apEX: "We have revenge to take against FURIA"
After Vitality secured a 2-0 victory against NRG, we spoke with Dan "apEX" Madesclaire, who broke down the series, spoke on Alex "ALEX" McMeekin's recent form and gave his thoughts on the grand final match against FURIA.
Vitality secured the second grand final spot at the ECS Season 7 Finals after besting NRG in 2-0 fashion, taking Overpass and Mirage 19-15 and 16-7, respectively. The team will now face FURIA in the title decider for the grand prize of $225,000.
Let's talk about the map veto against NRG - did you feel comfortable with it?
We knew the veto would be that way, we knew it would be Mirage and Overpass for sure. On Overpass it started really bad because we lost all the clutches as CT, so it was pretty hard to come back from that, but we knew that we have a really good T side on that map. Once again, we lost some ecos - that's what has happened at the tournament here. I think from the beginning we have lost something around twenty ecos - that's insane, I don't know what's happening right now.
For me, we prepared for the game really well, we had our plan. We had to take our revenge from StarLadder, because they just beat us pretty hard on Mirage there and we didn't have a good run on the map. We changed a lot, and I'm really proud of the guys because we knew how to approach the game and how to play. The plan that our coach created worked out amazingly well.
Nuke was left over - in the event the series went into a third map, would you have been comfortable playing them on the map. considering their showing against FURIA?
We played Nuke against them at cs_summit, and it was a pretty shaky map from us, even though we won it in the end. They beat FURIA, and they're impressive on it, but we didn't care because our Nuke is pretty strong. That's all that mattered to us.
Looking at Overpass specifically, it was a great comeback effort for you after a 5-10 CT side. You went on to show a strong T performance, which resulted in overtime, and a flawless display there led to a 19-15 victory. How did you manage to pull it back in the end?
Our CT side was a bit shaky because we lost all the clutches - we didn't win any. It's pretty tough on that map; CeRq won a 1v3, 1v4 and other clutches in rounds that we should have won. That was difficult on the defence, because when you lose so many clutches, you know that the half could've been 10-5 or 11-4, had we won at least two or three clutches of the six or seven that we had.
The best side we have on Overpass is the T side, and we showed it once again, even if we lost one eco, which is difficult for us, because we had a good momentum on the map, with a 7-1 lead as T. They just eco'd us, and from there it became more difficult.
The overtime went so well - ZywOo clutched a 1v2, we played really well as a team - those were the main things today.
ALEX has put up an incredible performance in the past two series, but specifically on Overpass he really stood out, accounting for 32 frags. Talk to me about his form, he's been shining recently.
At the beginning of the team it was really hard for ALEX, because he wasn't calling, and he came from a team where he was the in-game leader. Now that he has been calling for over three months, he is getting way better individually, and his calls have also improved. Our T side has been really, really good since cs_summit, because he worked a lot on that, and we have good planning thanks to him and our coach, XTQZZZ. I think he's getting better mentally, and overall in the game. Now he feels way more comfortable in what he likes to do.
To explain, ALEX and I have the same role overall - we are rotators as CT, we're entry-fraggers and lurkers when we take zones on the T side. We are trying to mix it up together, sometimes it's him, sometimes it's me. I think it has worked really well because even I feel really comfortable in the team now. Yeah, everything is going well.
You've been competing at an international level for a long while now, and as such I wanted to get your opinion on the current in-game leading system that ALEX and NBK- have devised, where Nathan takes over the CT-side calls, while Alex leads on the offense. As somebody who is subject to this system of calling, are you happy with how it's working out in comparison to the traditional systems you formerly worked with?
I have no problem with it if they work well together and if it works. If both of them are happy doing that, it's fine for me - I'm like a soldier in the team. Sometimes I like to add my voice in there, mainly on the T side and I help ALEX a lot [together] with the coach.
ALEX wasn't really known before LDLC, but the guy has a very good mind, he's just working so well. He understands the game so well, and I've known the guy for years now. I'm very happy he's on the team and everything is working well right now.
Lastly, tomorrow is the grand final against FURIA, who gave you immense trouble in the Dallas quarter-finals. Give me your thoughts going into tomorrow's match.
Once again, we have revenge to take against them, as we lost against them in Dallas in a pretty bad fashion. I think they have huge potential - the team is insane and the way they play is unique, they are the only team that plays that way. It's really nice for them, and whether you know their playstyle or face them for the first time, it feels so weird, I swear - I've never had this feeling, ever. That's why they have surprised a lot of teams.
I think we're going to be prepared tomorrow, we're going to have a better game plan than we had in Dallas. We're going to give our best, and I'm pretty sure we can beat them and take our revenge to take the title.