ALEX: "I don't think there is anyone we can't beat, but if we want to become No.1 we have to do it on a regular basis"
Vitality have so far lived up to their billing as favourites to become ESEA Global Challenge champions after breezing through their group following one-sided matches against Party Astronauts and Spirit.
The French giants, who are currently ranked second in the world, also managed to qualify for the next season of the ESL Pro League after taking down Sprout in the ESEA MDL EU Finals in just two maps, the first of which was surprisingly a bit too close for comfort for ALEX's side.
In this interview, conducted by Dust2.us' Collin "CarbonDogma" Davis, the Vitality captain discusses the relief that the team felt at finally breaking out of ESEA MDL, the current position in the ranking and what it means, the ongoing ZywOo-s1mple rivalry, and more.
I'll start off with the game against Party Astronauts, it seemed pretty easy for you. So, did you end up preparing for Party Astronauts at all?
We're not preparing for any games and we're not going to take any game too seriously, we came for the fail game and that's it. We're just going to relax and have some fun because we've been on the road for so many weeks now and just try to have some fun and reset for Chicago.
Going to the final for MDL versus Sprout, on Map 1 they actually had a pretty good lead. So was there something unexpected that they did?
Same old Vitality: slow start, takes time for players to wake up, and when we get going, then we're good. But yeah, it's just slow starts.
And now how does it - I guess not for you per se - but for the rest of the guys, how does it feel to be back in Pro League? You were there with LDLC-
Yeah, I was there for three years. I mean, we've been playing MDL for six months now so it's good to finally get rid of it, I guess. So yeah, we're happy just to have qualified and happier that MDL is over than being in Pro League, if you get what I mean.
After ECS and Pro League you've been ranked top 2, so do you see yourselves as the second-best team right now?
It doesn't really matter to us if we're top 2, top 3, but as long as we are in and around top 3, fourth is fine as well - we just want to be in contention for titles. What rank we get doesn't really matter, we just want to be able to compete.
Looking forward, next up is Chicago, so what are your preparation and expectations like going into that?
Preparation-wise we're kind of screwed by being here as we can't really practise or anything, so yeah, as I said earlier, we're just going to have like a week's break or a few days' break and try to reset.
After that, there is a break before the Major, so do you have a bootcamp set for that?
After Chicago, we are going on holiday for two weeks, and then we go straight from our holidays to bootcamp, and then we will go to the Major.
Then I guess some final things, do you think you have the ability to take down Liquid?
Obviously, you beat them at Summit but-
Yeah, I think we can definitely beat them, obviously in Cologne they were just way better than us and they destroyed us in the end. But I think we can beat them. I don't think there is anyone we can't beat, it's just if we want to become No.1 then we have to be doing it on a regular basis, which is the hardest thing.
So I guess this has been the big question on Twitter: is ZywOo the best player right now?
Umm... [pauses] It's hard to tell. He's definitely got the potential and if he's not No.1 then he is No.2. I think the rest of the year will determine who the best player in the world is. Result-wise, he's the best player because we have been winning tournaments and Na`Vi hasn't been playing them, but I guess the next season, the next six months will determine who the No.1 is.