VINI and Brasil are in ecstasy as the dream stays alive

VINI: "I mean Jesus Christ, if we get to the Champions Stage, who's gonna stop us?"

VINI and Imperial believe they have a chance to take it all the way.

Following their win against Bad News Eagles last night, Ryan Friend had a chance to talk to Imperial's Vinicius "VINI" Figueiredo to discuss the team's surprising performance at this stage, their matchup against Cloud9, the smoke bug controversy, and what Imperial could do if they made it all the way.

Talk to us about winning 2-0 and carrying this momentum into tomorrow. How do you feel?

The thing about the Mirage game was we were always having close rounds, but they were always having a way to just pretty much keep everybody in the game. One round we went A, the guy from ramp just flanked everybody and the other is like a 4v2 that I don't know how we managed to lose, but we did. I think we had the game under control the whole time and definitely will be content for the next match.

So your next match is going to be against Cloud9; They stumbled today because they had a weird thing happen, playing Nuke for some veto map-pick wrong. So first, a two-parter here. One, what do you think about Cloud9? What do you think about their ability here and the match-up tomorrow? Then also, what do you think about their missed veto?

I mean they are a definitely strong team, top five contenders, so it will be a really really tough match for us. But I think our play-style matches really good against them, at least in practice.

How does it match up?

Both our play-styles are really slow, you know? We are really methodical, don't over-rotate and they play like that too. I think they tried to perform like us, they play like old SK you know? Yeah they are the new old SK. So I think with their style it will be a fun match. And about Nuke, if they can do that tomorrow, we'll enjoy, it's a good map for us, but they definitely won't make the same mistake, and we'll be playing other maps.

There's some controversy that happened earlier today. I think we all know about the smoke bug exploit, obviously it happened against you guys. When you saw that clip come out, how did you feel that that bug was being used and then how did you feel that it was actually approved by PGL?

The only problem with the bug wasn't m0NESY doing it, because if he's facing the enemy and [PGL] allow it, I mean, the problem is right there. The only bad part about the whole thing was PGL just saying, "yeah, fuck it, you can use it", so all the players need to go agree to not use the bug, but I mean they could have had a better answer on that, but it's fine.

So then you you all communicated, and you made sure that no one was going to be using a bug, in a gentlemen's agreement. It seemed to come together pretty quickly, do you think that anyone at all was ever going to say no to that?

I don't think so, even because of the big drama that created on Twitter, but it was the same with the BIG bug in like 2017. I mean, people saw the guys using it and were not going to reverse the match, just dealing with the future time.

So you're now almost there, you're two more matches away from getting into the Champions Stage. What would getting to that stage mean for a team like yourself where you had so many doubters at the onset and the creation of this roster? And that, I think, you very much be proved to everyone that they were wrong and that you're here to stay as a real contending team.

I mean Jesus Christ, if we get to the Champions Stage, who's gonna stop us? We'll get all the way to the final. But it's already really fun for us; it's a big achievement and we just wrecked the predictions and proved a lot of analysts putting us on 0-3 wrong, so it feels good.

So with that, were there any other really strong points that you guys have had over this last week? I know you guys have started off slow, 0-2, but when looking at any of the prior games, were there any real positives that you're taking away and trying to improve upon for tomorrow or for the future?

As I said, now that it's only BO3s, we're going to play better maps for us. We're just improving match by match, every time we lose a game we just watch and try to re-create a better scenario for us and I think we're evolving a lot on the start of the match. Tomorrow will be the same, if we don't manage to win, it will be a lesson learned for the next time we're gonna play. It's all about improvement.

One of the biggest shocks today, Liquid — it would have been a shock either way, no matter if it was Vitality or Liquid — looking very limp even though they started out the first stage 0-2 and managed to go through, they really seem to struggle here. Any thoughts on Liquid and maybe what's going to go on with them?

They have really good players, they just need to figure out the roles and, confidence-wise, I don't think they are right there. I don't know if there are some communication issues as well with shox, but it's like a new cultural thing. You know, you bring a guy from Europe, we know it's not easy to fit in the team. So they will need more time.

He was saying on Twitter he had about five months that he's been on this grind, he really hasn't been home at all. I think all of them, they have the option of being flown home by PGL after the end of the Major, but from my communication with them, they're basically trying to get the next flight out. Do you think maybe going home and for shox — I know for you guys, you were always away from home — how important is being able to be back with their family and to then coming back and being able to play confident CS?

For us it's kind of a little bit different, in our time when we are able to go back to NA would be like going to our second home I would say, but it will have the same feeling, you can rest and do your own daily routine daily after living in bootcamp after bootcamp. I feel that it's too much stress and, I mean it doesn't get boring, but it's missing something. And definitely for shox, the guy doesn't see like his kids like for five months, it is definitely affecting our mental state.

Well, you now are gonna have to play Cloud9 tomorrow. At this point, not going 0-3, do you feel like this has been kind of an accomplishment for you guys? Do you feel you surpassed your goals or do you feel you met your mark here?

Yeah definitely, every match is an achievement for us. We're just doing what we can, and for now, what we can is pretty good. We're hoping to win the next match, and if we do, in the 2-2 match good luck to the other team.

Imperial defeated Cloud9 on Monday night, booking themselves a date against Copenhagen Flames in the 2-2 do-or-die matchup.

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