nexa: "I would definitely put us in the top five any day of the week"
In his recent-most interview with ESL Pro League participants, James "BanKs" Banks spoke with Nemanja "nexa" Isaković to discuss G2's run at IEM Katowice, adaptations to a multilingual roster and the impact of transitioning to online play.
The French squad is set to compete in Group C of ESL Pro League Season 11 Europe, facing a TYLOO squad in a must-win situation after they lost their first two matches in the competition. This will mark G2's return to action after a month-long break following the heavy defeat to Natus Vincere in the IEM Katowice final.
Despite the unconvincing showing against the CIS giants, G2's captain stressed that he was happy with the performances that the team put up in Poland, adding that the players are feeling more and more comfortable with his system.
"In the game against Na`Vi we just didn't show up," he said. "I don't know what it was, maybe it just wasn't our day and they were playing really well, so they smashed us, there are no other words I can use, it is what it is.
"Overall, during the whole tournament and even qualifying for it from the closed qualifier, I think we did an amazing job and I think we are getting into our groove. We are starting to play together as a team properly. Everyone is finally feeling comfortable in their roles and we are just pushing forward. We had a little bit more time to practice online and I think, with time, we're just getting better and better."
Just like mousesports captain Finn "karrigan" Andersen did in a previous interview, nexa touched on the specificities of working in a multi-lingual setting. According to the Serbian, the environment requires elaborate planning and optimization, contrary to the luxury offered to teams who communicate in their native language.
"You have set reactions already planned before, and you need just one word to do it," he explained. "For example, we have this one thing called 'Bambolero', and when you use it, it means that on the CT side you take all your numbers and you try to sandwich the attack.
"There are a lot of things like this that don't require us to talk a lot. It's just one word and we're all instantly in sync, we're all on the same page; it works really well."
When asked about the team's current No.3 position in the world rankings, nexa expressed excitement, but, at the same time, he questioned whether the position accurately depicts the team's level, citing just two recent successful events in IEM Katowice and BLAST Premier Spring.
"Even though we are in third right now it feels amazing," he said. "I don't know if it's deserved or not, we just had one good event in Katowice, and maybe you can count BLAST as well, but it was a group stage. We are in third place because there aren't many events being played, and the other teams are losing points basically because of decay. I don't know if it's realistic, but for sure I would like to be in third place if it is. I would definitely put us in the top five any day of the week."
Due to the recent coronavirus pandemic, the two biggest leagues, ESL Pro League Season 11 and Flashpoint 1, have been transferred to an online setting. nexa touched on the adjustment to online play and noted that the format is not so novel for him and Nemanja "huNter-" Kovač, adding that some of the teams from G2's group are no strangers to the format either.
"For me and huNter-, the past two or three years were basically online life, around 300 games per year online," he noted. "We will feel right at home, I don't know about the others. For example, Na`Vi, when playing their first two matches online in about two or three years, you could see that they were just not used to it. It's so different when you play online because everyone is full of confidence and they are doing things that they wouldn't do on LAN. It's what makes so many upsets, you saw favorites getting destroyed; on LAN it probably wouldn't happen.
"This aspect is something that we (G2), FaZe and mouz should be scared of because the teams we have in our group have actually played some online CS and they play it in general. They know how to play from home."