EspiranTo: "I don't seem to fit into the team perfectly [...], but since we are doing good, I'm happy"
In the game on Nuke, Grayhound racked up a strong CT lead, 11-4, adding the second-half pistol to their name to edge closer towards a win in their first match in Berlin. However, CR4ZY mounted a strong CT side comeback to join the 1-0 pool in the New Challengers Stage.
Going to the first match here, what were the expectations before playing Grayhound?
Our expectations were to win the match pretty confidently, but we had a really slow start to the game and it just didn't work out for us at the start. On the CT side we just played our game and everything worked for us. It shouldn't have been that close on paper, it ended up being like that, but we still won the game so we are happy.
The start on Nuke was kind of difficult, as you said. What was the issue on the T-side, why couldn't you find any openings? I think there was a span of 10 rounds going their way where you were being locked out continuously?
I don't think we really played confidently, we just gave them too much respect at the start and that hurt us really hard. I don't know, we tried to play strats, play with smokes and flashes when any one of us is just a better aimer than them.
Did you feel like at some points in the game they were outaiming you even? Watching them play on the CT side it seemed like they couldn't miss a bullet when you were walking into the bombsites?
It got to that point because we kept going with nades, going slow, but they had a really good economy and no matter what strats we would do we would just get countered by nades, and that story happened all over again. They stack the site, we run out into their crosshairs and die.
Tell me about the start of the CT side, you won the force-buy and after that, there was a couple of weird rounds but you won both of them. One was against pistols when they went into the A bombsite while you rotated to B, and later LETN1 clutched a round on B. What happened in the start of the game where you got the momentum?
That force-buy, it was just pretty lucky that they rushed out A, we hit our shots and won the round, but the next round, I think that they faked that they were going Secret and they went out A. We just had really bad communication, the communication was that a lot of guys were stepping, running into Office, so I was like OK, they are stepping Office, I'll go Vents. And as soon as I did, they were four guys out of door, so it was only one or two guys B.
In the end you managed the comeback on the CT side, winning over NeiL_M's team. Obviously, you have that bantery relationship since Imperial, how was it winning against him here?
Of course it feels good, I mean, I wouldn't like to lose again Neil and then on Twitter see "I put to bed my good mates nexa and EspiranTo".
Any special words for Neil_M after the win?
Bed for you.
Before the event I had a short interview with nexa and he said that you are as prepared as you can be, as a team. How do you feel individually coming into this event?
Individually, I think I'm not as confident as I was a year ago, but there is nothing I can do anymore, I tried everything. I don't seem to fit into the team perfectly with positioning, all the strategies, it just hurts me really hard as an individual player but since we are doing good as a team and winning all the matches, I'm happy.
Before the Minor you had a month or so of online play and a few LANs where you had very good stats, it seemed like your form was on the come up, but now it is subdued again. Was there something in that period that suited you well, was there any difference in the way you played the game?
I think that overall I just had better aim or whatever. I was more confident in myself I guess. I played better than I do now but I didn't play that good compared to how I played in 2018 when I was playing in Imperial. I was always putting up numbers, sometimes carrying the game single-handedly, or me and nexa would win the games. But now I'm kind of just that mediocre player that plays for the team, basically. (laughs)
Do you think that, as a young player, there is too much focus on stats? Does that matter more than just playing ok and helping your team, and does it affect you negatively?
It is not really about stats, my stats are not even that bad right now, I think I have like 1.19 in past three months and I don't think that is bad. But my playstyle changed and that is what changed me, because I was used to playing freestyle sometimes, doing things on my own, and I was doing well. Now I'm trying to play more with the team, always trade fragging, always throwing smokes and flashes, doing executes with everyone. That is basically what changed me.
In the past, you were known as a player that was problematic in teams, that was the rumor floating around. Do you think that was justified in any sense?
Of course. (laughs) Even now I'm sometimes problematic, it is not easy with me. Sometimes I just have a bad day and if something comes up, starts triggering me, I go full retard (laughs).
Is that something you are working on? Can anyone in the team help you when that happens?
They got used to it, I think. (laughs) I guess I'm doing better now, reacting to all that stuff, I'm trying to not get triggered, not go full tilt, but sometimes it still happens to me and it is all my fault.