Brehze: "We need to keep making playoffs and have more playoff appearances to keep evolving"
Evil Geniuses took home their first Big Event trophy at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn when they beat Astralis in the best-of-five grand final. The North American side only dropped one map the whole tournament, with convincing 2-0 wins over FaZe and Astralis in the group stage and a 2-0 victory in the semi-finals against G2.
Brehze talked about overcoming the pressure of playing a best-of-five grand final against Astralis, the importance of having the home crowd on their side, what the team will need to keep their good form going to become a consistent top contender, and having to travel to Malmö right after their victory in New York.
Let's start with the obvious, the pressure of playing a final which you managed to get past, especially after the way you went out to Astralis at the Major. How did you recover and deal with it this time around?
I credit a lot of it to the crowd, it was the first time we really had that crowd feeling, and we had stanislaw this time around. The crowd hyping us up and giving us that energy, I think we really used a lot of that to help us play the game.
Did you approach the match differently in any way considering it was a best-of-five and more maps could mean more preparation?
We just had to make sure we didn't play as sloppy as we did last time. We touched on some small things, but nothing too major. We were really confident coming into the final and we just wanted to play our game.
The beginning of the series looked particularly convincing, and all of it other than dropping the lead on Train. How did you manage?
Having good starts and pistol round wins. If we win a pistol round we always get off to a hot start and then it just becomes about closing the games. We won both pistols on Train and I think we should have won that map. But yeah, winning pistol rounds and getting momentum is something that really helps us close out games.
What was the feeling like after Train? Did you at all feel like your energy decreased or like you could choke?
Losing Train was a big bummer, we literally had the game in our hands. We were super bummed but we knew Nuke was in our hands. We beat them on it before so we knew we could finish it off strong there.
You broke the curse in New York, not being able to make it outside of the semis at Big Events, you had only done it once. Do you think you've unblocked something mentally for the future?
Yeah, getting this win under our belt will help us make deeper runs at tournaments and break that semi-final curse that we used to have on our shoulders. Winning ESL One New York meant a lot to us. We're very close to solidifying that #2/#3 spot and I think we're only going up from here.
You said you're hitting a good personal level because of good chemistry and well-defined roles. What do you think you can do to keep evolving from moving forward?
We need to keep making playoffs and have more playoff appearances. We're still a new team and haven't made that many finals or semi-finals together, we're still getting that experience with this new lineup.
You just came in yesterday, it was a rough situation for a lot of teams coming from New York, do you think that played a part in your start in Malmö?
I don't want to be the guy that blames jet lag, but I do think it does affect a little bit. However, I don't want to take anything away from the Grayhound guys because they completely outplayed us most of the rounds. We got in late yesterday and are a bit jet-lagged, but the Grayhound guys played great and I'm very happy for them.