ImAPet: "I think all the cards are in our favor this time, Liquid should watch out"
The disappointing start to 2020 was a worrying sign for Evil Geniuses, so we asked ImAPet about the team's confidence going into IEM Katowice and also discussed their issues on Dust2 in an otherwise convincing victory against MAD Lions, which set up an all-NA encounter with Liquid in Group B.
Read up on that and more, such as the coach's thoughts on Gen.G's surprising run to the title at DreamHack Open Anaheim, below:
Back at BLAST you started off the year on the wrong foot with two losses to OG, what do you attribute that to? Was it simply ring rust or did you see something more behind it?
I think OG just played a style that we hadn't even faced in scrims, so we were just so unfamiliar with how they played. Based on their past demos they didn't even have people in the same spots, so it kind of threw us off and we just weren't prepared enough for them, and they were obviously hiding stuff from most people. It was just hard to play, but we played them recently in some practices and now we're feeling more comfortable versus them.
What kind of playstyle are you talking about, what was it that caught you off-guard?
Specifically on Inferno, they were saving nades a lot and they were always reacting to whatever we were doing, and we never had a team that just fully gave us banana. We had so much space, but at the same time they took it away really quickly, so they were doing a really good job doing that.
Do you feel like you've figured them out now, or do you think they'll be able to keep up with the top tier?
For us, personally, we talked about it a lot, at least the maps that we lost to them, that we know what to do next time. We added a few things here and there after that match, things that we brought back from the past that will be helpful for the future, so definitely bringing back some old ideas is going to give us a better time versus them.
Those two losses were a worrying sign for the team, especially after you had already slowed down at the end of last year. Did that impact the team's confidence to start off 2020?
It definitely hurt us a bit because we were missing shots when we lost to OG, and we had just come off a 10-day bootcamp playing hundreds of hours of CS, so that was definitely not a good thing for our confidence. We beat 100 Thieves and they're a good team and they play a lot, but losing to OG and just strategically being stuck, that kind of blew us again. But then we had another bootcamp and we were playing insane in practice, kind of similarly to what ALEX said, so hopefully it's a good sign and not another bad sign.
Coming off of the first match against MAD Lions here, it was quite convincing on the two maps you won, but Dust2 looked shaky...
I think Dust2 is always one of those maps where people could just be super-scrimmy like what they did to us, just get in front of your face and maybe you're playing for something else. I think they had pretty much nothing to lose on Dust2 and they just played a little bit YOLO, and we weren't expecting them to do anything like that, we expected more structure. For us, we don't know where we're at in terms of what we like to pick or even what we want to ban, so we're just kind of figuring it out series by series.
You're going to play Liquid next, which is obviously a matchup you know well from the last year, how do you see it pan out after the break?
Honestly, it's probably going to be a super-fun game. I always like when I get to play against friends of mine, NAF is a great friend of mine, and we practiced each other - not too much recently, just a little bit - and I think we have some more tricks in our map pool than they have. And if we don't know where we're at with our map pool, it's going to be hard for them to prepare for us. We're going to talk about it tonight, see what we want to pick and what we want to ban and I think all the cards are in our favor this time. Liquid should watch out.
Going a little off-topic, another great friend of yours is daps, who just won Anaheim with Gen.G. What did you think of their run, if you watched it?
I actually watched the whole tournament from Gen.G's games and I even followed them through the open qualifier and the closed qualifier. Yeah, daps is a great friend of mine and I'm happy that he won, it's really good for him, and I hope he keeps it up. Their team was playing pretty well, I'm pretty happy for s0m, too, he's playing at a much higher level than he used to, maybe because he has the structure of a real IGL. Same with BnTeT, and Tim [autimatic] seems to be getting back in form, as well, he's actually looking like a really scary AWPer, so as long as they all keep improving and daps gets his way, they should be rising to the top 10 at least.