tabseN: "Krimbo is by far the best talent we've had in Germany in years"
After securing their return to the Legends stage with a 3-0 record at the RMR, Johannes "tabseN" Wodarz can finally take a breath following an exemplary performance in Bucharest.
An unexpected run saw BIG plow through the competition at the first European RMR, easily defeating SAW and Outsiders before moving into the qualification match against FaZe. Their ever-loved Dust2 saw them swiftly take the series advantage before a clutch end to Mirage had the Germans take down the best team in the world 2-0.
The German in-game leader was ecstatic following their incredible win over the international mix and was more than happy to sit down with us and discuss BIG's development, the presence of Fatih "gob b" Dayik with the squad in Romania, and Karim "Krimbo" Moussa's great rookie performances.
First things first, are you the best team in the galaxy on Dust2?
[laughs] Fun fact, we had terrible practice results and terrible practice feeling on the map in general, but I feel like now since we've beaten Outsiders and FaZe, we're definitely one of the best in the world on Dust2. We're capable of picking it and I don't think anyone is as comfortable picking it as we are. Ever since we created BIG we've been confident on Dust2, we're really good on it.
Talking about ever since creating the team, the gobfather himself, gob b, is here hanging out with the team. What has it been like having him around?
The spirit he's giving us is amazing. He's been with us in the practice room preparing with us, he's watching demos of our enemies and our demos. He's talking to our young guns, to me, criticizing what I need to call, what I should call, it's amazing, a pleasure, it's once in a lifetime to have such a legend with us. He's spending his time with us and he just wants us to achieve something. It's amazing to have these kinds of people around us.
gob, are you going to have time to go to the Major?
gob b: Maybe...
One of the hot topics right now is Krimbo. He's putting on really good performances straight out of the academy. I saw he sits next to you and you look at him a lot, talk to him a lot. How does it all work?
Krimbo is by far the best talent we've had in Germany in years. He's so young, but so experienced in the game. He's calm, he knows how to clutch, how opponents move during the rounds. He's giving good input and was an in-game leader in the academy team. He's trying to give me input as well, sometimes too much, but he's learning a lot and he's willing to put in the hours and work into the game. He's looking up to the right people, like gob and me, we're giving him all of the information he needs.
He's trying to get better day by day and I think it's something amazing that not that many people in Germany have. Other than that, he's putting in insane performances in the server and his body language while he's playing is so confident, he knows exactly what he needs to do to win the round and it's amazing to have this kind of player on the team.
His fragging ability is top notch, but I'd say he can be even better, he's still young and has so much to learn, but it's just amazing to have this kind of player with us on the team and I'm grateful that he decided to not take the easy path. He could have gone international in some tier two teams, but he decided to play for the academy team with the dream of playing for the main team at some point. I'm super happy for him that it worked out and I couldn't be more proud.
He's German, does he already know every single smoke in the game?
Yes! He's by far one of the best with smokes, fixed points and stuff like that, he knows every single smoke in the game I would say.
Classic. Now tell me about going 3-0. You were struggling a bit at the beginning of the year, so did you expect you'd be this good here?
No. We had expectations that we could be good at the event, not Legend contenders. We had expectations to qualify for the Major, but not 3-0, so we manage to beat everyone's expectations, including ours, and I'm so happy that we did it. It was really tough. I'm really grateful that we stuck together, put in the work during the tournament and I'm happy it worked out.
How about before the tournament, any particular preparation to make sure everything was working out with a new player coming?
We didn't do anything special, we just tried to feel comfortable with the playbook we have and we tried to fix mistakes, which we did. Fortunately we had qualified for this tournament, so we played some official games and had some reviews after the games. We had practice, Pro League, qualifiers, all of the pieces we needed to put this performance here.
We were very harsh with ourselves because we always want to be better. There were some discussions about achieving something and that's why I'm really grateful because everybody jumped over their shadow [Editor's note: A German idiom roughly meaning to go beyond ones own possibilities or to overcome one's limitations] to achieve something with the team and it's something I'm thankful for.
There was one situation in particular that was huge for you guys, which was the 29th round on Mirage, against FaZe, you had like two Glocks and some Desert Eagles. You didn't even pick up guns during the round and won it. Tell me about that moment.
A few rounds before, I think it was 14-12 for us, we were missing some timings and lost the round so had to eco after. At this point I said 'either we luck out this round or we play for overtime.' So basically we were playing the round and someone said 'I think they're underground' because there was a smoke or something like that. tiziaN then said 'let's go B, I can jump out on B.'
We got the first kill and then everything crumbled. tiziaN told me to not lurk so much in B apps, I was losing my head and thinking about another round because I was sure it was over, so I was thinking 'OK, let's get to the next round.' But then somehow it was a 3vs3, syrsoN was next to me and he was like 'you need to go, you need to go' so I jumped out and killed him [the enemy], and it was just an amazing moment. It felt like we won the game already, it was so close and we got so confident.
You get to skip the Challenger stage now, so how are you going to get ready before flying out to the Major?
We'll get a bit of rest, we've been spending a lot of hours preparing before this tournament. Like a week before the tournament we all had like 60 hours in the past two weeks and I said to myself 'hey, I can't play this Major like this,' so then I put the needed hours into the game and now I need a little break to refresh everything. We have the IEM Dallas closed qualifier, it's a huge qualifier with really good teams, so we're looking forward to doing our best there.
Then we'll have maybe a week and a half before the Major to fix our stratbook a little bit. People will watch our demos, obviously, seeing what we do and what we're comfortable with, so we'll try to change some things here or there and do everything we can, hopefully with the help of the gobfather. If we manage to do the same as here, or maybe a bit more, I think we'll go far at the Major.