nexa: "I think this Minor is where we actually show what we are capable of"

In an interview with Nemanja "nexa" Isaković, we heard about him as an in-game leader, CR4ZY's frustrating qualifier results, and Rokas "EspiranTo" Milasauskas's potential.

CR4ZY topped their group at the Europe Minor, defeating Sprout and NoChance to make it to the playoffs and secure a day off in Berlin. This comes after some underwhelming results, such as being eliminated early at DreamHack Summer, falling to Spirit in the MDL playoffs, and being edged out by G2 in the ESL One New York qualifier.

CR4ZY passed the first test in Berlin

At the end of the first day of the Minor, we sat down with nexa to hear about how the team has been dealing with the results, how the 22-year-old has been approaching in-game leading, and more.

You've had this lineup going on for about eight months now, you managed to get into the top 20, you are quite consistent in being there, but in terms of big results, achievements, that is lacking at the moment. Did you feel any pressure to perform here at the Minor?

No, not really. We've been so close to getting to some tier 1 events but we always, you could literally say it, we choke it out at the end. Yeah, it has been rough for us, but we've always known we actually have the potential to be one of the top teams, that we can beat a lot of the tier 1 teams if we just get the chance to do it. I think this Minor is where we actually show what we are capable of.

Touching on the recent qualifiers, you had ESL One New York and MDL, where you were undefeated in the regular season, went to the playoffs and lost in the first round. You said it was just a choke, was there anything else that stopped you in that progress?

Well, before the MDL playoffs we had a 15-day bootcamp and then from the bootcamp we went directly do DreamHack Summer, and then as soon as we went back home from DreamHack Summer, the very next day we had to play a BO3 against Spirit. Everyone was super-tired, exhausted, we had no energy on TeamSpeak... that was just it. And then against G2, it was just a classic choke, I don't know what else to say. We had that game, 2-0, in the bag, we were playing so much better than them and then we just choked it, somehow, I don't know.

Were there any frustrations in the team after stuff like that?

Yeah, there were, but I would say we were used to it by now, we just got used to losing games like this. We just know that it is just one round that ruins everything for us. So if we can just stay focused, levelheaded throughout the whole game, we can stop these things from happening.

You as an IGL - how is that process going on right now?

I think it is going really well, people are listening to me and it is much better now that we have one voice that everyone needs to listen to and follow. I think the playstyle I like to implement on our T-side is making our individuals shine more, you know. I give more space to people to make individual plays instead of just playing structured, doing strats and executes and stuff. Yeah, but on all of the maps except Nuke I'm the in-game leader, that is where huNter is leading because you can't really do a lot of individual stuff on Nuke, and huNter and emi seem like a really good combo if you want to do strats and executes and be a perfectly structured team. So I just let them do their job there and they are doing it pretty well.

You are someone that did in-game leading in the past, then stopped, then picked it up again, then again stopped. Is it now something you are accepting as a thing you will be doing in the future or is it still something that is happening because it fits the team?

I will always do whatever the team needs me to do because we didn't have anyone else who can be the in-game leader, so it just fell on my shoulders. I don't mind in-game leading and I think even if I in-game lead I can still perform decently, especially on the CT sides. It doesn't really affect my gameplay that much, but of course, I would prefer to have an actual in-game leader and be able to frag out as I did before.

How did the preparation for the Minor go?

We had a bootcamp at the Kinguin facility, it was six days, and we were just going over all of our stuff, we made new pistols that we are going to do here, we made new strats, corrected some things on our CT side, setups and everything and, we are as ready as we can be for this Minor.

You started here against Sprout, which is a team you were 6-0 in maps against, now making it 7-0 even though it was more of a back-and-forth game. Tell me a bit about that, what was the back-and-forth about?

I don't know, whenever I play against Sprout I never get the feeling that I'm going to lose the game, even if they are up. I think, overall, since my Imperial days, I have like a 20-0 score against Sprout and I don't know why, I just feel like I can't lose to them, you know? Whatever happens, I'm just calm and level headed, I know that they are going to make a mistake somewhere and give us the round. That is just the type of a team they are. That is exactly what happened, it was back-and-forth, back-and-forth, and we won a round on 12-10, or 13-13, I can't remember, but we won a round with four pistol and one AK where huNter just went towards B, got three headshots and that was basically it, that was the round we needed to get us over the line.

After that you beat NoChance, you are in the playoffs, do you think this is it now? Last time at the Minor you ended up losing to ENCE and Vitality which ended up being top 5 teams now. Is this the Minor that you go through?

I would say it was expected from us to go to the playoffs, this was the easy part, you could say that we kind of lucked out on the group we got, it is a much easier group than the other one is. The real challenge starts now, in the playoffs. You still need to win two BO3s to go through and you will play fairly decent teams, you can arguably say better teams than us, that is where the real challenge is. But I'm not worried or nervous about the games at all because if we just play like we did today we can beat any of the teams here.

Lastly, another thing regarding you as the in-game leader, how do you work with EspiranTo? He obviously has a lot of raw talent, his last couple of games haven't been that great, but online he has been pretty good. So how do you work with him and what do you expect from him as a player?

I think he has the potential to be one of the best players in the game, his raw talent is something I've never seen before, I can only compare it with ZywOo. If someone just gives him the space he needs to make plays and get headshots, he will do it every time his team needs him to do it. That is where I come in, I've played with him for about two years now, I know all of his tendencies, plays, moves he likes to do and I just give him the freedom to do it. Maybe today he hasn't had the best day, but we actually haven't played any of the maps he thrives on. Tomorrow it will probably be different and I rely on him to make space on the other side of the map for us because that is what he really excels at.

Serbia Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Lithuania Rokas 'EspiranTo' Milasauskas
Rokas 'EspiranTo' Milasauskas
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
ez minor for my bois
2019-07-18 00:04
Sweden Unluko 
2019-07-18 00:04
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
2019-07-18 00:11
Optic isn’t at the minor tho
2019-07-18 00:23
I don't know, whenever I play against Sprout I never get the feeling that I'm going to lose the game, even if they are up. I think, overall, since my Imperial days, I have like a 20-0 score against Sprout and I don't know why, I just feel like I can't lose to them, you know?
2019-07-18 08:12
Slovakia ypsylonnn 
2019-07-18 00:05
hommii | 
Iceland ban1c 
Espoopanto <<<<<<<<< G O D W O O
2019-07-18 00:05
Argentina PACHOTO 
2019-07-18 00:05
Ukraine zCainee 
Crazy stickers PogChamp
2019-07-18 00:06
Italy Fil0Nerd 
2019-07-18 00:06
Valiance stickers would be better(( Im sad
2019-07-18 00:07
2019-07-18 00:14
Ukraine zCainee 
Logo boring af but hopefully the autographs will make it betr
2019-07-18 00:16
red holo with autograph is going to be lit cant wait
2019-07-18 00:23
I really want to see my boys make it to the major , hopefully even become legends (slim chance of that happening) , some nexa stickers would be sexy AF. I would write in Serbian , but HLTV bans non english comments. PS. The Valiance logo was better but this is fine too.
2019-07-18 01:13
2019-07-18 00:25
Myanmar xdcc 
logo better, sticker idk
2019-07-18 00:27
EliGE | 
Lithuania 7000won 
2019-07-18 11:57
Switzerland TyRRRR 
'I think EspiranTo has the potential to be one of the best players in the game, his raw talent is something I've never seen before, I can only compare it with ZywOo' lmfao ZywOo is 3x better than that toxic shit.
2019-07-18 00:08
TenZ | 
Lithuania dozzah 
zywho? s1mple the CSGOD top1 EspiranTo the FPLGOD top1 EU
2019-07-18 01:06
Switzerland TyRRRR 
s1mple is TOP1, ZywOo is TOP2, EspiranTo is good but he's not even TOP5 in FPL, not even TOP50 in the rest. He was shit for a long time in Valiance.
2019-07-18 01:08
flag checks out
2019-07-18 11:47
and no comparing to the GOAT itself S1mple LUL. Nexa has no clue about csgo scene.
2019-07-18 01:07
Switzerland TyRRRR 
Yeah wtf s1mple > ZywOo & the only player he can compare him to is ZywOo ? I mean they don't have anything i common lmfao, i like nexa but he's saying shit right here.
2019-07-18 01:09
I'm pretty sure he's saying espiranto isn't as good as simple lmao
2019-07-18 08:37
Switzerland TyRRRR 
No he isn't, EspiranTo is like the 3rd / 4rth best in his team, yet he compare him to ZywOo lmfao.
2019-07-18 10:45
Sweden Trkmag 
2019-07-18 11:06
EliGE | 
Lithuania 7000won 
+1 :(
2019-07-18 11:58
Finland Smoonah 
ez group ezit
2019-07-18 00:14
lul EspiranTo already washed up
2019-07-18 00:22
Ez for Serbia!
2019-07-18 00:23
Nice words about Sprout, these guys always will find the way to lose game))
2019-07-18 00:25
Sprout has one easy issue. They can't close out a game.
2019-07-18 01:08
they has good aimers, but they doing really stupid mistakes, like vs Vitality at MDL, they lead 13-7 and lost, then lead 9-2 on second map and lost, today they lead 12-9 on CT Train and lost and ofcrouse all these loses started with ridicilous mistates
2019-07-18 01:24
Brazil Brazilian Wax 
Comparing espiranto to zywoo, lmao.
2019-07-18 00:32
Good but still prefer the old branding
2019-07-18 00:34
yreah cuz even you make it to the major. Your team is still a cousin from a guy who developed zero by so much talent. So you will drop out 0-3 or 1-3. Or you buy in Zywoo he can carry you alone to the playoffs. But then Vitality goes 0-3 1-3 or you get simple then navi will make probably a 1-3. I dunno why but somehow i don't like Nexa. In German, we say "Die nase passt mir nicht". It means you have no real explanation but your emotions say you have to hate that person.
2019-07-18 01:06
sprout fan spotted
2019-07-18 01:08
I am no sprout fan. At the minor, I am for Nochance and a little bit for mouz cuz Karrigan and ChrisJ. Overall I only like to watch tournaments where s1mple plays cuz for me all other pros are noobs compare to him. I don't understand why Pro players still two a level behind s1mple. When you are a pro you have so much potential but you wasted it to be an average or high average player... Zywoo is for me also a player that has talent but he is still lazy and someday it will show that he is also a noob compared to s1mple. The only one beside s1mple I can respect as a player is Flusha. Cuz he has a very special talent to win 1vs1.
2019-07-18 01:14
broky | 
United Kingdom Rahimy 
S1mple fan boy spotted
2019-07-18 02:54
Nothing to be ashamed. A GOAT is a GOAT. All other players are trash
2019-07-18 02:58
Sweden Trkmag 
Sorry but f0rest is the GOAT
2019-07-18 11:07
Europe loonek4 
lol esperanto isn't even close to being the best player in his team
2019-07-18 01:21
Finland Smoonah 
desperado haha
2019-07-18 03:22
-Xantares +SyrsoN -frozen +Xantares -letn1 +frozen Ez fiz ez win for all. (Except sprout)
2019-07-18 02:44
Myanmar xdcc 
why would they want frozen? they already have hunter&espiranto who can play aggressive
2019-07-18 10:24
Frozen is a joke
2019-07-18 11:20
g0d | 
Brazil L4x @.@ 
Who ?
2019-07-18 03:05
shut you bitch ass up nexa, tier 10 player
2019-07-18 03:48
World Beard43 
Team name checks out here I think.
2019-07-18 03:54
Canada thelegend27 
for a sec i thought it said nex and was about to shit on this mans career
2019-07-18 05:04
2019-07-18 05:55
Taiwan stfu_blaze 
CR4ZY, the team who wins 2 BO1 and thinks they're better than everyone else, who then chokes in BO3 and dont even qualify. clowns basically.
2019-07-18 06:12
I guess, u mean one bo1 and one bo3? The game against no chance was a bo3
2019-07-18 07:14
Taiwan stfu_blaze 
yea sorry my bad. i was trying to say that they say they win 2 matches and choke in the playoffs.
2019-07-18 07:15
Serbia Igi90 
They are better. It's not that, they have beat 4x times Mousesports and denied them 2 times to qualifier for the Minors. Additional won some times vs Vitality, and a very close Match vs G2 in a BO3 with last Map result of 16:14....
2019-07-18 09:44
I agree with you, that's really impressive and I hope they gonna go far in the major
2019-07-18 09:46
Taiwan stfu_blaze 
I'm not saying their bad. I'm just saying that they're kind of arrogant. just because u won 2 games doesn't mean u can compare one of your players to one of the players s1mple thinks he is on the same level as his skill level is on.
2019-07-19 05:03
Australia t0rrent 
You ended that sentence with a preposition. Bastard.
2019-07-18 07:10
shox | 
France KR1MEZ 
comparing Espiranto vs ZywOo LUL fakin retard
2019-07-18 07:11
RapeN | 
Finland ENCEL 
AHAHAHA is he actually serious???
2019-07-18 07:28
To have confidence in your teammate is good but let's be real - he is not even close to zywoo. He has great aim but his level is not even close to zywoo :D
2019-07-18 08:31
Do you have eyes he said he has raw talent same as zywoo but he isnt confident ..
2019-07-18 08:55
why is espiranto getting so much hype. yeah he has good aim but so do many other tier 3 players.
2019-07-18 08:56
France cedd 
He was carrying in Imperial hard but since joining valiance he has done less fragging, idk
2019-07-18 14:22
valiance has better enemies
2019-07-18 14:34
Russia versusworld 
2019-07-18 10:04
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
I think EspiranTo has the potential to be one of the best players in the game, his raw talent is something I've never seen before, I can only compare it with ZywOo rofl
2019-07-18 10:43
Korea ItsMeNow19 
Espiranto >zywoo
2019-07-18 11:34
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