let's kick the interview off with the moment you found out you were going to play against fnatic. You had a day to prepare, so what did you do?
We couldn't practice because there was no one to practice against, so we just played deathmatch for a few hours and that was pretty much all we did from the players' perspective. Our coach did a pretty good job and he did a great analysis.
Does miNirox usually work with Furlan and then they talk to the rest of the team, or how does the scouting work?
Usually, miNirox and Furlan work together and the rest of the players focus on individual skill. About an hour before the match, or maybe a bit earlier, we just listen to what miNirox and Furlan have to tell us about playstyles, anti-strats, and a few different things...
Walk me a bit through the veto. Did you all talk it through, or how did you come up with it, going to Nuke in the last map?
It was kind of unexpected, but we knew we were going to ban Mirage and that we had a good veto against fnatic because they don't play Nuke. We banned Mirage, they picked Inferno, and we left Nuke. We picked Cache because we had a plan to pick Train or Cache and they banned Train first, so we picked Cache. They left Nuke open at the end, so it was the obvious pick because we prepared it specifically for this tournament.
The first map was a bit controversial because of some issues with the monitors. What happened exactly?
We didn't know it before the match, but they had different monitors, which was a mistake from them because they didn't notice before the first map. When we played in the group stage at the hotel we knew that the QR monitors are pretty bad and the Q monitors are good, so they made a mistake by not checking this. I think it was mostly our play style, we analyzed them pretty well and we showed on Inferno that we had an answer to every Banana control they tried and pretty much to every play they did and we just destroyed them.
So you think the monitors didn't have anything to do with it?
Yeah, I bet it had something to do with it, but I won't say a lot. I played on that monitor on the first day and I knew they were worse because we played with these monitors last year, as well, so I instantly asked the admins to change the monitors to the Q version.
Let's get a bit into match specifics, 16-0 on Inferno, 6-16 on Cache, two pretty one-sided maps. What were the keys to victory on Nuke?
Let's start from the beginning. On Inferno, we knew how they were going to play and we played against them pretty well. On Cache it was a different story because they knew how we were going to play and we played exactly how they wanted us to, so up to there it was about analyzing the opponent. On Nuke it was random because they hadn't played Nuke before and we didn't know what to expect from them and we only played it against MIBR.
And you lost against MIBR... What made you think it would work against fnatic when it didn't against MIBR?
To be honest, we played poorly against MIBR and lost many post-plant situations that would have changed the score for us on the T side. Against fnatic we knew what we did wrong against MIBR so we just fixed that and it worked perfectly.
We had a gameplan against fnatic, and we knew they didn't play Nuke because they were learning some nades before the match, so that was good for us since that allowed us to play most of our strats without any counter-plays from them, so we just played according to the gameplan that we set at the beginning and everything worked pretty much perfectly. We lost some rounds because of bad communication, but that's pretty much it.
Moving to tomorrow, it's going to be Windigo or G2 in the final, any preference?
I don't know, to be honest, this has been our best tournament so far and we're not even done. I think that if we play like we did today we're going to win against either of the two.
Who do you think are favorites in that semifinal, and do you think you'll be favorites against them in the final?
G2 is the favorite [in the semifinal match], but Windigo have played some really good CS so far and I think it's going to be a really close match. I think we were the underdogs at this tournament from the beginning, but now we've proven that teams have to be scared of us. We're still underdogs, but we're playing some really good CS.
What is it about this tournament that got you this far?
We played a few online cups before coming here and we played really bad, but somehow here we're like a new team and we're just destroying everything and playing like we should be playing all of the time.
Do you think you can keep this form when you go back home?
Yeah, we have some demos to analyze what we do right and what we do wrong, so I think it's going to be better.