ImAPet thinks that NRG should be able to top their group, and then some
As NRG get ready to head into their opening matchup at the Americas Minor, our very own Michael "DuckMoriarty" Moriarty caught up with the team's coach Chet "ImAPet" Singh to discuss the team's practice regimes, their expectations for the event, and what he thinks of the competition that they'll face.
You're coming to this event as one of the teams that are widely expected to go straight to the Major. Do you see that as pressure or is that just an added expectation for your team?
I don't think we're coming to this event with any pressure, we had a small bootcamp and came with a bit more practice than other teams. We're just trying to make our map pool better.
We know going into every match we're going to have a map pool advantage, so that just helps us feel better about the matchups. We don't think any team has more skill than us, or has the tactical advantage, so we're just coming into every match confident and we're pretty sure we're going to win all of them.
You've had a month or so without an offline event after your finishes at ECS and StarSeries, which were pretty good and what some would say highly unexpected from your previous LAN finishes. Is that a trend you expect your team to continue on, with these high finishes at all the events you attend?
Yeah I think we'll most likely win this Minor and then go to IEM Shanghai with the same confidence we had at the other events because we had a small bootcamp before coming to the Minor. We had a long list of things we need to fix, and there's still some things we need to fix, but we got through a decent amount on certain maps so we're just coming in with more confidence and more preparation for future events. Hopefully we'll win the next events we go to, so that's our plan.
At the Americas Minor you're in a group with eUnited, NTC, and Swole Patrol. Two of these teams you're familiar with having played against them in North America, NTC less so because they've had most of their time in Europe. Where do you see yourself finishing in this group?
I think we expect to finish first, but it's Bo1 for the first match and the winners' match, so if a team wins both pistols, or both pistols and the first gun round anything can happen.
We're pretty confident in our gun rounds, but obviously random skill rounds and big rounds and big plays can happen after the pistol rounds, so if that stuff happens and the clutches don't go our way then I can see us go through second place in our group.
But you fully expect to top your group?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure we'll top our group.
Looking at the rest of the teams in the competition, who do you see as the other strongest team in the competition that could give you trouble, potentially?
I think maybe Rogue or compLexity might be the two strongest teams here, I might put FURIA up there as well. It's just hard to tell on LAN for some of these teams, like for compLexity I'm not sure how well they're gonna perform at LAN because online they're doing pretty decent right now, but at the LANs that they've been to I think that they finished last place in both.
So it's not a good sign for them coming into their next LAN, maybe they learned something from it, maybe not. We'll just have to wait and see how these teams do on LAN, but if I have to count the LAN factor maybe Rogue is probably the strongest one because they finished in second place at DreamHack Summer, so probably Rogue is the toughest one.
It's interesting you mentioned the online/offline factor because NRG as a team for a time were very online focused, and now recently after you joined have seemed to be more effective at offline events. Is your practice more simple, and is there less pressure now that you know you can win offline events?
Practice never changed, we just do what we need to do. Like I said we have a list of things we want to fix, so we just focus on the list. We stay humble like previous opponents have told us, we don't get too cocky. Obviously we want to have a little confidence against these teams, so we'll have that confidence but we just keep everything the same, nothing has changed.
Assuming you get through the Minor and reach the Major, what are your expectations at that event in London in September?
I think this lineup has a lot of skill, we have decent strats and stuff like that. We're gonna have a lot of time between the Minor and the Major, and we'll have a couple more offline events to get even more prepared, so I think we should make Legends, most likely. I think we have the firepower like I said, so hopefully we don't disappoint, we just keep working and keep focused.
With ESL One New York coming up after the Major, there's only a small break between the events. How much focus are you putting on making sure that ESL One New York is going to be a success over the Major? Or are you just focusing on the Major itself?
We'll just focus on the Major, we'll obviously clean up some strats and clean up some tactics before we go to the Major. Whatever preparation we do for the Major we'll just apply to ESL New York. The only thing that will be a difference is the jet lag, but it's always easier going from Europe to North America in terms of jet lag so I think we'll be fine.
NRG are set to take on Swole Patrol in their opening matchup for the Americas Minor, with the event and NRG's match set to kick off at 7 AM EDT.