nexa on coming back against FaZe: "Previously, it was really hard to pull out the full mental reset"
After a rocky group stage that saw OG finish fourth, Nemanja "nexa" Isaković and company have looked reinvigorated in the second stage of the BLAST Premier Fall Groups, now finding themselves one victory away from the Fall Final after eliminating Complexity and sending FaZe to the last-chance stage.
In the latter match against Finn "karrigan" Andersen's squad, OG recovered from an early loss to pistols on the T side of Ancient, turning around the opening map from a 2-7 deficit, and went on to complete the upset on the deciding Inferno. They have now earned two chances to qualify for the Fall Final, with their first coming on Saturday in a match against Astralis.
In an interview with HLTV.org following OG's second win in the knockout phase, nexa praised his team for resetting mentally after the tough start on Ancient. Doing his best Hampus "hampus" Poser impression, the Serbian also shared his approach to the T side of Inferno in the match, saying that simply executing B is what teams can often fall back to when out of ideas.
To hear OG's in-game leader's thoughts on the win against FaZe and an update on how the team is adjusting ot their new AWPer degster, you can watch the interview above. A full transcript can also be found below.
nexa, congratulations on beating FaZe. I wanted to start with Ancient and the way you came back from that 7-2 start, you lost that forcebuy and from there on it seemed to get away from you. How did you come back from that?
Yeah, I think that's one thing that previously we were not really able to do and I'm really glad that we pulled ourselves together. There will always be rounds like that in CS, you lose the rounds you're not supposed to do or someone fails a clutch, a frag in the back, whatever, it's always gonna happen. The thing is, we have a lot of youngsters on the team and also myself, even though I have experience, I still let those situations affect me.
Previously, it was really hard to pull out the full mental reset and just think about it like, "forget about this round, let's focus on the next round." Even if people say it, you still have the round previously in the back of your head anyway, so one thing that we're trying to fix is exactly that and actually just try to enjoy the game and have everyone smile, and, no matter what, fully erase it. It doesn't matter if you're losing or leading 15-0, we just play the next round. Next freezetime starts, we don't look at the scoreboard, we just try to go round by round — like, really round by round, not just saying it but actually trying to commit to this way of thinking.
I think it's been very healthy for the team, so I really like that — we lost a lot of stupid rounds on Ancient, but we still managed to stay composed, and just focusing on the next round is what actually enabled the comeback on the T side. And then, our Ancient CT side, even though it looked shaky against Complexity, I think we're one of the strongest teams on this map.
You pulled out another solid T side on Inferno. In a meta that still seems fairly CT-heavy, you put together good offenses in this series — what was the key behind that Inferno victory?
I think it was really messy, even random. I had a general idea of how we should play and what bombsite we should attack. I think they did the same when they were almost making the comeback on the T side — if you're stuck on Inferno, the best thing you can do basically is to try to full execute B and then hope that it goes your way. In that scenario, it kinda did go our way, flameZ had amazing entries all the time. It looked messy, but we kinda knew what we were doing at the same time with the flashes and everything, so it's pretty much a thing that every single team uses. If it's rough, you just go B, you full execute, two or three molotovs on site, and you break the CTs.
I think the mistake they did is, they didn't really try to play in between taking full banana and playing full passive. If they were taking full banana, we were winning the fights, but we were also winning the fights if they played fully passive back on the bombsite. Whereas we actually on our CT side did the exact opposite, we were always trying to stay around broken wall, trying to fight around this area, so I think that was the key for us on the CT side. On the T side, again, if you have people who blindly trust and just run through smokes and just do what you tell them to do and they believe in you, the game becomes much easier. Obviously, you still gotta hit some nice shots to pull it off.
Astralis are up next in that qualification match. Obviously, the whole storyline around them at the moment is that they're struggling to go through the open qualifiers for the Major and this match is going to come almost in the middle of that, where their focus is maybe not going to be on this match specifically. Is that something you feel like will play into your advantage?
Honestly, no, not really. I think they're a pretty solid team and they're experienced enough to play multiple games in the same day if they have to. Either way, we're not going to be thinking of them, we're gonna keep doing our own thing and pushing our own narrative. They're just the next step on a road, and our goal is to make it to the Royal Arena. That's the only thing we're thinking of now.
I wanted to ask about degster. Just how comfortable are you guys feeling about where he is at the moment and where you're slotting everyone else around him?
I think it depends on the map, it's like 50-50. On some maps, we're feeling pretty comfortable because he was actually exactly the thing that we needed to make these maps good, but on some other maps that we were previously playing good we gotta change it.
If you noticed, we changed some positions on our CT side. We swapped me and F1KU on a couple of maps to see if we can get better synergy with me and degster going on some maps where I can be a bit more controlling but still give him the freedom. I know how to adjust for him and play for him and do all the things for him, since in general we also try to give space to NEOFRAG and F1KU to do their own thing. We cannot make everyone happy, so we tried to figure out what the best fit, the best solution, is for our CT sides on some maps. But on some maps, he was the missing piece and now we're just banging on those maps.