tarik: "I don't really care who we play because I know we are going to win the Major no matter what"
NRG continued their strong run in Berlin by defeating Natus Vincere in the quarter-final of the StarLadder Major Berlin. Dust2 kicked off the series, the North Americans were in the lead for the majority of the game and managed to fend off a comeback attempt. On Mirage, NRG was the team doing the T side comeback, completing it after overtime.
In our interview with tarik, we heard about his ace on Dust2, targeting the B bombsite on Mirage, and what this win means for NRG. To close out the interview, the American player compared his current team to the Major-winning Cloud9, and stated that he would be claiming the Major title in Berlin.
Starting with Dust2, it was quite interesting that s1mple wasn't AWPing that much, in the first half at least, and you started off the game pretty well. So how did it feel early in the game, especially with s1mple not AWPing, did you even notice it?
In the first half, we started off T side and Dust2 is a little bit T side favored. So I think that going into the match we were feeling really confident because Dust2 is one of our really strong maps, and we were also really confident because just before the game we were feeling really good. Looking at s1mple, I don't think it was anything we really noticed, off the top of our heads, but maybe it hurt them in the end. Because he started AWPing later in the half and that is maybe when they started to get more rounds. But overall it was just a good start to the game, we had a 10-5 lead and yeah, we did well.
Did you feel that Na`Vi weren't prepared for what you were bringing? Did you feel that you were outsmarting them? There were some interesting mid-round calls from your team.
In terms of the map pick, I think they were totally prepared for it, but in terms of during the game and during mid-round situations, I think we had a lot of great calls and sometimes they were actually set up for it, there was a couple of time where they were playing the bombsite that we were hitting with three or four people, they were stacked, but our executions were flawless and we were going into the sites feeling very confident, doing it together, at the same time. Sometimes, even if the other teams stacks there, if you hit the site correctly, you can still take it. So it was just well played by us on the T side and a proper execution overall.
The ace that you got on B, how did you manage to control the Famas spray on such a big distance to get the last kill? Were you surprised yourself that you got it?
I didn't even know that it was an ace, only now that you are telling me. After I got those two guys I already knew, immediately, that they were going to try to save, so I got the Famas in my hands, I heard the first guy running and I peeked them right away. At that point, I just went for the sky (chuckles), I tried my best to control it and it is just muscle memory at that point, it is nothing you can really practice in my opinion, it is just controlling it depending on how it feels and what direction it is going. It was pretty sick, yeah.
Offtopic question, but do you actually practice the Famas, ever?
The Famas is probably one of the guns I use the least. I use the MP9 probably more than the Famas, but in my opinion, it is actually a viable gun, I think it should be used more. But yeah, maybe I'll bring it into the game more after that spray.
Going into the second map, Mirage, Na`Vi had a pretty good start on the T side. What was the deal with their T side, why couldn't you stop it on Mirage?
I think we had a slow start, we won a force buy against them and then it was 3-1 and we lost the next gun round and were broke. I think the game spiraled out of control in their favor and it ended up being 3-8. Then we finally got the double AWP going and I think that is when we started to sort of bring it back. And then eventually it was 8-6 and the last round was the 1v1 versus electronic. It was still a good comeback for us to close it 9-6 and that is not a bad half going into the T side, especially if you win pistol.
At match point, 15-13, you did two force buys which was an interesting decision. Can you tell me why you decided to force and not maybe save for the last round?
We had a good plan for 15-13 to do a B pop because we noticed they were stacking towards A a lot and also just because Zeus plays B, we wanted to, sort of, abuse that. I think it was actually good, I should've gotten the kill on him and we should've opened up the site, but I got kind of unlucky with my movement. But I think it was a good call because we got two chances and even if we did save there it wouldn't have been a crazy good buy in the last round so, in my opinion, it was the right play to make.
Looking at NRG in the past, getting to playoffs was something they always did, but sometimes in these big games, things didn't go so well. Do you think that this win is one of those big games that changes the team and the perception of the team from the outside?
This is a big game for us to win, definitely, and it says a lot about us. But in my opinion, I can just feel that we are a different team now and things are flowing much better. I think that people are going to start to realize that you have to start to show us respect, that we are not going to come into games and get thrown around. We are a new team now, we've been practicing really hard and I'm really confident in these guys, I think we have a lot of potential in terms of the roster we have and once things are clicking the way they are it is going to be very scary for the whole scene.
You won the Major with Cloud9, is this NRG team better than that Cloud9 team?
I don't know, I think that we are better than before because I think that on Cloud9 we were a little bit inconsistent. Also, with me calling, I don't... I don't know, I think we were good on Cloud9 so it is hard to say. I think that if we kept going with Cloud9 we could've still been a great team, but it is what it is and here we are now. I think that I'm happy with my team and I think we are going to do great things with this roster and that is all that matters.
Astralis and Liquid are on your side of the bracket, AVANGAR or Renegades will be in the grand final. What do you expect moving forward?
To be honest, for the next matchups, I don't really care who we play because I know we are going to win the Major no matter what.