frozen: "It doesn't matter if you have good stats or not, you still feel bad if you are losing"
A host of individual accolades are heading frozen's way, but it is team success that he truly hungers for.
David "frozen" Čerňanský, by the numbers, is one of the most consistent riflers in the world. He has a 1.21 rating for the year so far, and hasn't dropped below a 1.00 rating for an event since IEM Dallas 2022.
We sat down with him for a detailed chat after MOUZ's elimination, asking him about his role as both the veteran and star of the side, as well as what it is like to be considered as one of the very best riflers in the world.
Had a good start to the event, kind of tailed off towards the end. How do you reflect on your first event?
As you said, the first three games were convincing wins. We played NIP, who are not in the best shape at the moment, and NAVI, who are still finding themselves. Other than that, I think we played well in those matches. But yeah, coming to Vitality and this match, they were just clearly better teams.
What do you think went wrong in the last few games? What do you mean by the 'better' team?
For example, against Vitality, in the first map we got four rounds, but I didn't feel like we didn't have a chance. There were rounds that we could have converted and then the money situation would be different, and the scoreboard would look different. In the second map it was kind of the same case, if we won some rounds the score would look different but as well, our adaptation wasn't the best against Vitality.
Today, we knew what was going to come against Astralis, we knew how they were going to play. We were ready, but we were not mentally ready for it. There was just some questionable decision making. I'm just mad at myself to be honest. We could have easily won that Nuke game, just some questionable decision making by me.
You're the youngest team in the event, an average age of 19.8. That means you're the veteran, just by maps played, and have been a while. Is age a factor when it comes to the mental readiness?
Maybe. For me, I've been here for some time so I know how to deal with pressure and this stuff. But I'm still young, there are situations that I'm probably new to. I'm still learning, so I think age could play a part, but I think it's more about being there in the moment when it matters, that's kind of what cost us a bit today.
Zooming out more long term, it's still early days, but how are you finding siuhy as the IGL?
I've enjoyed working with siuhy so far, I think he's a great IGL. He was on GamerLegion before, but I think he's going to be a great IGL one day. Even now, I think he's doing very well. He has a very clear way of how he is going to approach the game, I like the way he approaches the game. This was our first tournament together but in our next ones it's going to be much better.
If you had to sum up his approach, his philosophy, how would you?
He's giving his players freedom, but he's direct with the calling on a lot of maps, as well. He has some plan, and we'll see what is going to happen but there is some direction from him all the time. I don't want to say he is that controlling IGL, he is giving freedom, but at the same time, I don't know how to say it. It's a mixture of control and giving freedom to his players.
What about him as a player. You, him, and xertioN all prefer to be rotators on maps. You've got priority on a few of them, but there's been some changes, you're playing A on Mirage, things like that. How are you trying to balance the three of you on CT side?
It's about identity, and as you said on Mirage for example we swapped. It just made sense to put me on A, for example, and siuhy played Connector before, so we made some changes so it makes sense for everyone, and everyone is comfortable with the roles that they have. I think it's like that on most maps. We basically discussed how they did it, how we did it, and we're just combining stuff basically.
On CT side, you had a 1.61 CT rating this season before that last map. It's actually crazy. What do you think that is down to? Obviously you can be far more aggressive on CT than T, is that a factor? What's fuelling this form?
It's hard to say. It's still a CT meta at the moment even though they nerfed the silencer. I still think CT is the easier half, the T is where you need to grind those kills out. On CT it becomes a little easier.
Roles have something to do with it, but just the way we set up rounds on some maps I'm the main factor. For example, on Ancient, [laughs] though it didn't work out today. But we have a good mixture of having siuhy somewhere, me somewhere, so far it works for us on CT side.
About T side, Jimpphat has come in as another passive element. Do you feel a bit more free on T side to make plays now? Since ropz left, you've been this passive lurker. Are you more of the 4th man now, the one that comes back to the pack, or are you still the primary passive lurker?
It depends on the map. There's maps where I'm the heavy passive lurk, but there's also maps where I'm the second aggressive guy. Like Nuke, for example, on T side I have an aggressive role. It really depends on the map, also with the lineup before, I went through a couple of roles already. It's not new for me, or difficult for me, to lurk on one map and on the other be more aggressive. I'm capable of playing accordingly. Having Jimpphat, on some maps he's the heavy lurk, on some maps I am, we have a kind of good balance between them.
If you had a completely blank slate on a team, what role would you choose? As you've said, you've played every role, so what would you actually pick?
I'm enjoying the lurk, the passive lurk, at the moment on the maps I'm playing it. Here comes the thing, I'm not really sure I'd like to play full passive lurk on every map because I'm the type of player that needs some action. Let's be honest, if you're a passive lurk you're not getting as much action. Sometimes you are just basically waiting for an enemy to save and that's when your time comes to punish.
So, I'm not really sure if I would choose passive lurk. I'm good where I am now. I have aggressive roles, I have passive roles, that feels good to sometimes have action and sometimes play more passive. Just having a balance on that.
In particular Pimp has been praising you a lot, your ratings are sky high in that role. But sometimes, it feels like you get your kills no matter whether MOUZ win or lose. Is that a role thing? How does that work for you?
Let's say we lose and I still play good, it doesn't feel good still. It doesn't matter if you're on top of the scoreboard or not. You can have kills, but you don't feel the impact in the game if you're losing heavily. Like against Vitality we got run over, I was doing well but we are getting destroyed. You still feel bad. It doesn't really matter if you have good stats or not, you still feel bad if you are losing the game.
With the kills and the stats, the best way to not perform but have stats, in the perfect way, would be to have impact. If we are losing 16-4 then I can imagine that all those kills probably didn't have impact on the game. It's situational in a lot of cases. I'm basically playing every round like it's my last round, and I'm trying to have the best round basically, that's my mentality.
Where do you see yourself in the group of the best riflers in the world. On a stats page you're right up there, do you feel like you are?
Maybe a little bit? I think I'm still developing into a high calibre player, maybe I have good stats. I'm confident, I just want to show the world that I am capable of being one.
What's next for you MOUZ guys? This is just the first event, with lots to come. Have you thought about where you want to be at the end of the year or going into the next Major?
We will see, this was our first tournament as you said. We will go home and evaluate, and add way more stuff. We had some new stuff here but not too much. On the new things, we're going to re-evaluate, maybe some more role changes maybe not. For now we are just going to improve for the next tournament, and that's how it's going to be.