B1ad3: "I think headtr1ck is not ready to play versus tier one comfortably enough"
Despite playing without superstar s1mple and with NAVI Junior member headtr1ck standing in, Natus Vincere topped their group at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups and will head into the knockout stages from the first seed, earning two chances to qualify for the Fall Final.
We caught up with the Andrey "B1ad3" Gorodenskiy after the group came to an end to get his thoughts on the team's impressive recovery and the dominant finish that saw Natus Vincere close out the group with 16-3 and 16-4 wins.
The coach spoke on the topic of headtr1ck's performance and was quite critical of the youngster despite the 18-year-old putting up a respectable 1.12 rating across the four maps played, saying he doesn't believe the NAVI Junior player is ready to compete at this level yet.
First place in the group, obviously playing without s1mple - what was the expectation coming into it and how did you pull off the win without your biggest star?
We had the same question from BLAST and I said that it can go in both ways, we can win like this or we can play like against Complexity on the first map. In practice sometimes we find the balance, find the synergy, and communicate properly, but sometimes we feel something is not good enough and people are making mistakes.
It also depends on opponents and what opponents do against us, because in some situations when you play with two stand-ins it mostly depends on how they react on something difficult in the game. If they are able, then it's fine like it was today, for example, and sometimes the opponents can have a very good approach and they can destroy us. But the must find this gap, find this weakness, it's also hard work.
Is that what happened in the first Complexity game?
No, the first game was more about confidence. Two stand-ins, we started to lose stupid rounds. It wasn't about confidence but more about our mistakes. When you play best-of-one, it's very important to win crucial rounds, and some of them we were like 4v2 on CT side, we lost that one, another one we lost on A because something happened that we already discussed to watch out for. It was more about concentration and more about us making stupid mistakes in crucial rounds. In best-of-one it looks like this, we can lose the first one and win like this style the second time versus them on Overpass.
What do you think about how headtr1ck has performed?
I think that he is not ready to play versus tier one comfortably enough. I see how passive he is sometimes because he doesn't know what to do, because he's afraid to do something, for example. Or he doesn't know how to do this, for example. It's like you get experience, you go higher and higher on a hill, and from the hill you see more, you know what I mean? A metaphor. It's like this. At the moment, he has some potential, but he's not on the hill, he doesn't see what is going on there. When he understands the macro, how it works on the map, I think it will be much easier for him to compete.
I know you said you weren't sure when exactly s1mple would be back, but now that you know your next match is in a week's time, can we expect him to return in time for the next phase?
Yes. Actually, from the beginning we were expecting him to miss only this day. I don't know, a lot of portals are saying that he's missing the whole group stage, but we had a plan that it's only for the first day. It doesn't matter what place you have, you'll still play the playoffs, the only thing is the last chance qualifier where you have to be in the next stage. This was the main goal for us, so if s1mple comes back we must have one best-of-three, and if something happens another best-of-three, like versus NIP last season. So yeah, we expect him to come back.