MSL: "I heard device say we don't have tactical depth on Dust2 so I hope they pick it again"
OpTic started their run in New York with a loss to fellow countrymen and rivals Astralis in the opener, but were then able to send FaZe packing in the elimination match. Now, they will have a chance to once again play Astralis in the Group B decider match, which will grant the winner a slot in the semi-finals to face the Group A winner, Liquid.
In the interview, MSL touches on several topics including their match today against FaZe, bringing René "cajunb" Borg onto the team in Ismail "refrezh" Ali's stead, grinding in online qualifiers and tournaments, and finishes by sending Astralis a message to once again pick Dust2, a map OpTic lost 1-16 in the opener.
You started off on Nuke today, which you won 16-11. You took a lot of the close rounds and some clutch situations, getting the best of FaZe. What was it that made those rounds go in your favor?
We had a very good idea of how they were going to play and I actually think that, even though you say we won a lot of close rounds, there was really just one in which k0nfig shot three guys down coming from ramp. Even then, we were already in good positions because we knew how they were going to play and we got them where we wanted them. I even think we threw some rounds on T-side, especially the 5vs3 pistol round... we could have had a massive T-half. We picked Nuke because it was the only map we could see what they were doing on and we wanted to pick it to prepare well against them on it, which worked well. We were never feeling like we wouldn't win the match.
Dust2 came after and cajunb had a pretty good performance there and has been a solid Dust2 player throughout his career. Has bringing him on made you more confident on it?
Actually, we haven't been very confident on Dust2. We had a rough CT-half and also the T-side against Astralis, where they countered us pretty hard. But he played insane this match and overall I think as a team we played really well. We didn't have any idea of what they were going to do so we just focused on our own game and had good team play and made good agreements before the match, which worked pretty well. And yeah, cajunb played insane.
Tell me a bit about the decision of bringing him into the team and letting refrezh go, who was a player that at the end of last year was being watched by a lot of people as someone who could explode. It seems things didn't quite work out in the end and you went with cajunb instead.
We played the qualifier with cajunb as a stand-in and, actually, weren't planning on bringing him on. After the qualifier we felt that he brought what we needed in terms of not making a lot of mistakes, which is really important nowadays, having players that don't make many mistakes. So he just brings some calmness and makes players better because of it, which is why we chose him. I don't think refrezh is a bad player or anything, I actually think he's quite good and he's reflecting that a lot, so I'm sure he'll do well. His role was the exact same as cajunb's so we had to make the decision whether we wanted to bring in cajunb and in the end that was what we wanted.
Tell me a bit about TeSeS, he's part of this up-and-coming Danish generation. Last weekend we saw his former teammates sjuush and acoR do well at the V4 Future Festival, can you tell me a bit about how he is impacting the team?
He's a good player and had a good in-game leader in haste, who I think taught him a lot about communication and so on, which he's really good at. I just think he needs some more experience and some more time to become very, very good in the future. He's already doing well now, but with time he will be very, very good.
As you said, you played the qualifier with cajunb, and you're in this place where you're grinding and trying to get back in shape. How is that going?
It's not going so well, I'll be honest, online qualifiers are the hardest part of CS right now. There are so many Tier 2/3 teams that are so hard to beat. Everyone has good tactics and plays well together, so you really need to be 100% there to win and we're not always there.
It's something we've talked about and when we go back home we'll figure out a way to be more focused. Maybe we can have more bootcamps from which we play the qualifiers and online tournaments because we need to be more on, but I do think that we've played well at this LAN, which is a good sign.
Talking about bootcamping, you're playing with the OpTic jerseys and so on, but that's coming to an end. What does the future of the team look like, have you figured anything out yet?
We've had some talks with a few organizations, but nothing final, so we're just waiting to see what will come.
You're playing here in New York and then Malmö is coming up soon thereafter, Big Events that are important for you to get back into the circuit. How have you prepared and what's your mindset coming into these events?
We prepared a lot for these tournaments. We played for a month and ten days and although we struggled online before coming here I do think we're very prepared. We just need to show up here now. We have a pretty deep playbook and we haven't even shown everything we have yet, so we have a lot for Malmö as well. Hopefully we'll show up, it's all about communicating well and playing well together, and the ability to surprise. With that said, we had Astralis here as our first opponent and we'll have Liquid in Malmö, tough draws, but it is how it is when with our current ranking, we just need to do everything we can to surprise and get some good results.
Have you talked about what results you want to get?
Yeah, our goal is of course to make playoffs at both events, but realistically it's hard, especially here. We have to beat two top 5 teams, but the goal on my teams is always to win.
You have a rematch against Astralis coming up, how do you feel about that?
I feel good. They are an insane team but I have always had a good time playing against Astralis and I hope we can surprise them. I heard device say we don't have tactical depth on Dust2 so I hope they will pick it again and we'll see who has tactical depth.