Edward: We have been tested in battles at ESL Pro League S8

CS2 / News / 23 October 2018 — 21:00

An interview with Edward

Major came to an end almost a month ago. Now that emotions have subsided a bit, will you share your impressions? FACEIT Major 2018 - what was it like?

— It was a great tournament for us, considering we weren't able to achieve our optimal form beforehand due to several reasons. We took second place and it’s quite satisfactory, but, of course, we always want to win.

At the beginning of the tournament, there was some decline in your playing form. What do you see as the reason for the temporary decline of your results?

— Indeed I had some difficulties in the individual aspect of the game in the first couple of games during the group stage. What's the reason? Well, it's related to psychology, overthinking, unnecessary, destructive thoughts which affect the game negatively.

But then you noticeably improved in the middle of the championship. How did you manage to correct your own play?

— I analyzed everything that was happening to me, made some conclusions, faced the problems and destructive thoughts started to vanish and the game got better.

Soberly assessing the final encounter with dk Astralis, what do you think, why did it all turn out this way? Did the excitement affect you?

— There were several reasons why we lost the finals. Firstly they were in a better shape, they were better than us, they knew more about Counter-Strike, they understood the maps better, knew how to play on certain areas of the map specifically at that point of time. Secondly the excessive amount of stress, overestimation of the circumstances - we really wanted to win and, therefore, we didn't even play as well as we could. I admit that they were stronger at that point, but we could have definitely played better.

Has this defeat become the most painful for the team and specifically for you? If not, what would you call the hardest in your career?

— I don't really recognize them, it's obviously not pleasant, but every loss motivates me to practice, even more, take a look at things I haven't done or the things I've done, modify my approach to practicing. Each defeat individually motivates me to get new insights, more diligent and intensive practices. Can't really highlight a certain loss, they all go into "motivation boost" bag.

What do you think, who took this loss especially close to heart? How did you cope with emotions?

— Contrary to my view on loses, I do understand that the defeat in the finals of a Major shook up our team emotionally and psychologically, it affected our disastrous performance in New York, we had no time to recover from all those tense and psychologically challenging matches which we played in the Major and in a couple days we already had to fly over to New York and play there. We weren't able to show what we are capable of. Who was more upset? Well, the whole team was upset, I know everyone wanted to win equally. Nobody can say some wanted more than others, it's our common hardship.

During the tournament, br Fallen quite critically spoke about the shape of ua NAVI, also se draken allowed himself harsh remarks about the CIS teams. Do you attach any importance to this? How do you feel about such remarks?

— I don't take anything posted publicly seriously. br Fallen had his reason, he sees the game from his standpoint, he might be right, we didn't have an optimal game, I even said that we were not in a good shape. What se draken wrote is just funny, we were just laughing about it, Sanya (ua s1mple) even replied something on twitter. It's just more for the show than anything serious.

ESL One New York, perhaps, can be called the main failure of the team for several months. Not coping with the stress after the major?

— Certainly, our team got affected by the loss in the Major and we didn't have enough time to rest as the next tournament started in New York. We weren't able to show what we are capable of at all. As a consequence, we got the failure in the whole tournament.

What conclusions did ua NAVI draw after the past tournaments? What did you decide to work on in the first place?

— Right now the tournament schedule is so intensely packed that any comprehensive conclusions any reader would like to hear haven't been drawn yet. After each tournament, we, of course, as a team discuss what is happening, we analyze everything that occurred and improve, it's an inevitable process. I'll tell you this - always, after each tournament, the analysis ends with a discussion of the training process, because, as Suvorov said: "What is difficult in training will become easy in a battle". It should always be hard in practice and when you realize your training process was not optimal, contesting the good standing is not always manageable. So, the training process, changing some nuances of the practice routine - those are the main conclusions after the tournaments.

You returned to the tournament performances and made a good start in ESL Pro League S8. Do you regard this competition as a preparation for LAN-tournaments?

— It's a very good practice. In a week we've played 20 official matches. Of course, we haven't done a certain tactical work as a team or gameplay wise but we hardened in battles, so to speak, we adapted to rhythms of serious pressure and important matches. From this standpoint, ESL Pro League Season 8 is probably the best possible practice before the LAN tournament.

— Upcoming championships - EPICENTER, BLAST, and IEM Chicago. What can we expect from ua NAVI? What aspects are you planning to focus on first?

— At the moment, our team has several priorities: first and foremost, to improve communication within the team and stabilize morale. Of course, we want to win every tournament, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

— What rivals would you like to meet in these tournaments?

— I have no specific preferences. I can say this: the stronger the opponent, the stronger the dedication, so you always want to play against worthy opponents.

— In esports, they often talk about principle-based confrontations of teams. Do players at all have a similar attitude towards opponents, for example, after losing to dk Astralis, a victory is a matter of principle for ua NAVI?

— Perhaps, on my part, the answer will sound ambivalent, but ... Yes and no. For someone, individually, a match may be crucial. For example, for ua Zeus and ua Kane games against kz Gambit Esports. And our recent fight with dk Astralis, of course, pushes us and motivates to give a fight back at the next meeting, to take revenge. In a sense, this is indeed a principle duel, but how much — it is difficult to say.

— Tell us a little about the atmosphere in the team after the difficult summer and autumn seasons. What mood are you in now?

— Undoubtedly, everyone is a little morally exhausted, because the schedule of tournaments is very complicated - they go almost without a break, we literally are never home. We do not have time to recover, to spend time with loved ones and family. But we are doing well, holding up. Fighting spirit!

As of the recent games, ua s1mple, ru electroNic and ru flamie are very close in terms of performance. Do guys have a competitive spirit? Does it help or hinder them?

— Probably asking the wrong person, but I can say that, of course, a certain competition within the team can stimulate, spur, but personally I am a supporter of another model. Everyone should have their place, their role. If everyone is satisfied with the distribution of these roles, then synergy appears. Everyone plays that Counter-Strike, which is nice to watch.

Over the past year, as an experienced player, did you notice the personal and professional growth of your young teammates?

— Of course, I notice the growth of all teammates. Time passes, they all grow, and I, along with them, constantly learn new facets of the game. I personally find things that I had never noticed before. Progress is coming along!

Let's talk a little about the game itself. How do you feel about the recent economic changes? On the initial experience, how did this affect meta?

— The main changes are that it became expedient to do a full eco in the second round and thus the significance of the pistols was slightly reduced, so the change in the balance of the game is small. I would even say that this is more adding balance than imbalance. Developers are moving in the right direction, although for me such a change in economic progression after the first round is strange. Why wouldn’t they de it after each lost round, or on the 9th, 12th rounds? You will be given 1,900. At least this thought occurred to me when I first got acquainted with the update. But no, only after the first round. We are talking only about the pistols. As we know, for the economy this round has always been and remains extremely important, even though its importance is slightly reduced now.

In addition, the adjustments were made to CZ-75 and Tec9. Do you see players returning to the active use of Tec9? What do you prefer from this pool of weapons? What is your choice based on?

— Personally, I've tried Five SeveN and Tec9, but I still didn't manage to fully use them and can’t assess how good they are in the game right now. Cool changes. I like the fact that they are trying to bring all types of weapons into the game, for example, Steyr AUG and SG553 are already distributing pretty well. Even within the official matches, many teams allow themselves to buy these weapons.

Recently, there has been an outflow of players from Counter-Strike. In your opinion, what steps should Valve take to correct this situation?

— I honestly did not know that there is an outflow. A popularization of the game always directly depends on how much effort and attention the developer is willing to devote to the product, because it is his task to hold tournaments, to attract an audience. Valve, for example, hold a major and give a prize - this is the most important tournament for all players in CS:GO. Why can't someone compete with them and compete with a major as a tournament? This could start a new cycle.

How do you feel about the idea of replacing two maps after each major? Could this stir up interest in competitive CS?

— Personally, as a player, it is always interesting to study new maps, I like to play on unexplored grounds, but as a professional, I understand the entire amount of hard work the captain and coach needed to prepare and properly adjust the game on different maps. It takes a lot  of playing time to come to a confident vision of the game, so this will give additional hours of work. Not everyone likes to work with tactics and strategies, so it's quite ambivalent.