s1mple: "I wanted this before, there is more freedom when you play as a rifler"
Ahead of the start of the duel-based tournament that was eventually won by the Ukranian superstar, we talked with s1mple about the roster change which sees GuardiaN return to Natus Vincere and take over the main AWP role.
In our interview with s1mple, the 21-year-old revealed that he wanted to go back to rifling, which will give him more freedom and allow him to narrow his focus. s1mple also stated that he is confident in GuardiaN as an AWPer and that he feels the Slovakian is going to "bring something new to the team".
After Zeus left, there was much talk about who you were going to pick up, with one of the options being for you do drop the AWP and go back to more rifling, play as a hybrid. What are your thoughts on dropping the AWP?
Yeah, with our new coach, B1ad3, he asked me if I want to keep playing with the sniper and I told him, as I always say, if there was going to be a better sniper, a real sniper, of course I was going to give him the AWP. I feel confident with rifles, I wanted this before, there is more freedom when you play as a rifler. You can hide in a smoke, you can use all your nades, you can easily trade... I think it is going to work for our team.
There is that one famous answer from the AMA on Reddit that you did, where you said that the AWP is the easiest weapon to play. Will you miss playing the easiest weapon?
I'm going to play as the secondary sniper so I'm still going to pick it up sometimes. But yeah, it is easy to get the kills as a sniper, but it is hard to find a way to get that kill. You have two or three shots that you have to hit and after that, you either die or change your position. So it is hard to play the sniper as well, but it is easier to get the kill when you just need to shoot in the body.
Does the thinking that you should try to do more rifling come from the latest results that you had? Individually you didn't have bad tournaments, but you had some matches or some halves in which you didn't really have an impact. So is the role change connected to the recent results?
I don't think so. I think we played badly as a team and that is why all of us have ratings like this. We played much better when everyone was 100% motivated. We knew that Zeus was going to leave [eventually] and couldn't figure out what our future was going to be. I think that is why we had these results, and other teams deserved it more because they had [set] teams, they always practiced, they set up their roles... We set up roles as well but when you have a player that is going to retire one day, but you never know when; maybe after the Major if we play poorly, maybe he will play more if we win or go to the finals... that is not the right way I think.
But yeah, I just want to play with rifle, not because I couldn't play with the AWP, but just because I want to focus on my position. Because before I practiced all the weapons and even when I was the main AWP I was kind of a hybrid player, I chose rifles on the T side on some maps, like Inferno or Mirage. But now I'm just going to focus on my positions.
You touched on Zeus leaving. In terms of Boombl4 leading, how is it going to work, who will help him with secondary calling and things like that?
The secondary calling is going to be on me and electronic, we can always help after trade situations, in mid-rounds. But B1ad3 is going to work with Boombl4 a lot and he will try to give Boombl4 the meta that he needs to fix and they need to create. And we already have a new system with our coach and our psychologist, so we are going to keep working with the same system and see what happens. We have a bootcamp starting on the 25th and we are going to practice until DreamHack Malmö.
You decided to pick up GuardiaN. Why him?
I think he gets the easy kills with the AWP, he knows how to use this weapon, he has the most experience out of anyone. He, flamie, and I, we have all lost a lot of Major finals and finals in general, and he won a lot with FaZe. So he knows how to win and I'm confident in his sniper skills.
When GuardiaN left Na`Vi originally, people said that it was because you two couldn't get along. The question is: will things be different now?
Back then we just had problems with practice, we had problems as a team. I never had a conflict with him one-on-one. After he left Na`Vi we always talked in real life, said hi to each other. I'm not mad at him or anything like that, I don't even think about that. I feel that he is going to bring something new to the team and that he is going to give a lot to the team.