yay seems confident of his team's chances at the Major
Ahead of the Major, Michael "Duck" Moriarty got ahold of Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker from compLexity as they look forward to the team's run at the tournament, discussing bootcamps, online qualifiers, offline form and their first match against Astralis.
So yay - your team's coming to the Major off the back of a quite lengthy bootcamp out in Europe, competing against teams in that region. How confident are you and your teammates of getting through this first stage of the Major into the next?
I think we can definitely do it. The main reason we came over to bootcamp in Europe was that the North American teams we had been playing in practice just weren't cutting it, we were beating a lot of them consistently and we weren't learning much. We knew that coming into this bootcamp we'd be playing against Europeans which, depending on the region and team, have a different style and a different way of playing.
When we came over and started playing against them, myself and a few of my teammates who haven't had much experience playing in Europe, we were kind of blown away just because they were doing a bunch of different stuff we've never seen before. We definitely learned a lot and we're pretty confident going in as we've had some good discussions on how to actually improve.
A lot of teams at this stage have taken some time off from their last set of tournaments and now, whereas your team took part in a few qualifiers, StarSeries and MSI MGA, qualifying for both. Does going into the Major with these qualifications secured make your team feel as if they can keep the momentum going?
Well I'd say it's definitely improved our confidence in general, being able to play and be consistently winning, doing better and better. Every time we win a qualifier, we're taking steps forward, improving scorelines and beating teams that we've previously struggled to. Personally I'm really excited to be competing at those two events. So yeah, I guess it just improves your confidence all around when you just keep on winning.
Your team's offline performances have been mixed, with a high at the Americas Minor and lows at ZOTAC Masters America and DreamHack Summer. How has your team been working with your IGL and coach at your recent bootcamp to develop new strategies and tactics to try and improve your offline form?
That's a pretty good question. I'd say one of the reasons our offline performances were, like, pretty abysmal before we won the Minor was because we were quite inexperienced at how European teams play. Excluding stanislaw and Shahzam, we've never really played against European teams before. The bootcamp we had has really opened our eyes on a different style of play and these teams were abusing us in ways we'd never really seen before.
Getting to play against them for a few weeks has improved my game, improved my teammates' games. It's improved us enough so that we can go into tournaments against these European teams and not be destroyed, as it won't be the first time we've seen that style of play. It's really helped us, I think, expand as a team and hopefully we can put up a lot more, better international results.
Heading to your personal performances for a moment, where you keep putting good numbers up at events, including the recent Fragadelphia 12 event where you acted as a stand-in for Swole Patrol, how do you see your performance going? Are you nearing your peak level or is it just you constantly developing as a player.
That's a tough question. It's a learning experience really. For me to develop as a player, it's just more figuring out what to improve on and what my weaknesses are. Just overall just figuring out how to improve and grow as a player. That's probably been one of my biggest struggles is just knowing what to work on. I don't think my work ethic has ever been a problem, it's just more thinking of "what can I spend my time towards?"
Going into this event, I'm hoping to do really well, obviously. I'm hoping my individual performance will be really good and not make lots of mistakes and stuff like that. But you never know, I may be thrown into scenarios I've never seen before. I think the biggest takeaway is is as long as I did my absolute best, and I prepared as hard as I can, for this tournament that's all that matters. As long as I meet those two criteria, I'm happy. As long as I can take something away from this, I'm happy.
So speaking of different scenarios, your first match at the Major. It's not exactly the easiest of draws you could have potentially got, heading up against Astralis. How do you see your team heading up against them?
I think it's funny, you win the Minor and then you're supposed to get the better seeding, but the people who came second in the Minor, i.e. Rogue, draw Space Soldiers whilst we draw Astralis. Doesn't make much sense to me but, hey, whatever. Going up against Astralis, we're going to do our absolute best. We can't go in and be like "you know guys, we've got Astralis... what's our next match going to be then?".
I think we could take the game against them. It's best-of-ones, we've scrimmed them before so we know what they're like. They've also shown a little bit of dropping form, losing a best-of-one to TyLoo, losing to North twice in a best-of-three, as well as not having much dedicated Major practice so it could look good for us to take the win against them, assuming we win the pistol rounds and keep out economy strong.
compLexity have the final game of the day, where they will face Astralis. Their best-of-one has an estimated start time of 3:30pm EDT, assuming no further delays here in London.