GuardiaN: "We all have at least 120 hours in the past two weeks, that's something we haven't had in a long time"
We interviewed Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács following FaZe's first win at the StarLadder Major against mousesports to ask him about what's on the line for the team when it comes to the future of the lineup and more.
FaZe have broken their short streak of losses to mousesports on the first day of the StarLadder Major New Legends stage, picking up their first win in three matches against their former teammate Finn "karrigan" Andersen's side dating back to ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals in June.
We got a hold of GuardiaN after the triumph, asking him whether the question marks regarding the future of FaZe's lineup are affecting them and finding out more about their intense, two-week bootcamp ahead of the tournament.
When people talk about FaZe and the Major there is quite a common thinking that this is a do-or-die tournament for this particular lineup. Can you comment on that, do you think that is the case?
At the moment it's really hard to say. Of course we are doing our best, we had a two-week bootcamp and we were grinding and dedicating all our time to CS, so it's hard to say what will happen with this lineup. We can win the Major and keep playing like this or maybe we will get some IGL as we planned before, but it's really hard to say because Filip is a really hard-working, good guy and I think he is improving more and more every day, Janko and NiKo are helping him a lot, so it's hard to say.
Do you feel any pressure as individuals in terms of 'could this be my spot on the team'? Is that at all a concern?
I don't think anyone has any pressure on their shoulders, we are here to play the Major, we spent two weeks together in one apartment. We are here to win, we are here to do our best, and not think about what's going to happen after the tournament. If we fail, go 0-3 or something like that, maybe even the organization would start talking about what we should do with the lineup or whatever, but at the moment, no, we aren't thinking about anything in particular. We are focusing on this tournament and we will see.
Has there been a particular focus in that two-week bootcamp?
We started focusing on stuff like the situations and scenarios like 5v4, 4v5, to play everything 100%, to not overpeek, to communicate that if someone is in a situation to make a play, the other four are freezing and not doing anything, stuff like this. Obviously our map pool and in general tactics on all maps. I'm pretty sure our map pool is good, we prepared some new tactics on all maps so it's not rounds or tactics we have been playing for two years since I joined FaZe. I think there's something fresh and I'm pretty sure we can show it.
I heard some rumblings about the bootcamp going very well, how did you feel going into the Major with the preparation you put in?
The preparation was I would say close to perfect. We came here with the perfect individual skill, we were practicing from like 12-1-2 to like 9-10 PM and then we were playing until like 2-3 AM individually, like FPL, FACEITs or whatever everyone wanted to play. I think this bootcamp was one of the best I have attended, we all have at least 120 hours in the last two weeks, that's something we haven't had for a long time. If someone talks about practice against us or something like that, it's hard to say because it's practice, but if we were destroying someone, that happened just because our individual skill was really, really high and everyone was killing everything. It feels good that way.
I remember hearing similar things from your team during Katowice, that you were very good going into the last Major, is that a different sort of feeling now?
I think it's a different feeling because, as I said, we were working on all the fresh stuff, maybe we changed some positions, we were practicing seven maps, we came up with some new stuff, new tactics, so I think it was a really refreshing bootcamp for us in terms of teamplay.
Your history against mouz hasn't been great, losing both of the previous series, what changed this time?
It's really hard to judge if they were the better team or we were just not prepared at all. When NEO came into the team, it was a new team, basically. It doesn't matter if we have four of the same players when you are a new player, you basically have to play the same things, but it's not the same thing as coming up with something new. I think today we showed that we are the better team and we prepared for this Major even better than they did, but obviously they are a good team.