ropz: "We want to go to the grand final; if we can't make it, we will not have met our expectations"
In this post-match interview, ropz gave a detailed breakdown of the team's matches against ATK, Liquid and Renegades, spoke on the shaky Nuke performance against the Australian squad and gave us a gauge of the confidence levels going into the quarter-final of EPL Season 10 against Evil Geniuses.
What expectations did the team have coming into EPL considering your first-place finish at the CS:GO Asia Championships?
Our expectations are definitely very high since we just won a tournament and we're feeling very confident. We had a bootcamp before the tournament we won so we really want to go to the grand final, and if we can't make it, then we will not have really met our expectations. We hope to win the tournament if we perform how we did in Shanghai, that's our goal.
In the CAC 2019 MVP interview with woxic we learned that the team would be going home for a week before Odense. Did you manage to get some last-minute preparation going into the tournament?
We didn't really do anything specific after the tournament in Shanghai. We had a few days off after a long tournament, so we just picked up a few things and kept the normal practice schedule going. We kept up the hours, kept our routine up and kept doing what we had to in order to perform, but yeah, nothing special.
In both your group stage matchups against ATK you were very comfortable in taking them down without conceding too many rounds. The team had given both North and G2 immense issues, eliminating them in best-of-three series. How did you deal with their aggressive playstyle and the matchup in general?
We felt very confident against ATK, we feel like we are the better team and are better players individually. I think it showed today that if we are in form, we just shut them down and that's pretty much what happened. We didn't really expect the Vertigo pick, but they went for it, and we managed to win really confidently.
Overall, I think they surprised G2, but I feel like we have more experience as a team and we know where our gaps in the defence are and stuff like that, so it's really hard to surprise us nowadays and I think we managed to show that we can really dominate against these lower-tier teams.
About your series versus Renegades - the first map, Nuke, was a stressful one, as you lost one of your strongest maps 14-16 against the Aussies. What were some of the struggles on the T side that led to this happening?
I think we started off of the wrong foot on the T side. We said to ourselves before that match that we shouldn't play fast and we should slow things down, grind out rounds, but when the first gun round came around, we went for a fast A round, and then we did some more fast rounds outside and stuff like that. These were things we had discussed we shouldn't do but which we did anyways. Later in the match, we got the rounds on the CT side, but we just didn't close it out. I feel like if we had had a better T side in the beginning and played like had we discussed before, we definitely could have won Nuke.
The loss doesn't really change how we feel about the map since we know why we lost and it was definitely because of the T side. It doesn't hurt our confidence that much, but mistakes are mistakes and there's always stuff to take away.
How did the team bounce back after a nail-biter of a Nuke to take both Train and Inferno without giving up double digits?
We weren't the happiest after the Nuke loss. Obviously we expected to win the map, so it wasn't the easiest going into Train, but we started on the CT side, won the pistol round and the first few gun rounds, and then we just started rolling, closing out on the T side. If you get a good CT side, it's really easy to win as T.
Speaking of Vertigo, in the matchup against Liquid the series as a whole didn't go your way, but you managed to snatch the map off them, which is one of their staple picks. How did you take them down on it?
Vertigo is always a gamble, I guess since the map is always changing. There's no real meta on it, because it's evolving each month, it's getting updates. You kind of just play off what you feel like, and if it works, it works; if it doesn't, it's just unlucky, I guess. It's more important that you go as a group, you re-frag and get into the bombsites. As I said, there's no real meta on Vertigo, so it's hard to say anything on the map.
You're now through to the quarter-finals, where you will face Evil Geniuses in the second match of the day. It's an interesting matchup as both teams have shown great performances - any initial thoughts?
As a team, we are really confident. With this lineup we haven't lost to them yet, so that's a good thing for us. Me and Chris, historically speaking, I don't think we have lost to the lineup in like two years maybe (laughs), so we have a good track record against them and we're hoping to keep that up. It's definitely going to be a good match, EG is obviously a fired up team right now. It's always nice to beat them and get those ranking points from them. Hopefully, we can do it again; they are good opponents.
You mentioned the good track record you and Chrisj hold against them, do you think there's anything specific that gives you an advantage over them, or did this just happen to be the case?
I'm not sure, I think it just happens to be, but we always beat them in the most important matches, like elimination matches, semi-finals and all of these big matches.