kassad: "Tomorrow we will play one of the biggest games of this year for us"
Renegades eliminated two of the Serbian coach's former teammates, Janko "YNk" Paunović and Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, from the Major, as they defeated FaZe 2-1 thanks to narrow victories on Mirage and Vertigo.
Talking about the match against FaZe, you played against them a couple of times in the recent past, and there is history there with you and YNk and NiKo. Going into it, what was the thinking like, especially with the history between the players?
As you said, we played a lot of games against them, especially this year, and it was always super-close. They know how we play, we know how they play, I'm pretty sure both teams knew what the maps were going to be, 99%. We got a good start and our gameplan worked, we kind of made some silly mistakes in the second half, saved some match points, but on Nuke our defense completely fell apart in every aspect, they were doing whatever they wanted to do and it wasn't really good for us.
After that map we just agreed that we were going to erase it from our memory for today and go into the third map with full confidence, and that is what we did. Again, we had some post-plants in the third map which we didn't play so well, we have been practicing that a lot but we didn't play very well today and luckily, on the CT side, our gameplan completely, 100% worked, and we finally managed to get the 16-14.
Touching on Vertigo, obviously the meta changes a bit with the updates and your CT side looks like something new, something that wasn't available before. But the T side seems pretty similar to what has been used before, what is your thinking on the T side of Vertigo?
After the recent update to Vertigo it is kind of super-difficult to do anything on the map, you kind of have to run defaults and take some space and based on that you need to collect some info and execute or maybe do some kind of an explosion. It is pretty much the meta right now on Vertigo. We are using it really well so far, but we just had some problems, like I said, with the post-plants and some other small issues but we love playing it, we just enjoy it so much on both sides, we have so much fun when we play it and I think is one of the main reasons why we are playing it so well so far. Recently, on the bootcamp, we've been smashing teams on scrims.
You've beaten FaZe on Vertigo, you've shown some good stuff on the map. Yesterday against AVANGAR some people were criticizing the map choice and in the meantime we saw AVANGAR beating Liquid on Overpass and now going to the playoffs. Do you think that in hindsight it was still a good decision?
I think we would pick it again if we could, we know exactly what went wrong and whoever watched the game could see that we were so passive on A on the CT side for the first seven rounds which cost us too much, and then we lost some anti-forces and some post-plant situations as we did against FaZe. That was our main issue there that cost us that map and almost cost us this one. But as I said, the Vertigo pick was something we would do all over again if we could.
Talking with huNter after CR4ZY defeated FaZe he said that he didn't really enjoy beating NiKo. What was your feeling after beating your former teammate and YNk as well?
It is exactly the same, I am satisfied that we won, of course, we are still playing the tournament, but at the same time, they are my friends, my dear friends, eliminating them from the tournament doesn't feel so good because we are just super-good friends. So I feel exactly like huNter because, in Serbia, all of the players are just one big happy family, kind of. We get along so well outside of the game and inside the game, so it doesn't really feel good eliminating them.
What do you think is the issue with NiKo's form? For other players, it is maybe not that bad, but we expect him to do better.
I think it is mostly because of the randomness FaZe have right now. Who is our fifth? Who is the fourth? Who is in-game leading? They have some randomness there that gives them insecurity, they don't know what is going to happen. They don't have so much structure, YNk is doing a hell of a job together with NiKo and the rest of the players, but what they need is a stable, full lineup, full gameplan for the future, and I'm sure NiKo will be back to being the best player in the world in no time. Because he has the skill, he has everything that he needs. Like I said it is only the randomness, the insecurity that is kind of killing them in my opinion.
Renegades, at this tournament, have faced some really difficult moments. The NRG game you lost, the AVANGAR one, Liazz mentioned that after that game it was pretty difficult inside the team to get over it, but you managed to do so. In this FaZe game as well, when they made the comeback, it seemed like the team was maybe struggling to deal with the pressure. Is that something you feel is an issue in the team?
No, I think we have been a little bit unlucky in the first two games, we really were. You remember the 14-14 round when jkaem's mouse jumped on that B contact which we had on the lockdown. Against AVANGAR so many little things happened. I think we had a pretty productive bootcamp in the last three weeks and we've been playing really good CS in scrims and here, which we proved in these last two days, three days maybe. I don't think there is any pressure, we know how much we can do as a team and individuals, so it is just fixing all of those small things, and we were just a little bit unfortunate a few things.
So you still believe in the playoffs?
Obviously, yeah, we believed in the playoffs since day one. Yeah it was a bit scary for a moment when we were 0-2, but right now we are sitting on 2-2, tomorrow we will play one of the biggest games of this year for us and we are going to do everything that we did in the bootcamps, everything that we did in scrims, repeat it tomorrow, prepare well, go out there and play and see what happens.