GuardiaN: "The past year was just a waste of time"
We spoke to another one of the teams who arrived in Malmö with a new lineup, this time Natus Vincere and their newest member, Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, about his departure from FaZe and rejoining Na`Vi.
The AWPer told us about what led to his departure from FaZe and anticipating bigger changes, after the past year with the European side saw them struggle with stability as they were trying to find an in-game leader, first using Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev as a stand-in in the first months of 2019 before trialing Filip "NEO" Kubski unsuccessfully.
GuardiaN also commented on the offers he received after the Major and whether rejoining his former team was the obvious choice, as well as on his relationship with Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev, which had looked broken down after his split from Natus Vincere in 2017.
The Slovakian also spoke about other topics such as how this Na`Vi differs from the 2017 version and how his role as an AWPer is different from his time in FaZe.
What do you think was the moment when you knew it wasn't going to work out with FaZe, that it was best for both sides to part ways?
I was awaiting it for a long time. The past year we were just changing players and I knew it would come, that the team would need more changes than just one. I have no hard feelings against anyone on the team or anything, I think everyone will be happy this way, that's all I can say. I just accepted the fact that everyone needs a change because the past year was just a waste of time, I would say, I would call it a huge waste of time, traveling to events with stand-ins, travelling to events not having NiKo sometimes like in Sydney. I think we just wasted one year of playing, so I hope everyone will be happy this way, I wish good luck to them and I hope it will work out for me, as well.
With your addition to Na`Vi, it seemed that things were moving pretty quickly, was it an obvious choice for you or were there other offers you considered?
I had some offers to build a team with players that I don't really want to mention because they're still not announced. I had like two or three offers besides Na`Vi and then I got a message from Na`Vi that the whole team wants me, so that's how it happened. Yeah, after I got the offer, it was just obvious that it would be my priority number one. The Russian language is more comfortable than English sometimes. English is no problem, but I think communication in Russian was much easier than playing in FaZe for me. For me, that was the best option.
After your departure back in 2017, there were some heated exchanges between you and s1mple, have you been able to repair that relationship since then?
I don't really feel like we had a broken relationship. People don't really know what happened and why I left Na`Vi, so they just tried to say we had beef between each other, but outside of the game we were always friends, we always talked if we met. It's not about the things outside of the game, it was everything inside the game, and everyone learns from their mistakes, everyone grows up, so there's nothing to be mad about or to have a broken relationship with each other.
How different is Na`Vi now compared to the last time you played there, with Zeus now gone and Boombl4 and electronic being new teammates for you?
From the original team there's really only one player, that's flamie, if I don't count s1mple since he came much, much later. Of course it's completely different, completely different personalities and young players. I can see that everyone is motivated and I can see the fire in their eyes to play Counter-Strike, so it feels very good. I'm happy to be in this team.
How does your position in the team differ from FaZe, is it more strict?
Of course, the preparation and everything around the organization is more strict than in FaZe Clan. In FaZe it was more individual, fun preparation. We had strict bootcamps, but, besides that, you could do whatever you wanted. In Na`Vi it's more strict about making us more professional outside and inside of the game.
What about the role, though, as an AWPer?
As the sniper in the team I have more freedom on the map, so it feels much better than in FaZe. I didn't feel like I had that much freedom lately, the past half a year I didn't feel that I could do whatever I wanted. We were practicing, we had a bootcamp with Na`Vi, and I could just run around the map and do whatever I wanted, so that felt good, that was really fun.
Tell me about your group here. You've already beaten North, a matchup Na`Vi used to struggle with, and you already know you'll play OpTic after they beat Liquid. What do you make of your chances with so many other teams coming in after changes, just as you are?
It's hard to say, we only had four days at the bootcamp and one or two days besides the bootcamp. I don't know how prepared we are, but we came here with a set goal that we will do our best to achieve the highest placement here. If it doesn't work out, we won't be sad about it, we will just work harder. About the group, I don't really know which teams we have, but I know we play OpTic next. It will be a hard game, OpTic is not a bad team, I think they belong to the top teams because they have MSL and he knows how to call in the game, so everything can happen. It will come down to individual skill and how prepared the team is, so we'll see.