Surreal: "We played WESG as a mix and it went well, we just decided to go from there"
Endpoint kicked off their DreamHack Open Anaheim campaign with a demoralizing loss to FURIA, but quickly bounced back on day two in a hard-fought three-map series against forZe to set up a decider match against North for a spot in the semi-finals.
In this interview, conducted before Endpoint's elimination by North, Surreal discussed why his team initially struggled to close out Vertigo, what happened in their opening matchup against FURIA, and his time as a part of Epsilon.
To start, walk me through Vertigo. It was a long map, four overtimes, so what sort of preparation did you have going into it, and what led to it being that drawn out?
Vertigo is a map we've been trying really hard to practice and get good on. We've had mixed results, but in the forZe game, we knew what to do on the T side to try to beat them. We just had to keep going A and doing our strategy, but we kept losing rounds where, for example, we'd get the site and just lose the after plant, or we'd drop a few kills with bad timing from our side when trying to crunch the AWPer on A.
Then you went into Inferno, what was the environment in the team like after such a drawn-out affair on Vertigo?
We knew before the game we would play Inferno, but we also knew that it was their best map. After we won Vertigo we just played map two with no pressure, kind of loose, but they're really good Inferno, so they won. We did well to get 12 I think, we weren't too annoyed or down that we lost that map.
You showed that heading into the last map, Train, where you completely crushed forZe. Did you prepare specifically for them on it?
We didn't really prepare for them at all on Train, if I'm being honest. The only person we did some research on was their alley guy, we went into the game saying, "we can't kill this guy, he never dies," and that was the one thing we knew.
Going back to yesterday, your result was drastically different from today. What happened against FURIA?
We were quite confident, but when we got in the game, there were a few rounds that we lost that completely switched the momentum. We were up 3-0 and we lost to an eco, and then two buy rounds later we lost a 5vs2. We weren't out of it, but it really spiraled the game out of our control, and then we lost the T pistol... so a pretty bad game from us, if I'm being honest.
Let's go even further back, you were on Complexity many years ago, in 2016. For people who don't follow the UK scene, or you specifically, they may not be familiar with what you've been up to. Walk me through your release from Complexity up until now, and what you've been up to.
After my release from Complexity, I basically went straight to Epsilon with smooya. He eventually left after a couple of months, and then we just had this period where we were constantly changing players, constantly not having the results we wanted.
We got to a point where we had me, CRUC1AL, SPELLAN, broky, k1to, we had a pretty good team where we were doing well, we made the top 25. Then, being in Epsilon, we were getting massively f**ked. People got bought out, people got offers, and there was nothing we could do to stop it.
From that point, it was a downward spiral and the team folded. Now we've gone with a UK organization by joining Endpoint. We played WESG as a mix and it went well. We all liked playing with each other so we just decided to go from there.
You picked up RossR as a coach just ahead of this event, what led you to choosing him and what has he been doing to help you guys?
We've all known Ross for a couple years, he took a break to work. We all knew that he's a really smart guy, likes the game, and he helps us psychologically, with the mental approach to the game. Trying to make sure that we're always calm and that when we're winning games, we don't take too many risks and end up throwing away rounds.
There weren't any expectations of your team going into this event, so after taking down a team like forZe and now heading into a match versus North for a spot in the semi finals, what is your mentality like?
Well, we're the underdog, we understand that. When you play a team like North, they're gonna be drilled, they're gonna be ready, they're gonna be good. For our mentality we have to be confident, we have to be making smart and good plays as a team, otherwise they're just gonna destroy us.