With the offline qualifier for MLG Columbus, the first major of the year, due to start in just a few hours, we sat down with our CS:GO team to find out what the mood is like before this exciting event! This will be the team’s third offline event under G2, and it is safe to say that results are gradually improving. Last week’s bronze at ESL Expo Barcelona proved that we can definitely compete with the world’s best teams, and that, with time and patience, the gap to fnatic can be overcome.
Only two spots at the major, which will have $1 million on offer, will be on the line in our group, so it will be crucial to get off to a good start here, especially considering that only the decider matches will be played in a best-of-three format. There will be little margin for error here, but confidence is sky high, as you can read below:
Have you prepared anything special for this event, or will you use most of what worked out in Barcelona?
Ex6TenZ: There was no special preparation for this event. We will just continue the work that we have been doing since the start of the year. We will do what we do best, while adapting to the opponents we will find along the way.
What is your opinion about the third-place finish in Barcelona, especially the two close games against Astralis?
RpK: I think it just shows what we have been doing since early January, we are improving match after match. We are on Astralis’ level but still far away from fnatic. We are all disappointed about how we performed against them. We will continue to work hard, and we will come back stronger.
Was that victory against Astralis crucial, because many people believed that you kept crumbling in crucial moments?
shox: It was definitely an important victory. We already knew that we could compete with the elite teams, but there is a difference between putting up a good fight and still lose the match and winning it. We still need a lot of confidence against the elite teams, and this comes with victories. We need to get some more!
What is your opinion about the teams in your group, especially Tempo Storm, who you will face in the first round?
ScreaM: I believe we will not have much trouble if we play well. If we do not, we can lose against any team, especially in a best-of-one game. This will be primarily a game against ourselves. We will need to get off to good starts, which is what we were not able to do against mousesports this week. Tempo Storm have had some nice results lately, we will not underestimate them. We will give our best.
There was this whole drama with the team “backstabbing” EnVyUs in Barcelona. Can you walk me the decision-making process in putting EnVyUs up against fnatic? How is the relationship with them now?
SmithZz: If we had not made that choice, we would have been in trouble in our next match. The fact is, when there are only five big teams left, you have to eliminate them one by one. If we had lost against Astralis, they would have chosen EnVyUs and fnatic anyway, so I guess they were ready to fight. Everything is fine, this was a fun tournament for everyone, it was not a major or anything. We just repaid the favor for facing Astralis at the start of the tournament! They will stay our main French rivals but we still love each other.
What happened during the matches against fnatic? Is there still a big gap?
Ex6TenZ: We played poorly against Fnatic. This is probably our worst match-up, I think we have played at just 50 per cent of our level against them lately. I do not say that we should beat them, but the fact is we were very poor against them on the last four maps. They leave less room for error than other teams. Tactically, they were above us, we tried to get out of our comfort zone and do things that we do not control well, and it did not work out well. It was very tough, we were not in control. The way we played against them was probably a mistake, but we wanted to try to adapt to them and get some experience. Since it was not a major, it was the right time to give some things a try, and this experience will definitely benefit us in the future. Fnatic are always very confident, especially against us, considering the latest results between the two teams. I think the next matches will be very different. In VeryGames, we dominated the scene, so we just have to remember how teams tried to bother us back then.
What is your opinion about these first weeks in G2? What has changed in the team since leaving Titan?
NiaK: The simplest way to qualify joining G2: this is a fresh start. The atmosphere which surrounds us plays a bigger role than one would think. With Titan, we experienced many difficult times and we fought together with the management and the staff to overcome them. Despite those big efforts, some injuries were not fully healed. With G2, the dynamic is completely different. This is a young organization, full of life and projects. There is no way we will disappoint people again, we want to make our mark and repay all the trust the fans have in us.