Eley: "We feel like we could have gone to the playoffs if we were at full strength"

While at IEM Chicago, we got a chance to talk to Zachary "Eley" Stauffer, Envy's coach, who stood in for Noah "Nifty" Francis in their second match.

After the first day saw Envy receive a beating from Liquid, the North American side had to use their coach, Eley, for the elimination series against MIBR on day two due to Nifty suddenly falling ill. Despite the situation, Envy were able to take the Brazilian side to their limit in the series, in which MIBR came back from a 5-13 deficit on the deciding map, Train, to win in overtime.

Eley commented on the differences between jdm64 and Nifty

We talked to the coach and stand-in during the playoffs of IEM Chicago to ask about the tough experience and his good showing on the opening map of the MIBR series. Eley also went back to comment on how Finn "karrigan" Andersen's decision not to stay after the last Major cycle impacted the future of the team, who ended up changing four of their five players over the course of the last four months.

It was a rough situation with Nifty missing the second match here, tell me about what this experience has been like for you considering that situation?

Obviously, there is a lot of disappointment. It's not just the fact that we didn't place where we wanted to place, but Nifty being sick, knowing how much of a competitor he is and how much it meant for the team to finally get our first full event together, it was definitely disappointing. But I still took this ultimately as a positive because we still fought back in a really bad situation, s0m played extraordinarily well, he was fragging and he was actually calling, which a lot of people don't even know, he was calling in that [MIBR] series, not me. He kind of brought a little bit of FPL and Rank S to the show and he played really well, so I'm glad that he has confidence on LAN now, can kind of go back to this moment and realize 'hey, LAN isn't that big of a deal' and still perform here.

Talking about not placing where you wanted to place, what was the original goal?

Goals for tournaments I think are good, but we ultimately want to win every match that we play through realistic or unrealistic terms, that's what we want to do. Getting out of groups was important for us, we know MIBR is hurting right now, G2 has had to travel a long way to get here, so we felt like we could get out of groups here. And obviously with that MIBR match being so close, now they're playing on stage, we feel even more like we could have accomplished that goal if we were at full strength. So getting out of groups was the goal, we didn't get there, but again, having s0m get that experience on LAN and other guys to feel that confidence that we could have gone through and that we could have played better if we were at full strength, I think it was still ultimately achieving close to that goal, at least.

A lot of people were surprised by how well you played, especially on the first map of the series against MIBR, are you keeping up with form even though you've been coaching for a while now?

Yeah, I haven't played competitively for I think four years now, but do still DM, I still pug with friends here and there and, obviously, I'm very involved with the strategy of the team, so slotting in is kind of easy, especially in that entry-frag role, I know what I need to do. I think I just got a little lucky at the start there. I didn't even have a chance to upload my config, luckily I brought my equipment to this event, which is kind of a rarity, but I did bring it this event. And yeah, just kind of got fortunate at the start of that game and had a nice little streak (laughs).

You and Nifty are the only remaining people from the team who played with karrigan, before the whole overhaul that happened in March. I wanted to ask about the situation with karrigan, I imagine you wanted him to stay and it didn't work out, so how did that affect what happened later in the year for you where you changed most of the lineup?

Obviously, we wanted karrigan to stay, he's an incredible IGL, an incredible person, he taught us a lot while he was here. I feel very fortunate that I've been able to work with gob b and even karrigan for a short amount of time, I've had legendary IGLs that I've worked with for a while now. It kind of stalled us when he decided to go with the mousesports direction, which I totally respect and understand, it's a great opportunity for him and they're showing great things right now, too. It stalled us a little bit, we had a struggle to find a fifth, we had the temporary break, but ultimately finding Sam, Brad [ANDROID] at the same time, and then bringing in FugLy, as well, we felt very positive about our lineup changes and what we could do with those guys. Nifty is a perfectly capable IGL, I still think he's one of the top ones in North America, even though he tends to AWP and do a whole bunch of different things, he still frags perfectly well. It didn't change too much for us, it was a different direction, but we're still very happy with where we're at right now.

From what I heard, Nifty wasn't really keen on IGLing late last year, what happened from that point, why did he come back to it?

I think that working with karrigan and having a lot of conversations with karrigan kind of brought him back into that zone and realizing what he can do for the team from the IGL role. I think that going into it it was more of a 'I want to discover myself as a player,' that was with the original Envy roster, he was trying to see where he fits in, what his exact role is, because he has done a lot of things in just a very short career. So he realized that especially in NA with this roster, IGLing was the best way for this team to succeed and where he can provide the most impact for the team, and that's why stepped back into it. He got some motivation from karrigan, having good conversations with him, and then realizing his capabilities as an IGL and what his role should be in this game.

From some of the reports from Dust2.us, Nifty and jdm didn't get along towards the end and that was one of the reasons why jdm was replaced in the end. Can you comment on that and what happened with Sonic coming in?

The relationship between jdm and Nifty I think was overblown a little bit. I think it was more of a stylistic difference and just the way the AWP role should be played. Josh wanted more of an AWP-centric role, which can work on many teams, I still think that Josh can slot into a team that has more experience with that type of a style. But for us, with our youth and our team where we were, there was a lot of things that had to be learned in terms of scaling up, using our rifles more actively, and we had a lot of faith in both Brad and s0m, and including FugLy, as well. We wanted to be more rifle-centric and just aggressive in terms of scaling and that's ultimately where the issue was, the idea of how the game should be played, AWP-centric versus rifle-centric, it was just differing opinions.

This has been your first big experience as a team and it partly got disrupted with Nifty falling ill, where do you go from here, what are the long-term plans?

We're stealing a little bit from the 76ers model and just trusting the process and understanding that we've qualified for a big event here at IEM Chicago, we didn't get the results that we wanted, but we still saw a lot of positive things from the guys. Just trusting our practice, trusting what we've been preaching for so long now, just believing in our teammates and focusing on our practice is the main concern going forward.

United States Zachary 'Eley' Stauffer
Zachary 'Eley' Stauffer
Age:
-
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.82
Maps played:
148
KPR:
0.58
DPR:
0.73
APR:
0.14
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.93
Maps played:
1543
KPR:
0.63
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.13
United States Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Noah 'Nifty' Francis
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
789
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.66
APR:
0.09
#2
 | 
Czech Republic VerySadGuy 
Maybe not
2019-07-23 01:31
wtf
2019-07-23 01:31
#11
smooya | 
Austria shaakeh 
expected
2019-07-23 01:34
preserving actual #1 but also wtf never saw Striker deleting #1s
2019-07-23 01:35
ahahahahah no
2019-07-23 01:37
nt area 51 raider
2019-07-23 01:38
#19
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Maybe
2019-07-23 01:38
nt f5
2019-07-23 01:39
#23
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Nt mibr guy
2019-07-23 01:39
wdym
2019-07-23 01:40
#25
 | 
Sweden Unluko 
Good night.
2019-07-23 01:42
ty men))
2019-07-23 01:42
why would you do this
2019-07-23 02:33
nt brainwashed kid believing in round earth
2019-07-23 02:33
What is earth
2019-07-23 02:34
NASA tool tl brainwash americans
2019-07-23 02:41
They wudnt have made it anywhre
2019-07-23 19:56
#3
 | 
Netherlands PugCS 
Good one
2019-07-23 01:31
#6
 | 
United States EZ_4_Trump_CS 
0/8 coach
2019-07-23 01:31
#10
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
nice name
2019-07-23 01:33
nice
2019-07-23 01:31
#8
gAuLeS | 
Brazil GOLDy393 
Ehhhhh, no.
2019-07-23 01:32
#9
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
who???
2019-07-23 01:33
#14
tarik | 
Morocco Most! 
Coach Carried NV when Nifty forfeited lol
2019-07-23 01:36
#17
 | 
United States Trump2020KAG 
lol rip nifty
2019-07-23 01:37
nt coach
2019-07-23 01:35
#15
 | 
New Zealand YaBoiBunsen 
Lmao no
2019-07-23 01:37
Rip #1
2019-07-23 01:38
#22
 | 
Europe KittyChamp 
Flu?
2019-07-23 01:39
No
2019-07-23 01:42
#28
 | 
Germany Neckarstadion 
Eley played really well for a coach tbf
2019-07-23 01:44
#61
 | 
Hungary subzera 
Yeah eley is usually a pretty solid coach standin
2019-07-23 11:48
JDM to liquid
2019-07-23 01:46
and hiko
2019-07-23 01:46
yeah right
2019-07-23 02:06
#32
MICHU | 
Argentina PACHOTO 
USA's OCEAN
2019-07-23 02:07
#33
 | 
Indonesia Exodd 
If & could’ve lul, keep dreaming
2019-07-23 02:32
#47
 | 
Korea ItsMeNow19 
Bntet and major lul indog
2019-07-23 06:41
#37
 | 
Brazil lusketa 
nah
2019-07-23 02:38
#38
FalleN | 
Brazil Tablari 
maybe
2019-07-23 02:41
Who
2019-07-23 02:42
#41
 | 
United States RecluseCS 
Definitely could've made playoffs, but in the end they lack the experience to face off these established teams
2019-07-23 03:26
Who???
2019-07-23 03:29
makes literally 0 sense
2019-07-23 03:29
Who
2019-07-23 04:33
#45
 | 
Canada thelegend27 
‘we would have beat mibr if all 5 of us overperformed’ what an intelligent conclusion
2019-07-23 05:19
#72
 | 
Canada Gumpypoo 
The man is quite the genius
2019-07-23 17:51
#73
 | 
Canada thelegend27 
expected from NA to come to the most logical of logical conclusións
2019-07-23 19:53
#75
 | 
Canada Gumpypoo 
To be fair if they did all over performed they would have at least finished 5-6 th
2019-07-24 01:05
trust the process haha this ain't basketball
2019-07-23 05:29
#48
 | 
Finland Smoonah 
no really relevant but alright
2019-07-23 06:48
#53
 | 
United Kingdom galaxyv2 
no
2019-07-23 09:11
#54
 | 
Turkey CHAMPTZ 
And other hilarious jokes to tell yourself.
2019-07-23 09:24
#58
 | 
Italy Fil0Nerd 
lmao +1
2019-07-23 11:30
#55
 | 
Denmark Ritsuryo 
read title as elige was thinking wtf is he talking about
2019-07-23 09:56
#56
shrek | 
New Zealand is_love 
doubt it
2019-07-23 09:56
#57
 | 
Norway hemy 
Yo 🤙🏾
2019-07-23 11:21
LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL XDD
2019-07-23 11:31
hahahahahha no
2019-07-23 11:33
#62
 | 
Hungary subzera 
Ehhhhh I like nv and they should've closed that game v mibr, but no way could they beat liquid or G2 and advance
2019-07-23 11:50
i feel like your team dont deserve a playoff spot anyday cause even without coach you guys are'nt that good even INTZ are better, so yeah basically stop finding excuses and go work
2019-07-23 13:12
who
2019-07-23 13:14
I FEEL LIKE I COULD HAVE GONE TO FAZE IF I WERE AT FULL STRENGTH
2019-07-23 13:16
anyone can go to the playoffs at "full strength", that's not impressive being at full strength is the impressive part
2019-07-23 13:23
I could fly to the moon if NASA finally starts a new mission. Is it the language? or why 90% of HLTV interviews have so many arrogant and stupid statements?
2019-07-23 13:49
Who are you?
2019-07-23 13:57
who
2019-07-23 14:19
#71
 | 
Philippines metshidreio 
there's a boundery between confident and delusional and idk wtf u call this
2019-07-23 14:48
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