kassad: "After the G2 game, we had one of our famous long talks and everybody got everything out"
The Australian squad made an impressive run through Group B's lower bracket after a blowout loss to G2 in the opening match of the tournament, beating TYLOO, their long-time nemesis, Evil Geniuses, as well as mousesports en route to the quarter-finals.
We had kassad walk us through the tough closing on Nuke as the deciding map against the European squad, who threatened a comeback from an 11-14 deficit, and explain what he and the team did to recover from their awful start to the event.
In the interview, the Serbian also shared that, in preparation for the mousesports encounter, he had help from his compatriot Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač, whose G2 had defeated the European team earlier in the tournament.
This Nuke decider against mousesports started looking dire when they went on the three-round streak towards the end, how did you manage to close that out after all?
At 14-11, we kind of played ourselves because we overrotated in that round and it was pretty much over at that point, they hit upper. At 14-12, I think we gave up an entry because there was a wrong rotation, so we kind of gave up that round, too, and then we had to take an eco with some saved guns and improvise there. That didn't work out, it went to 14-14, and then Justin [jks] had an amazing round for 15-14 and I think we closed out pretty easily on the last one. Pretty tough.
Going back to look at your entire run through the group stage, at the start, you lost to G2 3-16 and 2-16, what did you do to recover from such a tough loss mentally?
It's the same old story for us. Against G2 at the beginning of BLAST we were lacking confidence even though we had bunch of practice and everyone worked a lot. I think we had issues with communication outside, which obviously spills to the game a lot because, when there is something going on and we don't communicate properly, it spills into the game and kind of affects the confidence and the discipline was a problem a little bit.
After the G2 game, we had one of our famous long talks that lasted for a few hours and everybody got everything out, the air was cleared, and everything was good again. And we showed that in-game, first against TYLOO and then our nemesis, I guess, EG. It's so hard to beat them and we managed to do it today, and then mousesports who also defeated us last time we played them in Sydney, which was a big thing for us, as well. We're happy that we got the juice back.
mousesports are quite a rare matchup for you, and on top of that you had very little time to prepare for them in between the series against EG and them, how did you approach that?
This game really was exhausting. We had no time to prepare, almost nothing. We sat down in the practice room and watched what we could watch and we talked to huNter-. He gave us some pointers because they had the exact same maps, so we talked with him about how G2 played against them a little bit. We prepared what we had and just went into the game.
What are your expectations for the matchup against fnatic in the quarter-finals?
We played them at StarSeries and at Pro League, they eliminated us in one of the games that were leading to playoffs. We love playing them, they are an amazing team, obviously, and they've done well here, so it should be an interesting game.
During your match it was announced that the playoffs would have no live audience, do you have any comment on not getting to play in front of that crowd?
If it's the safest thing for people, for players, and for everyone else, I guess that's the right thing to do. It sucks, on the other side, because this crowd is one of the best ones together with Cologne and the Australian crowd, which we love, as well. It kind of sucks, but if it had to be done we have to agree with that. Health and safety is priority number one not just for the players but for the people here.