Lekr0: "In recent practice we've had nawwk as the main AWP"
BLAST Premier Spring is kicking off in less than 24 hours, featuring an opening series between FaZe and NiP, followed by an Americas face-off involving Liquid and MIBR. The top two teams from Group A will advance to the Spring Finals in Moscow, where $750,000 will be on the line in addition to a direct invite to the $1,500,000 BLAST Premier Global Final.
During Group A's media day in London, we caught up with NiP's in-game leader, Lekr0, who gave us valuable insight into the team's comfort levels coming into BLAST Premier Spring, as well as first-hand information on the team's role setup with the addition of nawwk, who was recruited from GamerLegion. Lekr0 also shared his feelings about parting ways with Counter-Strike legends Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund and Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg, both of whom are plying their trade for Dignitas.
The period coming into the BLAST Premier Spring Series must have been a busy one for you, considering the recent adjustments. What was the NiP camp up to in this time?
During the break, we sat down together and talked about the player change and how it went through. It didn't take that long, so a lot of the time was focused on having a break because it was a lot towards the end of the year, so I'm really happy that we got some time to just rest and focus on the player change afterward.
Would you say the team is comfortable coming into the tournament or are there still adjustments that are needed?
I think we're really comfortable. Of course, there wasn't as much time as you'd hope for, but I think we're really confident going into the tournament.
Could you give some insight as to why the team felt nawwk was the optimal choice for the team?
We had different players we were looking at but just based on talent and who everyone thought would fit the team best, we decided to go for nawwk. I think it was a good decision, and now that we've started practicing things have looked really good. I'm really happy with the choice we made.
From what we know, nawwk will be taking on the role of secondary AWPer in the team, while twist assumes the main sniping role. Why did the team decide on this arrangement?
In recent practice we've had nawwk as the main AWP instead and twist has been the secondary AWPer, but on the T side there's not that much room to always have an AWPer. On the CT side we play a lot of double AWP setups, and stuff like that, so I don't think it will affect the game much.
Plopski and nawwk used to play together during their x6tence Galaxy days. Did you make a conscious effort to pair them up where possible considering they already had a dynamic established?
Yeah, since they have played together it has been really nice to see that they have good synergy. We haven't paired them together on every site, but we have put them together on several sites because we know that they're really comfortable around each other and it's really nice when they exchange ideas.
You're the second-longest standing member of NiP. Talk about the experience of parting ways with GeT_RiGhT and f0rest, both of whom must have played a significant role in your development as a player.
It was really tough parting ways with them. I think they had a lot of impact on me, both inside and outside of the game, I had bonded a lot with them. It was sad when we were parting with each player, yeah, it was really tough.
Of course, life goes on, and we have to focus on the present, but I'm really happy for them as well, and I'm happy that they can play together again. I'm really happy for their sake and I still feel confident in our team, so I'm happy as well.
In tomorrow's match you will be facing FaZe. How are you approaching that series?
Tomorrow against FaZe we're just going to play our game. We have practiced a lot and figured out things on some maps that are really good, we're going to use them. I think everyone is feeling very confident going into the game. I'm not exactly sure how much FaZe has changed during the break, but you can always expect new things from all teams at the beginning of the year, so we'll see tomorrow.