Nach dem Einzug ins Finale des StarLadder Major Berlin 2019 nahm sich Astralis-Coach Danny ‚zonic‘ Sørensen Zeit für ein Gespräch mit readmore und sprach dabei über das Spiel gegen NRG Esports und das vor ihm liegende Finale gegen AVANGAR.
Lets talk first about Overpass, it started with 3 rounds win streak interrupted by a three rounds loss streak. But after this you pretty much kept the momentum til the end. Did you expect to be kinda one sided?
zonic: „No I think we won the pistol rounds and then the next two rounds and when we knew how they were doing at their force buys, yeah we had pretty good idea to how to approach that. Then yeah at 3-0 we tried to go B and it just was Peter [Dupreeh] not following through, when someone said “go now!” after a couple of nades, Peter would just be hesitating. We did that for couple of rounds but we just [mentally] reset quickly and started winning rounds and did what we actually discussed before the game.“
One thing I noticed was that you guys were winning a lot of ecos or forcebuys. Did you practice for them specifically?
zonic: „No not at all. It’s just whenever you have an eco, people start looking for mistakes pretty much from the opponents side. You get one or two kills and then people suddenly start talking more and be like now we actually got a chance at this. Also we were doing some great midround calls, waiting for them to push. Because when they lose a couple of players at the beginning you tend to get the advantage back. So we knew they probably gonna push here and there. We played everything smart I would say but it also went in our favor most of the time when we won deagle rounds.“
Now you are looking for first defending the title and also for the threepeat. You were not quite the favorites going into this major because of Team Liquids current run. But you beat them in the quarterfinal. Was this an extra motivation for the team to beat them? Because dupreeh said in an earlier interview the second goal was to deny Liquid the major.
zonic: „Yeah it was a small gimmick for us, obviously the number one goal has always been to win a major. I don’t really care but it is a bonus for us to knock out some of our rivals whether its North or Team Liquid. That’s always a huge bonus. The number one goal was to win the major and it can’t be underestimated and obviously qualifying first cause there are no easy games. If we had lost today we would be extremely disappointed and it will be the same at the grand final.“
Your former player Kjaerbye, he said he lost his hunger when he won the major and the MVP of the Major at the ago of 18. But you are on the misson to win your 4thmajor title and your still hungry for it. How to you keep this hunger?
zonic: „I think it’s about distributing your energy well, we had a lot of talks about our approach especially my approach. Whether it’s how many tournaments do we attend? When do we have a summer break? For example we didn’t go to BLAST Pro Series in Los Angeles and we didn’t go to IEM Chicago because we felt we needed the time off, so that we could start a bit earlier with the vacation and go in the major being well rested and being well prepared and have no excuses pretty much. So for us to back of a little bit after the Major in Katowice was fully indented, obviously when we attended Cologne and Montpellier, it was with the only goal to win obviously but sometimes you don’t win and that’s part of life. It was probably also caused by us for taking this approach by relaxing a little bit and give the players some time off but it was needed to peak here. I know that’s something I’ve been saying before the major, we need to give the players some rest otherwise we won’t be able to peak at the events we want to win. We wanted to win Cologne, we didn’t, we want to win the major, we still have a chance.“
Your next opponents going to be AVANGAR, an opponent only few experts expected in the grand final. How you going to prepare for this Matchup? Do you think people will still underestimate the CIS region after this.
zonic: „No we’re never gonna underestimate the CIS region. I actually told our guys when we did our Pick’ems to never underestimate any CIS team and we talking about who’s going to the playoffs. I had both AVANGAR and Cr4zy. So I was like these team should not be underestimated. With these upcoming new talents yeah they are scary and they are working hard and they take all the good thing of us and Liquid and implementing it in their team. We have to study this game like any other opponent and to give them respect. They are not in the final for no reason. They are here because they deserve it.“