SHiPZ: "After beating MIBR we were pretty sure we were going to win the tournament"
We close out the coverage from the WESG 2018 World Finals in Chongqing with an interview with Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov, the MVP of the tournament.
Windigo won the WESG 2018 World Finals in China after defeating AGO in a three map series. We sat down with the 18-year-old SHiPZ, the tournament's MVP, to talk about his team's run at the event in Chongqing.
In the interview, SHiPZ talks about the team's form ahead and during the tournament, playing and winning against some of the best teams in attendance, the chemistry between players, and the final match against AGO.
First MVP award of your career, how does it feel?
It feels amazing, I didn't expect it coming into the tournament, and it just happened...
Talking about it just happening, did you expect you'd go this far, winning the tournament?
It was not expected at all because we had some problems in our team, during the bootcamp we didn't play really well. We had some expectations coming in, like we knew that if we got out of the groups we would make it far, but after beating MIBR we were pretty sure we were going to win the tournament.
What was it that changed between the bootcamp and playing here?
I guess the LAN chemistry. In the bootcamp we felt a lot of pressure amongst each other, but when we started to play here the pressure was gone after practicing a little bit.
Let's jump into your personal performance, you had several maps with 30 bombs. How did you get into that state to play so well?
I feel like I'm more comfortable against better teams because they just don't expect the kind of stuff we do while lower tier teams just hold, and my playstyle isn't very good for that.
We saw that on Overpass against G2 you were constantly pushing and you ruined them. What was the thought process behind that?
I was just listening to the info and decided to push...
You didn't think at some point they would stop you?
I was thinking about it, but I told myself that I would just keep doing it until I die, so... I just pushed every time and they didn't kill me so I kept going.
You played all three of the top teams that were here. You tied fnatic in the group stage, you beat MIBR, and you beat G2. Do you think you were just more hungry than them? It's a big prize pool, you don't play these tournaments as often...
Yeah, I think so. It's our first big victory at an event like this and we had no pressure playing against the big teams because we had nothing to lose. We knew if we just beat them we would go far.
Earlier you said bigger teams don't expect you to play the way you do, do you think they may be underestimating you?
Yeah, I think so, when they play a lower tier team they just want to end it fast. They don't hold positions, they just play together and trade kills and then try to win the 2vs2s and the clutch situations.
But it didn't work out for them...
You have Pro League coming up, which is on LAN as well. Teams are probably going to start looking at you a bit more. Do you think you'll be able to carry the momentum and keep playing at a high level?
After this tournament, everything is possible. We just showed we can beat anyone, although we can also lose against anyone [laughs], but I have high expectations to make it to the finals.
Run me a bit through the final today. There was some chaotic play at points. Tell me a bit about how you prepared, what you expected...
Our captain, bubble, and our new coach, Shockwave—by the way, shoutout to him, he's really good and helped us a lot, without him we wouldn't have won this tournament—, they were preparing since the morning. We knew for sure what the maps would be, we expected everything, and they prepared for us on everything. On Inferno we won both pistols, all the anti-ecos, but I don't know what happened. We choked a bit...
How did you choke?
I don't know, it was like 5-0 on T side and then they won seven rounds in a row and I have no idea how. Usually, when we lead 5-0 and they win some rounds we can moneyf*ck them and the half is over for them, but that didn't happen this time.
It was a really close map, 14-16, then it was Mirage. You started out pretty well, had a lead...
We knew they don't play Mirage that well, so we started out like 8-0 but then they won one round with only one guy left alive. If we would have won that, the map would be over. They managed to get some rounds, but we did end up closing the half out 10-5. We won the pistol again and then after that, the game was in our hands. We lost a few rounds but there was no pressure.
And then Dust2 to close it out.
We lost the pistol, but after winning the second round we knew we were going to win the game for sure.
Just then, in the second round! Did you say anything funny on TS?
Yeah, for sure, that they have no chance. We were pretty sure we were going to win because we beat MIBR and G2 so we weren't going to throw it all away in the final and lose to AGO. v1c7oR won some pretty insane rounds...
And bubble played that last map well, as well.
Yeah, it's good to have five good fragging teammates, so anyone can step up.
How is the chemistry between the older and the younger guys?
You know, bubble and v1c7oR have been playing together for many years already, and poizon, blocker, and me were playing in bpro for like a year, so we also knew each other. We had some problems at the beginning, it was like two teams in one, blocker, poizon and me, and v1c7oR and bubble, but after this tournament, I think everything changed.
bubble is leading and gave up the AWP, the roles were adjusted... It's working out?
Yeah, it's working out pretty well. You can count on bubble as IGL and captain to know what the rivals are doing and so on...
So you'll be more united after this win?
Any last words?
Shoutout to the organization, Windigo. We had some problems but we managed to fix all of it and we signed new contracts, so we'll stay together. Also, thanks to the Bulgarian fans and to my family!