allu: "Now we really have to focus even more, be even more hungry, and just push through"

In our interview with Aleksi "allu" Jalli leading up to BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, we heard the sniper's thoughts on ENCE's Major run, the task ahead, and Miikka "suNny" Kemppi.

Defeating Liquid and Natus Vincere in the playoffs of their first Major got ENCE a new wave of fans, with the stone-cold Finns surpassing expectations quite a bit. Despite a one-sided loss to Astralis in the grand final, the team was happy, but will not be resting on their laurels, allu says.

Getting to where they are now was the easier part, allu thinks

Becoming a stable top 5 team is the goal for 2019, with the toughest part ahead of them, the veteran believes. Prioritizing tournaments in order to be as close to their best form every time they are at a LAN will be one of the keys in doing so, allu says, while also giving some insight on the rumors about suNny joining ENCE.

With a bit of time between now and the Major, how do you look at the result you had there? Where did it come from, how did you manage to get that far into the tournament?

Before the Major Qualifier, or however it is called nowadays, Challenger stage, we practiced a lot, really a lot, and our games online felt really good, everything felt like we clicked really well. Then, coming to the Challenger stage, we only lost to Renegades, that was a tough match for me, personally, as my girlfriend's water broke an hour before the match, so I was not in the zone so to speak. (laughs) But then we bounced backed against Winstrike and coming to the Legends stage, obviously, the tournament was really long and that affected us a bit because we don't really like to practice so much at events. Even though we maintain our level which we achieve at home, we feel like you drain yourself out if you practice a lot, so we decided not to practice so much, just a few practices before the Legends stage started, and then we got Renegades again, actually the draw we wanted and we just... couldn't beat them again. (laughs) This time with no excuse, we practiced a lot against them and I think they got our number in a way. Perhaps we even underrestimated them, they have good players and a good system.

Then HellRaisers and BIG... let's not go through every match, but all in all, the Major run, we first had a goal to go to the Legend stage, then after we reached that, our goal was to go to the playoffs, and after we managed to do that, we had the goal to win the tournament. Obviously, that is pretty ambitious, even though people might think we can play, we are not really up there in people's minds. But you have to believe, right?

We felt really good when we drew Liquid, of course, they beat Astralis at the event before and everyone was thinking that they are in really good shape, that they are the main favorites to win together with Astralis, but we were actually happy to get them because we feel that our style matches pretty good against theirs. Then we win the game, we got Na`Vi and again, we weren't necessarily happy, but we also matched well against them. Even though we had to make a good comeback on Mirage, but how Na`Vi plays, their gamestyle is similar to ours, they trade a lot and then they clutch, we are good at that as well, not necessarily good as the top-top teams, but we can hang in there.

And then against Astralis... it would have been a bit too much, to be honest. (laughs) In the other games we had good energy before the matches, everything was pretty good, but also Astralis is, in my opinion, the best team, by far, at the moment. What fu**ed us the most in that part, obviously they played better, but it was also that we kind of started to expect ourselves to win, created unneeded pressure. I'm not saying that if we wouldn't have had this we would've won, but maybe the match would've gone a bit differently. All in all, it was a good experience for us, we just need to keep on climbing. We are proud we finished second but we are not content. We have a high goal for ourselves and, as does everyone else who plays this game I believe, want to be the best. We share that same ambition and we will work hard and hopefully, we will climb on and climb on closer [to that].

Did that placing change anything for you as a team? You've got a lot of attention in Finland from the mainstream media, but also on the inside of the team, after you finish second at the Major you are kind of expected to in, the next three months maybe, win a big tournament? Did anything change for you?

We have known that if we play our A game we can beat pretty much anyone since we have really put in a lot of effort to eliminate stupid mistakes which happen often, even in top-level CS. We discussed those things a lot and good reactions to have. In that sense, maybe we got more belief, because even though we knew it, we hadn't done it before. Obviously, we haven't had that many chances either. But maybe it adds a new belief that we can really be there.

I believe that the easier part is getting to where we are now, I would say that we are in the bottom half or middle of the top 10, somewhere there, but now people really know that we can play so they will put in more effort to beat us as well. As in before, we most likely put in more effort in beating other teams than they did to beat us, so it makes it harder. Now we really have to focus even more, be even more hungry, and just push through. If we manage to do that, I can see us becoming a stable top5 team this year, that would be our goal right now.

After you won that StarSeries event, we talked at EPICENTER where you had a bad event and you said that there was a dip in motivation, energy levels... How did you battle that after the Major, because we know that after good Major results a lot of teams, especially underdogs, go downhill?

We took a break, first of all, one week I think, so we had 10 days practice coming here. We practiced hard, so after three weeks in Poland I think this one week off was really needed. We have to be smart, I think Astralis also, they are really good at choosing where to attend and when, and this 'when' part is really important because they are never drained out and if they are not at 100% at an event, at least really close. This is also something we really have to think about because traveling all the time can be really tough.

At EPICENTER, that event was straight after Kiev, so it was a bit different. We obviously lacked the experience of tough event schedules, that also played a part, and when you are two weeks somewhere, then two days at home before you leave again, it is hard. Back then, we were a not a well-versed team as well, so we just try to go forward.

allu admits that he is interested in the prospect of playing with sunNy again, but that the decision is not up to him

So the last question, I have to ask you about the sunNy report...

(allu laughs)

Is there any truth to it? I mean, he is obviously a top player, historically the best in Finland alongside you, I think there is no discussion there. So what are your thoughts on it?

I know Miikka, suNny, really well, in past teams and even six months ago, whenever we've been in different teams we've discussed the idea of maybe at one point playing together again. But for now, we are committed to this team.

If we would be able to get suNny—he is my opinion one of the better players in the whole world right now—we would have to see, but it is not my call. My thinking is that if you were [able] to get suNny, you most likely should, but of course, you then have tough decisions to make: who needs to go, is it even possible? I can't answer these questions, they are not for me to answer.

Finland Miikka 'suNny' Kemppi
Miikka 'suNny' Kemppi
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Finland Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Aleksi 'allu' Jalli
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2019-03-22 14:09
lol gl
2019-03-22 14:10
Sweden yayer 
god allu
2019-03-22 14:10
2019-03-22 14:23
Sweden yayer 
mistyped ,plz 4giv
2019-03-22 14:51
no prob
2019-03-22 15:05
2019-03-22 14:10
Luxembourg m16rdisbandpls 
Lets go enceeeeeeeee
2019-03-22 14:11
im surprised he didnt answer every question "yes" "no"
2019-03-22 14:11
”Yeah” ”Yeah” ”Yeah” ”Perfect” ”Yeah” ”Yeah”
2019-03-22 15:54
Europe lalt 
Apparently he was saving words for Professeur 😂
2019-03-22 16:04
Push it like you would push your girlfriend
2019-03-22 14:11
jhd | 
Finland JHdash77 
2019-03-22 15:40
Delpan | 
Russia ejkkk 
ez4izakoboars and ez4forze
2019-03-22 14:11
Are those redbulls only for the commercials? Or can you actually drink them?
2019-03-22 14:11
Sweden godname 
sorry allu but u will not win any big tourny it was just pure luck in the major
2019-03-22 14:11
flag checks out
2019-03-22 14:13
Flag checks out
2019-03-22 16:02
Flag checks out
2019-03-22 18:51
Finland Smoonah 
flag checks out
2019-03-22 19:35
flag checks out
2019-03-22 20:03
Idk but he'll win more than g2 that's for sure
2019-03-22 14:31
+1 Could ve always worse like being fan of G2 lul
2019-03-22 14:38
United Kingdom EKersh 
2019-03-22 14:59
+1 , u rekt him bro xd
2019-03-22 15:06
2019-03-22 14:12
2019-03-22 14:13
0/8 fluke
2019-03-22 14:13
Venezuela anx420 
these blast interviews have been great tbh
2019-03-22 14:15
Finland CucumberFIN 
2019-03-22 14:16
Brazil iamPinguino 
what did he want to say with "my girlfriend's water broke" ??
2019-03-22 14:16
Brazil iamPinguino 
ohh thxxx
2019-03-22 14:28
they stand no chance lul, that major run was a fluke, every single team was in their worst shape beside astralis who just played matchmaking on them noobs, keep dreaming fins cause its not going to happen again
2019-03-22 14:19
tabac0 | 
Portugal EHEHEHE 
2019-03-22 14:30
still mad :P
2019-03-22 14:35
Salt is strong on this one.
2019-03-22 14:37
Asia senkage333 
"Being in a worst shape" most delusional excuse ever lmao.
2019-03-22 14:39
2019-03-22 14:41
and ofc only fins in this topic ))) not much else to add, keep dreaming
2019-03-22 14:43
Keep being salty buddy.
2019-03-22 14:46
im not your buddy you delusional shit )) peace
2019-03-22 15:15
Saltyyy lol
2019-03-23 01:45
if youre gonna talk about nationality then maybe stop hiding your flag kid
2019-03-22 15:44
He is russian 110%
2019-03-23 01:49
Mad navi fan spotted. EZ4ENCE
2019-03-23 01:49
2019-03-22 15:27
Worst shape in the major. So Ence was better than all the rest except Astralis in that major. Thats how it works. You win or lose, why is irrelevant.
2019-03-22 16:29
You are dead wrong but too stupid to realize it
2019-03-22 21:05
Finland Pesulakarhu 
Gotta love how humble and down to earth Allu is.
2019-03-22 14:20
Allu is good guy.
2019-03-22 14:42
nt nt
2019-03-22 14:20
Brazil igster 
2019-03-22 14:21
Europe tweekzter 
What he says about sunny is not very nice towards his teammates. A full commitment looks different.
2019-03-22 14:21
Aleksib | 
Finland Mitzu 
What he's saying is the truth and everyone in Finland, including his teammates know this. It's not meant to disrespect his teammates, it's the respect towards the best player Finland has at the moment. Lying about it would have been dumb.
2019-03-22 15:03
Denmark ta9239487234 
2019-03-22 16:13
Poland kvvach 
indeed. i feel like allu is just waiting to backstab x7 or aerial to gets sunny
2019-03-22 15:03
Lmao, with hurt ass mentality like you have you would not last a day in competitive top level in any sports. CSGO "toughness" is nothing compared to real sports, 1 mistake at NHL and you go to AHL which is trash trash compared to NHL. Allu is answering very well that question and honestly, if he would say something different it looks like obvious lie and people would go more meme about sunny joining ence, he is saying obviously you should think about it because sunny is free now and certainly one of the best players in our country but in the other end, does ENCE need it? Is it possible, should you do it? What part is the wrong towards his teammates? Nothing.
2019-03-22 15:15
Hurt ass mentality? You have definetly not played team game on a serious plan. What allu is doing is going to split the team, and the team is destined to fail now. He is only putting pressure at his teammates with whom he only now played the final with at the major. Why not try this team out and see if it was a fluke or not before backstabbing your teammate already so he is sure the team will fail so they can get suNny. Allu is definetly not professionel and does not respect his teammates. the only time he would have the right to say the things he do, is, if the contract was done and they were going to make it officiel. - which i doubt is the actual case, although if it is the case i will admit that i am totally wrong.
2019-03-22 16:13
2019-03-22 16:18
10 iq reply i will give u that :)
2019-03-22 16:23
Europe tweekzter 
He does not ask if you should do it. He clearly says that in his oppinion you should do it, if it was possible. That's not about hurt-ass mentality. It is just not a good idea to bring insecurity into a team, heavily relying on team chemistry.
2019-03-22 18:09
He never says that.
2019-03-22 18:33
Denmark potatomato 
push it like you push your girlfriend
2019-03-22 14:25
Fake interview Allu doesn't laugh
2019-03-22 14:45
Sakura | 
Japan Ron1E 
So the last question, I have to ask you about the sunNy report... (allu laughs)
2019-03-22 14:48
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
wtf tl:dr
2019-03-22 14:51
god allu
2019-03-22 14:53
allu is a legend~from nip to faze, finally he builds a Finnish team
2019-03-22 15:04
suNny not sunNy
2019-03-22 15:07
Brazil Collee 
back to tier 3
2019-03-22 15:12
Brazil cnh41 
2019-03-22 15:21
allu not a good teammate. What he basically is saying is suNny need to replace one of his teammates. what a prick.
2019-03-22 15:22
No, he is just being honest about the situation
2019-03-22 15:52
Germany pmb  
creates a lot of tention within the team though, which can go both ways
2019-03-22 15:53
#57 The best finnish player is on the market right now, do you really think they dont understand this
2019-03-22 15:56
Ukraine ksay 
what do u not understand about creates tension in the team?
2019-03-22 16:22
They all know it so what allu is saying in this interview doesn't make any difference you know
2019-03-22 16:23
Germany pmb  
he might also say something along the lines of "we as a successfull team dont need any addition right now", which in reality might even be smarter. just because there is some supposedly "better" player available, doesnt mean your team chemistry stays the same. just look tt the french scene, look at liquid, look at faze, look at mouz.
2019-03-22 16:27
still something to think about when a player like sunny is on the market with all the relations n stuff theres a reason everyone was speculating about it
2019-03-22 16:40
Germany pmb  
the reason is probably allus twitter photo with sunny in it
2019-03-22 18:48
because sunny is a top player thats why
2019-03-22 19:58
Ukraine ksay 
thats not how it always works really. players might react differently. there was enough tension from the leaked talks with sunny. allu is not only admiting that there is possibility of transfer but also saying that it would've happened if it was up to him. his honesty was just really unnecessary
2019-03-22 16:32
yeah, could be maybe it's the finnish honesty
2019-03-22 16:33
Pretty obvious everyone knows already sunny might join team at some point if things don't go that well, there is nothing new or shocking in what allu says...
2019-03-22 15:56
Yea but i think sunny will be picked quite cuickly and then he will probqbly be signed for like 2 years so sunny wont be option for long
2019-03-22 20:04
I'm pretty sure it wasn't a secret opinion
2019-03-22 21:11
ez for suNny
2019-03-22 15:31
why you hungry guys? I can cook 4 you xD
2019-03-22 15:38
Mongolia Sythapilla 
I wanted to wrote that, so you wrote it first. xd
2019-03-22 16:19
hehe :D
2019-03-22 16:28
nt, it was a fluke go back to tier 4 online leagues.
2019-03-22 16:01
Bot allu tier 3
2019-03-22 16:20
bot allu finalist of the most recent major ez tier 3
2019-03-22 17:14
Yeah now tier 3 just lucky
2019-03-22 21:10
2019-03-22 22:55
Is gonna be one of the best blasts of all time
2019-03-22 17:04
Really nice interview
2019-03-22 17:58
Bot allu xD
2019-03-22 18:01
the worst team on blast
2019-03-22 18:05
expected insecurity from a no-scene toilet cleaner.
2019-03-22 21:17
haha shitland scene XD
2019-03-22 21:34
again, expected insecurity.
2019-03-22 21:35
first time since Jesus born fins scene have a decent team xd
2019-03-22 21:58
still insecure, but this time around, also uneducated.
2019-03-22 22:00
nt look scores today, bots from shiiitland will win 10rounds each
2019-03-22 22:07
Im more excited to see how well the polish teams do.
2019-03-22 22:13
sit kid
2019-03-23 12:12
are those redbulls only for the commercials or can you actually drink them
2019-03-22 19:05
Great interview. A very honest and humble guy. Bottom/mid top 10 is accurate.
2019-03-22 21:14
lets go ENCE i love allu
2019-03-22 21:31
Finland lasarus 
Getting SunNy maybe isn't a good choice, since the train we know, Aerial is a very good entry also and his teamplay for example on Train with Aleksib is just too good.
2019-03-23 12:05
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