woxic: "The main goal was to win this tournament and finish the year in the top five of the rankings"
After mousesports were crowned champions of CAC 2019, we sat down with the tournament MVP, Özgür "woxic" Eker, who broke down the nail-biting semi-final against TYLOO, explained the team's new seating arrangement and briefly spoke on the grand final.
mousesports were crowned champions of the CS:GO Asia Championships 2019 after defeating Finnish side ENCE in a 2-0 affair, with woxic receiving his first-ever MVP medal for his impact in his team's victories throughout the event, which he ended with a 1.17 rating.
In this interview with the Turkish AWPer, we discussed the team's ambitions going into the event, seating adjustments and the reasons behind them, the semi-final series against TYLOO, the grand final and the near future.
This is your first large LAN trophy with mousesports, and to add, you secured your first MVP medal in the process. What's going through your mind right now?
I can say that I'm really happy because we have been working hard. We were failing in a lot of important tournaments before, and having played together for around eight months we didn't really achieve something as big as this. I'm really happy with the work we've done. We secured the trophy, and now it looks like we're in a good way; we were not doing something for nothing.
About the MVP, I've been playing well at tournaments and big events, but when you're eliminated in the quarter-finals or group stage you aren't in the race for it. Here, we made it to the final and I had the feeling that I would get it.
Coming into CAC, you had the long flight to China, factors like jetlag play a significant role, the toll the travel takes, recent results had not been amazing - with all this in mind, what expectations did the team come into the tournament with?
When you're coming in from a flight that's more than 10 hours you want to win, you don't want to go back home empty-handed. That's why we did our best here; in our practice room we would analyse our games, our coach also helped us a lot. I'd also like to say that Finn (karrigan) is a really hard worker, I had never seen an in-game leader that is this hard-working. He was analysing opponents and creating new ideas for the next day, and in the morning before our games, he would point things out to us that we had not seen before. This is why we expected to win this tournament. The main goal was to win this tournament and finish the year in the top five of the rankings, so that next year we can receive direct invites to events.
At this event the team changed seating arrangements, where you're in the middle while karrigan is to your right. What is the reason behind this?
The reason is because Finn (karrigan) started playing with frozen in sites, for example, B on Inferno. They want to see each others' monitors better, because when he was next to me he wouldn't be able to see his (frozen's) monitor. If I sit in the middle as the AWPer, and if I play in Mid on Inferno, I have the guys on B located to my right, and the guys on A located to my left both in real life and in-game.
Basically, it's a perfect fit for us right now, because I can see everyone's monitor. Also, AWPers are usually supporting, so it means that I can see their positions and I can easily flash for them. It's better, because chrisJ is not playing too far away from me, and on Dust2 I'm playing with Finn (karrigan), and he's next to me now. This is the first time we tried this setup at a tournament, and I think it worked really well.
We can't discuss this tournament without going over the nailbiter semi-final series against TYLOO. After Overpass went 6-16, and Inferno had you up against the wall, it seemed like it was all over. How did you manage to come back on Inferno and subsequently take Dust2 to ensure a spot in the grand final?
We didn't expect to lose Overpass like that, somehow we couldn't get our heads in the server, neither brain, mentality or aim. They were making moves, and we were just taking it. We forfeited, basically. On Inferno, we were doing the same things we had done against ENCE, but they were not working against TYLOO, because sometimes they would go for really different pushes or throw unexpected nades. We were getting outplayed and screwed on economy because of those kills.
As for the clutch round, it was 8-15 and when I picked up the AWP off the ground, I knew that I could clutch it. I have been in that scenario in practice and FPL so many times, so I approached it the same way, I just stayed calm. It didn't matter if people were cheering for them, I was focused on winning the round and getting the comeback. After I won the clutch, everyone was super hyped and I said: "Guys, we can do it now. Let's go now, time to do it now. I cannot win like this every round." I didn't mean it in a bad way, I just wanted to give them extra power with that clutch and my words. I think it worked, so we went to overtime and won in the end.
After we won Inferno, I knew that we would win the last map because that was their last performance. When we broke them on Inferno, in my opinion, they started thinking: 'Guys, we shouldn't have given that map away. When we are 15-8 up things like this can't happen.' Some of them were probably still thinking about that game when they were losing rounds, and they might have thought: 'Man, if we had not lost that round' or 'if we had won against him in that 2v1, we would be in the grand final'. This is my opinion, maybe it didn't happen, maybe there were very calm and it was our playstyle that won against them.
The grand final was a 2-0 series, where you had a convincing showing on both Train and Inferno. Let's briefly talk about the veto - you adjusted slightly from your group stage match against ENCE, where you banned Mirage, leaving Train for them to pick, which is a comfortable map for them. Could you give some insight into this decision?
I had a great series against TYLOO, and my AWPing was really on point in that series. Maybe karrigan also thought that we could do much better with a double AWP setup on Train.
Additionally, we are quite ready on all maps - we don't feel any extra pressure on a specific map. We wanted to ban Mirage because we had lost the previous time against them, and didn't want to give them another chance.
Lastly, the team now has a little over a week before ESL Pro League Season 10 kicks off - what do you have planned for this period?
Firstly, we need some rest, then tomorrow we will be traveling home. We will keep playing, but we won't bootcamp before EPL because we prepared for both this tournament and EPL together. We're just going to keep to our normal routine, and go into EPL with this championship title.