blameF: "I think we're one of the teams that practice the most; every single day"
Having replaced forZe in Chicago, the Danes came into the tournament fresh off a top-eight finish at ESL One Cologne, where they were eliminated at the hands of Vitality in the last round of their group's lower bracket.
In their opening match at IEM, Heroic took their revenge on Vitality, all the while pulling off a comeback from a 5-14 deficit on Overpass, and we got a hold of the team's in-game leader, blameF, for an interview.
Going back to Cologne and your top-eight finish there, how do you look at that entire run and how it ended, with a close loss to Vitality?
I think we were happy, really happy with our performance in Cologne overall. The goal was to go to the playoffs and we didn't get that, so obviously we didn't get too happy about how we played down there, but I think we showed that we're able to compete with some of the really good teams. I think we're getting more consistent in that sense, which we were really bad at before.
We sometimes still have matches like against NiP where we just choke and then play really bad, so it still happens sometimes, so I think the way we try to get better right now is eliminating those matches where we choke and play badly and then having more of the games where we play more consistently, which I'm thinking, in my opinion, we're getting better and better at each tournament.
This time, you managed to beat Vitality, talk me through what changed from that previous series and especially the massive comeback on Overpass, from 5-14 to 16-14.
Yeah, it is a huge comeback, but on the server it doesn't really feel like a huge comeback. Our CT side on Overpass is so strong that we know we can win 15 rounds in a row against almost any team because we're showing that in practice every single time. Of course, it's a huge comeback and they probably made some mistakes, but I think it's also because we have a really strong CT side we can fall back on, so even though we were behind 14-5, everyone said that we're still winning this.
Nothing much has changed, I think we're trying to practice and be more consistent, which I think we're one of the teams that practice the most out there, we don't really have any off days and we're praccing every single day. We have been using more time on the tactical aspect, we have stolen some new strats - or I have been preparing some new stuff -, so we're not as predictable going in and that worked very well against Vitality on Nuke, for example. So not much has changed, I just think that we're getting more consistent as a team and that's what's showing.
You came in quite last-minute as a replacement for forZe, did that hinder your preparation at all?
We are running the team kind of tough sometimes, so as soon as we knew that we were playing this tournament, we said to each other that we were not going to have any off days, so we just practiced every single day up to this event. So no, not really, when we came back from Cologne, I used that day to prepare all the new stuff and then we just started the next day immediately. Everyone is always happy that we're praccing and they are never complaining, I like that a lot, so no, nothing has really changed, we're just working hard and I think it's showing.
Where does that motivation come from, is that from the management, the organization, or are all the individual players clicking in that aspect? What is behind that?
I think we have built a really good team socially. I think people have a good time together and we always have a lot of fun, but I also think that people are getting more motivated because we actually started to show some results. We know we have a lot of really good players on the team and we have some with a lot of experience, like friberg, so we have a really good team built together, we just need to be able to show it. And I think that's why people get more motivated now that the last couple of tournaments we're getting a little bit closer every single time and it seems like this could be the tournament where we actually show how good we really are.
Yeah, we've seen you pull off some big upsets or at least take some of the world's best teams to close results - what is it going to take to make that next step, is it just a matter of consistency as you were saying earlier?
I think it is a matter of consistency and I think it's the way we practice. We just need to be even more focused, we need to practice even harder, we need to put in even more effort both individually and as a team, and we're going to make sure that we do that when we get home. We're going to have a short break and then we're going to start right back and we're going to f**king just pracc a lot, no breaks, and just work really hard. I think that's the key for us to be able to surpass the other teams. That's what we're going to do.
How do you make sure that you don't get burnt out?
I honestly don't know (laughs). Me, personally, I never get burnt out, even if we have off days I'm still playing 10-12 hours a day or preparing new stuff, always, so I don't think I have ever had an off day. The team is not complaining and until they do complain a lot then I'm not going to let them have any off days.