s1mple: "Only after we get better results, we'll feel like number one"
After missing out on the first stage and letting NAVI Junior AWPer headtr1ck step in, s1mple rejoined the team at the BLAST Premier Fall Groups just in time for their qualifying match against Vitality and helped them finish off the job, as NAVI made it to the Fall Final in their first attempt.
Following the match, we had the chance to speak to the Ukrainian superstar about his brief stint on the sidelines. s1mple shared what it was like to watch his team play without him and gave us his thoughts on headtr1ck filling in for him, praising the academy player for helping the team secure the first seed in the group stage.
s1mple, is this a new meta for you to let your team stroll through the group stage and then come in and get the job done?
Yeah, it's much easier to enjoy CS, just one game and we are in the Royal Arena.
What did you make of watching the team from the sidelines make it through the groups?
It was a great experience. I gave them some tips after the first games, I saw a lot of mistakes, pistol rounds, everything, I saw everything. It's interesting, you know? I told them some words, I chatted with them, and I saw the progress how the game was changing. It was very cool.
What did you think of how headtr1ck was able to fill your position? I spoke to B1ad3 and he wasn't particularly impressed with him matching up against the tier-one - what did you think?
I think he did a good job. I mean, they qualified from first place, he did what he could do. He got a lot of experience and it's very nice that NAVI Junior allows other players to play instead of the main roster and gain more experience for future games. He started to play the AWP a few months ago and he played really decent in the WePlay Academy League games, and coming here he showed a great result.
You joked about it a little bit on Twitter when you saw that you overtook FaZe in the HLTV rankings. I'm curious about if you think that you have a claim on the No.1 or if there are still things to prove?
I already made a joke, FaZe better not lose another best-of-one or they become third or fourth. But I understand how they're feeling, we had the same situation with them, I think, or with Gambit when we basically won a lot of main tournaments and became second. Our team just needs to prove it with results. Only after we get better results and better tournaments, we'll feel like number one.
I wanted to lastly ask you about the changes that happened in the off-season. A lot of teams are trying to catch up to you and FaZe and get that last change that will finally get them over the line. What did you think of some of the biggest teams, like G2, ENCE, Vitality? Do you feel like those were clear improvements?
I think G2 [was] not quite a good improvement. It's still 50-50 for me, I don't understand some changes, but it's their team so they do whatever they want. Vitality, yeah, I like how they got better form. Before, I felt like they had some lack of communication because of a language barrier, but right now I feel like they're playing better as a team.
ENCE, we played some scrims already. It's nothing impressive, as always (laughs). I mean, let's see, let's see, I like how their AWP player plays, so it's interesting what they're gonna prepare for the next event.