Ethan: "With all of the changes, I don't think I've focused on myself enough"
Following the North Americans' elimination from the tournament, we sat down with Ethan and learned about his individual form and role on the team.
What are your first impressions, playing with stanislaw and in the new system you are trying to develop with him and tarik cooperating on the calls in some way?
Stan picked up where we left off with daps, we showed him everything we had and he added some stuff that he had ideas for. He definitely has a different style, it is not as strict, so hopefully, in the future we can utilize everyone the way they should be utilized.
You were bootcamping with stanislaw in France but you were playing the tournament with daps, and made it pretty far. At what point did the mindset shift at that event, seeing that you are going pretty far?
We went into the tournament kind of thinking we could win it, even with daps. That was the mindset the whole time, but everyone was focusing on what happened after the game, when we were going back to practice with stanislaw. I mean, we were all definitely still trying to win so we were just playing like we usually did and we knew that if we play the way like we have been for the last year and a half that we can probably win the tournament anyways.
Before you made the change, with daps you were consistently making top4s. Seeing that a change is always a risk, is there a feeling in the team that you are a bit more ambitious than what you showed up to that point? That you have what it takes to be the number one team potentially?
Yeah, I think that with our old lineup with daps we were on the fine edge of top 5, so even if we did break into it I felt like we weren't there yet, but I think that with stanislaw we can definitely make it. With the practice we had, the bootcamp in France, and even here, we practiced a lot after the games. We've definitely been progressing, it feels like.
Touching on your form and your role in the team. You are not the player that has the most star roles, but for the last six months or so you have been putting up very impressive numbers - then in the last few tournaments you fell off. What do you think about your form at the moment?
I think that this is by far my worst event so far, like you said, the last couple of tournament I feel like I've been trying too hard to do too many things with the team, with all of the changes, I don't think I've focused on myself enough. I'll definitely be going back to that and hopefully, everything works out. The way we are doing it right now, stanislaw is doing a good job utilizing everyone, as I said, so it is going to be good.
You touched on doing a lot on the team, can you explain that a bit more?
Outside of the game, I think that myself, stanislaw, and tarik have been the most vocal, adding things, seeing how things work. In-game, I think I've become more of a support player - not that it is a bad thing, I'm just not used to it yet. Hopefully, I can get back to form soon.
An interesting game at this tournament was the one you played against Liquid because of the NA rivalry. It was a tightly contested match even though they were running away with it at one point on Inferno. Was there a chance for you guys to close it out and what was the feeling after?
There definitely was a chance, I feel like on Nuke, for the first five rounds it was back and forth, teams getting eco'd, we lost against a full USP round on Nuke... that was pretty tough on us. Nuke we felt like we definitely could've won, I think that on Inferno, and on every map to a degree, we have a trend of starting off really slow. Even against Vitality we started 8-1 on Dust2 and we kind of grinded it back in the end. But we are definitely trying to fix that, but hopefully not being super stressed out by having to come back in the first half every time.
Talking with daps maybe half a year ago or so, something that he identified as an issue in your team was a lack of discipline, in and out of the game. Do you think that is a problem and is it going to be addressed now with stanislaw coming in?
It definitely used to be a problem, for sure. I think it went away with experience, I think all of that is a lot better now. We take a lot of time for out-of-game stuff, reviewing, going over different protocols and stuff like that, it is definitely not all just scrims, that helps. But it is not an issue anymore, I feel like, so stanislaw can focus on fixing other things.
Lastly, you are going into BLAST and then the Minor, those are the last two tournaments for this half of the year. What are your expectations?
After this we have like three days at home, again, so probably one day of practice, maybe two, not much time to do all that, but we are going to use BLAST as another bootcamp-ish kind of a thing. So after the matches we are just going to practice, all day. I think the Minor is definitely the biggest concern right now. There are a lot of good teams there, it is a lot more competitive than the last Minor, so hopefully we can get by that and make our way through the Major, one stage at a time.