kakafu: "We're figuring out if XANTARES should take German lessons instead of English"
While BIG are competing at StarSeries and are currently sitting at a 1-2 record following losses to Vitality and Natus Vincere and a win over paiN, the Austrian coach discussed a variety of topics surrounding the issues within his lineup.
Those include attempts to fill Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz's old role and ongoing communication problems with the latest addition, Ismailcan "XANTARES" Dörtkardeş, with whom BIG have so far been unable to find success after three tournaments attended, including a quick Major run that saw the German side fall to the Minor system.
At the Major it looked like you were still undecided about certain playstyle issues, such as how to fit in XANTARES. Has there been any progress in that in the last month or so since then?
We didn't have that much progress. We need to work way harder, I guess. We had this issue and before we came to Starladder we weren't sure if XANTARES would get his visa. While we were practicing, we kind of had it in the back of our heads that we would probably have to go with a stand-in and that we would reset our minds after Shanghai. But then one day before traveling here he got his visa. Of course, we practiced with him, but two days before we came here we practiced with another German player whom we wanted to bring here. So then we practiced one more day with XANTARES and we came here.
System-wise we overall have a little bit of a problem since tabseN was kind of our guy who made the room with his AK, he was one of our smarter players who went forward. Now he got an AWP and XANTARES should have taken his role, but since his English is still not good he has a hard time understanding very spontaneous calls, if you call fast. Now we have a hard time getting room with tabseN being in the back line.
The Major itself... Many people said that the Mirage picks were something that was going wrong, but people didn't know that while we were practicing at our bootcamp, we beat basically every good Mirage team there was. We beat MIBR, we beat FaZe, so we were pretty confident in winning the map. But, in the end, after we watched our demos we saw that, still, the experience playing the map in a high-pressure game wasn't there. That shook us. And, of course, the ENCE game, where we actually should have won easily, we crushed them on Dust2, we were crushing them on Train and then we lose a 2v5. And me not being behind the team was also a huge factor. gob already said it in the interview that he did, just someone being there and helping, maybe saying one word that somehow resets the team would have changed the whole outcome.
Playstyle-wise we didn't figure it out yet, we might have to make more adjustments and we just try to see how it goes here and for Pro League we will have way better stuff.
gob b was also somewhat unsure if tabseN should play more of the AWP or less of it, how to balance it out, has there at least been any more discussion around that?
Right now, as you can see in our matches, tabseN is our full AWP. We had the idea to give gob the AWP fully, but then he tried it a little bit and said 'no, I'm not sure if I can hit my shots and if I can still support as well,' so we gave tabseN the whole AWP stuff. And he's AWPing fully now, as CT and also as T, and we are probably going to keep it because we won't bring in an AWP player. So he will be our AWP guy, it's just a matter of who takes his role and who can fulfill his role, who makes us room with a rifle. This is what we figured out, that he will keep the AWP.
But does that mean you could be giving it to someone else than XANTARES, like nex?
It's hard to give it to nex, everybody knows nex is more like a passive player. We tried it a lot that he's transforming into an all-around player like tabseN, but it's still hard for him. It's either tiziaN or XANTARES just steps up way more, being much smarter and not only the fragger. tizi is a very smart player, we can trust him fully even though sometimes his aim isn't on point, but he can be really good. He understands our philosophy, he understands what gob needs from him, and now we're figuring out if he takes this part and XANTARES gets maybe a more lurkish part, but we will see.
Communication was also something that you touched on. In general, how does it work with XANTARES, does he go through gob b a lot?
If we are discussing a map or a strat, we always talk English and we ask him if he understands what we just said. Most of the time he says either yes or no and if he didn't understand a strat or what we wanted to tell him, he asks gob who then translates it in Turkish. It's already planned that he gets English lessons, we're just figuring out if he starts German lessons instead of English lessons so that we build for the future. Then we could say maybe in three, four, five months, he would be on a level where he can talk German CS, just callouts, say basic things so that we can build on it.
He's a high-skill player, really high-skill, he tries to implement himself, smooya said it from time to time, sometimes we fall into speaking German and that was always kind of a problem, but he says 'guys, speak English, I want to understand.' That shows us that he wants to get into the group and that's very good of him. Now we're figuring out if he should start learning German and build it up long-term, or we give him an English teacher and we try to go with English. That's what we're trying to figure out right now.
You don't really seem to have a good home map at this point, with Dust2 that used to be one of your best maps now being shaky, you lost it here to both Vitality and Na`Vi. Why do you think that is?
If people watch our matches, we are basically very bad on every map, so... This is what I was worried about after the Major loss, I was worried that we would get the losing mentality, I would say, where we're scared that something like the Major happens to us again. We were really well prepared, we were really confident, in practice basically only Liquid and Astralis could beat us, but everyone else was really even, everything was fine. Now we lost and now we got shook. And I was scared that we will carry that thought that we can lose even when we feel prepared. I think we need a bit of time to recover, we need better official matchups, to win, to get that confidence back.
But right now, basically every map is kind of shaky even though we really feel confident on Dust2. The Na`Vi game, as T side we played really well, gob b was calling really well, but nothing worked for us on CT side. Since we brought Mirage into our map pool, we feel confident, we just need to step up on Nuke again. If we fit our system how we want to play, we will have all maps, and we have never had all maps in our map pool. We always had Mirage banned, Nuke was always in there because we are pretty good in antistratting and Nuke is basically always the same. We could have always prepared really well on Nuke. We just figured out the system and if the system works, we can work on our map pool.
So it's more of a global issue rather than map to map.
Yeah, right now it's global, yeah.