gla1ve: "We have high hopes to go far; this could be the thing that would kick-start us"
Astralis are not the dominant force they once were, coming into 2022 with a fresh lineup after the collapse of the multi-Major winning core.
This year has been underwhelming, as Astralis have struggled to find definitively positive results in the midst of bedding in their new AWPer Asger "Farlig" Jensen. Pinnacle Cup Championship is a rare event where the Danes find themselves amongst the favourites.
After comfortably brushing aside EG.PA, gla1ve sat down with HLTV to discuss what the event here in Lund could mean for the team, how they go about resolving their role issues, and what the expectations are moving forward.
Congratulations, how do you feel after winning that one?
Yeah, it feels really good.
I mean (laughs) we didn’t really know what to expect, of course we looked at their results and their demos, but it just feels weird with the EG thing, suddenly they have 15 players.
Did you guys prep for the Stewie2K version of EG?
Yes (laughs) in the beginning we did, we prepped a bit for those guys, then figured out they weren’t coming and it was going to be the PA team. Happily for us we didn’t prep hard for the Stewie lineup.
You’ve just come off the back of the Major and IEM Dallas, two tournaments with the best of the best in attendance.
Considering the fact you have been open about some of the issues the team has experienced, is it good to have a tournament with slightly lesser opposition, to build confidence and work on your problems?
Yeah of course, this will really show our true level at the moment. We kind of know where our true level is, and it’s not where we want to be, but this will give us a better understanding of how close we are to the top, that’s what we want to figure out.
We have high hopes to go far in this tournament, and this could be the thing that would kick start-us and help us start believing more in ourselves. When you keep on losing to teams that you probably shouldn’t win, but you have the expectation you would be better in the future, it hurts a bit, so this could give us some motivation.
How far away are you really? You narrowly lost in Dallas to G2, and looked good at ESL Pro League and the RMR.
We don’t feel like we are far away from the top, we just feel like…. if we were closer, then we would have won some of our games, and we haven’t won a single game against a really good team.
Maybe we did in the beginning in the Royal Arena and at BLAST finals, and we had some online matches where we beat NIP, and we were close to beating ENCE some would say, so we have some close games. We played really close against G2 two times, played really close against Heroic, so (laughs) we have some close games, but if we don’t win any of them, we don’t feel like we are where we are supposed to be.
I know you’ve said recently that there are some clashes over roles, how does it work when there is a disagreement? Do you ever have to take a final decision, and tell people what they are doing?
Of course we sit down and have the conversation, people come with arguments about why they should play the role. We haven’t come to a situation yet where somebody has to decide and say “we have to do this, we know we don’t want it, but we will do it anyway,” it could probably happen in the future, and it probably happens for other teams.
For now, we have been good at saying what we think is best for the team, and the guy who maybe has to switch role is saying “okay, then let’s do it.” Everybody in the team wants what is best for the team, and that’s really nice to feel.
Does the team have any expectations for this tournament?
It’s tough to say, of course we want to go far, there are only eight teams here and we think we have a group that we should be able to move on from, so at least we should go to the semi-finals. It depends on who we meet there, if we are going to meet Heroic then we know that will be a tough game, they are the favourites to take it all, but I think we can do good.
We kind of don’t want to put our expectations so high, our results don’t really warrant that (smiles). Our hopes are high, we are working hard, and that’s the most important thing for me because with time I think the results will come.