mopoz: "Our goal is to reach top 10"
After a disappointing showing at V4 Future Sports Festival, Alejandro "mopoz" Fernández-Quejo Cano sat down with HLTV for a quick chat.
Movistar Riders are a team that have enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent months, appearing out of nowhere after a roster revamp to take IEM Fall by storm.
But it has been a mixed bag in general for the new roster, the impressive IEM Fall showing balanced by early exits at BLAST Premier Fall Showdown and here at V4.
mopoz sat down with HLTV to talk about the performance here at V4, his team's showing at the Major, and what they need to do to reach the next level.
First up I have to ask about that Fiend loss; it was two close maps but you weren't able to take either, what happened there?
Against Fiend yesterday, what happened mostly was that we just choked. Mirage and Nuke, both maps we had in our hands and we were close to winning them, I mean they played well, but we didn't know how to close the maps. It's something that I expect, because we still haven't had enough time to practice and get used to winning matches, we are still fixing our mistakes. We are just not practicing and playing together enough, we are mostly talking about the officials. We didn't have enough time to practice, because since the team formed, we are playing a lot of tournaments and we don't have time.
It's fine, eventually we are going to get this experience and we are going to close these maps. Maybe not now, but in the future it is going to be easier.
What were your expectations coming into this event?
I don't know about my team, but for me at least, the expectation was just to reach the semi-finals or final. When we played in IEM Fall and the PGL Major Stockholm, we showed the world that we are playing really good and we can beat a lot of teams. Maybe not the best teams in the world, but we are playing great, so I had high expectations for this tournament. It is how it is, now we have to focus on ESL Pro League Conference that starts next week and see how everything goes.
Do you think the LAN environment played any factor in your loss against Fiend?
My other teammates don't have much experience in LAN events, but I don't feel like people were getting nervous or whatever, I don't think that the LAN affected us itself. It's mostly that we still aren't settled, we have really good maps or days, but there are a lot of times that we can't reach our 100% level when we are playing. We are going to lose some days, like yesterday, that's it.
Taking a step back, could you talk to me a bit about the roster shakeup you had recently, swapping out three players?
The main thing is that we wanted to make a change. Nowadays it's really hard to sign international players, because there are not a lot of players that could fit in the team. After a while of looking at players, we decided to go for a Spanish roster because we did not find the piece that we needed; we were looking at a lot of international players but they didn't fit us, so we decided to look inside Spain.
Iberian Family, the core of DeathZz, dav1g and SunPayus, they were playing really good, they even beat us, so we said okay let's give them a chance. We really wanted to play in our language, and everything is working well, they are such good people so it was really easy to make chemistry together. That's the key to the success.
It was definitely a success, as not long after those changes you had your breakout event at IEM Fall. How do you think you were able to get up to speed with the new roster so quickly?
It was mainly because they are hard workers. Also, when they were in Iberian Family, their main maps were also our main maps, except for Overpass. Inferno, Nuke, and Vertigo were their main maps and also ours, so they had the basics on those maps, and it was easy to perform really good in our map pool. We are not good on Mirage, alex and me, but they were really good so we need to create the basics on that map, and on Overpass they need to get the basics. So eventually, we need to keep working and everything is going to work good.
After that IEM Fall event came the PGL Major Stockholm, how did you feel about your run there?
When we went to the Major, we were not in the best shape because we flew back from IEM to Madrid, then we had a bootcamp, then we came straight back to Sweden; we didn't have enough time to rest. What me and the rest of the team felt is that we were kinda tired, and we couldn't perform the way we wanted. We could have won a couple more games anyway, but overall it was a really good event for us.
Looking forward ESL Pro League Conference, what are the expectations for that event?
Our expectation is, of course, to reach the Pro League slot. I will try to fight for it because if you reach the Pro League, it is the moment that you can say you are a really good team. You can qualify for a lot of events, but is different to qualify for a regular league; that is our main goal, to reach Pro League so we can get more game time against the top teams.
In the longer term, what are you looking to achieve with this roster?
The first thing that I want is to stay in the top-20 for a really long time, maybe after this event we are going to go down and will be between top-20 and top-30. Our goal after that is to reach top-10.
What do you need to do to get there?
We have a couple of maps that I think that we play like a tier-one team, but there are a couple of maps that we play like a tier-two or a tier-three. The thing we need to focus on is just to improve the maps that we are not strong enough on, so that we are comfortable. For example, if we are playing Vertigo and we are 12-3 down, in TeamSpeak it's going to be like "it doesn't matter, we are going to have the chance to win this, we only have to win the pistol and we are going to make the comeback." We don't have that feeling on all the maps, so the main thing is that we need to have confidence on the maps where we are not that good, and eventually that will be the key to success.
A nice easy one to finish off the interview, who do you predict to win this event?
My prediction is going to be… oh, that is going to be hard. I would say Gambit, but I think Entropiq is playing really good nowadays, so I will go with Entropiq.