nexa: "Coming here, we no longer doubted whether we were going to be good or not, we knew we were"

We sat down with Nemanja "⁠nexa⁠" Isaković for an interview about G2's undefeated run so far in Katowice after they secured a spot in the event's semi-finals.

The French-Serbian side have looked insurmountable so far in Poland, running over the competition as they have defeated 100 Thieves, mousesports, and Liquid, losing just one map in the process against the European squad.

Confidence is running high in G2 after the impressive group stage run

In an interview conducted before the news of the playoffs being played behind closed doors came out, we asked nexa about the team's impressive form as they are heading into the bracket stage, their incredible success in 4v5 scenarios, and discussed their confidence going forward.

This has been a fantastic event from you overall, what is behind the form you've showcased so far?

Just hard work. There is really no other way or no other reason for this, it's been hard work we put in. After summit and Malta, we finally had time to sit down, practice, and prepare our map pool, and do everything by the book, properly. Once we did it, this was the result of it. We were doing it, we felt really good in practice, we were showing good results in practice, but we didn't know how we were going to perform on LAN.

But coming into BLAST, it felt like everything gelled together, we were playing smoothly, everything I was calling people were understanding, reacting. Even now, here, we're playing and everything just feels so smooth, there is no panic and we're not screaming, yelling, the game somehow feels smooth. At every moment, we know what we need to do, how to adjust and how to react to our opponents.

But you've looked even better than at BLAST, outside of the one poor half on Dust2 against mousesports, how did you reach this kind of level?

Yeah, after BLAST, we finally were like "the process is working," and then it gave us additional confidence. Now, coming into this, we no longer have this doubt whether we're going to be good or not, we know we are good and that's why we're playing well.

This last series against Liquid was apparently not as clean as the rest of the tournament, or at least not by what I heard the team say immediately after the match, how so?

I think we had this issue where people feel tired. With long tournaments like this, you have to play every day, and one of those days you're not going to be at 100%, it's just statistically impossible. We had this problem before in at the CS:GO Asia Champions and, there, we had the same problem with exhaustion, but what we didn't know then is how to deal with it. The reason we won today was the lesson we learned in China after we lost to TYLOO and EG there. We learned a lesson there and even when we're tired we know what the bare minimum requirement you need to bring to the team is in order to win and everyone knows this.

Even though we feel tired, we're not performing well individually, we know what this minimum is that has to be met. If you're not shooting well, then you need to contribute somehow else to the team, you give better comms, you give good death cam, or whatever it is, other aspects of the game. That is something that we learned and it's helped us stay cool-headed and actually close out and win games, even though we're not at 100%.

You've been doing well from pretty much every angle, individually and as a team, but one way you perhaps stand out the most is in 4v5 situations, of which you've been winning a ridiculous amount - close to half. How do you manage that?

We have this rule - it's not really a rule, it's just something that works very well for us because we have strong fraggers. If we're in a 4v5, we don't split, we just group four people and we trade, and then we play the clutch, and it's been going great for us. We just have strong individuals, JaCkz, huNter-, AmaNEk, and I would even say myself, I think I was pretty good as a trade-fragger or even entrying the bombsite. And having Kenny, 4v5 I just tell him "let's go contact on your AWP," he gets the first guy 90% of the time and when he does the rifles just know how to follow up.

Do you feel like you can keep this up even without players performing this well individually, or do you think that level is more a result of the team chemistry?

I think we have good protocols, a good system, I have a really good stratbook, we always do good antistrat before every opponent ready, we have a proper game plan. It's not so much about killing people - killing people, of course, always helps, but even without that we'll still be able to win games.

With this kind of dominance you've shown, how far do you think you can go? Is this tournament-winning form?

It definitely is a tournament-winning form right now what we showed at this backstage area where we played, but when we go to the arena, it's the first time for me and huNter- playing in front of a crowd, so I don't know, maybe I'll have some jitters. I don't know what to expect, but I'm super excited about it. [Editor's Note: the interview was conducted before ESL announced that the playoff matches would be played behind closed doors]

This sort of run lends itself to overconfidence, how do you make sure that doesn't get into your head and you don't get ahead of yourself?

Because we know we're just human. Every time we play against someone, they are just another team, it doesn't matter what their name is. The same goes for us, we're just another bunch of players, five of us playing the game. Anyone can beat anyone, it doesn't matter that we beat 100 Thieves 16-2, 16-3. If we play them again in a best-of-three, it's not going to be like this. It's the same as what happened at BLAST against OG, we smashed them once and played them next time again and it was a super-tough, close game. In this game, right now as it is, anyone can beat anyone.

Serbia Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Nemanja 'nexa' Isaković
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Nexa becoming a very good igl, ngl
2020-02-27 22:22
15 replies
he's fragging well too
2020-02-27 22:24
14 replies
Top 3 IGL for sure
2020-02-27 22:30
13 replies
I don't think it's fair to say he's a good IGL just because he frags well. Though he does seem to be a good IGL too. Definitely top 10, I'd have to hear more of his calling to say top 5. But as far as fragging IGL's goes, he's probably the best in the world right now.
2020-02-27 22:57
12 replies
Malaysia Decagram
2020-02-28 00:47
Valid point. But without fragging ability, we need to go as far as daps, hunden, or even eg6tenze for the best IGL om the scene.
2020-02-28 03:53
4 replies
A good IGL is one who is good at leading teams to success, regardless of how they do it. Karrigan is best at that, HUNDEN is good too, Gla1ve has perfected one specific team, so that counts too, and I would say AleksiB if he gets OG into the top 10 and stay there. Ex6tenze was like that too, and MSL, and Zeus as well. Daps not as much. Now these are all tactical IGLs, but Nitr0, Golden, Nexa, ALEX, NiKo and Jame have done it too, and they're far more on the fragging side.
2020-02-28 14:48
3 replies
Zonic perfected one specific team. He called glaive to join.. Thats why he is the best coach in scene
2020-03-04 15:29
2 replies
Didn't Karrigan say he was the one who suggested Gla1ve?
2020-03-04 18:06
1 reply
yep he did, i knew that lol just forgot about it... but he and zonic go way back in 1.6 played together for a long time, so basically they understand each other very well.
2020-03-04 20:38
I would say glaive and boombl4 are up there in terms of fragging igls. And niko of course, forgot about him but he is officially an igl now who we all know can frag better than nexa glaive and boombl4.
2020-02-28 03:57
5 replies
definitely not boomich bro... navi makes so many strange calls in numerous rounds I can't believe boomich is even close
2020-02-28 05:12
2 replies
Talking about fragging igl not a brilliant igl.
2020-02-28 05:48
1 reply
makes sense then
2020-02-28 08:18
Fragging IGL is a combination of decent fragging and decent IGLing. Gla1ve is good, but he's not a fragging star like Nexa. Boombl4 is neither a star like Nexa nor a very good leader. NiKo would be the best IGL at fragging, but he's trash at IGLing, so that doesn't work. Some others you didn't mention are ALEX, AleksiB and Jame, they're all above Boombl4 in both IGLing and fragging. Plus, Karrigan is fragging too recently, though he's not typically a fragging IGL. Jerry and Lekr0 are decent at both fragging and IGLing too.
2020-02-28 14:38
1 reply
Jame is the only i agree with.
2020-02-28 17:13
Canada dAnk7
2020-02-27 22:22
1 reply
Hunter and I first time playing in front of the crowd....hold up
2020-02-28 04:28
Til u lose to Astralis lol
2020-02-27 22:22
2 replies
Bosnia and Herzegovina Foxxeh
2020-02-27 22:43
Botstralis will be out of semis nt
2020-02-28 09:41
Romania En!gma0
G2 got rid of Shox and went straight up, Vitality picked him up and they need to change his diapers
2020-02-27 22:23
6 replies
Shox should take a break like flusha did and pray he will ever be 60% of what he used to be
2020-02-27 22:39
4 replies
2020-02-27 22:53
Netherlands PasscaLl
2020-02-27 22:56
Guatemala Nicaraqua
flusha didn't get bad though, it was just that his head wasn't in the game with the loss of his mother shox has just became dogshite for no reason
2020-02-27 23:28
1 reply
Pressure got to him man. Pressure is a bitchy thing if u cant control it.
2020-02-28 03:58
The sad part was G2 were good with shox, just massively inconsistent. But nexa and Hunter definitely made the team play better. I always felt the core of G2 were really good together, so I guess a proper IGL really did the trick.
2020-02-28 04:55
2020-02-27 22:23
2020-02-27 22:23
nexa is a beast. sadly they won't play infront of an epic crowd...
2020-02-27 22:24
3 replies
Kato and Cologne have the best crowds
2020-02-27 22:25
2 replies
Korea clarityyyy
no crowd for kato bc opf corona virus
2020-02-27 22:34
2020-02-27 23:57
finally some proper IGL in G2!! great addition to the team
2020-02-27 22:24
2020-02-27 22:24
igl thats actually rly good at fragging noice
2020-02-27 22:25
"It's not so much about killing people - killing people, of course, always helps, but even without that we'll still be able to win games." D:
2020-02-27 22:26
1 reply
killing people is veri bad😔
2020-02-27 23:52
2020-02-27 22:26
"it's the first time for me and huNter- playing in front of a crowd, so I don't know, maybe I'll have some jitters." Don't worry buddy, you'll be fine. ;P
2020-02-27 22:28
1 reply
2020-02-27 22:39
2020-02-27 22:34
grux | 
Australia Kladiz
2020-02-27 22:27
2020-02-27 22:27
HS | 
Estonia qoznyyy
", but when we go to the arena, it's the first time for me and huNter- playing in front of a crowd, so" :(
2020-02-27 22:31
Finland Smoonah
that's one hell of a cocaine nose
2020-02-27 22:55
Sexa is a big alpha
2020-02-27 23:13
2020-02-27 23:28
i like naxa hi is so cool man )
2020-02-27 23:38
2020-02-27 23:39
Nexa and Hunter top 20 players this year ez
2020-02-28 00:18
Amanek is the secondary AWPer and a Mac-10 expert Nexa is a fragging igl Jackz and Hunter are all-around fraggers and Kenny is just KennyS
2020-02-28 01:04
sexa top 20 and huNter top 10 ez
2020-02-28 01:49
United States ratebuster
-broky +hunter
2020-02-28 04:20
-allu -sunny +aleksib +ottoNd
2020-02-28 05:08
well, that denpends whether JaCkz wanna do anything for hunter or not
2020-02-28 05:41
Easy nexa, i dont see the IEM katowice 2020 cup in your trophy cabinet yet
2020-02-28 08:48
Hungary Shiron212
What a legend :D nexa and hunter top 20 2020 confirmed
2020-02-28 09:38
One of the most improved players of 2019. Shame that Na'Vi couldn't get him and hunter
2020-02-28 11:08
2020-02-28 11:53
3-0 KEKW
2020-03-02 13:08
wp Brate!
2020-03-03 08:43
2020-03-03 21:39
LUL 16-2
2020-03-04 11:49
sit the fuck down g2
2020-03-04 11:52
ur not though
2020-03-04 14:54
This aged well
2020-03-05 00:11
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