vice and the rest of Rogue are set to take on Space Soldiers in the first matchup of the New Challengers stage
As the start of the New Challengers stage of the Major draws near, our very own Michael "Duck" Moriarty had the chance to catchup with Rogue's Daniel "vice" Kim and discuss his team's preparation and expectations headed into the first stage and their opening matchup against Space Soldiers.
You're coming into this tournament having had the past couple months off, partially from the player break and partially from not being in attendance at events. What have you been doing in that time?
For most of the time I think we've just all been taking time away from the game. Prior to the player break we had played DreamHack Austin and the Minor, and a lot of online officials. All of us felt kind of burnt out and we all agreed that it would be beneficial for all of us in the team to just refresh and recharge our batteries and stuff like that. So people went on vacation, saw their family — for example, cadiaN went back to Denmark to see all his family and friends.
We bootcamped for about 10 days before the Major so that we could make sure we were all sharp and ready to go and have all our strategies and tactics kind of polished down in time for the Major.
You managed to go through the Minor pretty much unbeaten, right up until the grand final where you lost to compLexity. How much focus did you put on that final after already securing qualification to the Major?
I think that we kinda lost focus after we qualified because that was our main goal, just to qualify. Not only did we lose focus but we also kinda underestimated them, they came back even stronger than when we beat them in the upper bracket final.
They had made adjustments that we weren't prepared for, and they'd just played a Bo3 before that so they were all warmed up. We just kinda went into that grand final with very minimal warmup and basically no preparation. We weren't ready for whatever they came up with for the grand final.
The first round you'll be playing is against Space Soldiers, how much preparation have you been putting in against them?
We did watch a few demos of them, and we kinda know what to expect from them from those demos. We already have an idea of what map we're going to play against them, and we think that it'll go the way we expect cause we feel that they are still underestimating us.
Also there's been rumors that they haven't been bootcamping, and they haven't been preparing super hard for the Major, so all of us feel really confident. We made a few adjustments to our gameplan to kinda counter their gameplan, but nothing too huge. We know what we're gonna do coming into the game, and whatever happens, happens. We just hope that we're sharp and hitting shots that day.
Let's talk about yourself for a moment. You're one of the longest standing members that was part of the initial team. Having been there whilst change happened and all of that, how've you seen the team grow and build around new players like cadiaN, Hiko, et cetera?
I think, during my time and seeing a lot of the roster changes, every single roster change - with the additions of Hiko, cadiaN, SicK, and Rickeh - every single one of those additions have made the team stronger just because they bring so much more experience and individual skill than the players that they replaced.
I've said this many times before but this iteration of Rogue CS:GO is definitely the strongest it's ever been.
How confident are you in you and your team getting through this first stage of the Major and continuing on to the Legends stage and potentially securing yourself a spot in Katowice?
We feel pretty confident, we're not really thinking about going to the Legends stage yet. We're just taking it one stage at a time, one map at a time. We do definitely think it's doable, we talk about potential matchups and how they would go, kinda like theorycrafting. All of us feel pretty confident, we just have to show up on the day of the match and hit our shots.
Rogue are set to take on Space Soldiers in the first matchup of the New Challengers stage of the FACEIT Major, which is set to kick off tomorrow at 5 AM EDT.