Aerial: "We want to be the number one team in the world; It's why we made the change"
ENCE started off their BLAST Pro Series Moscow performance with a lop-sided loss to local squad forZe, followed by a tie in their follow-up match against CIS' finest, Natus Vincere. The team currently stands at a 0-1-1 record, netting Aleksi "allu" Jalli and company a total of one tournament point.
Before matches commenced we spoke with Aerial to discuss his excitement playing with newly-added Miikka "suNny" Kemppi, the reasons behind the team's past stagnation and how the mental state of the team improvement post-adjustment.
You recently added suNny to the starting roster. What is the ambiance like in the team following his addition?
I think the atmosphere is really great, we've been wanting this for at least a few months. Everyone was very hyped because everyone likes to play. We're doing really great, allu is a great in-game leader, he has been making great calls and everyone is just having fun. It's just what we need.
From an interview that was conducted at the Major, my understanding is that the in-game leading will be split between allu and suNny, who are main and secondary callers, with Twista giving input in-between.
Yes, allu will be our main caller, suNny will be helping as well, and Twista will be giving insight on the enemy, give us hints and will help us with our approach in-game. Of course, there will also be other players calling mid-round, but mainly it's allu and suNny.
Looking at allu's calling, would you say the system is somewhat similar to Aleksib's approach?
We are still pretty much using the same stuff, because the team is new. We are using things we used back in the day because it's been two days of practice since suNny came to the team, but the difference is, at least in practice, that allu is always doing something new, and trying to make something new up. With Aleksib we just tried to play default and did the same executes all over again, so that's how it's different with allu - always trying something new.
allu described a period of stagnation, where the team felt stuck and didn't progress as such. Do you think this was partly because of the lack of evolution in the in-game approach? Do you feel this innovative approach from allu will change the future for ENCE?
Yes, of course. We've been stuck and that's one reason, the other reason is that people wanted changes in the team. We didn't have that much motivation to practice and we wanted to get more firepower on the team. When we got suNny it helped us mentally, and of course we're going to do even better now, we believe.
Tension and frustration followed after your loss to Na'Vi at StarSeries Season 7, which is unusual considering the cold-blooded, calculated association people have with ENCE. Was it unusual for you to experience this in the team?
It was not that strange, it has happened from time to time. When we play bad, there's usually some tension between players and not much hype going on. When we play well, the atmosphere has been really great, and stuff works out. It's nothing new, basically, it has been around since the forming of the team.
Let's talk about suNny and his in-game role - will he effectively just be slotting into Aleksib's role, or will there be in-game restructuring with his arrival?
For now, he will just be playing Aleksib's roles - if it doesn't work then we'll change something, but obviously we have a really tight schedule now, so we just have to put suNny in Aleksib's role and see how it goes from there.
Firepower was a big talking point when bringing suNny in. With the limited amount of time that you've spent practicing, has it become apparent that he will be the explosive player ENCE needs?
Yeah, definitely. He has more firepower than Aleksi, and we also thought that he is going to be even better at the roles Aleksib fulfilled because we thought that Aleksib had great roles almost on every map. Bringing suNny into those roles is going to be more impactful, so that's what led us to the decision to put him into the team.
Why exactly is it that the team felt he would be better at these specific roles?
He has a lot more experience and firepower, and he is just a better player individually and overall. Those are the main reasons.
With these changes, has the team set new expectations going into the remainder of 2019/2020?
We want to reach top one eventually, but I don't know how long it's going to take, because with a really tight schedule we don't have much time to practice or anything. When we get some practice, then we will want to improve over time and get that top one spot. That's the main reason we actually brought in suNny - ok, people were saying that we are in the top five, that's good, but we want to be the number one team in the world. It's why we made the change.