Twista: "[The atmosphere in the team] is almost like nothing is happening"
After the New Legends stage of the Major kicked off with ENCE beating AVANGAR, we spoke to Slaava "Twista" Räsänen about how the upcoming change in the Finnish side is affecting the squad at the tournament.
With ENCE having announced the upcoming change, as Miikka "suNny" Kemppi is set to replace Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen after the Major, we asked the coach about how the situation is affecting the team's atmosphere going into the German event and whether in-game leadership has changed in preparation for the switch.
Twista also commented on the team's overall form going into the event and briefly spoke about their match against AVANGAR, in which the Finnish side looked dominant as they took down their opponents 16-5 on Overpass to go 1-0 in the Swiss stage.
Touching on your lineup situation with suNny set to replace Aleksib, have you been able to put that aside until the Major is over? How is it affecting the team coming in?
I think the fact that we announced it already gave us more time to talk it through and get the atmosphere for the Major to the spot where we want to be. At this point, and in practice as well, actually, it was really good. I didn't feel any... it's almost like nothing is happening. I'm proud of the guys that they can deal with it like that. This first game was something I was a bit stressed about because it can go either way, now we saw that we can do it here, as well, so I'm happy for the guys.
Generally, rustiness has been an issue for the new teams coming in for the past few Majors, particularly when they are close after the break, were you worried about that?
Well, I was only worried about the first game because then I would see how it will go throughout the Major because the first game will define everything, how the atmosphere is when we are playing when we are actually here and doing our work and stuff like that. I was just waiting for the first game to have to knowledge to know what to do if it goes the other way. But it went really well, everyone was happy, and everyone wanted to play, so it was good to continue from this.
Presumably in-game leading will switch to allu after the Major, but is that the case for the Major as well or is it still Aleksib?
That's the thing, I don't know why, but everyone assumes that Aleksib has been leading the whole time, but that's not the case. allu has been doing a lot of help for Aleksi, there have been a lot of matches in our previous tournaments where allu actually took the lead in the match and he was leading in the match. It has been bouncing back from Aleksi to allu, of course a bit more on Aleksi, but still, allu has been doing a lot of work on that side. That's why in a way it's easy to continue from that point because allu wants to lead, as well, and he always took the lead when needed. At this event we will go with the same strategy that Aleksi is leading but allu is giving his input in the game.
Aleksi conspicuously bought a second AWP on Overpass against AVANGAR in one of the early gunrounds, which is not something that usually happens, and he died with it and it wasn't picked up after him and he never used it again. Was that a misbuy, or what happened?
No, it wasn't a misbuy. A double AWP on CT is pretty good because you can bait and stuff like that, so we just wanted to get back into the game and take it early because usually you don't take a double AWP, especially our team. We just tried it, we had the money, Aleksi said 'should I take it?' and everyone was okay with it, but then he died and we didn't want to continue with that because we wanted to play a bit more aggressive, so we just left it there.
We always have very little idea of what kind of form the new teams are coming in with, have you had anyone surprise you in practice either positively or negatively? Who do you see as the most dangerous teams based on that?
I'm not so sure, actually. Sure, there are matches in practice where you can see are playing really well, but in the end it is just practice, so it's really hard to say. Like I said in the interview I made with Banks, I'm really hoping to see the match between Astralis and DreamEaters. I want to see how Astralis will perform after the break they had, after the last official they played. It's a best-of-one and it's a game that can easily go like 16-2 to Astralis, but it can also go the other way, that's the match I'm looking forward to.