Olga on HSG fe move: "I wanted a change, to seek new horizons"
We spoke to the second-best womens' player of 2022 for some insight into her shock move to HSG fe.
After a 2022 that saw FURIA named the year's second-best women's team after a year full of runners-up finishes to Nigma Galaxy, Olga "Olga" Rodrigues announced in March her move to Asian squad HSG fe.
The squad around Ramona "gfi" Azween Binti Zaharuddin had impressed in their first international outing with a semi-finals finish at ESL Impact League Season 2. However, just before the move took place failed to make it out of the groups in Katowice a few months later, so it came as a surprise that HSG fe managed to attract the Brazilian star.
To shed some light on the move, HLTV spoke to Olga in an interview at the ESL Impact League Season 3 Finals in Dallas, where HSG fe went out after two convincing losses to NAVI Javelins and Black Dragons fe in last place.
The 29-year-old shared her thoughts on the team's failure in Dallas and her disappointing performance, what inspired her move to Asia, and the team's long term goals.
Unfortunate loss, probably not the result you would have wanted here. Tell me what the feeling is after being eliminated.
Really sad. We could not play our game, we know that. Even though we didn't have much time to get prepared, it's not an excuse for how we played today. I'm very sad about my own game, I could not play my own game even though I had all the freedom to do the things I wanted to do, and I just could not do it.
Why did you feel like you didn't have enough time to prepare?
Because I just joined the team, and we also had another change. A stand-by player, the sixth player joined the team to fill another place. The first time I moved to Malaysia was to play the qualifier, [I got there] ten days before it. We practiced, we got the spot, okay, I then need to come back to Brazil to renew my visa.
I spent one month waiting for all of this process, and when I came back we just had one week properly to play. Even playing for ten days before, with this one month of not playing together and just watching the practices, it's really tough to get 100% prepared for the matches.
What inspired this change to HSG fe, how did that come about?
First of all, I knew they were a really good team, they showed it to everyone. Secondly, I wanted a change, to seek new horizons, you know? Also it was a good offer, and if you put all three things together, I know we have a team to be champions. Also, we became really close in Sweden, so that's a fourth thing to add to the table. I know we have much more to show still.
What potential does this team offer for you?
I have a style that's completely different from them, but it's a kind of power they wanted too. When I joined the team we tried to find a halfway point where I fit the team in their system, and also they give me the freedom to still do my role. But it's not something that, if you put the number of days on paper, you can do in less than three weeks. It's really hard to make a new team and we just need time to play together.
Did you feel like you hit a wall with FURIA fe last year, and that is why this change was needed?
It's a good question. Yes, I can say that, but maybe I would just answer like before, that I want new horizons. I know in FURIA we had a team that also could be champions, and we were playing for so long together before the first Impact tournament so we could prepare better, have a good map pool, things like that.
What are the long-term goals for this team now?
Actually, since I joined the team, our main goal for international tournaments was Germany [for ESL Impact Season 4 Finals], which changed to Valencia because we hadn't yet qualified for Dallas. So this is like a bonus, it was not something like, 'okay, we need to go there to be champions,' it never was the main goal. Of course we knew our game is good enough to be champions, but it wasn't something like I had in FURIA where we already went to two finals, now we need to be champions.
Our main goal in this team is to be champions in the last Impact we're going to have this year. In the next year it's probably going to be Counter-Strike 2, so new tournaments are going to come. I don't know if Impact is going to have other tournaments also in Asia. We're looking forward to all of this.
So are you living in Asia, you're going to be there full-time?
The whole team is based there and you're going to be practicing with them in person, or how does that work?
We have two players, they play in China now in a bootcamp. We have two other players, they play in Malaysia, the coach also is in Malaysia, but each one is in their own home.
Right now I'm staying in gfi's home, playing there, and for the next month maybe I go to China and also stay in the bootcamp, or just stay in Malaysia. Also we can make a bootcamp in Malaysia, there are some plans on paper but we still need to talk to see how we're going to play and join the whole team and play in a bootcamp together, in China, Malaysia, even in Europe, don't know.
Some of the Brazilian pros talk about missing home a lot after being away for so long, is that not a factor for you then, that you don't mind not being in Brazil for extended periods?
It's not something that would stop me from moving away. Of course, I miss home, I miss my family, my friends, but now I'm focusing on the work and I know I'll have time too. Even staying in Brazil I didn't have much time, so my routine won't change very much between the work time and the 'have fun' time. Even with the family, I was not living with my family, I was living with a friend in a home, in our apartment, so basically my routine won't change very much.
You said this tournament was a bonus for you, so what's the plan going forward now that you're out?
Like I said, the last Impact is our next goal, that's the tournament we know we need to deliver more and we need to fit this team.