huNter-: "It is a bit of a bad feeling, I don't like when NiKo loses"
Following CR4ZY's first Major victory over NiP, the majorly-Serbian squad drew FaZe in the 1-1 pool, seeing a clash between the more experienced players from the Serbian scene take on the youngsters - with European talent filling in the gaps.
After CR4ZY secured an impressive 16-9 victory on Mirage, we conducted an interview with huNter-. The 23-year-old, who didn't celebrate after winning the match, admitted that he didn't want to play against his cousin NiKo.
You started the Major by losing to Liquid, but the second match was one against a pretty big team, against some pretty legendary players, NiP. Can you tell me a bit about that match and getting the first victory at the main part of the Major?
Our goal when we came here at the Major was to secure the next Major by winning one match. We did that against NiP, and today, we played without too much pressure and secured a win over FaZe. The match yesterday against NiP, they are having some issues, they are playing with a stand-in, after the Major, GeT_RiGhT probably won't play with them, if he is saying farewell to Counter-Strike or what, I don't know. We saw our chance in that, we prepared for that match pretty well, EspiranTo played exceptionally well, he won a couple of very important round by himself and we won that game off the back of him, he won the most important rounds.
Yesterday, after that match, we said: "Let's go onwards, whatever happens, happens, we achieved our goals and perhaps more than that, we showed everyone who we are". We beat FaZe today and I'm not too happy about it, when I saw that we are playing against them I wasn't pleased because I really didn't want to play against NiKo. It is a really bad feeling, everyone was waiting for it except me and him. It is a bit of a bad feeling, I don't like when NiKo loses, I said that before the start of the Major and I will repeat that again, because I was, more or less, expecting this outcome at this point. I think we are a better team than them right now.
All of that aside, when you go into the match, you play for the win. You obviously know how he plays, you probably watched a lot of his demos... What was it like in some of those situations, in duels? Were there mind games and were you able to read him?
I watch his every match and I have been watching them my whole life. Especially Mirage where he is unique and recognizable in Connector as CT. One round he put down a smoke, we came out of Underpass and I knew that someone was going to flash him in so I just waited for it, and even though I was blind I sprayed and I killed him with two bullets.
There was another round where he was saving a gun, he killed two of my teammates and I knew he was going to go for more, I just went from behind, killed him, and said "Gde ces, znam te!" ("Where are you going, I know you!"), then all of my guys started to laugh. That was a funny moment, but in general, I don't like to play against him, I didn't want to do it, but it had to happen at one point. I wish them good luck, they are a great team with great players and I think that, regardless of the 1-2, they can still make it to the playoffs.
Tell me a bit about your role in this team. During the old Valiance lineup, when you were a fully Serbian lineup, everything was built around you to a degree. Now with the new roster it seems like your role is more entry and team-oriented, what do you think about how your role changed in the past months?
When we formed this team I knew that it [my role] can't be as it was before, but that the results would of course improve. We have five good players that can, at any moment, get kills and secure rounds, every player in our team can have 30-40 kills in a certain map. I'm not an entry or a support or anything, it depends on the map, and it is the same for everyone. We change a lot, we play default a lot, we move around the map a lot and we don't want to have nexa be the lurk on one side every time and then if they kill him, they know we are on the other side.
So we change things a lot, we saw that from Liquid who do that exceptionally well, that is one of the reasons why they are the best. We tried to transfer that to our game, it works well, my role is ok, I have no complaints, especially as CT, on the T side I sometimes play more for the team, of course, as everyone does. We have EspiranTo, nexa, otto, LETN1, every one of them can trade frag me if I die so I really have no issues in going first, second, or staying behind to clutch. I have no issues with anything.
With these two wins, what do you think you can accomplish in this tournament?
To be honest, we didn't think about that, we are only thinking about the following match. We aren't thinking about the playoffs, Champions stage, the Mercedes-Benz Arena, we are really not thinking about anything except the next match. If it comes to that and we go to the playoffs, I will be able to tell you more. That is how our team is, we just look at the next match, not in the future or the past. Today we beat FaZe, that is now done, in an hour we will already be thinking about the next opponent and prepare for a different team, that's it.