Jerry on r3salt: "We just need to work and he will be one of the greatest players"
The Russian in-game leader had a lot of encouraging words for Evgeny "r3salt" Frolov after FORZE's 2-1 victory over Natus Vincere in the EPL Group D opener.
FORZE came into ESL Pro League Season 17 in inconsistent form. The Russian squad succeeded in qualifying for the BLAST.tv Paris Major Europe RMR, but also failed in qualifying for ESL Challenger Melbourne after losses to HONORIS and ECSTATIC.
Regardless, Andrey "Jerry" Mekhryakov and company enjoyed a perfect start to their run through ESL Pro League Season 17 after taking down Natus Vincere — the world's No. 5 team — after completing a reverse sweep (Overpass 11-16, Ancient 16-14, Inferno 11-16).
Jerry took the time to conduct a post-match interview with James "BARDOLPH" Bardolph and Alex "hawka" Hawkins following FORZE's victory over the Ukrainian roster, where he touched on r3salt's addition and potential, the team's goals in Malta, as well as how FORZE can constantly stay ahead of the game when it comes to utility usage.
"That's a lot of credit to my organization [for recruiting r3salt]," Jerry said. "They keep trusting and believing in me so I can keep players if I like them. In this case, particularly, our coach helped me as well.
"If we're talking about the young players... the youngest one is r3salt now, he's 19 years old, I suppose. We had a lot of struggles to find a fifth player, there were some people like Forester, the ex-Entropiq player, and sugaR, who is now playing for K23. We had a lot of other people, but I liked r3salt the most because he has incredible aim and maybe you have seen it in that best-of-three series [versus NAVI], his multi-kills are proving that.
"That headshot on Ancient when he was 1vs4 on the pistol round for T-side to s1mple in Donut, as you can see, he is a really insane player; I believe in him. We just need to work on maps and what we can do, and he will be one of the greatest players. We just need to keep working, this is just the first step and there are 10,000 more."
BARDOLPH then quizzed the Russian captain on the team's goals coming into ESL Pro League, and how far the side are looking to go whilst in Malta after a period of mixed results.
"Let's start from the beginning," Jerry opened with. "We didn't have a proper bootcamp just before it because of some personal reasons, whether it's visas, making passports. Once we got into the bootcamp, we had ESL Challenger Melbourne qualifier, which was five days out of our seven-day bootcamp. We had other official matches, so that's why I'm calling 10,000 more steps because we didn't work with how we did with the previous roster, so all we have now is the firepower and some basic strategies.
"We know how to get space on the map, but we didn't practice that much on praccs, and that means we don't know all the ways out from certain situations. And what about goals? I think it will be to do as much damage as we can... we will be damage dealers and try surprise as much as we can so we have a lot of material to work on when we're back at the bootcamp for the RMR."
hawka then pivoted the conversation towards how FORZE use their grenades and where the team finds lineups for their newly-employed utility sets.
"Yeah, so, the first step is that we're stealing a lot from the pros. It's Heroic, sometimes it's Sprout, we should give credit to Staehr, the thing with the first-box smoke, I stole from him... not exactly the smoke, just the idea when you are out of advantage and you see where the CTs are since there's low time and they don't want you to get the bomb plant.
"I'm a big fan of NartOutHere, he's watching a lot of demos and he makes YouTube videos so it's easier to know the new nades and employ them into the game. That's how it works in FORZE right now.
"But I don't know. We just did what we prepared. We prepared for the first map, it's our pick, Overpass, it's very good. But as you can see, the good preparation doesn't always give you the credit and end result. After that, for Ancient, our coach... he came up after and said 'Ok they do this, they do this, we can do this, we can do this.'
"So I said, 'Ok, let's use what we have on Ancient,' and considering Inferno was the map we were giving a lot of credit over the past two weeks, we had no preparation. We just played like we used to play. I think that's it. Some good individuals and some good calls, that's why there's the close score."
FORZE will face off against their compatriots of Spirit in their next matchup at ESL Pro League Season 17, with the two teams scheduled to begin their Russian derby on Thursday at 16:00 .