kennyS: "We've been trying to accomplish what a professional team is supposed to"
After G2 successfully qualified for the BLAST Premier Spring Finals we spoke to Kenny "kennyS" Schrub to get his thoughts on the performance in London and the result's impact on the team going into IEM Katowice.
G2 demonstrated an outstanding showing in London, where two flawless victories against 100 Thieves and OG yielded the Frenchmen one of two done-deal spots at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals taking place in June. The team has a money match coming up against the victor of the consolidation series between Evil Geniuses and OG, and stand to secure $15,000 more in prize money if they maintain a victorious record.
After G2's series against OG we spoke with an excited kennyS, who shared what it was like playing face-to-face against a long-time friend and now opponent, Nathan "NBK-" Schmitt. The AWPer also gave us his impression on Mateusz "mantuu" Wilczewski's performance and whether he was glad they didn't have to face Evil Geniuses for a guaranteed spot at the Spring Finals in Moscow.
Heading into the tournament the team was No.8 in the world rankings. Did you feel this reflected your actual level?
I think that we actually gained more ranks without playing, which might seem inaccurate, but after the showings here today and yesterday, I think we deserve to be in the top ten. Tomorrow we're going to aim for the victory as well, so we can actually keep climbing.
In a previous interview with us, you mentioned that the team can be its own biggest opponent. During the two series you've played here in London, it was apparently not the case. How was the mentality at this event different from previous ones?
First of all, it's the first competition of the year. It's really exciting, so we were really eager to play; we tried to be as prepared as possible. We also knew that we needed to work on our attitude, dedication and team chemistry in order to perform at the highest level, so that's what we've been trying to do. When we start having issues and when we start fighting against each other, against ourselves, it's because we are overthinking. We're trying not to overthink things, and when we lose a round, it's ok. I think that's pretty much it, we've been trying to accomplish what a professional team is supposed to. It's really hard to be a competitive player, it requires a lot of things.
In the series against OG, both teams took full advantage of the face-to-face stage setup here at BLAST Premier, producing some great banter before and during the match. Did that give you a hint of nostalgia from back in the Source and early GO days?
I felt like the tournament was made to add some spice with stuff like the pre-game interviews; everyone is playing along. Obviously the professional CS:GO community is known to be very respectful towards each other, but some banter is not a bad thing. There's also the anger that you get in a match when they scream at you and you go: "Ok, you're screaming at us - the next round is going to be on us." I think that's what BLAST wants, a bit of atmosphere that is spicy, you know?
Continuing on the nostalgic note, you just played against NBK-, a long-time friend and teammate turned opponent. How was it playing against him? Did you feel any additional pressure or nervousness?
Not really, to be honest. I wish Nathan the best, he deserves it. He has been a big part of my career and he has been an important teammate for me. But to answer, no, not that much. We were really focused on ourselves and trying to beat everyone we face. Obviously playing against Frenchies is always different and a bit more stressful, but today I see Nathan as more of an international player since he's playing in an international team, so it doesn't have the same impact, you know?
Considering the outcome of your series against OG, were you happy it wasn't EG that you were facing for a done-deal spot at the finals in Moscow?
It doesn't really matter because at the end of the day we want to beat every team in the group because we want to prove ourselves. If we play EG tomorrow, it's going to be a tough fight, we know that. They are a really good team. I feel like [in the match] against OG they were underperforming a bit, but today was better, they were dominating a bit more. We also got maps that we really like to play against OG so everything was on our side.
In the series against OG, what were your thoughts on playing against mantuu? What did you think of his performance in general?
We were pretty dominant during the game, so he wasn't causing a lot of trouble, but he's definitely talented. We've seen him do a couple of great things yesterday against EG, and they are a really hard team to play against, so when you deliver against them it's always a proof of talent.
The team is carrying a lot of momentum going into Katowice, seeing as you're on a streak consisting of a victory at the Champions Cup Finals, qualification for Katowice and now you secured a guaranteed spot at the BLAST Premier Spring Finals in Moscow. How do you think the latest success will impact your showing in Katowice?
Like any team, we always want to get confidence out of tournaments and matches, so the point is to win them all. Katowice will be a really big tournament and really hard to play. If we have as much confidence as possible, it's a bonus for us, obviously.