jL: "We understand Anubis on a new level compared to the other teams"
The Lithuanian rifler was in good spirits after NAVI's win against Eternal Fire.
In an ESL Pro League season full of upsets, Natus Vincere were pitted against the red-hot Eternal Fire in the quarter-finals. Engin "MAJ3R" Küpeli and company comfortably dispatched the likes of Cloud9 and Astralis during their EPL run before the Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen-led squad proved too much to handle.
Natus Vincere were comfortable on Anubis and Nuke and secured a 2-0 victory, which sets them up for a semi-final clash against Monte on Saturday. The European combine will no doubt assume the role of favorite in that match-up, but will nevertheless need to be at the top of their game to avoid an upset against Volodymyr "Woro2k" Veletniuk and company.
Congrats on your win, you stopped Eternal Fire's streak. Talk me through your feelings?
One of our streaks had to be broken, we are lucky that this time it was theirs. I feel good, I felt like they were a little tame at the start of the game, I didn't feel like they were playing their own game. But towards the later stages of the Anubis T side, they were doing a lot of ballsy plays and trying to play their style. It caught us off guard because they were a little passive for the whole game, and I thought, 'Okay, that's how they're gonna play.'
When they started doing those things we got a little scared, and we didn't play our own game a little bit, so Anubis went 10-5. Then on the CT side, we had a talk that we should play our own game and not be fazed about what they are doing, be smart about it, counter it, and it worked out.
I wanted to ask about Anubis. You didn't pick it, but this is your third comfortable win at EPL. Is the map becoming something of a home map for you guys?
I want to say it is our worst map, but people probably understand it isn't the truth. It's one of our stronger maps, we understand Anubis on a new level compared to the other teams, and we have a great philosophy on it. Only time will tell when teams will start watching us and try to implement our stuff into their own game.
You are one of the few favorites still left standing at EPL, how do you feel about your chances of ending CS:GO with a tournament victory?
I feel it's pretty hard, to be honest. Now we face Monte, one of the underdog teams. And at EPL, the underdogs are really strong. Eternal Fire were underdogs against us, but there was a high chance of them just rolling over us, they were ready, warmed up, and prepared.
We handled Eternal Fire pretty well, and I think we can handle Monte's aggression and playstyle pretty well, too. They rely on their individuals a lot, but our individuals shine brighter and smarter, so we just need to play our own game.
Do you think playing against Eternal Fire, who are also an aggressive underdog team, prepared you for the match against Monte in some way?
I think Eternal Fire didn't play their game, and I'm pretty sure they are a bit disappointed with their performance today. It didn't feel like Eternal Fire. I played them numerous times, and this was one of the times when you couldn't feel the fire in Eternal Fire.
On a more general note, you've been in NAVI for almost three months now. How has this time been for you?
You feel that there are a lot of eyes on you and that whatever you do, people might take it out of context or talk about it. I know I'll read some comments about it today. Usually, when I whiff or do something bad in practice, I jokingly take my hand back and pretend I'm gonna punch the monitor.
In the match, I whiffed and did the gesture, and now it's gonna be 'jL is losing it, he is affected by the pressure, only time will tell when he will crumble and smash the monitor to pieces.' People find a lot of details and make them a big thing, so I try not to bat my eye to it, it is what it is. But I love the journey in NAVI that we've had so far, I've improved a lot as a player and a human being.
Your journey in NAVI will continue in CS2. What are your general feelings about the game?
I don't think it's fully ready yet, I saw a clip today on Overpass, where there was some kind of bug. The player had full balance and wasn't affected by recoil, and his bullets were going in the air for no reason. Those are things you don't want to see in a professional game.
They're missing a lot of commands and missing the feel of CS:GO. It feels like you're playing a whole new game. It looks like CS:GO, but doesn't feel like it. I'm excited to play it and practice it, maybe with time I'll get a better feeling, and they're obviously going to update it. As my sports director once said, 'You've been signed for CS2 so now you can do whatever, but CS2 is the time to perform.'