v1c7or: "It's not easy for Calyx to learn [our system], but still I think we will do great here"
Following Windigo's confident 2-0 victory over TYLOO, we spoke with Viktor "v1c7oR" Dyankov, who gave insight regarding the team's expectations with a stand-in, communicational adjustments and the team's goals for 2019.
Windigo entered the fray in Dallas with a stand-in in the form of Buğra "Calyx" Arkın, who was asked to represent the Ukrainian organisation in light of Yanko "blocker" Panov experiencing visa issues. The team's opening series saw a 7-16 loss against FaZe, but the squad followed up with a confident 2-0 victory against TYLOO in the second round of group A's lower bracket, extending their tournament run.
Upon conclusion of their match against TYLOO, we sat down with long-time roster member v1c7oR, where we discussed the team's expectations going into the event, stand-in considered, communicational adjustments, Aleksander "Shockwave" Netreba's impact on the team and ambitions Windigo have set out for 2019.
Going into Dallas with Calyx as a stand-in, what expectations did the team set out before the tournament?
Coming in with a stand-in was very hard for us. It was like a knife in the back, because we found out last-minute that we had to find a proper stand-in that can afford to take days off and is a free agent. On top of this, he had to have a visa for the United States, which is hard. Blocker was denied, so we had to think about our choices.
Getting Calyx in was good because we used to play a lot versus them back in the days, and we know each other, so I think we can do great irrespective as to how hard it will be. I think we can beat every team in this tournament because the stand-in situation doesn't matter - we are still here, and we can do great, we just need to believe in ourselves and play the game to the best of our ability.
In terms of communication - how has it worked out over the two matches that you played?
The communication in English is different for us, because we didn't have a lot of practice in terms of callouts and positions, but still, we're communicating well, I might say, and even in the match versus TYLOO it was on point. I believe day by day it will become even better, and I don't think it will be a problem because everyone in the team speaks English and can understand each other easily.
Calyx is playing very well - I know it's not easy for him having to learn strats etc. in limited days, but still I think we will do great here.
Talking about the series against TYLOO, it was a comprehensive 2-0 for the team. Take us through the series.
In the beginning of the series we told ourselves that we shouldn't make mistakes that we made in our opening match. Even though we didn't have a great start on Inferno, losing the pistol, it didn't matter as we started to gradually grow an ego during the match. With a lot of rounds that we won one by one, it gave us a lot of confidence and brought us to a first map win.
It wasn't easy, of course. We weren't that prepared in terms of what to do versus them, because we never played them before in officials. We just believed that everything would work out on our side, even though we have a stand-in. We did good.
You mentioned that preparation was minimal for the match, as well as this being your first official against TYLOO. Did you have a basic idea as to what to expect from them?
We had an approximate idea of what to expect, but we weren't sure they would do exactly that. We believed that what we practiced on these maps before the event would work out, and it turned out good.
A brief look at your opening series versus FaZe - you lost with a 7-16 scoreline on Dust2. In hindsight, what do you feel you could've done better in the match-up?
We knew exactly what to expect from them, but they were also very prepared for us. We shouldn't have lost versus ecos, because it cost us a lot of rounds and it's a best-of-one. Mistakes like these could cost us the match, and they did.
Also, I should add that we had shaky moments like missing kills, missing grenades etc. which allowed the opponents to land easy frags on us and win rounds easier. There were also some clutches where I made a lot of mistakes, and we lost them, but I think in future matches of the tournament we will be even better.
Speaking of future matches, you're set to face North. They're a difficult opponent in that you literally don't know what to expect of them as this is their first Big event with the new roster. How will you approach preparation for the series against the Danes?
I cannot say much in regards to what we're going to do, but I think we will watch some demos and try to figure out what to expect from them. Of course, we're pretty sure that they won't play the same way they did in previous matches.
Moving away from the matches, in February Shockwave assumed the coaching role on the roster. Tell us what his coaching brought to Windigo.
He brought Windigo a lot. To start with WESG, he did a lot of work there, he was preparing every single day and every single moment with the players. He was giving his heart then, and he still does. It doesn't matter if we lose, he still makes notes around what is happening in the game and during the game. He watches a lot of demos of opponents and our team, to see where we have bad moments and serious mistakes and what we can do about fixing them as soon as possible. Otherwise, we simply cannot reach the top level.
He also prepares every player in terms of what to expect, where to expect the enemy to be. If we see specific grenades, how to counter them and stay ahead of them. It's easier for us, and it will be better in the future because he's growing as a coach.
Could you give a specific example from a match where his input cardinally changed the outcome of a round?
Versus TYLOO he told us that we should, as CT, try to play very aggressively, because he saw from demos that they're a team that can't handle a lot of aggression. It didn't matter that he didn't prepare that much anti-stratting against them - the information about exploiting aggression against them was enough for us to counter them.
Also, during the game, we had some tactical pauses where he would say: "just chill, think about what to expect from them in the next rounds". He also reminds us not to overpressure ourselves, mostly because when we're under a lot of pressure we make a lot of mistakes, which is obviously bad for us, especially when it happens even though we have an advantage.
Before Shockwave joined, ToH1o was coaching the team - tell us about the contrast between their two coaching styles.
ToH1o was trying his best - he wasn't the greatest back in the days of Counter-Strike, he doesn't understand the game that much, but still, he was trying his best to analyse and make anti-strats for the enemies. His input at ESL Pro League was very helpful - he did so much for us there, and helped make it possible for us to be participants in the league. Also, from a manager perspective, he was the best. Logistically he was doing everything for us and never asked for help.
As for Shockwave, he has a lot of knowledge about the game because he was previously our analyst. Now he became a coach, and given the chance to coach us means that he is developing a lot of confidence about his work. Every day he is growing so much, and I believe with his help we can become a top team soon, very soon.
Talk to us about your relationship with bubble - you two have played alongside one another for a very long time now.
We know everything about each other - we trust each other so much and have never backstabbed one another during all the years. This makes for a serious and strong relationship between two players, and that is something special in the world of esports. To have a teammate like this is everything for you. Playing so many years together, you can become very good players by learning from each other, getting the best from your teammate.
It's not easy, of course - we are human and occasionally we have fights during the day and practice, but still, we manage to solve our issues. At the end of the day we just shake hands and everything is ok. Also it can be hard to say no to the person, but you have to do it for the sake of the team, because you are not in it alone, you are not a one-man army. If you trust in your team, and you trust every player - you will be the best one day.
Windigo in 2019 - what have you set out as goals for the year?
At the beginning of the year we started out well, and we're keeping it up at events where we can show our potential and grow into a big team. Of course, our main goal is to get into the top. We cannot get into the top 1 in time for next year, but we stand the chance to get into top 5 and be among the best.
It's not going to be easy, but we believe in ourselves and the organisation is giving us everything that we need. We're happy, we've been with them for so long and have developed relationships that aren't broken easily. They trust in us so much, so that's how it is. When you have a relationship that both the team and organisation are happy with, and are willing to fight hard, you will be a top team soon. I believe we will be a very good team in 2020.