Aerial: "I had like 160 hours in two weeks [...] I really wanted to win this tournament and get the MVP"
ENCE won BLAST Pro Series Madrid after taking down the world's #1 team, Astralis, ending their 31-map streak on Nuke along the way. After the match, we caught up with first time MVP awardee Aerial to get his post-match impressions.
In the interview, we talked to Aerial about ENCE exceeding their expectations in Madrid, his practice before the event and individual performances, breaking Astralis' streak on Nuke, and what the team has its sights on after the victory in Madrid.
Before the event, I talked to Aleksib and he said it was important to beat Na`Vi to make progress by winning against a good team like that. You eventually beat Astralis in the BO3 final, so you exceeded your expectations...
Yeah, we definitely exceeded our expectations. I had a feeling we'd do pretty great, and I had a feeling we would make it to the final, but I wasn't sure if we would be able to beat Astralis. It happened, though, everyone just hit their shots and at one point we were so hyped, the communication was spot on, and everything went great.
You say you had a great feeling coming into the event, why was that?
It's been over a month since we were in a LAN environment, and everyone was just so hyped to come here and play. We just played some online things, we took a small vacation and didn't have any practice, and when we came back we had so much motivation to come here... We all like it here, everything is great.
You played the whole event really well, what is it that made you be so comfortable? Did you change anything in your game?
I'm a bit inconsistent, normally. Sometimes I can be the best player on our team, but I can also be the worst player on our team. This tournament I played every game, except one, really well, and I had a lot of hours put in before the event. I had like 160 hours in two weeks before this event, I really tried everything. I pretty much just slept and played all day. I really wanted to win this tournament and get the MVP, as well.
You played really well throughout the whole event, but you also did in the final. Did you have any nerves before the grand final?
We had a tough match against Giants and I didn't feel that good during that match. Then I went into aim_botz before the final and I felt really good before it started and I got my confidence back. I knew I could have a great game if I just kept focusing without getting frustrated and had a good mindset during the match.
You broke Astralis' streak on Nuke as they were about to make history. Did you prepare anything special to take them on?
Our coach, Twista, he looked at some stuff, but we knew that they're just good at reacting to different situations, like XvsX situations, but we were prepared. We know how they like to adapt to situations and how they want to react, so we kind of adapted to that and it worked. Our coach said some time ago that when we face Astralis on Nuke we'd be the ones to beat them, and that's what we did.
To close it out, looking at the future, what do you think the limit is for this team?
After beating Astralis the top 1 spot is pretty possible for us if we keep playing the same way we played here.