COLDYY1: "Our game is a little bit raw, we have things to work on"
Spirit had a bumpy ride to the playoffs of the CIS Minor, as the team experienced issues in their opening match against DreamEaters, sustaining a heavy 3-16 loss on Overpass. The squad later made up for the blunder by securing 2-0 series against both Nemiga and Warthox, ensuring a spot in the final stage of the Minor.
Following their victory over Warthox, we spoke with long-time member of Spirit, COLDYY1, who gave insight into the impact Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov and Artem "iDISBALANCE" Egorov brought on arrival, the team's current in-game calling setup, his thoughts on assuming the entry-fragger role and the team's confidence going into the upcoming series versus forZe.
As someone who has been on the roster for a while now, talk to me about how the atmosphere in the team has changed since the arrival of chopper and iDISBALANCE.
When the guys arrived at the team it was like a breath of fresh air because we had been playing with DavCost and Dima for a while. It was a difficult decision to make, but in the end, we went for it and haven't looked back. The guys immediately demonstrated their impactfulness.
In an interview conducted before the Minor, chopper mentioned that, initially, he had issues with individual form, which led to some in-game adjustments that saw him take on a supportive role and started assisting S0tf1k in calling. Tell me about how this system compares to what you had prior.
In all, the adjustments didn't just affect him, but me as well, because I took on the role of the entry fragger, opening around 90% of the time. Leonya (chopper) was also an entry, but we decided to restructure our game and he came to the conclusion that it would be more comfortable for him to play as a support at this moment in time. We discussed it as a team and came to the mutual conclusion that everyone was comfortable and happy with the decision.
You mentioned becoming the entry fragger - it's a tricky role for a long list of reasons. Would you say you enjoy your new designation or was it a sacrifice you were willing to make for the team?
Generally speaking, I wasn't against being the entry. In the beginning, I'd say I was actually quite good at it, but when we have mishaps in tactical terms or utility usage, I don't really like the role because I walk into a bombsite and get punished hard (laughs). This can be upsetting, especially because our game is a little bit raw, we have things to work on. We're working on the quality of our play and, going forward, I think things will only improve. There's definitely room for me to grow.
When the duo arrived, the team was in the process of wrapping its head around the playstyle that you wanted to take on. Would you say you're still working that out, or have you found a style you'd like to stick with?
In the beginning, we made little adjustments to our game and couldn't really adapt in terms of what we needed to do. We've been thinking about it for quite some time now, and only recently really found the components needed to work in the right direction. Right now we're all focused on the same goal and are gradually moving towards achieving it. The main thing is for us to continue working hard and things will work out.
Take me through the calling system you have in place where chopper and S0tf1k co-call. Is S0tf1k still the main caller or do you have something in place along the lines of what Vitality are doing with separate shot-callers for the two sides?
The way it works is chopper offers ideas during rounds that are then filtered by S0tf1k, and he decides whether or not we'll be executing. Dima (S0tf1k) has the last word, so if he likes the idea then we go ahead with it, if not, then there's no discussion. The captain's word is final.
Let's get into the matches the team has had so far at the Minor - your opening best-of-one against DreamEaters was really quite surprising, in that you were the favourites going into the entire Minor, but fell with a 3-16 score. Take me over that map and why the team experienced such difficulty.
I think we underestimated the opposition, which ended up playing an evil joke on us. We tried to stick to our game plan, but on certain occasions the DreamEaters guys got lucky, and on some, we made bad mistakes like missing grenades and making tactical errors. We didn't play like we normally would with good preparation, we made a mistake and when the score was 3-16, we understood this and came to a few conclusions. We made sure to prepare meticulously for the other opponents.
In all, DreamEaters had a great performance - they demonstrated that they aren't here as tourists, they're here for results. Next time we'll be significantly better prepared and won't let such a score happen for sure.
You made up for the first best-of-one in your following match against Nemiga, where you secured a confident 2-0, giving yourself a second chance at the tournament. Give us a breakdown of what you thought went well over the series.
We had a rough idea of the map veto and made sure we were prepared for every single one of them. We also knew how they would play and what they would do, and had a game plan. Initially, things didn't go too well, so we called a tactical timeout to discuss things because we saw that the game was slipping away from us. After the discussion, we calmed down, played more calmly, and started taking rounds by playing our own game.
In the 22nd round of Mirage you guys had a Negev and four glock setup, going into B apps. Was this a mis-buy or do you have a strategy that involves this setup?
It was a mis-buy (laughs). During the round, we decided to go apps and I said I'd peek for some information. We told S0tf1k to hold down mouse1 because the first bullet is inaccurate, and he asked: "I can tap them down, right?", we answered: "No man, you have to hold it down". His response was: "Ah, fuck!"; it was a mis-buy, we didn't mean any fun or BM by it.
Let's take a look at the series against Warthox. The first map, Vertigo, was an interesting one, in that they don't have any recorded performances on it. Despite this, they managed to take your map pick to double digits. Did you expect such a convincing performance from them on it?
We actually picked the map based off the fact that they had not played the map, they didn't have any matches on it on HLTV. The match went as expected in the first half, but after transferring, we didn't expect the gameplay they put up, because we didn't plan for them to peek one by one etc. We have a bit of a different approach in that we're more structured, and people understand what they're doing. We found ourselves in a predicament because of this, so after around five rounds we called a timeout to discuss things. Afterward, we gradually started grabbing rounds because we figured out how they play - we basically expected anything from them. But yeah, it was a close call.
Finally, let's talk about the series against forZe tomorrow [today]. Looking at your record against them, you're favoured to take it. Would you say you're confident going into that match-up or does their form intimidate you?
We'll be preparing for them either way, but generally, we're quite confident because we've beaten them on multiple occasions. The most important thing is that we show our game and don't choke. Nerves can get in the way, and it can really impact our play. We've won against them in the past, we know how they like to play, we have an idea of how xsepower likes to position himself and how they play around the AWP. If we starve him of frags, play carefully and counter him, we shouldn't experience too many issues.