NEKIZ believes more practice in Europe is what paiN need to progress

NEKIZ: "I don't think everybody should put us as underdogs"

NEKIZ has his sights firmly set on making his second Major.

With paiN inching closer to a spot at the upcoming Antwerp Major,' Dafydd Gywnn managed to speak with Gabriel "NEKIZ" Schenato about the team's addition of Gabriel "nython" Lino. The two also discussed what making the Major would mean, and what the team's goals for the future are.

You've just won a really important game, one match away from a spot in the Major, can you walk me through your emotions right now?

We're super happy right now, I'm happy that we can qualify for the Major again. I remember back in the day, I was dreaming about playing in a Major and right now I'm almost going to my second, so it's crazy for me and my teammates. Everybody is happy and I want to play this Major because nython has never played it, our coach right now has never made it. Our coach can't be here right now because of the ESIC ban but he's going to be with us even though he isn't behind us, but I'm going to be really happy.

Speaking of the coach that is here, he was so emotional after that game, he was screaming, he was happy. What has his influence been on you guys here?

I think it's all emotional, he always hypes us to the maximum hype level. He's not a very tactical guy, he doesn't know a lot about CS tactics and such since he was supposed to be more of a manager than a coach. But right now, everybody likes him because he's super happy. I'm proud of him for cheering for us.

He said that you were the MVP of this game and that if it wasn't for you, there would be no win. What was your mentality coming into this game and how well do you think you performed?

I don't really think about good performances with ratings and stuff like that, I just wanna do my game and know that I'm doing my part. And I'm happy that today I was able to do everything my team needed. I'm just happy because we won and that's it.

nython hasn't been on this team for very long, but he has been able to come in and perform really well for you guys, how has that happened?

I think in the beginning it was a little bit tough because it was the start of the team. Every time you change even one person, it's going to be hard to adapt. So, in the beginning, it was a little bit hard, but I think right now we're playing at a pretty good level and I just think we need to improve on a few maps. I think at the beginning of the season, we tried to play seven maps, and we forgot about it. During this time, we thought "I don't think it's good to do this". So right now, we're playing six maps and I think everything is going to be fine.

Obviously, you've not been mentioned in a lot of the conversations coming into the Major, so how does it feel being an underdog?

It's crazy because we played last Major, so I don't think everybody should put us as underdogs. This doesn't change a lot for us because we just want to play games and win it. So, we're showing everyone that we can make it possible but it's strange because we played last Major, so everyone should put us to make it to the next Major.

You're either going to be playing 9z, Party Astronauts or EG. Who would you like to play out of those three?

Well we played a lot against Party Astronauts and EG during the season, so they know about us, we know about them a lot too. So, this probably could be a bad thing, but we won a lot against them. We've won three times against EG and they won once against us, so it's going to be a little bit hard. But against Party Astronauts, we've won a lot. And 9z, we don't know, we've never played against them, we've only played their previous roster. To be honest, everything is going to be the same, they're going to be hard games, they're very well prepared so I don't think I need to choose a team, all of them will be hard games.

As you just mentioned, you've been playing in NA for quite a long time now, do you think that has prepared you better for this event than playing in South America would have?

I think we prepared very bad to be honest, not because of NA or SA, I think it's because we played a lot of tournaments. Throughout the last two weeks we played just tournaments, tournaments, tournaments, we didn't have time to practice and this made us play a little bit bad at the beginning. I think it was bad preparation, but we're hyped, we're playing good CS, so thank God we got to this level during the RMR.

So, to fans out there, are you an NA team?

It's hard to say, I don't think the Brazilians are going to like us if I say yes, so I think we're a Brazilian team. (laughs)

What are your aspirations for this roster?

Our goals, since we qualified for the last Major, is just to at least qualify again. For every team that qualifies for the first time, now you need to at least qualify again. Right now we also want to play a lot of EU tournaments, we have the ESL Pro League Conference which is going to be great for us. We want to practice here a lot in Europe because, as everybody knows, it's better here. But our goals, it's to hit a really good thing, like the finals or playoffs of a really big event.

You had a pretty rough game against Liquid, how did you bounce back?

Every time we play a team that is playing a high level, like FURIA or Liquid - we also played against them last season and it was rough too. Because they play a lot in Europe, so it's a different rhythm and we struggle a lot against these teams. That's why I think it's good that we're in Europe right now, after the Major we're going to bootcamp which is going to make us really good. I think we're struggling against these good teams like FURIA and Liquid because we're not practicing against the best teams.

Do you have anything to say to all your fans who have been supporting you?

I would like to thank everyone who is cheering for us, every Painzete which is the name of the people that cheer for us. I want to thank everybody that is cheering for us, my family, my girlfriend.

With paiN's 2-0 victory over Case, the Brazilians will now fight through the 6th-8th place decider bracket, eager to snatch away the sole remaining spot at the Major.

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