jks: "The mood is not as bad as what I thought it would be, I think we're all still pretty positive"
The Australian side have finalized their July run of three events with their third last-place exit in a row at IEM Chicago, where they met the fourth and second-best teams in the world, ENCE and Vitality, in the group stage.
We managed to get a hold of jks after the disappointing run, reflecting on the tournament and on Renegades's struggles to return to their form from the first three months of 2019 as the next Major is drawing near.
You had to play some pretty tough competition here in ENCE and Vitality and you looked a bit out of your depth losing both series 0-2, what was going on with you here?
Yeah, we knew they were good teams, obviously, because they are ranked second and third, but I don't think we really felt like we were that bad compared to them, we thought we were going to put up a decent showing and have a decent result because, in the past, we've had some decent showings versus Vitality and versus ENCE, as well. I think it's about even now when you look at the matchups in terms of how many times we've won and lost. In the past, I think we had an edge over them, but obviously both of those teams just completely outclassed us, so...
I think the mood in the team wasn't anywhere near as good as what it had been in the past because we know we're going through a lot of issues right now and we're trying to figure out what's causing us to play not as well as we had before. It's not as bad as what I thought it would be, I think we're all still pretty positive about it and we've talked about it, we're still progressing outside of the game as individuals and teammates, I think that we're still doing pretty well talking about the mistakes we're doing and things that are upsetting other people in the team, how we can improve ourselves, and stuff like that. Even though it looks bad on the outside, it's not that bad on the inside.
Except for this event, we've had a lot of close games, a lot of top teams, but we just haven't been able to close them out, we've had 16-14s, 16-13s, so it's not like we're getting completely destroyed 16-1, 16-2. This tournament, we didn't have a really good showing, so I think we're going to have a small break now and before the Major we're just going to have a pretty serious, strenuous bootcamp because since we have Legends it's kind of that last thing we have to hold on to since this is like the end of the season. We want to have a really good showing at it and from there, we'll see what happens.
What do you think you've lost in that period after the Major when you couldn't play in the full lineup, what are you missing now from then?
I think the main one is just confidence. Once we lost Sean, for a long period of time we had to play with stand-ins and go to tournaments without practice when he could actually go to the tournaments, like Sydney, when he came with us we didn't have practice before that and we obviously had a bad showing there. Not having him in the team because of all those issues that we had destroyed our team confidence, not so much individually, but in terms of chemistry and the way that we play together and stuff like that. Before we had those issues we were playing really well and then that came up and now we're just sucking. I think that's one of the main things, just team confidence. Over time, once you lose all these games, heavily close games, 16-14s, and you don't have showings at certain tournaments, it adds on to everything else in terms of the confidence, it's just kind of doubling down on it. You get more hesitant and you second-guess yourself in a lot of things.
Outside of that, in terms of practice, we're not doing anything differently to what we were doing at the start of the year. Maybe we're not refreshing our game enough that other teams are looking at our demos and they can see what we've been doing in the past, and that's playing down on us, as well, we've noticed that teams have been countering us and stuff like that. We need to spend more time on refreshing our playbook and the way that we play. I think those two things are the main issues, at least from my perspective.
How do you get back from this before the Major? What's going to be the focus, then, considering the main issue is about confidence, how do you recover from that?
Honestly, I'm not too sure. In terms of myself, I'm pretty confident as a player in the way that I've been playing, but as a team, I'm not too sure. To get confidence in the team, we have to have a practice bootcamp where everyone can see the results of it and everyone knows that we're working really hard, because when you know you're working really hard and you're putting in a lot of effort and lot of hours, you feel more confident at least.
It's not like you go to a bootcamp and you have 40 hours and then you're like 'okay, this was just a waste of time.' If you have 90 or 100 hours, you've made more strats, you've cut things out of your playbook that weren't working before, you've reviewed demos, you've done a lot of deathmatch, everyone feels more confident in terms of themselves and overall it just boosts the team's confidence in general. But without winning games on LAN and just playing good in certain tournaments, I think that's the only way you can build confidence, and just everyone having a positive attitude towards the game and outside of the game, as well. Those are the things that we need to do, or at least improve them.
What's the plan exactly, are you going to be in Europe again like you were ahead of Katowice?
Yeah, we're not going to go back to America for practice or anything like that, we're going back to Europe and I think we're going to play for like two weeks before the Major, we're going to have a bootcamp. Then we're going to play the Major, hopefully everything goes well from there on out and we've at least... as long as we've tried and we've done everything that we could have in terms of practice and putting in all the effort, I'm not too sure what else we can expect. I just hope that we have a good run at the Major and maintain our Legends spot.