stellar updates us on the team's year and their hopes for next season
With N3rd Street Gamers' Eastern Conference Championship advancing into the semi-finals, Joe "tolkienfanatic" Cardali continued his interviews at the event, having the opportunity to sit down with Vireo.pro player Brendan "stellar" McGrath.
You're waiting to play your semifinal, what do you think of the event so far?
We've played two matches, they were pretty easy. In the group stage we had a bye, so we got to play one match against Vivency and we just 16-3'd them on Train, I don't think it was a map they played. Our quarterfinal game we played Misfits and Digenerates, and... it was an easy game, honestly. We didn't really expect much from them, we picked the maps we wanted to play and just won.
You didn't expect much from them even though it's a mix of players that have played together in the past and some of them play together now?
Yeah, usually we have the upper hand against Spacestation, which is pretty much the core of that team. We have a 4 or 5 and 0 record against them, so we're never really scared to play them. mCe coming in, he doesn't really play as much as he used to, and motm's good, but again it's just a PUG team.
We put a lot of prep coming into this event. Even though we had MDL LAN, we kinda just disregarded practicing for that and we just put all of our practice to prepare for this. I feel pretty confident going into this next game.
Speaking of that, you couldn't attend MDL LAN with zNf and now he's on his way out of the team at the end of the year. You've been playing with ben1337, so how's that been going?
It's been going great. We haven't had a proper IGL since I've joined the team, and now that we have Ben everything is just going really smooth. All of our scrims, all of our dry-running is going really well, we do it really efficiently. We play matches pretty identical to how we play our scrims, so I think that's why we're seeing success right now.
You guys were unable to make it through the open qualifiers for the Minor, talk about what happened with that and how that leaves you all feeling.
I think we played that with like no practice with Ben yet. So obviously its a bummer that we couldn't make it but it is what it is like we lost to, I don't even know who, some random team but it like bummed us out like day of, but after we kind of said ok we're not going to be in this qualifier lets just focus on everything else we have to focus on, preparing for next season being the most important .
Looking forward to next season, that not being a promotion season, how does that effect everyone's morale and energy levels?
Definitely sucks, but I know a lot of these... since FURIA is coming in and Luminosity is coming down obviously we still want to prove we are a top MDL team, so we are still really motivated to have a good showing that season regardless of it not being a move-up season.
You guys didn't get to participate in EPL Relegation even though you were at the Global Challenge, what do you think of the way that panned out and the teams that made it back were retained in Pro League?
I mean I'm really good friends with all the Singularity guys its heartbreaking to see them not get moved up. Obviously, the nerves got to them and it happens but personally I think that was the easiest EPL move-up I've ever seen, like period. Like Rogue isn't a great team to be honest, Envy is not really that great either. I mean obviously they are pro teams but like they're the real bottom, like they struggle against some top MDL teams sometimes. Looking at that, it was an easy move-up season for whoever, but I guess no one really was successful.
What do you think of the fact that here we are at this event with a lot of money on the line and we don't have a full slate of teams here? Do you think that speaks to something in region, or...
I just think it's the timing. Obviously, everyone has the holidays, big holiday time right now, so obviously that scares away some people but there are still some decent teams here so its good to see that, obviously I wish there was more teams playing. But like I said, seasonal timing just makes it rough for everyone.
You and your teammates have all spent a lot of time collectively playing without an organization supporting you, so can you kind of talk about Vireo.pro does for you?
So, Vireo they pay us, pay for our flights, our hotels, to come to events. Pretty much we just have to ask, "is it ok if we go to this event?", and they'll say yes or no. If they say yes, they'll pay for everything pretty much. We could ask for a new mouse, keyboard, whatever, they'll get it to us, so they've been really good considering I've never been under a proper org. Like obviously, I was under Iceberg, but I didn't really expect much from that, yeah. I did get paid by them once, but then they stole all my money. But Vireo treats us really well so I'm happy with that.
Going back to MDL this season, finishing 4th in the league, is the expectation to remain that way, or better next season?
We're all striving to be way better. All of us are pretty experience in MDL; like this is going to be my like 7th season or something. I feel like I have gotten better, everyone's gotten better over the years so its good to see us all playing together now. We've all been on top teams prior, but now with each other so obviously getting better than 4th is the next step, but I think our main focus is going to be qualifier and local LANs. [NSG] just announced a ton of events that are going to be held next so we are going to look at those, but I've only placed 4th in MDL so I personally want to do way better than that.
Final question, going up against Drip or Down, which is the Ghost-eUnited mix, how do you like your chances against them?
I mean if we play like we played yesterday, like we could 2-0, we should 2-0 them honestly. Like yeah, they have good players on their team but they are an actual team so they're just going to be puggy so we can pick Dust2 or Train or Overpass and if we play like how we scrim, we're fine.
One more thing, I noticed that your coach Rustun isn't here with you guys, is he going to be continuing with the team or what's going on with that?
As of right now, I think so yeah. We haven't really talked about anything regarding him or his position. So, for now, he's going to continue coaching.
Vireo.pro finished the N3rd Street Gamers' Eastern Conference Championship in 3rd-4th place, following a 2-0 loss to eventual champions Drip or Drown.