Aleksib: "Maybe Na`Vi didn't take us so seriously at the Major, but now they do"

We got a chance to interview Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen on the evening of ENCE's one-year anniversary, ahead of the team's quarter-final affair against Na`Vi at StarSeries i-League Season 7.

The in-game leader spoke about the fashion in which ENCE were eliminated at BLAST Pro Series São Paulo, where a tie with Liquid in the last match of the round-robin saw the Finns miss out on a place in the grand final, as the North American side advanced on round difference.

Aleksib reckons Na`Vi may have underestimated ENCE at the Major

We also asked Aleksib about the team's newly attained status of favorites after their strong showings at the Major, the inconsistency on Dust2 that they've shown lately, and Saturday's rematch with Natus Vincere in the StarSeries quarter-finals.

At BLAST you went out in a rather awkward way, where it came down to round difference and you didn't make it to the final. What were the feelings in the team about that?

Well, of course we had already known the format before joining, so... None of us thought that the worst case scenario would happen, but it did and the way the last round [against Liquid] ended was 5on3 for us and the time was low, but it was still a winnable round for us. After we lost that, of course the feeling is twice as bad because you think you are going to win this round.

But we didn't, so it's a shame, but we still proved that we can play top-level CS. We still beat very good teams. Against Astralis, we were even winning and they won a round where they stacked B, it was a great call by them... it's a shame that we lost that Dust2 game, but still, a very good LAN for us. Of course, we would have wanted to be in the revenge final against Astralis from the Major. After all the matches and on the second day, we thought we still played a great tournament, but, obviously, things could have been better. We were satisfied.

When these underdog runs happen, as you had at the Major, we often see them fall off at the next tournament, was there ever a worry for you that that could have happened at BLAST? Were you confident going into it that you would be able to replicate a similar form?

Before the Major even, I think we proved that at every big tournament we have been in. At the previous StarSeries, we won some best-of-threes against good teams. In Cologne, way back, we won best-of-threes and we played a tight match against Na`Vi in a best-of-three there. So there have been events where we played well against good teams. I think the only team we got crushed - obviously, there have been some games where we got crushed, but we are still showing that we just didn't play well one time against this caliber of teams.

I think that's some proof, but of course it catches everyone's eyes after the Major and everybody says that it is a fluke and stuff like that. For us, I think that after the Major we just thought that the previous tournaments haven't been flukes, so now we are really ready to match up against the likes of Liquid and Na`Vi and the rest. So going into BLAST, we were even more confident that we could win best-of-ones, even though it's a bit more random, of course. But still, we were focused on our own game and just really confident as a team.

For us, I think it just comes down to communication mostly. We aren't really that nervous anymore, but sometimes when we are feeling tired or someone is really frustrated or something like that, that really affects us on LAN, so if we just go into the game really focused and our communication is good, then we usually play our A-game every time. But some days here and there we just play really poorly, and when we talk about the match after, usually it comes down to not being so focused as we used to be, some communication errors and people not talking too much... Stuff like that.

Today is the one-year anniversary of the creation of this ENCE lineup. What do you think when you look back at this past year and the incredible improvement you've had?

It feels weird that it has already been a year. When we started, we lost some online qualifiers in round 128 or something like that. The start was very rough, but every time, we knew we would climb the wall of online qualifiers and that we were going to do it someday. Then we got the invitation to Moscow for the Cologne qualifier, GG.BET Majestic, and after we won that and qualified for Cologne, I think that was the moment everyone knew 'okay, now it's time for us to show what we're capable of.'

And we did in Cologne and after that, it was just the confidence of the players since we have a lot of new players, including me. After we started to participate in more events, every time we got back we were like 10% more confident in ourselves and in just the fact that it's not impossible to get into the top 10. Event after event, we were improving. Sometimes there was a sudden stop, but we never fell off, not too much at least. Sometimes we lost online, sometimes we f*cked up a qualifier, but we didn't think about it too much. We already knew what our capabilities are at LAN events, so we are just figuring out how to get the same mentality while playing online games.

ENCE will rematch Na`Vi on Saturday

A lot of people have been putting the tag of favorites on you, especially at this event, where you and Na`Vi were considered as the favorites from the start. Does that put any more pressure on you or do you not think about that at all?

Me, at least, I don't really think about it at all. Of course I know people are putting the favorites tag on us. I know we are capable of winning the event we are attending. We always go there to win. Being the favorites or people saying that we are the favorites, it doesn't affect us that much. It doesn't affect us, but it's cool to be the favorites, it has some meaning. It means that people are really considering you as a top team. When we're playing against a legendary team like FaZe or Na`Vi or Liquid or Astralis or teams like that, the mentality is still 'this is a good team, now we're going to play our A game' and everybody is really focused. But we just have to get the same mentality going into every other opponent.

You've looked quite confident at StarSeries aside from the series against Vitality, from which I particularly wanted to ask about Dust2, which you lost quite badly there. You obviously like to play the map, it's your most played one recently, but it has been inconsistent for you. Why do you think that is?

I think we haven't figured out a consistent way of winning games on Dust2, obviously. We are still putting up a good fight against better opponents and, usually, when we crumble, it's on our CT side. We are losing to stuff we've usually gone through before, but we still need some experience on the map against really good teams. It's still a map that we play a lot, so every match is a practice for us, I think. After every match we learn something new, we talk about it and how we are going to approach it differently in the next game.

When someone picks Dust2 against us, we don't think that it's a bad thing. We usually think that what we talked about before we're going to do this time and it's going to help us win. Even against FaZe, we had three match points, I think, and we just blew it, and we won against Spirit on Dust2 here. We are working on the flaws we have, but I think some of it is mental. We have gone through things, but when we play on the server, we need to do the stuff that we had talked about to win a game on Dust2.

You will play Na`Vi in the quarter-finals here again after beating them in the semi-finals at the Major. What do you expect from the rematch?

I think the match is going to be great. Both of us respect each other at this moment. Maybe the last time Na`Vi didn't take us so seriously, but now they do, obviously. I still think it's going to be a good game, both teams are going to prep really hard because it's two or three days waiting for the quarter-finals.

The only bad thing is that whoever wins that match is going against the winner of NiP and Renegades on the same day. It's quite tough to play two best-of-threes in a row, or it could be two best-of-threes with a break, but you're at the venue for 12 hours. It's even tougher to play two best-of-threes than the best-of-five final because you might play six maps in a row if there are tough matches. But we just have to get the mentality going into Saturday that first we need to focus on Na`Vi, and after beating Na`Vi we can focus on the other game, not putting too much thought on the other game and just focus on Na`Vi first.

Finland Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
Aleksi 'Aleksib' Virolainen
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2019-04-05 20:10
meme team ofc
2019-04-05 20:10
Finland bax_csgo 
you will see ;)
2019-04-05 20:15
Netherlands verygoedNico 
+1 na'vi is a joke
2019-04-05 20:30
India Noobdian 
Yes they do
2019-04-05 20:10
Canada YankeeM 
2019-04-05 20:10
2019-04-05 20:10
valde | 
Finland Juvi 
2019-04-05 20:10
s1mple | 
Germany dr9zen 
Pls ence
2019-04-05 20:10
Indonesia MeX0NNNN 
cant f5 from mobile
2019-04-05 20:11
2019-04-05 20:11
aleksib arrogant
2019-04-05 20:11
What part here is arrogant?
2019-04-05 20:51
Finland Stackman 
What part of the comments he said was arrogant?
2019-04-05 23:27
Hope Navi win. They should win this tournament and it will give them motivation and desire to play better in future. We believe in navi. Go EZ4NAVI
2019-04-05 20:15
Romania HypeXUp 
2019-04-05 20:12
2019-04-05 20:15
Finland lasarus 
2019-04-05 20:16
Only reason they got to the major final is that none of the teams took them seriously, they underastimated them and didn't prac against them. They will be irrelevant couple weeks later again.
2019-04-05 20:16
Finland Teukkasd 
OMEGALUL turks cs scene
2019-04-05 20:18
Canada mako_mako 
nt, ence era 3 days, cloud 9 era 2 weeks
2019-04-06 19:56
Finland Teukkasd 
nt canadian without cs scene
2019-04-06 20:32
allu | 
Estonia IZI4ENCE 
spain cs lul
2019-04-05 20:37
India spiderCAKE 
2019-04-05 20:52
I'm feeling thank you
2019-04-05 21:05
oof savage
2019-04-05 20:18
Talking about a 2xbo3 before they didn't even win one atm. Sounds like self-confidence as hell or people think it arrogant. When he talks about the favorite role he doesn't know what he wants to say. Sounds like he wanna say "we were always the favorites" or stuff like that. As long as they are winning no problem But S1mple will destroy you. "See you in hell Ger ahh Ence"
2019-04-05 20:20
I think germany has reading comprehension problem, he said first they need to focus 100% into the navi game before even thinking about next
2019-04-05 20:52
India LodFresa 
Why you do him like that
2019-04-05 21:43
I know Ence will lose and this guy will regret to open his mouth.
2019-04-05 22:50
That what they said before the b.i.g. game
2019-04-05 22:58
Who said was? Dont answer cuz I dont care
2019-04-05 23:06
Finland Stackman 
Damn you should really learn some English before writing comments smh. Is everyone in Germany as bad at English as you are?
2019-04-05 23:33
Take the stick out of your butt or are all Finn such snobs?
2019-04-06 00:22
Finland Stackman 
No but at least we can speak. What are you 9? Learn your grammar before you talk shit
2019-04-06 10:06
Oh, you can speak. At least I dont have a dead native language. So I dont need perfect English. Ez4Navi noob fanboi
2019-04-06 10:35
BIG did well in the tournament btw! Oh...
2019-04-06 15:00
And why should I care? Ez4Navi
2019-04-06 15:15
Is the bait tasting good since it is so far down in your mouth?
2019-04-06 20:10
Ez4Navi Ence noobs
2019-04-06 20:10
Such a low-tier bait... NT and go home
2019-04-06 20:12
You answered how is it to be a fish?
2019-04-06 20:12
nt nt.. Sieg Heil and gl in the next world war
2019-04-06 20:14
As we say in soccer. "90 minutes people run and try to make a goal but no matter what, the German wins"
2019-04-06 20:17
Finland Stackman 
Yeah sure Germany wins at football what about the world cup 2018?
2019-04-06 20:28
It the Turks guilt. Özil and Gündogan
2019-04-06 21:05
Finland Stackman 
Well isn't that racist
2019-04-06 21:06
Nope, both are Turks and decided to make advertising for Erdogan. It would be racist if i say the reason for that is in their DNA but nope the reason is they decide to do it. So I only mention this group decides to do that and they are Turks. Only facts. German arent racist.
2019-04-06 21:15
Cry more.... NT Hitler supporter.... GO HOME AND GL WINNING THE NEXT WORLD WAR... next time you really should not go and try to invade russia
2019-04-08 12:04
Finland Smoonah 
I reckon I tell you what
2019-04-05 20:21
Ez4ence Navi disband
2019-04-05 20:21
2019-04-05 20:21
United States Who_cars_mens 
>Ence >NaVi didn’t take us so seriously Pick one
2019-04-05 20:22
NaVi: "No."
2019-04-05 20:22
Ez for S1mple goat
2019-04-05 20:23
United Kingdom SickaBoy 
navi would have won if s1mple didnt pick up awp at 13-13
2019-04-05 20:23
Finland NUCL3AR 
Ence would've won even more convincingly if allu didn't play like bot more than half of mirage. You see the problem with ifs and buts?
2019-04-05 20:42
+1 allu went 3-17 in mirage, even though he can be pretty fucking bot sometimes its very rare he plays that bad
2019-04-05 22:15
Xyp9x | 
Denmark Khronov 
+1 Agent 007 allu lol
2019-04-06 06:56
Ukraine volanchick 
Excuses before the game are brilliant.
2019-04-05 20:24
What excuses? It's true that If they manage to win NaVi (or NaVi wins ENCE either way) they have to play another bo3 right away without a break. That gives an advantage to the another team who has had one day time to prepare, relax and recharge. This is pretty retarded from tournament organizer IMO. The fnatic-NRG game should be played before the other semifinal.
2019-04-05 20:51
Ukraine twil 
Really excited for tomorrow's rematch. The semifinal should've been played after NRG - fnatic game, but both ENCE and NaVi asked to play right after the quarters, as to plays with 4-5 hours delay seems to be more exhausting for them, then to play right after. You can check Kane's twitter.
2019-04-05 23:19
Ukraine twil 
GL both teams
2019-04-05 23:19
India spiderCAKE 
Still salty from the major defeat?
2019-04-05 20:54
What of navi gets rekt?
2019-04-05 21:27
I want this too
2019-04-05 23:25
s1mple will destroy them once again, i hope other teammates will help him this time..
2019-04-05 20:27
allu | 
Estonia IZI4ENCE 
Ok men)
2019-04-05 20:37
i hope for banger game like last time, close action packed game, but my team wins, hehe :D
2019-04-05 20:58
Finland de_suomi 
*xseven will destroy them once again, i hope allu will help him this time..
2019-04-05 21:25
Ukraine richUkrainian 
wtf aleksib, u were lucky men))) 2 chokes from navi.
2019-04-05 20:48
Europe keNLey94 
of course navi took you serious zeus will win a major for navi so why underrate you guys
2019-04-05 20:50
no one cant take you seriously when u play in meme team
2019-04-05 20:51
Denmark ghostan11 
Polish cs LUL
2019-04-05 21:31
i know polish cs sucks hard atm
2019-04-06 08:45
meme team now is top3 of the world. think what u talking about, this joke looks like a most stupid comment.
2019-04-05 23:23
Finland CucumberFIN 
Tactical Genius
2019-04-05 21:07
China withsn 
hope elec wont have another baby these year
2019-04-05 21:15
JaCkz | 
Europe cArn5 
Aleksib is sexy
2019-04-05 21:48
s1mple fucks them up #GONAVI
2019-04-05 22:07
Germany Deutschland! 
Very nice
2019-04-05 22:07
EliGE | 
Lithuania 7000won 
oho this guy can speak
2019-04-05 22:45
i think dnavi is trash. don't care. believe me.
2019-04-05 23:20
Korea OKOptimistic 
this guy can speak english?
2019-04-06 02:50
Brazil centjeefizik 
hundred betch
2019-04-06 03:53
guess he was right
2019-04-06 10:11
Brazil eoteamo 
got it
2019-04-06 10:36
Europe WEEDY1 
chicken midget
2019-04-06 18:40
2019-04-06 18:49
Sure they did.
2019-04-06 20:15
Belgium Chuckyyy 
They didn't really do it tbh, s1mple's ace was the reason why they comeback'd
2019-04-06 20:30
Yeah, it was sarcasm. They did the same mistake as at Major, but luckily they won.
2019-04-06 20:31
North America xAriana 
how tall is he?
2019-04-06 20:30
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