Swani: "Right now we have this mentality that we can win against everyone"
The German coach sat down with HLTV.org after G2 beat BIG to start off their IEM Katowice group stage.
G2 came into Katowice as one of the most in-form teams of the last three months after the European combine won BLAST Premier World Finals to end 2022 and started the new year with good performances at BLAST Spring Groups.
They met BIG in their Katowice opener and won the series 2-0, a victory that extends their win streak to eight games with a single map loss among them. G2 also had their second-ever Anubis game in the series against the Germans and looked strong on the map pool's newest addition.
After their first match in Katowice, Jan "Swani" Müller talked with HLTV.org and touched on G2's hot start to the season, their incredible pistol round record, and the reasons for Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen picking up the AWP on Anubis.
You guys are the latest Big Event winners and had a good BLAST Spring Groups performance. Does this put more pressure on the team in terms of expectations, or does it bring confidence?
Not really, it brings confidence. We saw that we can win against everyone and right now we have this mentality that we can win against everyone on a good day. If we control what we have, good communication, a good team, then no one can beat us. We know this and we have this in our mind now, and it doesn't create any pressure because we just know we are that good at the moment.
You started off against BIG on Anubis. We only saw you play it once at the World Final, you didn't get to play it at the Groups. How do you see the map at the moment and where you stand on it considering you haven't had much official experience?
I think we are pretty good at it. It's super T-sided, in my opinion, so we elected to start on T side and we got off to a pretty hot start, like 7-3. Then our teamplay got a bit down, we didn't have the good commitment like we had before. I think what we have right now is really good and we just have to improve our commitment a bit. On CT side, I think you saw that we have good double-AWP setup with Rasmus [HooXi] and Ilya [m0NESY]. HooXi hit some insane shots. I think what we have is really good, we are on a good path, for sure.
Tell me about that decision, to give HooXi the AWP on the B site. What was the thinking there?
We just saw that in practice it makes almost no sense for Ilya to be B all the time. We want him to roam around, retake A main with Justin [jks] to help NiKo in mid. On B, like on Mirage B site, he likes to double-AWP as well, so he tried it in practice and we have really good setups with the double AWP and it works super well for us. It's super-hard to execute on B, there are a lot of angles where you don't get really flashed and you can kill one guy for free, at least, all the time.
You've had a lot of success in pistols and forcebuys after that. I went back through it and it's 23 pistol rounds in a row now that you either won or won the forcebuy afterwards. Obviously, you're getting off to great starts all the time. What's been behind that success?
I think in pistols, as I talked about it, on T side we just have really good commitment, and obviously we have NiKo on the P250, which is insane. But we don't think too much about pistols because a lot of teams anti-strat pistols and we just... it's random. If you go together and you hit your shots, it's so much easier than overthinking it. So we have like three or four pistols and we rotate them.
People generally view Group A as the stronger group, how do you look at it?
I prefer playing against tougher opponents, so to say, against like top-five opponents, because you know what you get. For example, a team like MOUZ, they didn't show anything for after the break, so it's really hard to prepare and I think they have a really good tournament because you don't know what you're getting. With teams like NAVI, FaZe, we know what we are getting. We know their playstyle really well and it just fits us well. We just want to play them and beat the best.