Hatz: "There's a lot more pressure on me to perform; I can definitely do better"
The Australian squad went into the $500,000 tournament a heavy underdog as the second-lowest-ranked team and ended up placing expectedly 13th-16th after losses to fnatic and FaZe, without a single map win.
We managed to get a hold of the newest member of Renegades, Hatz, during the playoffs of IEM Katowice to ask him about the short run, the team's ongoing issues with reworking their playstyle, and how he has been handling the step up to the best team playing in the Oceanic region.
I'm sure placing last wasn't quite the result you were hoping for despite facing two strong teams and coming in as one of the big underdogs. How do you look back at how you did, your series against fnatic and FaZe, and what you could have done better?
I think since it's such early days for us in terms of international experience as a team, this tournament will definitely help us in terms of that. I think we're also still in the process of structuring our team to everyone's strengths, as well, and rethinking and reevaluating our game. Overall, even though we had tough teams, fnatic and FaZe, I think we had somewhat of a decent showing. We could have closed out one game against fnatic. In terms of the performance, we're just here to get the international experience and make sure that we're solid for the next upcoming tournaments.
Slow starts were a recurring theme for you here, do you think without them you would have been able to grab some wins on the board?
I definitely think so. I think when we don't have a strong start the comms get a little bit quiet and the momentum is obviously not with us. That was definitely a big factor, and I think that also comes down to preparation. Since we're the only team without a coach, I think that's definitely detrimental to us, but we're in the works of getting one soon.
You've already mentioned the Inferno game against fnatic that you should have closed out from the 14-6 lead - I spoke to flusha and he said that at some point he felt like you no longer had an idea of what to do to close it out. Was that the case from your side? What happened?
I think there were a few crucial rounds that we needed to close out and got kind of unlucky. There was a 1v1 with Sico and JW, there were other rounds where Brollan got like a 3K from pit with a Krieg, and it just came down to little bits of utility or timing or understanding what to do in the high-pressure situations. I think that is what made us not close the game. I think that all comes back down to our structure of the team and getting to know everyone's strengths and utilizing them. I think, eventually, we'll get better at those high-pressure situations and close games like that.
Before the event, dexter talked about reworking the playstyle and how that has been an ongoing issue. What is it that you've had the most issues with?
I think it was just more dexter having different styles of play in terms of having in-game leaders within the pack or outside of the pack. Obviously, there are two ways of how teams play and both have their pros and cons, but I think we're still investigating what's better for us and also what's better for each person individually, as well, in terms of areas people want to play.
How are you personally handling the transition, coming into a team that is inevitably going to have much higher expectations than ORDER?
There's definitely a lot more pressure to perform and to be able to get good results and perform individually. It has definitely has been much more of a thing than in ORDER, as well as playing in new spots and all that sort of stuff. I've had to put in a lot more work to be more confident and to be able to play those roles at a high level. I think it's a mix of a lot of things at the moment and I think I can definitely be doing better. In the future, I'll be doing better for sure.
Closing out with your plans going forward, you have the Asia Minor qualifier coming up, so I assume you're going back to Australia for that before returning to Europe for Pro League?
Yeah, we'll be in Australia for maybe two weeks. When we come back, three days later we have the Asia Minor qualifier, and two weeks after that we'll be going to Kinguin's offices for a bootcamp, and then off to ESL Pro League for the group stage. It's full-on at the moment and we're just going to be trying our best to get results.
You can look forward to four more interviews from IEM Katowice, with Björn "THREAT" Pers, Aaron "AZR" Ward, Michal "Carmac" Blicharz, and Danylo "Zeus" Teslenko, which will be released throughout the next few days.