It seems as though Hellraisers has been this team historically who looks to emotions, momentum and intangibles to get confidence for a match. There's always a lot of screaming in the wins right? How does HObbit fit into this dynamic?
So, basically, HObbit is a clam guy. To be honest sometimes we miss this. We have game whether we are winning rounds or losing them where we get too emotional in some sense. He relaxes a bit and doesn't get nervous. HObbit is an addition which should help us in staying calm when we need it.
And was Bondik not one of these type of guys?
Yeah, Bondik was a very emotional guy, he was the guy who screams a lot.
In-game he's moved into Bondik's role 1:1 right?
Yeah, exactly. He just took all of Bondik's roles till the end of the year because we had not time to change something... But honestly, we changed a lot [laughs]. It's like, we stayed with the positions but we changed the pace, the ideas of CT and T-side and it influenced a bit...
Any examples of this?
It's like HObbit playing the same roles as Bondik - different way. Sometimes more aggressive as CT, more passive as T - it depends on the map and position. So we have adapted to his style and we are doing new moves we haven't prac'd a lot. They're kind-of just new moves that we got from zero. We still struggle. We're a lot random with our results, we can beat Astralis but lose to G2. This is bad [laughs].
Are you going to talk to HObbit and figure out where he wants to play in the team? Is his transition into the side going to be one focused on playing to his strengths?
I'm not sure if talking to players about where they play is good idea. Usually it goes to players wanting to play same roles and stuff. It's better in my opinion for me to pick proper roles for all the players and only if something not work is when we switch it back or whatever. In 2019 we are going to try a lot of new things, a lot of new stuff, like, we are going to try to get players to play the same roles over all the maps. It doesn't matter if it's Dust II, Overpass, whatever, he can be lurker, entry-fragger and stuff.
What has been the main thing that's surprised you in HObbit's game since he joined?
He's really good in terms of first contacts as CT. He's like, instantly killing the first guy he sees. He's picking positions that are really good. As T-side, it looked like he's pretty confident to peek by himself. But he doesn't understand properly when it should be done and when it shouldn't. So we're talking a lot to him - in the hotel room, all the nights - when he should peek, when he shouldn't, when he should ask for flashes, someone to come with him. All the aggression stuff needs to be structured effectively.
And so you got this big result against Astralis...
We didn't finish it out, we had potential to do this big upset but we didn't.
You still got the map though right?
Ahh you know a map against Astralis this thing is kind-of fine [laughs].
Not a lot of teams do this [both look at the Mouz/Astralis game on a TV in the background]
I'm just looking right now. Mouz didn't even win won map whole year [laughs].
Big deal right?
It doesn't feel like big deal because we basically throw this Dust II game. We were winning confidently, we should've won pistol, it was 4v2 in our favour. When you do this kind of mistake, teams like Astralis can't leave it alone. They usually win this game like this.
How does this contrast between the Astralis result and G2 one happen?
We don't have this experienced guys you know? Like, w0xic, ISSAA, Deadfox, they don't have a lot of big stage important match experience. So, it's easier for us to play underdogs. When we don't feel pressure, the guys, they're playing their game, they're not thinking about results. So it's much easier for us to play against tier one teams, and it's a problem to play against underdogs. They feel over-confident sometimes and when you start losing, you lose this confidence twice worse than what it would be. This happens to us.
To be honest to you, we lost two events because we just are not yet ready to win. We are just not ready. I talked a lot to team and I say 'look at the rounds we lost'. We lost one round because HObbit didn't know what smoke to use, he just didn't play this role enough. We showed him the smoke some time again, but we played like Dust II three times so he just forgot it during the game and we lost important gun round. We then do some misplay, we miss a flash or do some bad timing move. So we losing it. The only way to fix this type of stuff is more practising, more official LAN games.
So the reason we lost this tournament especially to G2 is lack of rounds we had ready. There's a lot of rounds you prepare for a tournament where every player should know what he is doing. And we lack these rounds. When it comes to high pressure match, it's better not to leave a lot of decisions to players. Because they can do mistakes. But if you practice something a lot, for example, these structured rounds, exact waypoints, they have much less opportunity to do mistake. And that's what we lack most here.
What are your expectations for 2019 given that there's these specific problems to fix?
Obviously our expectation is to be better than what we were this year [laughs]. It's like we came in top ten, top twelve team - this tier two. This was kind-of a goal, obviously we wanted to do better, but you can't always get what you want. I can say that I'm not completely pleased with the results we got, but it's a good step forward. Next year we need to go forward, we need to go like, towards the end of next year, at least a top five team. And maybe get some big tournament winnings. That's our goal. We have everything to get these wins. We just need the proper structure and to have one idea shared by all the teammates. That's our goal, to have one heart as a team.