device: "A few days off and then back to work"
Astralis were flawless in the group stage, winning all five maps, but didn't look as dominant as they often do, letting their opponents reach ten or more rounds in each game. After losing Dust2 to Liquid in the first map of the grand final, the Danes bounced back with two one-sided victories, on Inferno and Overpass, to claim yet another trophy.
Talking to device, we heard that most of Astralis' preparation for the second day was focused on the MIBR Overpass game, that they had very limited info on Liquid going into the grand final, and that they will be skipping IEM Sydney.
Touching on the group stage, you won all of your matches, of course, but at least a couple of them were close. With the format as it is, being high-paced, was pacing yourselves and saving energy something that came into play in the group stage?
We definitely didn't hold anything back or play loose in any matches. I think this tournament is very tough for a team like us because we like to prepare for our opponents and now they also changed the veto system so we didn't know the maps beforehand. The second day is really tough because you are done at 11 o'clock the first day and then you have to wake up at 9 o'clock to try to watch videos of the other teams and you don't really have time to prepare.
This time we focused really hard on MIBR and Overpass because we knew that if we win that game we had big chances going through. And as you say, the pacing is tough, but it is the same for everyone. All of our matches were double-digits, not something we are used to, also maybe the new economy played into the role of that, because it is really hard to reset the opponents. But yeah, we won all of our matches and we are really happy with it.
Something NAF touched on in the mid-series interview is that they didn't really practice Inferno that much. Did you expect them to be better prepared going into the grand final, especially considering at the Major people were propping them to reach the final and play you?
I think you don't prepare for other games than the next one, so I didn't think they prepared for us at the Major that much. We haven't prepared Inferno against them either, for this tournament, so we were kind of like... We knew Stewie was holding B because we saw that at the Major but other than that we were going in kind of raw, without information and that is just how the format is, it creates some weird Counter-Strike sometimes, but I think our T-side on that map is very strong and we've shown that multiple times.
Dust2 against Liquid was a pretty close map, do you think that playing the map so much in the group stage was actually detrimental to you in the grand final?
No, we won four times, we like the map, we focused a lot on it, actually, and some rounds here and there could've gone our way, we didn't have a great economy at the end of that half, I had the 1v3 where I lost the 1v1 to NAF in the end. I think if we would've won that round we might've won the game because then they didn't have any money as well. It is just Counter-Strike, you can't really go into details and be too sad about losing the rounds. The best part about it was that it was their map and because of that, we knew we had two strong maps coming after that. That is kind of our mentality, we like to play the opponents map first because then there is no pressure going into your own map, and you know you have the momentum going into the third map.
What is happening for you going forward? I think zonic kind of confirmed that you are not going to [IEM] Sydney, can you tell me about that decision and what is coming up for you next?
Yeah, Sydney... I can't go there, that is basically the reason we're not going, my body doesn't cope with the jetlag when we are going that direction that well, so we skipped it this time. We are going to [BLAST Pro Series] Miami next, and before that going home and preparing for that.
We have to figure out a good way to play BLAST events because it is a different format and we are not comfortable doing it, but I think a lot of teams are also not comfortable with it yet. We are just going to try to find out how we can prepare and so on, other than that, maybe take a little break, it is also really stressful to be at these tournaments. So probably a few days off—relaxing with family, girlfriends, whatever—, and then back to work.