Nach dem eher überraschenden Sieg von Renegades im Viertelfinale gegen ENCE hatten wir die Gelegenheit ein Interview mit Justin ‚jks‘ Savage zu führen. Neben dem Map-Veto und die Entscheidungen vor dem Spiel erzählt jks noch über die Probleme während der New Legends Stage und die Vorbereitung auf die Playoffs.
Lets talk about the map veto. You picked Mirage and won quite convincingly and then you let ENCE pick Nuke, and your Nuke record was not that good up until this match. But one of the two matches you recently won on Nuke was against ENCE. Was this in the back of your head while playing against them?
jks: „We have a really good Nuke, when we practice we always beat a lot of the top teams. It was not like we were scared because we just played a really bad game versus FaZe. If you watched the game you saw that we had a really bad CT side and we didn’t really have any room to work with on Tside. We fixed our mistakes on the CT side and gathered some more rounds then we did versus FaZe. It kinda gave us more room to work with on our T side, which we felt really confident with. CTside is kind of a struggle because of all the rotations, but in practice we normally have a good CT side as well. So I am not sure what happened today or the other day versus FaZe, but we are feeling pretty confident on Nuke.“
You had quite a journey facing elimination in the legends stage and now you are in the semi-final. Why did you struggle in the group stage and what mistakes were you able to fix since then?
jks: „In the group stage where we had our 0-2 start we just had two close games versus two of the teams that qualified 3-0 or 3-1, so we didn’t really look too much into it. We maybe lost some rounds badly but outside of that I think we played a pretty good game versus both teams. And you can see that because both teams have qualified and aren’t bad teams. We didn’t look too much into those losses but look more into the little things that we can fix, that let us close out these games so we don’t do the same mistakes. Because in the past we already had the struggle of closing out games and losing like 16-13, 16-14. Since then we have been focusing on closing out games. And once we got that first win I think everyone was pretty confident that we can make 3-2.“
The style you played on Nuke was fast paced, your T executes were sometimes rushed. Did you study ENCEs Nuke or did you know that they have trouble with your fast playstyle?
jks: „No, we just played the same way we did in practice, we did the same things that worked before. We just focused on that during the game, because we don’t want to play in differently then what we do in practice because that is what we feel comfortable with and that’s how we have been winning those games. We just did what worked for us and worked in the game.“
You are the first Australian team in the semi-final. What was the goal for the team in the beginning of the major.
jks: „I think everyone on the team was looking forward to getting out of the groups, I think that is the main [goal], nobody can deny that considering our results in the last few months compared to the start of the year. I think everybody wanted to make Top8 in order to secure the next major and then we will take it from there. That’s what we did and obviously everyone was very satisfied that we made Top8 and then we just chilled for a day before we realised, we made Top8 and started preparing for the next few games. Obviously we want to go all the way and win the major. That was our first goal and the next one is winning the major.“
Comparing the brackets to each other, the other side of the bracket looks pretty stacked compared to yours. Do you think it is easier for you on this side of the bracket?
jks: „I mean it is definitely nice not to have Liquid, NaVi, Astralis and NRG on our side of the bracket. All these teams combined are like all Top6 teams so we definitley kind of lucked down in that sense on our side of the bracket, but that is just down to the results in the group stage so it is not our fault that we got the better side for us. It definitely helps that we don’t have teams like that in the top bracket, of course we have Vitality and also ENCE and AVANAGAR which also played a really good group stage. I think in terms of the matchups we matchup better with the teams in our bracket compared to the lower half if you look at the past results.“
Are you looking for a rematch against AVANGAR or would you go for Vitality, arguably the second-best teams in the world?
jks: „I don’t really know to be honest. I think the way we are playing right now I think we can take any team on so we take it how it comes. I don’t really want to say I’m really looking forward to playing this team and then we face them and something happens.“
This is the major where I would say it’s open for everybody to win it. Who do think will win the major and does Renegades have a chance to do so?
jks: „Compared to the start of the year it is less known who is gonna potentially win the major. It definitely helps our chances.“