MSL: "We had actually practiced a lot against Gen.G, so we were evenly matched heading into the semi-final"
North entered DreamHack Open Anaheim looking to show a new face after their early exit from DreamHack Leipzig in January, and kicked off their campaign by taking down world No.13 forZe in their opening match.
The Danes bounced back from a crushing 3-16 defeat to FURIA by taking down Endpoint in the group's decider stage, but they were unable to go beyond the semi-finals as they were sent packing by Gen.G in a close series on Sunday.
In this interview, MSL shed light on why North stumbled against FURIA, revealed the adjustments the team made in their series against Endpoint, and discussed what ultimately led to their downfall against Gen.G.
You took on forZe in your opening match and handled them pretty well, taking them down 16-8. Then you went into a winners match vs FURIA and were unable to get anything going at all. Why was there such a contrast between those matches?
We were very well prepared as to what would happen on Nuke versus forZe. We knew basically everything that they were doing, we made them fail their yard smoke so we could stack both inside and ramp, which made it pretty easy for us. They won some rounds where we actually knew the tactic they would run, so that was our mistake, but in general we just felt comfortable throughout the game.
In the FURIA match, they were very, very aggressive, and we didn't punish them at all. They kept on going to different spots and creating space, one guy would go aggressive and as soon as we had him killed, they were aggressive in three other places. We need to learn a lot from this game because if we face them again, we need to be more ready, and we need to have a better plan on how to deal with it.
Talk me through your match versus Endpoint.
We knew what they were going to do on Vertigo, but some of the things we agreed on just went wrong, we started making misplays and were a bit nervous. We talked it through, calmed ourselves down, and as soon as we did that and played like how we had agreed to before the match, it worked pretty well. It helps that Kjaerbye had a very good match as well.
Dust2 got a bit scrappy and ended up going into overtime. Why was it a bit shaky towards the end, and what sort of adjustments did you make in overtime to help take it over the line?
On the T side they won the pistol and got up to a 4-2 lead, but after that we won all the rounds except one where we went out long fast. Overall, our T side was really good, and we had control completely.
On the CT side, they won the pistol again, and they also came out long and killed us a lot. It can be very hard on long, it's kind of a random game whether you win control or not, but we adjusted in overtime, we began to play with four towards long to shut it down and it worked really well.
Your series against Gen.G went the distance, 16-13 and 16-14, what are your thoughts coming out of that semi-final?
We had actually practiced a lot against Gen.G online, so we were pretty evenly matched heading into the semi-final. Dust2 was rough, on our CT side they split B a lot and we couldn't hold it. We tried to adapt, we got a few rounds, and we knew our T side was really good — that's why we picked the map, because we knew we could come back even if we had a bad CT side. We came back, but in the end we just did a few mistakes and they adapted well.
On Mirage, I feel like we could've gotten more rounds on the CT side, but they won some after-plant situations on B which allowed them to get seven at halftime. As T, we lost against some force buy that we shouldn't have, which changed the momentum. We still managed to come back and keep the scoreline close in the end, but the game just came down to the last rounds, so right now it just sucks.
What happened at the end of your time on OpTic?
At the end of OpTic, cajunb left for North and we were in a position where OpTic couldn't use any money to buy players because they had just been sold. We had already picked up TeSeS, and since we couldn't buy any other players, we didn't have many options. It felt like if we were forced to pick up a completely unknown player it would be too much work, and we thought that it was a good time to go our separate ways.
k0nfig is on Complexity now and I'm on North, niko hasn't got a team yet, but I think he should be on one because he's very good. TeSeS also joined Copenhagen Flames, we all got what we wanted, so in that sense it worked out pretty well.
You added Jumpy as a coach shortly after you were eliminated from DreamHack Leipzig. What happened at that tournament, and what does Jumpy bring to the team now that you've had him on board for a little while?
In regards to coaching, it's not on the players to decide who the coach is, it's actually the organization. In general and like in the sports world, if there are bad results over a long period of time, the coach will get changed.
Jumpy did a great job on fnatic and has a lot of experience. It's a great choice from North, I have been very impressed with him and he has helped a lot.
There have been a few Danish squads on the rise recently. You mentioned Copenhagen Flames earlier, there's also MAD Lions, who have jumped up the standings. What is prompting the rise of a team like MAD Lions, and is there any specific reason you struggled against them and Heroic at Leipzig?
When we played in Leipzig and lost to them, we had barely played together and had only practiced for six days before the event. Not making any excuses, we should have definitely beaten Heroic on Overpass, but we threw that away, and MAD Lions were just better than us on Mirage.
MAD Lions is a very good team, HUNDEN is great at setting up his teams, and right now he has four players who are playing insanely well, individually. They are really peaking right now and it's very good for them, I think they're doing great.
You're headed to ESL Pro League next, do you have anything to take away from your time here?
We have more official matches to look and learn from now, so we're just going to do that and prepare like we always do.