HooXi on IEM Dallas: "I felt like giving up and I didn't really have more energy in the tank"
G2 have slowed down as of late, unable to reach the same heights as their victories at the BLAST Premier World Final and IEM Katowice a few months back.
The European roster missed out on the BLAST.tv Paris Major playoffs and were sent packing from IEM Dallas in the quarter-finals, being defeated 1-2 by FaZe in what was their first tier-one test of the tournament.
Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen and company have already shown a much better face at the BLAST Spring Finals, however, recording a comfortable 2-0 victory over Cloud9 to set up a date with Imperial, where a win would guarantee the side a semi-final berth and a top-four finish in the last event of the season.
|BLAST Premier Spring Final 2023|
HLTV was able to sit down with HooXi shortly after G2's opening win versus Cloud9. The Danish in-game leader spoke about the team's opening series versus Cloud9, their upcoming bout versus Imperial, and the mood in the G2 camp after a relatively lackluster run of form toward the latter half of the season.
Tell me about this Cloud9 victory at first. It was fairly straight-forward, apart from the ending of Inferno. From that 10-1 point on they were catching some momentum, can you tell me how you finally got Inferno over the line in the end?
We kinda let them into the game again after being up 10-1. We gave them a few CT rounds, and then it's really tough to get CT rounds nowadays on Inferno. Obviously we didn't play some situations as well on CT, we had a 5v3 after Nema [huNter-] gets two kills and didn't manage to close it down. I'm not sure what happened, but it's just Inferno right now, and I think we are also two T-sided teams, Cloud9 and us.
Did you catch the game Imperial played against Vitality earlier?
I saw the Overpass game, but didn't have time for the rest, we had to warm up and set up. They are always pretty good on Overpass on the T side, and that's not going to be a problem for us (laughs), so that's good.
How are you feeling heading into that matchup? Confident?
Of course, I'm confident, but at the same time we've had a long season and they probably don't travel as much as we do and I think they are also more hungry when they get the chance than us. It's a big tournament for them, of course we want to win as well, but I think that is something that we need to bring the same fire that they have. We were setting up while they were playing and I could hear they were shouting, yelling, having a good time, and if we come in a lazy mood or whatever you wanna call it, then they will roll over us I think. It's important that we don't underestimate them and also important we come in with the right mentality.
I wanted to ask you about your energy, as well. You've been on this run since the Major, and then Dallas didn't go so well for you either. What are the energy levels at the moment and the mood in the team?
Dallas was a bit of a lesson, especially for me. I felt like giving up and I didn't really have more energy in the tank. Now, I didn't work as hard at Dallas and I tried to do less prep, also to get some energy back, and I think I have it now and I also showed it in this game that I'm bringing back the hype we usually have. If I can keep doing that throughout the tournament, I think we will do good.
What do you think was behind that in Dallas? A lot of people were talking about the body language inside the team, and from your perspective especially.
I could make a long list. It's been a long year in general, first year for me in tier one, traveling a lot, having personal issues, and just not playing to the level that we want. It's just hard when you put in so many hours and so much work and you don't see results, then that can be a bit demotivating. All of that just kinda hit at once. I'll be quite honest, I didn't feel like being there (laughs). We played a whole year, and to have one slip up in one tournament when it comes to mentality is, of course, not the best, but I wouldn't call it unacceptable either. But now we are back and I think we're going to do good.
Do you think that was the only problem, not being up to par with energy levels and mood at Dallas? Those two series you had against Heroic and FaZe, the Ancient comeback against FaZe was the only positive to take away, as it was pretty convincing losses otherwise. Was there something else that went wrong in those two games as well?
I think both teams were better than us, as well, just at playing CS. I think against Heroic especially we didn't even give ourselves a chance, we just lost to ourselves. Against FaZe it was different because it was in the arena and we had the energy back and the motivation to play. The Ancient was fun, but they had a really good answer for how we played on Inferno and completely shut us down, we never tried anything like that on the T side. I think they just kept the momentum from Inferno onto Mirage and some key rounds didn't go our way, so it's definitely not that we only lose because of bad mentality or because we weren't 100% energized or anything. Before you get all that energy back and show you actually want to be there, all of the rest doesn't matter. So it's one step at a time, and now at least we have the energy back and the mood back, so that's good.