refrezh: "If you gave us the proposition of making these results 18 months ago we would have taken it"

Having recovered from an early defeat to make it to the arena, Ismail "⁠refrezh⁠" Ali gave an interview to HLTV.

Heroic's year has been one of ups and downs, disappointing showings at ESL Pro League and the Major balanced by a top-four finish at IEM Katowice and victories at Pinnacle Winter Series 3 and the Europe RMR A.

Pinnacle Cup Championship saw them enter the tournament as the favourite, however they suffered an early setback at the hands of fnatic forcing them to make their way through the lower bracket.

refrezh feels the 'favourites' tag gives his team confidence

After eliminating fnatic to avenge their first round defeat and qualify for the arena, refrezh took some time to give HLTV insight on that match, how it feels to be the favourites here in Lund, and how the team feel about their year thus far.

Congratulations on the win, how does it feel to make it to the arena?

It feels great, we always strive to make it to playoffs at every tournament we are in, because that’s where we want to be. We want to be in the arena, in the stadium, playing in front of a crowd, that’s the whole point of us travelling so much. We want to get that feeling, get that experience, and for this tournament we are also aiming for the trophy. We of course do it for every tournament, but we haven’t tried being the favourites before (smiles).

Does being the favourite bring with it any added pressure for you?

No, we don’t really feel like it’s adding pressure, it’s giving us more confidence that we are the best team here, it gives us a taste of blood. We really want to keep building on that momentum, and just go all the way.

Looking at the veto for that series, what was the idea behind the Overpass pick, as it was the map that fnatic picked against BIG?

We just went with our comfort, and Overpass is also a really big map where as T you need to have a lot of coordination with how to take map control, and how to execute. That’s going to be difficult with a new team, with a stand-in, and it just played to our favour because we feel really confident on the map.

We did see the game against BIG, and we were like “okay, we have a good idea how they play.” We knew their identity, we knew roeJ on A is always going to push and always going to play the positions he likes, so we had a good read. We weren’t really surprised by anything.

Turning to Mirage, did any nerves start to creep in when fnatic put that huge streak together in the second half to bring the score close?

It has happened before where we get some nerves when the other team is coming back, but for this game we talked about it during the pauses and the freeze-times, what went wrong. It was mostly just trading and spacing, we either were too close or too far away from each other, and identifying the problem gives us more calmness and makes it easier to mentally reset.

If you, for example, don’t know what went wrong, you are just going into the next round with no idea. We knew if we did the things properly, trading and getting map control, that we would end the round and hopefully win. There weren’t any nerves, of course we were a bit annoyed losing some stupid rounds, but we kept our cool and closed it out 16-14.

To talk more generally, how have you guys felt about your year so far? There have been ups and downs, but you generally finish around the top four in most events.

I think in the big picture we are satisfied, if you gave us the proposition of making these results 18 months ago then we would have of course taken it.

We are always striving to be better, we know that there are still things we need to improve on, but everything is going in the right direction, we are putting the hours and the work in. We just need to piece together the last couple of steps, of closing matches, being more calm on the big stages, and playing our own game.

It can be difficult when you are playing against the best teams in the world, like NAVI and FaZe, they are going to push you to the limit and either you are going to make it or break it. I think we are getting closer to winning those kind of games, that’s what you need to win tournaments, you need to beat the best team there.

Last time we played NAVI, at the Major, it was really close. We should have won on Ancient, and of course they destroyed us on the last map, but the first two maps were really close. The possibility was there, but we didn’t grab it.

Denmark Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
Ismail 'refrezh' Ali
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2022-06-09 20:32
3 replies
jks | 
Czech Republic CopeXar
Refrezh high on copium
2022-06-09 20:34
2 replies
Imperial about to be coping after losing to finest
2022-06-09 21:16
1 reply
jks | 
Czech Republic CopeXar
for real, sadge
2022-06-10 10:00
Israel KamazTier21
2022-06-09 20:32
swag | 
Cyprus Porgos
2022-06-09 20:33
2022-06-09 20:33
mhL | 
Russia Ansi
love this guy! haters, pls vanish!
2022-06-09 20:33
good luck further
2022-06-09 20:34
2022-06-09 20:34
1 reply
2022-06-09 20:37
kick this guy already /closed
2022-06-09 20:37
4 replies
Philippines Fiorno
2022-06-09 20:43
3 replies
He is wasting stavn's prime.
2022-06-09 20:43
2 replies
Philippines Fiorno
2022-06-09 20:44
2022-06-10 00:06
2022-06-09 20:38
can't wait to see pinnacle final between heroic and big
2022-06-09 20:43
Ismail top lad, always gives the best interviews.
2022-06-09 20:44
1 reply
United States cybonics
+1 wholesome af
2022-06-09 21:04
because that’s where we want to be. We want to be in the arena, in the stadium, playing in front of a crowd, that’s the whole point of us travelling so much. We want to get that feeling, get that experience biggest cap ever, this guy could NEVER perform on LAN, he is 1.20 rifler online and .9 rifler on LAN
2022-06-09 20:46
20 replies
He wants to improve on LAN
2022-06-09 21:02
19 replies
yes but no way he wouldnt want to be online, when he performs WAY better there and Heroic might be even title contenders online (seriously)
2022-06-09 21:04
18 replies
He doesn't want to be called onliner anymore, that thing hurts so much
2022-06-09 21:08
17 replies
Then they should start performing on LAN ;) Doesn't seem like they will though...
2022-06-09 21:18
16 replies
they already did , also they was close multiple time to destroy navi & faze in their comfort zone
2022-06-09 21:38
15 replies
When have they performed on a real LAN?
2022-06-09 21:44
14 replies
almost every time , pgl stockholm semi finalists , pgl antwerp quarter close to destroy navi , & some other lans
2022-06-09 21:46
13 replies
PGL Stockholm is the only relevant one. When I mean real LAN I mean on a stage. They lost to Na'Vi when they should've won in Antwerp. That's what I call not being able to perform on stage.
2022-06-09 21:48
12 replies
to destroy navi u should be n1 bro , already break it into playoffs of major is a good achievement for me , & they was close to win against them so no shame
2022-06-09 21:50
11 replies
But they are the ultimate "We'll make it to the stage and then do nothing team." That's not what I call a good LAN-team. They play fine in a studio, but choke the moment they are put under pressure. And they didn't destroy Na'Vi. They lost. If you want to mention the RMR: again less pressure environment. They can play great when they aren't in a pressure environment, but you can bet on them losing in the big matches every single time.
2022-06-09 22:03
10 replies
only against n1 teams ye for sure n1 teams is far better than any other , if they got to play against ence they while manage to get into semis , last year they won vp & almost win against g2 with a good comeback in inferno , there should be only one winner in the end & only the n1 team will take the crown , heroic is a consistent n3-5 team , i dont see any problem with that , maybe they will manage to break far in lan events soon
2022-06-09 22:08
9 replies
ENCE would've beaten Heroic. And only losing to the best teams? Let's go back 1 more tournament to ESL Pro League 15. Maybe check who they lost to in that tournament's quarter finals?
2022-06-09 22:08
8 replies
u make heroic looks like they was the n1 team last year then they fall off so hard that they cant even get to do any damage at all , they was bad in the first lan event last year ye sure , but they manage to come into their good form again , there was few bad events of them , 1 bad event would never describe anyteam
2022-06-09 22:10
7 replies
They lost to Team Liquid at EPL. You know, that shitty Team Liquid with SHOX!? Heroic was number one at some point during the online era and were generally considered a top 3 team for a long time after Gambit and Na'Vi. Then LAN came back and they dropped to a decent team that can only get to the playoffs and then lose there. They have shown that they are capable of beating the best teams. Just not on stage. That's why people call them "onliners". Don't get me wrong: I like the team. They just need a change. I don't know what refrezh does, but it's probably best to take him out, replace him for a good AWP-er and have cadiaN focus on calling instead, because as an AWP-er, he's not doing a good enough job.
2022-06-09 22:14
6 replies
then gambit come & destroyed heroic at every aspect & become the real n1 team in online , after that heroic didnt manage to do anything against teams like gambit & even navi in online , from that one they just was like 3-4 or 7-8 at every event lan or online , so it was more like gambit onliner cause they was like the best team ever in cs in online era then they fall so hard just to get destroyed every time in lan , but they break the curse & won a lan event , but guess what , they had to destroy faze in quarters to get far into the event , so if heroic really want to win an event they have to destroy the opponent that is better than them & make one step ahead , i dont see a problem with them be the quarters finalist or semi finalists tbh , unless they want to win a lan event then they should grind to be a top 1 contenders which is a bit tought for them tbh
2022-06-09 22:21
5 replies
But unlike Heroic, Gambit have shown relatively consistent improvement. Since the LANs came back. They dropped from the best team in the world to 2nd-3rd best team when Na'Vi dominated and then Faze and ENCE came along and now they are 4th-5th. Meanwhile, Heroic was number 2 while Gambit was number 1, yet they haven't made a big-stage final yet. I don't expect a team to continue the same results on LAN vs online if they aren't experienced, but Heroic now has shown that they just don't do well on LAN and, crucially, haven't shown any improvement in almost the entire year we have been on LAN. I don't expect them to win the Pinnacle Cup btw. They say it's Heroic's event to lose, I wouldn't be surprised if they lose.
2022-06-09 22:35
4 replies
well lets see , thats the tourney they should prove them self in , & it could be their only chance to win a lan trophy
2022-06-09 22:42
3 replies
They can't prove themselves in that tournament. They can only lose. If they win the tournament it will always be "Yes, but the teams there were bad."
2022-06-09 22:43
2 replies
well a win is a win , its so important to boost the team morale & break "what everyone think about their lan curse " , if they lose it it would be even worse & changes inside the team could happen who knows
2022-06-09 22:46
1 reply
They should be able to beat Finest, but I think they'll lose to BIG/Astralis
2022-06-09 22:52
quality interview
2022-06-09 21:07
getting influenced by PADIAN sad, he had some potential ....
2022-06-09 21:12
hope you liked your last interview before getting kicked
2022-06-09 21:17
2022-06-09 21:32
2 replies
And what are you bozo?
2022-06-09 22:04
1 reply
he cant play at top lvl with that mentality. so he is a looser..if u dont understand that u r too short minded.
2022-06-09 22:10
loser mentality. cadian and refrezh literally cry all the time. ffs. losers
2022-06-09 22:06
Check my profile Vitality the best
2022-06-09 22:08
Iceland suriel666
cope harder Cheatroic Onliners also "Last time we played NAVI, at the Major, it was really close. We should have won on Ancient, and of course they destroyed us on the last map, but the first two maps were really close." lol, saying this vs a team that is still suffering due to the war and even made roster changes because of it, knowing it during/before the tournament and playing with bad team morale .. and Cheatroic still can't beat them lmao
2022-06-10 13:25
1 reply
coPe hArDeR chEatrOiC. Lmfao sit the fuck down u absolute clown. Yeah we can see how the war really affect teams like Gambit / C9 lmfao, they don't give a shit they're basement dwellers playing CSGO. Heroic beat them the time before that so your last sentence doesn't even make sense either. Stay mad little kid.
2022-06-14 01:15
What results? Heroic is garbage and has accomplished nothing
2022-06-10 16:41
1 reply
accomplished more than the entire NA scene for the past 2 years
2022-06-14 01:25
North America go1x1n00b
apparently, the rest of the team doesn't think so
2022-06-18 13:51
So glad he's is finally benched from the roster. Now, I can finally start liking Heroic too.
2022-06-18 13:55
1 reply
Hahahaha flair
2022-06-18 19:40
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