Snappi: "It's positive that we're playing poorly and still winning"
ENCE hold a positive 2-1 record at the PGL Major's Challengers Stage, but the Dane still thinks the team isn't playing to their potential.
Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer and his boys are one match away from making it through the PGL Major Stockholm Challengers Stage gauntlet with victories over GODSENT and MOUZ and a close loss to FaZe, but the in-game leader is still not satisfied with the team's showings.
The international squad are now heading into the best-of-three portion of the Challengers Stage's Swiss group as they will be playing for a spot at the next stage of the Major, which the Dane believes is a good thing as he believes in their sturdy map pool.
The 31-year-old also talked about some of the attributes his players hold and how they're evolving in the team, as well as the importance of Eetu "sAw" Saha in the squad's success over the past few months, which now includes making the top 10 in the world ranking.
Before the actual Major itself you had a really solid run at IEM Fall and the team has been looking good since the beginning of the season. What's the feeling like in the team now and how are you coming into the event?"
The atmosphere is really good, we know that it's a long battle to get into that invite circle and it's obviously where we want to be. We want to be at the biggest tournaments and it's good to see that at the last few tournaments we've had the largest viewership as a team, which means that people like watching us, I guess.
In general, for this event, we took some time off which hurt us at Elisa Invitational Fall, but we kind of knew that it was going to be that way since we decided to prioritize the Major and not the Elisa event and the IEM Winter qualifier, although luckily we played ourselves into form during that qualifier.
How have you seen the team evolve, and the players within the team, since you have some guys that may not be the most experienced?
All of the players on this team have made progress, me included, and I think one of the major things when you get older is that you can't become arrogant or lazy. If you stop evolving with the game, you're done.
I brought in Spinx when he hadn't played for a team ever and you can just see his constant progression, he's a hard worker. His game has just developed steadily. dycha, he's our wildcard and I think he does so much work for us that people may not always see, he's just an amazing guy on and off of the server and keeps learning his roles better.
hades is our young AWP who has made amazing progress, and i know he will keep pushing to become better at his weak areas. doto is my rock when it comes to throwing the harder nades, and I think off the server he has made amazing work also to become a great teammate that we all trust.
We all have areas that we need to improve and everyone has done their part. Everyone is humble about it and about continuing to improve their weaknesses, which is what we're focusing on because you should never stop developing.
You have a 2-1 record with victories over GODSENT and MOUZ, and a loss to FaZe. How have those maps gone for you?
We've played very poorly this tournament. We played well in the weapon rounds against GODSENT but we were sloppy, we knew what they were going to do in the second round and still lost it. We ended up behind 1-5 or 2-5 and we were also behind 0-3 on the other side, but we ended up winning 16-10 so it was pretty comfortable. We played well in the weapon rounds but we played some really weak CS in some of the important rounds.
Against FaZe, again, we didn't play well. We lost a 1vs4 against rain that kickstarted them and I think that if we didn't lose that we would have won that match. Although karrigan also played a good game. Against MOUZ we kept getting man advantages but then pushed the envelope too far and lost the situations, which meant that we had to play a big T-side when it shouldn't have been really necessary.
It's positive that we're playing poorly and still winning, but I do think that we're not playing our best CS at all.
You've been playing close with big teams expected to go through to the next stage along with you, particularly FaZe and MOUZ. That does say something about the shape you're in.
Yeah, it's positive that on our weak days we're still competitive, I don't think we could have been there half a year ago, but on the other hand we want to play our A game and we're not doing that right now. But I do think we'll get there.
What do you think is the little bit you need to get there?
It's like at IEM Fall, our first game against Dignitas was really bad, and against OG it wasn't that good either, really, it was a bit better, but we played ourselves into that tournament. The more games we played, the better we started playing and I hope we'll develop the same way here.
Do you think that having one of the less experienced rosters here, being at a Major is sitting in the back of people's minds?
Not really, if that were the case I think it would have been the same at IEM Fall because there we had a much more narrow window to qualify for the Major as a team with zero points. People didn't care last time, it seems like we actually get better on LAN. Or I don't know if we get better, but other teams get worse. So in the case that we were going to be shaky, that would have happened at IEM Fall, because this is the same setting and there are more teams going through than at IEM Fall.
It could be different if we make top 8 because at that point we'd be playing in a stadium and I'm the only one who has played at a big stadium, in Katowice, the rest have never played in that setting before. That would be the experience in which we don't know how players will react yet, but until then it's just like IEM Fall.
So the team is mentally in the right place...
Yeah, and I think that everyone is aware that we can play better, which is a positive sign at the end of the day.
Before the tournament started you made some remarks saying that you were just going to take things slow and go game by game. How's that working out?
It's still the approach and since we don't know the opponents it has to be that way, there's no reason to say we want top 8 and get ahead of ourselves. If it goes bad, if it goes good, it doesn't matter, we have another game. At the end of the day either we win three or lose three, so we're just focused on one task.
You're moving into best-of-three territory now. Are you looking forward to that?
Yeah, it benefits a team like us, we don't have a weak map at the moment. Best-of-threes suit us because we have six maps that at a minimum are average, all the way to very good, so it will suit us no matter who we face.
Tell me a bit about sAw and the work he does with you and the team.
sAw is the best coach I've ever had, and that's no disrespect to any of my former coaches because I've had good ones, but we just see eye to eye on a lot of things. He's calm, he has the authority in the team, everyone really respects him, and he's just the guy that can keep me level-headed when my temper gets me out of control or something. Without him we would not be the team that we are right now, he's vital to us.
When you say he has authority, what is it about his character that makes that possible?
He's just smart, you can feel he's a smart guy. To get authority, people have to give it, it's kind of like me as an in-game leader, the team trusts me so they give me authority. It's the same with Eetu, we all trust him so we give him authority. Maybe he wouldn't work the same way in another team, but in our team he's just the 'big boss' as we call him. When sAw says something, we do it.