chrisJ: "woxic really shows his emotions, this kind of passion for the game flows over into you"
We caught up with Chris "chrisJ" de Jong after mousesports edged out Sprout and NoChance to survive the group stage of the Europe Minor and heard about the difficulties the European team has been having.
A rollercoaster day in Berlin saw mousesports come back from a 12-3 deficit on the second map of the series against Sprout and fight off NoChance in a tightly-contested three map series. After the marathon was concluded, we sat down with chrisJ to hear his thoughts.
Let's get right into it. A crazy day, you were close to losing, so tell me what the feeling is right now that you got into the playoffs?
We are just happy we somehow made it through the day. I think in the first match, against Sprout, we actually started pretty good, I think we maybe got a bit too comfortable after leading 10-5 on the T side of Train and then on the CT side, everyone made some mistake at some point and they just took control of the game. We felt really bad after losing Train in that way because we feel it should be one of our best maps. Yeah, we lost to Na`Vi in Cologne but they are obviously a really good team so its no shame in losing to them. Anyway, this feeling went through in Dust2 and I don't know, we couldn't get anything going on the CT side, we had no feeling, somehow, something felt wrong, but we won the pistol and I think woxic won some pretty crazy clutches at the beginning of the T half which got everybody fired up, and then karrigan started to call really well, everyone started to talk well, communicate well, and we started rolling.
That was good, but emotions were not over. [laughs] Because the next match got pretty rough again, we feel Vertigo is also a good map for us and we didn't expect NoChance to play that well. I think zehN had a crazy game, we felt like we had no chance against him... [pauses and laughs]. He was doing whatever with the AWP and always killed you. So that was a weird feeling, we didn't have that on Vertigo yet, that someone played so well individually against us, but I'm glad we managed to make it to the playoffs.
I wanted to touch on Dust2 against Sprout, it was 12-3 at the half. What was the half-time talk that got you back into the game?
[laughs] Yeah, woxic said something pretty interesting, something like: "Guys, either you can go home now and cry over this for two weeks, or we are going to fu**ing fight and do our best to go to the Major". I don't remember what he said exactly, but it was kind of funny in such a depressing moment. I've obviously been in this moment before, being behind so much, and you know you can come back, but when there is a lot on the line it doesn't feel good.
I talked with ropz, we had a similar situation on Dust2 against Liquid in the grand final of ESL One New York last year, we were behind so much on the T side, and we came back there. So we have the belief we can come back, but in the final it is different than now. Because now you can't lose, it would be shameful to go out in the group stage, while losing a final is something different. In a way, you feel less pressure there, at least me personally. I'm just glad woxic stepped up, I think ropz also had a good game on Dust2 and karrigan made good calls so it was nice to see.
Talking about New York with the old lineup, comparing the old lineup with this one, now you are pretty much an emotional team. Back then with oskar and STYKO you were very calm, even when winning, so can you contrast playing in this versus that lineup?
The thing is that I didn't feel that in the old team people were super emotionless, it is just that they didn't show it that much. People were not really screaming like crazy after rounds. I think I did it sometimes and I think the coach was screaming sometimes, but yeah, oskar, suNny, STYKO, ropz also, not people that show emotions. But obviously they have their emotions and you know this when you play with each other. You also have emotional rollercoasters when it is going bad, or when it is going really well, everyone is happy, but they are just not showing their happiness in such an extreme way like woxic, for example, who is standing up and screaming. But I think it is a nice change for me because it adds some more energy to the game, woxic really shows his emotions, this kind of a passion for the game flows over into you, karrigan is also getting really pumped up, I feel like it is helping me and ropz having more fun playing again.
Moving into the playoffs, do you think that this was the most difficult part done? Because you are going into the double-elimination BO3s and even the third team goes into the Minor play-in so there are a lot of chances for you to go through now.
I feel like we made it hard for ourselves here by losing the first BO1, I don't think the playoffs will be much easier because I think the teams are just better there, fnatic, North, CR4ZY, those are all good teams. We beat them sometimes, they beat us sometimes. From the opponents' skill level I think it will be more difficult, but as you said, it is going to be BO3s and even if you lose the first one you are still going to have another chance. I feel like we should be able to do it, but we just need to play with full energy and not take it for granted or too laid back.
If you look at your last results, the Na`Vi loss in Cologne, then the loss to CR4ZY in the ESL One New York qualifier, and these couple of games were not that impressive. Would you say that you are in a bad form, in a slump now, or is it just the things that you mentioned previously?
I feel like Cologne brought us down a bit because we all wanted to reach the playoffs so badly there and we came pretty close, we almost won the first map against Na`Vi, won the second - you never know how it goes if we win the first one, maybe they then win the second and still beat you on Train - but you have this feeling that you got so close. And then we also think that maybe against some other teams we could've won and been in the playoffs. For me personally, it would be great to be in the playoffs of Cologne for once because it has been eluding me for five years now.
Then after Cologne, we didn't go into the New York qualifier with the right mindset. It is never an excuse that you just had travel because we went out of Cologne early we could've all went home early but we still didn't go into the match with the right mindset. We showed a bad game there and maybe we still had that in the back of our heads, we didn't get to practice here because of bad internet so the only matches we've played was the New York Qualifier and the matches here. So I feel like this maybe affected our form a little bit, but to be fair, it is not an excuse, every team has the same conditions, nobody can practice, so you need to work with that. You might be right in saying that right now we are not in our best shape, but I hope tomorrow and this weekend we can go on the up again.