max: "I passed a lot of bad things in my life so this is amazing"
After 9z clinched the final spot in the PGL Antwerp Major, Dust2.us' Dafydd Gywnn had the opportunity to sit down with 9z's IGL Maximiliano "max" Gonzalez to discuss the historic moment for the South American team. The two discussed how 9z came back and beat the odds to be the first Argentinian, Chilean, and Uruguayan players to play in a Major.
Can you put into words the emotions you are feeling right now off the back of that win against paiN?
It's hard because I am speechless right now. I'm thinking about my trajectory and my career. I passed a lot of bad things in my life so this is amazing, I'm speechless and I don't know what to say.
What was the first thing you did when you left that room?
I called my girlfriend. She loves and she supports me a lot always despite the distance. We have a long-distance relationship so it's hard but we are making it good.
Is there anything you want to say to your friends and family who have supported you in this journey.
Thank you for everything. Thank you for the time you have given me and thank you for the support always. I love you all and thank you, nothing more to say.
You have some very young players on 9z, how do you think they handled the added pressure of being on LAN?
All of my players are extraordinary. I trust all of them, they are amazing players and amazing people. That's very important because we are a good group and we're a good team. We're all friends and that's the difference I think.
On Dust2, you had the chance to win it outright but it ultimately went to overtime. How did the team pull itself together to deny paiN a third map?
I always trust myself. I don't know, I didn't think about anything except playing the game and focusing as much as possible while carrying the team to victory.
How important is it to have a coach with a lot of experience, like Zakk, to guide your team to the Major?
It's very important because he helps calm us down in the hot moments, hot rounds when everything is chaos he calms all the players and that helps the team a lot.
After winning against paiN, you guys were so emotional and I think you'll gain a lot of worldwide supporters from this. What does that mean to you?
The fans support us a lot. It's fan from all over South America and all the world I think. But, the majority are from South America so they support us in the bad moments and that is very important. Now, in the good moments they are so happy because this is legendary for a South American team.
Do you have anything you want to say to those fans?
Yeah, I love you all. Thank you for your support in the bad moments because that is the difference so celebrate together now and get ready for the Major.
9z started the RMR 0-2 and ultimately bounced back to claim a 5-2 record. Did you say anything to the team after the Evil Geniuses game to bring back their morale?
I told my players that we needed to just play and enjoy the game. Focusing as much as possible and enjoy the moment without pressure because that doesn't help us play the best CS we can.
You've had two player recently join, Luken and dav1d. Was it easy or difficult to integrate them into the team?
It's hard because I'm in a new role because I only became the IGL three months ago. Luken is in a new role as well because he is an AWPer now but in his career he never AWPed.
And, how are you guys going to celebrate tonight?
Haha, I don't think I can say it but... but drink beer together because are together in the bad moments and the winning moments. Celebrate and peace.
Is there anything you want to add, Zakk?
Zakk: Nothing... hey what's up man?
[Editor's Note: cadiaN randomly walked into the room at this point.]
cadiaN: Congrats! What a comeback boys, from 0-2 all that way back, that's the hardest way. It's crazy guys so good job boys.
Zakk: Thank you very much.
cadiaN: Safe travels back, recharge your energy for the next one.
One last thing, you've been to the finals with Immortals, but is the year you win the Major?
Zakk: I'll be honest, I'm happy where we are right now and I think what comes now is profit, you know?