innocent on beating G2: "It will mean nothing if we don't qualify"
Paweł "innocent" Mocek's squad opened with an upset at the European RMR, but the Polish team does not want to get ahead of themselves.
A great start of the match against the Goliath of G2 gave the Poles of Anonymo the confidence to keep fighting until the very end. It was a hard game but eventually, the underdogs were able to force overtime before completing the upset on Mirage 19-16.
The 28-year-old played a fantastic game, topping the scoreboard for his team throughout the match. After their victory, the Polish veteran joined us to talk about the new Anonymo squad and their struggles in recent times.
Congrats innocent, 1-0 at the RMR after beating G2, a hard team to beat. How does it feel?
It feels amazing, especially after a really rough period lately. We've been losing to academy teams and so on, we've been in a dark spot, but eventually, we had a five-day break or so where we were playing WoW and a bunch of other stuff. We thought that we were not playing badly, we just had a bad mindset because at the start of this team we were playing really well individually, and then it all fell off. We were overthinking what was going on and we did not take it well as individuals, and we could not perform like at the start.
Now it's an amazing feeling. We obviously were heavy underdogs coming into this event, especially in the G2 game so it's a great feeling. I don't think everyone was stressed to be honest, before the game I was doing the prep, talking to the guys like: "you should not worry about the stress because the stress will come, don't say that we won't stress because we will, everyone will." So it's an amazing feeling and I am really proud of the boys, for some of them it's the first international event so it's wonderful that they kept cool, but we cannot get over our heads. It's only a 1-0, we beat the favorites, yes, but it will mean nothing if we don't qualify.
You started the game on fire and then carried on fragging, was that the experience coming through? What did you have for breakfast, man?
I had nothing special for breakfast [laughs] even though the breakfast is really good at the hotel. I don't know really, because everyone is talking about us having inexperienced guys, so I thought I needed to do more when it comes to being confident in myself. I told myself before the game that even if I don't hit my shots I need to do stuff like pushing and show that I am not afraid of the opponent. I was doing more aggressive plays than in practice when I am not scared of anything because it does not matter in the end.
I was playing way more aggressively, even doing stuff that maybe we should not do, but if I felt it, I just did it. I think that perhaps, it pushed my team to also be aggressive and confident because at the end of the day, G2 are also human and it's all about confidence.
You mentioned some struggles lately, what do you think that stems from? Is it the team trying to find its identity or is it an inexperienced thing maybe for some guys?
I think it's kind of both, but I've always said that I prefer to play the good teams because the teams on our tier, we struggle when it comes to the style of play. One day you can play G2 and then you play an academy team, then you play some Russian team in an open qualifier. Some of these games are really hard to adapt to because you practice against better teams, then you encounter teams that don't play as well as them, but they can still beat you.
I think I got a shit-ton of bad press in Poland because we kicked Snax and obviously the [old] Virtus.pro players are praised in Poland even after a lot of years of not playing with each other, but everyone from VP are considered the "gods of CS" and how dare I kick Snax from the team? Maybe it has sort of affected me, I had pretty bad comments and stuff about me, so maybe somehow, it affected me. I tried not to, I was working with the psychologist, but as we said earlier, we are only human and it can get to me, especially after a bad period. I guess with this game I proved that I still got it, and maybe I won't be this consistent every game, but I will do my best to continue.
In regards to Snax, I assume it was not an easy decision from the team, but where did it stem from? Was it a stylistic choice, conflicting voices, or disagreements on how to play the game?
When we changed the Illuminar lineup, we were doing really well, we were somewhere around the top 20, we played decently, but then we decided to do roster changes. The next Illuminar team with Snax was not working as well as the previous one.
I would rather not dig it up again because the past is the past, but it's just that after making Anonymo it was also not working as we wanted to, except for Flashpoint. We then picked up snatchie & rallen and after two months they didn't want to continue like that and Snax also didn't want to continue with them. He's a really good player obviously and honestly, it's nobody's fault but not every player can mesh together, so we just decided with the coach that after two years and many rosters, it's just not working, so why should we keep this system? We wanted to go back to the core of Illuminar, where we had great synergy with Oskarish. I was also playing worse with Snax, I don't know why, but I could never find myself, I think it's because in this team and the previous teams I had a strong voice and when we play something, I can overrule it but in those teams, I didn't have a space to do it and I think my confidence kinda relies on it.
I can also call as CT, I am basically calling every round that we play, how and when we rotate. Obviously, the players are now adapting, and when I say something like: "let's leave sites now and fight mid" they now would say "okay, I will do this or that". I feel like I could not do it before because my voice was not strong enough, now it's more comfortable for me and it's somehow working better than the previous team.
You mentioned your voice in the team, you are the most experienced person and It's the first international LAN for some of the players, especially one of this importance. How are the younger guys adapting to this? Are they feeling any kind of pressure?
There is this saying: "they have to, we can do it." Our opponents have to qualify and win, we can do it, but if we don't it's not the end of the world, right? That's what we are saying in general, but obviously, you want to qualify, I have been to a Major before and I know that getting your stickers is a game-changer in many aspects. For example, a guy that plays this first international event and goes to the Major and he's getting "x" amount of the sticker money, it gives you a bit of freedom, and also you will be a part of the game forever when your signature is in the game.
It's a really important event but were are doing pretty well, we have a team that wants to learn. We don't fight at all like in the previous Anonymo lineups, now when the coach says something like "you should not do this here or there," then everyone understands that we should not do it, and play that way. That's how we are trying to do it, I don't think we've had any disagreements so far in the last three and a half months that we've been playing together. There have been no fights about what we should do, they are listening, they want to learn, and they are for sure developing.
When we took Demho into the team he was super green and he was not confident at all, so we moved him into the entry-fragger role where he's dictating the pace of the game, it's really impressive from him. Vegi is the "aim machine" and everyone has known it for a long time, he's the best aimer in Poland for sure. tudsoN is also learning, he had a short period with MAD Lions, but he was not playing a lot, especially with the AWP so he did not have any team experience, he's completely new to this system and he took some time to adapt and he is still adapting. oskarish and I know each other well and he's a very hardworking guy like me, so it all measures up together pretty well, but we obviously still need some time to fully develop. Hopefully, we'll continue at this event and we can still improve at the second stage.
There has not been a Polish team at the Major for quite a while. What would it mean for you to represent Poland at a Major again?
It would be insane if we do it, and also that would be my fourth Major with a completely different lineup. It would also have a special meaning in regards to the thing I said earlier about having some bad press in Poland, and if I got the fourth team to the Major that should mean something. I don't know, I am just daydreaming right now because it's only 1-0 and then you have the best-of-threes. This game was essentially nothing, if we lost we had two more chances, but in the next game with a 1-0 and we win, we would have three more chances to qualify. You never know how it will go, if we'll be stressing or not, so we'll see about that. Right now, I am not thinking about qualifying. I obviously believe we can, but we have to take it game by game.