Jame jokes about Major victory: "Every tournament helped me win this Major and finally realize I’m not a failure"
The Major MVP, still processing his emotions after lifting the IEM Rio trophy, gave his take on the upset-filled tournament and his team's championship run at the event in Brazil.
Dzhami "Jame" Ali earned his third career MVP medal at IEM Rio, and his first at a Major. The 24-year-old, who alongside teammate Alexey "Qikert" Golubev and coach Dastan "dastan" Akbayev won a Major for the first time in their second attempt, earned the accolade with a 1.30 rating in the Legends and Champions Stages.
The Russian AWPer took some time after the tournament concluded to talk to HLTV about Outsiders' feat in Rio de Janeiro, where they went through an unlikely bracket to beat Heroic 2-0 in the final and lift the trophy. "Everything is breaking out and I can’t focus," the MVP said of his emotions right after the final, "I want to calm down and see things clearly."
It's your second Major grand final and the first time you take the trophy. How does it feel to finally get it?
The tournament was very long, it was tough suppressing emotions that long, especially in the final days. But now we can relax, everything is starting to break out, and I’m overwhelmed with emotions.
As I said, it's your second Major final, was having played one previously helpful?
Of course, every tournament helped me find something to win this Major and finally realize that I’m not a failure [chuckles], and that I’m capable of something in this life.
One thing is becoming MVP, but becoming a Major MVP is reserved to a select few. How do you feel about that personal accolade?
I didn’t think about it at all. I didn’t think about the prize money, the stickers, nothing — all of it was overshadowed by what we put into winning a Major. Everything else was of less importance. Now, I’m yet to process everything. Too many things, everything is breaking out and I can’t focus. I want to calm down and see things clearly.
How did you feel about the final match-up against Heroic. They have a very different style than yours, what did you think about that stylistic clash?
We didn’t have much time between the match and the moment we found out our opponent. We didn’t overthink it today, just treated it as an ordinary match, working with what we already knew. But overall, Heroic play well. Maybe they didn’t handle the pressure, or we just simply were better. They are strong enough.
The last time you played Overpass against Heroic they had a one-sided victory. This time around you did. Did you do anything special?
As a professional player, I can tell you a million different things that changed. Most of all, we started on the wrong side, now we were playing in a final of Major under a colossal pressure, so I felt like it was easier to play safe than to take initiative and play proactive.
You made big changes this year, especially losing YEKINDAR. Did you think you'd be able to win something as big as a Major so quickly after bringing on fame and n0rb3r7?
I didn’t expect anything of the sort. I don’t know, you have too many thoughts, especially when you’re close to the tournament. In your day-to-day life, you don’t think about winning a Major, but when it’s closer and closer, thoughts start to take over and you change your mind. But overall, we understood that we could do it in our heads, but not in our hearts.
We didn’t know how it feels to win a big championship. We didn’t have an experienced person, who would tell us that we could do it. In our hearts, no, but in our heads we knew we were not worse than the others.
You made a Major final, so you have some experience! Were you able to help some of your teammates with that?
Yes, of course. It’s not about the Major, it’s about maturity. You tell young people that things are easier than they seem, that no one cares about video games, that it’s just one of many games and you will forget it, that you will have kids, that you will stop caring, and your career will end in five years. You tell yourself such things to dampen the meaning of it all; people around it and money give it meaning. People and money. But if you ignore it, you can play CS without pressure. Then it's just a game.
It has been a crazy Major. We saw a lot of the favorites eliminated early and the only top five team you met was Vitality in the earlier stages. What do you think of the road you took?
I don’t think that anyone expected those semi-final match-ups. This is a Major, after all. It tells us that the entry level of the Majors has increased, so that even top teams can no longer handle it and start losing. And it wasn’t about one favorite, all favorites bombed out — it tells us that Major is the only tournament where you have to deal with real pressure, you cannot get an invite to this event. They feel that the pressure is highest and start playing worse. [In other tournament circuits], they know there will be more tournaments, so it’s easier to digest. But the Major is magical, people have a hard time dealing with the pressure.