SHiPZ on 9INE and Monte: "I think we're at that level"
Georgi "SHiPZ" Grigorov is confident in 500's capabilities.
500 had a mixed bag on day one of the Europe RMR B, suffering a convincing defeat by Heroic only to bounce back against Spirit. This encapsulates the Bulgarian side in general, even if they were underdogs in both matches; they are a side that can beat anyone on their day, but one that struggles for consistency.
A key part of their win over Spirit was the play of SHiPZ, who was a dangerous presence lurking on T side and menaced the Russians with his deagle in the key round of the game.
Following the aforementioned victory over Spirit, SHiPZ took some time out with HLTV to discuss his team's first day of action, 500's progression since the lineup's inception, and his thoughts on the Bulgarian scene.
The first day is over for you guys, you're 1-1, against two tough opponents, Heroic and Spirit. What are your thoughts after this first day?
I think we're fine with 1-1. Against Heroic the result was not very close, but the game actually was. We lost some very important rounds that if we won, the game wouldn't be like that. Against Spirit still some mistakes happened, but we controlled the game pretty much the whole time.
You guys didn't come here in the best shape. Did you think you'd struggle a bit because of the form you've had or that you're bouncing back?
Our form was very poor, yeah, we lost a lot of games. We won some, but I think that in the current state of the game, as you can see, anyone can beat anyone and we just have this mentality. We know we can beat anyone, but we can also lose against anyone. It depends on the day, on how people feel, if they're confident...
We're seeing a lot of upsets, there were some in RMR A, today has been full of them in RMR B. What do you make of it?
It's happening because everyone learned how to play the game the right way and it's just very close situations and timings that are deciding the end result.
Do you think it will stay this way when we get to the best-of-threes?
The more experienced teams have more advantage in the best-of-threes because yes, you can upset them on one map, but to beat them on two you really have to outplay them. It will be tougher for the underdogs, for sure. I'm happy that we faced two good teams so that we don't play against them again in the later stage, in the best-of-threes.
So you rather get the better teams now?
Yeah, I want to get the big teams now, in the best-of-ones, not the best-of-threes.
You said your form was a bit shaky before coming here. How do you feel now after sitting down and playing here together on LAN? I know some of the guys don't have so much international LAN experience. How is the feeling of playing here together on LAN?
Yeah, we don't have a lot of experience, we're playing our second LAN together. The first one was Elisa, and it's just an experience for everyone. Even if we don't do good, we learn from it and we continue forward.
How's the progression of the team been? There are a few teams like Monte, 9INE that are shooting hard here and got a 2-0 start. They're an online team you see a lot playing in your environment. Do you see yourselves at that level?
Yeah, I think we're at that level. Every time we play against them it has been pretty close, we have won sometimes, we lost some, but I think we're at the same level. I'm not afraid of facing them. I think we can take them.
What are you looking forward to in the next matches? Do you think you have what it takes to break through? Especially the big teams, which you may have to face because of the lower seeding
I hope so, we'll do our best. The addition of our coach, he kind of showed us a unique view to the game, how to add a nice structure, so he helps the team a lot. As I said, we can beat anyone, but also lose against anyone.
Tell me about the addition of a coach, how has that changed the team?
He's helping us take some pressure off of what the in-game leader has to do. He's helping us prepare for teams, and I think just adding more structure because that has been a problem for us.
Would you say that's a common problem in Bulgarian CS, lack of structure?
Yes, it has been a problem. People need to think more about the bigger picture, not to to kill people on an eco, for example, to think about the economy. That's the difference between the very strong teams and the lower tier ones, the small details, which make a big difference.
You've played with the old guard of Bulgaria, you played on international teams, now you're back in Bulgaria. What is it you see in this team and what do you bring with your experience?
I've tried to IGL in the past, but it takes a lot of time. It's not for me yet, in the future maybe, but I still don't want to do it. I do a lot of mid calling, but that's why we brought niki1 into the team, so he can focus more on calling and I can focus on killing people.
He has some experience...
Yeah, he does, he's been playing the game for 20 years, probably, so he knows a thing or two!
The only Bulgarian at a Major so far has been CeRq. How big would it be for you guys to make it in the last one on CS:GO, and how big is the support back home?
There's not very much support, actually, very few people, but we appreciate everything. Even people from outside of Bulgaria. It's a big dream to qualify for the Major, not only me but the whole team has been chasing it since 2016, 2017, since we started playing. I've been to three or four Minors and never made it out, so it's definitely something I'm looking to do in the final Major.