kabal: "Against Complexity, it feels like we are playing against an Asian team"
Dust2.us' series of interviews at the PGL Antwerp Major continues, with Ryan Friend chatting with IHC player Bat-Enkh "kabal" Batbayar. The two talked at length about IHC's run so far at the Major, the experience of playing against teams from different regions, and kabal's thoughts on the scene in Asia.
You are still alive in the major after a tough game against Renegades; you guys beat them before though in the Asian RMR and now you're here. What is the experience been like as the only Mongolian team to essentially make it this far?
It's so exciting, you know. We are the first Mongolian team in the major and so many people's prediction was like 0-3 for us. I and my teammates, all really wanted to win at least one game. We really wanted to beat people's predictions, and that's why we are so happy.
You guys have obviously played in the Asian scene for a little bit, you know Renegades well heading into this game, what were you thinking about trying to do most of? Were you thinking that it was all going to come down to the maps? Were you thinking that you had to fight a specific player or exploit that?
We already beat Renegades once right? And it's like, we already have confidence against them because Renegades, for my team, it's easy to read how they play. That's why our play works against them, also because we have 100% confidence.
What makes them so easy to read?
Their playstyle is not that aggressive. Their playstyle is just different, every time what they are doing is default and their rotates are not that fast, they rotate so slow. So we just play on their weaknesses like that.
Was that something that you were also thinking about, like how you know how they're gonna play very similar every single time? Did you guys come up with anything new to try and show them up today?
Nothing too much. Our playstyle and our tactics are so unpredictive, you know? That's what works against Renegades. Other teams, Astralis, Complexity, they're playing any different style, aggressive or passive, anything. That's why it's so hard to play against European teams, and even Complexity because they are also doing things like fast tactics. That is what is so hard against those teams.
Yesterday you guys played Complexity, and you made that game much closer than anyone thought it would be. What's the difference between a team like Complexity and Astralis or Renegades?
The first game we played against Astralis we made so many mistakes, that's why we lost the important rounds. Against Complexity we also lost, three fucking eco rounds, that's why we lost you know. We just won two eco rounds, it was a tough game, but we should have won. The difference between Complexity and Astralis is that Astralis' playstyle is so hard to read and unpredictable, and their skills are so high. Against Complexity, it feels like we are playing against an Asian team. You know why? Complexity plays so fast, most Asian teams play fast, running everywhere and stuff like that. That's the difference.
Watching the game that you played against Complexity, it felt like Complexity was playing faster almost to match you guys sometimes. Do you feel like teams sometimes try to match you in how you play?
It's the first time we are playing in a Major. It's also our first time playing with five ping against Western teams. The entire time before the Major, we were just playing against Asian teams. That's why our playstyle is matching against Complexity, that's why it was a close game.
You were talking a little bit about how Astralis and Complexity play, and you're saying Complexity almost played like an Asian team. You said before how Renegades seemed very basic in their setups and strats. Did you feel the same way about Complexity?
I don't feel like that. Complexity, they don't play that basic default Counter-Strike. They play it so fast, we don't know what they're doing, it's unpredictable. Also, Renegades don't have that fast strategy, they don't have that stuff. That's why it was easy to play against them.
Do you have an easy time against teams that play fast because it's what you're used to?
Complexity, they play like Asian teams, but their individuals and their aim are better than Asian teams. That's why we lost, why we lost eco rounds.
There are going to be some tough 1-2 teams. Liquid could be a 1-2 team, it could be 9z, it could be Imperial. What is the team you most want to play? What would be the easiest team to beat and what do you think would be the greatest challenge?
We want to play against Liquid or 9z. 9z, we watched their game, and they also play fast, but I think their playstyle matches against ours. Liquid plays basic default Counter-Strike, but they can have an aggressive style. It's hard to explain.
Do you not want to play another European team? Do you think they're just so different from you guys that you don't want to face one of them again?
Yes. We never face teams like Astralis, you know. Yesterday's game was an experience for us. Next time, when we play against a top 10 European team, maybe Vitality or G2 or something like that, they will maybe surprise us but we will improve.
How long have you guys been here? Have you been able to scrim against European teams?
We never have scrims on low ping. When we were in Mongolia, we also play with European teams but we have 100+ ping. So when we are in Mongolia we just want to know what kind of style the European teams are playing, and what strategies they use. We didn't have much time to scrim before the Major.
Did you not come soon enough or were things just not working out?
We came just two days early before the Major started. Only one day we scrimmed against European teams.
Do you think that probably hurt you guys, not being able to scrim enough?
Yeah, actually we just want to stay in Europe. The ping is so good. We just keep wanting to play against European teams on low ping.
Is that something you think you guys might be able to do in the future, come back to Europe, and play more? Or are you mostly going to stay in Asia and play in that region?
Actually, we are planning to stay in Europe in June, but it's up to the organization, and there may be visa problems or something like that. So we are planning to play somewhere in Europe, Serbia or Poland or somewhere like that.
This is obviously a huge learning experience, and then you're gonna have to go right back into Asian CS. Do you think that might throw you guys off or do you think you're going to go back being a better team from this experience?
I think we're gonna be better in Asia now because we've experienced what Asian people don't experience. When we go back to Asia, we will just use our experience against Asian teams to stay on top in Asia.
What's the next event you guys are headed to?
ESL Challenger League Asia Season 41.
Now, do you think you guys are going to be one of the favorites in Asia after going to the Major?
After we go back, in the Asian scene it's really only TYLOO or Rare Atom, the two strong Chinese teams. Mongolian teams are growing, and being proven fast. It's not that hard for us except against TYLOO or Rare Atom, they will be hard.
You say that the Mongolian scene is growing really fast. Is there any player that you think is definitely coming up and might be better and growing on another team?
There's not that star player. There are two teams, The Shine and Aravt. These two teams are improving so fast because they have so many young players and also they have experienced coaches and IGLs. I think they will improve in Asia fast.
For their 1-2 match, IHC are set to tussle with the veteran Brazilian squad of Imperial in a BO3 to keep the Mongolians' Major hopes alive.