nexa: "The amount of work that's being put in in G2 is something I hadn't experienced before"
G2 have now progressed to Group B's upper bracket semi-final at StarSeries, taking revenge on Na`Vi with a 2-1 victory in the opening match after losing a close series to the CIS giants in ESL Pro League on Saturday, just before traveling to Turkey.
After their first match was over, we got a hold of nexa to get an update on G2's progress in and out of the game and how the communication side of things is going before moving over to the topic of StarSeries and the team's first win there.
Tell me what the first impressions with this lineup have been like.
I'm really happy that they are really positive and they are super hard-working. I don't want to bash my ex-teammates, but the level of work that's being put in, we practiced for two weeks and we've been together for a little over two weeks, and the amount of work, breathing and living CS literally 15 hours every day of work being put in is something I hadn't experienced before. This is why we made the progress we did in such a short amount of time.
How has it been fitting together in that time, how quickly are you adapting to each other?
Super fast. Surprisingly fast. I think this is also because we all have our natural roles. One of the things me and huNter were looking for when we were planning on joining a different team was that we actually get to keep our roles and the same positions we had before, so, in those terms, joining G2 was like a perfect fit. I have all my roles, like 90% of my roles on the CT side, and huNter has every single role he had before, so this is why we've been adapting super fast, because everyone feels natural in what they're doing.
How has the social side and communication side of things been going?
I think we actually fit better outside of the game than we do in the game, which is really funny. Every day, we're just joking and playing around and trolling each other. The atmosphere is always positive, even when we were getting destroyed, stomped in Malmö by fnatic, whatever, we were just laughing it off and trolling around, nothing you can do about it, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. If you lose, you obviously didn't work hard enough, so you go back to the drawing board and that's it. Even after Pro League when we lost to Na`Vi, we made some pretty dumbass mistakes, but we know that, right now, there's nothing you can do about it, it's all about keeping the good atmosphere in the team. Everyone is really supportive of each other and I like it a lot.
So, has it been easy to make sure you don't get split into two parts, with how the two of you are Serbian and the rest of the team is French?
It's actually been pretty easy. We're always helping JaCkz, me and huNter, to speak English, maLeK is also there translating whenever JaCkz can't say whatever he wants to say in English. But 95% of the time we are keeping it in English and just communicating with each other. Even when JaCkz doesn't know how to say something, we just force him: "say it and when you can't remember the word, we will give you the word." He's actually the one who has made the most progress in these two weeks. When we came to Malmö, on the first day against FURIA, he couldn't say a word of English, it was just French, and now he's fully communicating, like "three to one, double peek, they're behind me, they're rushing, I fall back, I cover," now all the basic stuff of CS, which is why we made this big leap from how we were at Malmö to where we are now.
Touching back on what happened back in Valiance, you had a similar problem with in-game leadership, where it was swapping around until you took the bullet and decided to take on that role fully. How do you look back at that decision now?
I just thought to myself that maybe it's my destiny to be an in-game leader (laughs) because whatever team I was on, somehow it always fell into my lap to be the in-game leader, no one else could do it so I had to do it. Anyway, I think it's much more valuable to be the in-game leader and I know I can be a good one. On the market, everyone is a sick rifler, everyone is a good AWPer, everyone is an insane player, but no one is an in-game leader. You have like five to ten in-game leaders who are good with fragging power, as well, and I think I fit into that role. I thought to myself even before I joined G2 "if I stick to this and I can actually keep my level while in-game leading, teams will look at me no matter what happens in the future because I'm this kind of fragging in-game leader."
AmaNEk had a lot of input in the previous G2 roster with shox, how is it with him now?
Yeah, he has his input, but he's like... It's not a power struggle, but he gets vocal sometimes when he thinks something is a good idea, so he has a tendency to overcall, but this was at Pro League, I think we fixed it now, it was much better now when we played this game against Na`Vi. We have a prepared gameplan, me and maLeK go over some key points, key rounds that we will use and stuff like that. It's not completely on me, but in the game, on the server, when there's no tactical pause, I'm calling the shots.
StarSeries has this curious dynamic, there's obviously the enjoyment aspect because of the location it is in, how are you managing to balance that part of it with focusing on the tournament and practice?
It's hard, bro, it's hard. I want to go to the pool every day, I want to go swim in the sea, the weather is amazing and every time I look outside there's a pool, there's the sea, there are all kinds of things to do here, it's an insane location. This location is for everything except to hold a CS tournament, that's what I think. It's been difficult, yeah.
This rematch with Na`Vi was a different look for you compared to the last series you played against them, especially up to the second half of Overpass, where you had had a lot of problems on the CT side back in the UK. What did you learn from that previous series and how did you manage to come back from the rough second half of Overpass?
Well, Overpass was a map that I didn't play before in any of the teams I was in and when I was calling, so I don't have almost any experience on it. I tried my best on the T side in the UK and it worked out good, so we thought that we had good stuff and that we shouldn't change, so we focused only on our CT side on Overpass, which, as you can see, worked a lot better this time around. But when it came to T, they adapted to us and I didn't know how to adapt back because I didn't play the map, so it was messy. I think we had a few clutches that could have gone our way and maybe we would have actually won the map, but, overall, the gameplan for the T side of Overpass wasn't done properly on my side.