HUNDEN: "If the confidence doesn't disappear I think we can match pretty much every team at DH Summer"
We caught up with Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen prior to DreamHack Open Summer to discuss Tricked's expectations for the $100,000 event, the Europe Minor qualifier run, and the state of the Danish scene.
Tricked recently failed to qualify for the Europe Minor following defeats to Heroic and Ancient in the closed bracket, and now have their sight set on DreamHack Open Summer, kicking off this Saturday in Jönköping, Sweden.
On Wednesday you were one win away from the Europe Minor but Ancient took the spot instead. What went wrong in that game?
I have never felt this heartbroken. We felt as a team that this was our chance to finally prove we could qualify for the Minor. The expectation got into our heads and we lost all of our confidence when they started to counter our strats and the plays we execute really often.
We never really played our own game, and I called really badly on pretty much all the T-sides. So this one is pretty much on me! Sorry team and sorry to all the HUNDEN lovers.
Have you prepared specifically for DreamHack Open Summer or were you focused on the Minor qualifier?
Most of the preparation will be done on the train to Sweden. We will have a few hours in which we will talk about our mistakes during the Minor qualifier and we will adjust our play style when the tournament starts.
We still got a lot of things we did not show in the Minor qualifier. So we have some new cards up our sleeves—I think we can surprise a lot of teams at Dreamhack Summer!
Your first game in Jönköping will be against TaZ's Aristocracy, whom you defeated in the open qualifiers for the Minor but lost to in the ESL One New York open qualifiers. Does that add another layer to this game? Will you approach it differently?
We don't like to play against Aristocracy. They seem to have a good understanding of their T-sides all the time. It feels like they are prepared for every counter play you try to do against them. But we manage to take the Minor closed qualifier spot from them, so I think we can beat them. We just need to be even more prepared, and our coach Winspai will do that for us!
Winstrike and AVANGAR are also in Group A. What are your thoughts on them?
AVANGAR have looked really good in 2019. They are used to playing against top teams now, we still play like a decent tier 2 team, so I think we can catch them off-guard. They have been improving a lot, and they might be the favorites for this tournament. But if we get them in the winners' best-of-one, and if we get a good start, we can beat them but it will be really hard!
Winstrike with Edward—they are heartbroken like us. Neither of us made it to the Minor. They might have the feeling that it's time to prove themselves. But I don't think they have had enough time to prepare for any of the other teams in the group.
What are your expectations heading into DreamHack Summer?
We need to beat either Aristocracy or AVANGAR to get to the semis. So that is our goal for this tournament. But if we reach the semis, it will be best-of-three games. If the confidence doesn't disappear I think we can match pretty much every team at this tournament.
This is one of the most stacked DreamHack Opens in recent history. Do you think that tournament organizers and the community itself are starting to look at your team differently and, as such, you’re getting more opportunities?
I hope they are! We managed to be in the Top 30 for seven weeks in a row. That is pretty good for a new team with so many rookies on it. This is the rookie year for Sjuush and he is improving all the time. I hope we can prove ourselves here, especially now that we won't go to the Minor. It's the end of the season for us and I hope we will finish it with some really good results so the community will start to support us.
What do you think about the current state of other Danish teams? Do you think Astralis can get the #1 spot back? Will North be successful with valde in-game leading?
The current conditions of Heroic and OpTic are rough at the moment. OpTic is still looking for a good fifth player but they have been in that situation since the start of the Danish lineup. So I'm not sure if they will ever fix this lineup. One thing is for sure, they will never be a top five with this lineup.
Heroic tried to go the "NiKo" way and gave blameF the in-game leader position. The roles on both teams are not fitting and most of the players on those teams are just thinking about themselves and want the best possible stats instead of helping the team. It's not good for the team and I think that is why they will never take the next step to get into the Top 10.
The core of Astralis will always get the #1 spot back. They are so talented and work their asses off. I think they know they fucked up in the last few months by pretty much only attending BLAST events. They relinquished the top spot in the world and that is stupid in my opinion.
North and valde—I think they have found the key to success. JUGi on the team is a perfect match, and with Kjaerbye and aizy shining as well, this could end up being the best North lineup so far. But if they lose their motivation and hype again, they will end up like a "normal" North team once again. So it's up to the coach, mithR, and valde to keep the motivation high.
What will you focus on going forward since you won't be competing at the Europe Minor?
The ESL One New York closed qualifier and the Good Game League on LAN if we qualify. So the summer is going to be busy, but won't include what would be the most important tournament for us (Europe Minor). Right now our focus is on improving our playbook, so we can match the better tier-two teams in the world.