magixx: "Everyone was doubting us in every matchup"
Dust2.us' Ryan Friend was able to sit down with Boris "magixx" Vorobiev as Spirit get ready for their semifinal matchup versus FaZe later today. The two touched on how the team is feeling with their performance at the Major thus far, how much in-game leader Leonid "chopper" Vishnyakov contributes to the roster's success, and how Spirit deals with the pressure of competing on such a big stage.
You guys have seemingly been one of the more Cinderella stories of the Major, how does it feel to be this successful in the event so far?
Well, there's no exact feeling of us being insane or something, we're just playing the game, we're enjoying the game and we're excited to play the game in this tournament. We're happy to be here and especially playing on stage; it's an insane experience.
Now, you've been a part of Spirit since when you really first started your professional career. How has it been going through so many different roster iterations?
So, basically, all this time I've been gaining experience, playing positions, and just learning competitive Counter-Strike. I'd never played in a pro team prior to Spirit, actually, so back then I was super new, and now I'm so much better. And there's still room to work on and to get better.
Talk to me a little bit about chopper. He was in the team at first and then was benched, but has since come back. How has his benching and return helped this team reach these new levels?
Well, probably, the reason that the organization brought him back into the roster was that there aren't so many IGLs in CIS. So, basically, because there are not so many young players who want to go into the captain role, to take the leadership role. They want the best stats, the Connector positions, AWPing, running and headshotting, to get good stats, being mentioned on Twitter. And when you are IGL, you are getting shit on, on Twitter and it's really hard. It's insane work, you have to put hours into it, and you sometimes have to sacrifice your individual skill for preparation with watching demos to preparing your team, so he was the guy who can make all that stuff, he's experienced, he's doing great and he's just doing his job really well and he helps all of us.
You guys really matched FURIA yesterday toe-for-toe. FURIA is known to play a very fast-paced style, you guys took almost a similar style, and did it twice as well. What were your keys to success in that match?
I can say that FURIA is playing the chaotic style of Counter-Strike and if you're a team and you decide to play their game, to let them play chaotic, and you also play this random playstyle, you know, just going into duals, trying to fight arT, you're going to lose. You saw this in the G2-FURIA game, they tried to fight them. They let them play their game and that's what happened. For us, we didn't go into those duals, we've been countering them, so if you're playing against FURIA, you can throw the nades at the start of the round and you've basically won half of the round. You just have to be ready for this aggression, you can deny this aggression with utility and after this, there won't be any problems to stop you from winning.
So is that why you think FURIA have been able to be so good because teams don't know exactly how to counter them but you guys did?
Yeah maybe, but maybe teams do know how to counter them but they still decide to fight FURIA in the way that they want to play the game. So, for example, if you're playing against arT who is just pushing Ramp, killing everyone and fighting everyone, throwing all the nades, and the teams are going into Ramp trying to fight him, they have a very small chance since he's so good at aggression, he's doing a lot of damage there and that's how people are losing games.
You're now going to face off against FaZe, that is definitely the toughest matchup that you will have had so far, best team in the world, how are you guys preparing for that?
Well, we're going to play some practice today, we're going to review the demo of yesterday's match. We're also going to look at FaZe's demos, we'll decide which maps to play and which maps we'll leave for the decider, if needed, and that's it. The most work will be done by chopper since he's preparing the game plan and that stuff. So, I'll just listen to him and what he's going to call.
And has listening to chopper really helped you guys out, especially without a coach?
Yeah chopper is doing an insane amount of work, especially in the match against Copenhagen Flames. It was the evening before the game, and we all went into deathmatch to get 1,000 kills and chopper had been watching demos for a couple of hours before. And in the morning, before the game, he's watching some demos again, on Ancient or Nuke or whatever, and then he made the game plan.
A lot of people look at the Flames-Spirit game as the decider of who absolutely was going to go through because Flames then lost their next two games and almost didn't make it, did you feel really pressured during that game?
I can't say that we have been pressured by any means. There are a small number of people who didn't think that we could make it through the Challengers or RMR even. We've just been enjoying the game, we knew that Copenhagen Flames is a good opponent to play against. They have some good maps, they have some not so good maps so we're used to it. We've been playing by our game plan and we just won the game.
So how do you feel with the pressure of this being such a big tournament and a lot of people on social media doubting that you could make it this far?
Well, throughout the entire tournament, everyone was doubting us in every matchup that we had. If you open launders' Twitter, every match, every day, he is highlighting the winners of every game, and he's never picked us. And this jinx, this worked for us so we are fine with being underdogs. It's okay, there's a lot of people that doubt us but there's still a lot of people who are supporting us and who are happy with our results and we're getting more fans - that's awesome. There's no pressure, we're just going to play the game and enjoy it.
Who do you think are the big personalities in your team? The people who talk quite a lot and the people who are much quieter, how do you think that works within the team?
Of course chopper is the most vocal in the team, he's the IGL. There are two more who bring initiative, and that's Patsi and degster. Patsi has been the IGL in the academy team and he is doing a lot of IGL stuff on Vertigo because me and chopper aren't experienced enough on that map and he is also helping with mid-round calls. Degster is playing the sniper role, he has to bring the initiative, he has to do peeks, the opening kills and that's good. The more quiet ones are me and s1ren since we're playing positions that don't make us talk a lot. We're not really in the action at the start of the round, we're just doing our job and that's it.
You guys were getting very loud and animated in your game versus FURIA and it was quite the sight to see, everyone was loving it. Do emotions get out of control on stage, how do you manage your emotions during the game to make sure you don't lose yourself?
I've been working with our psychologist for a year now, maybe two, and I'm okay with controlling myself. It's happened in the past but now I'm fine, and maybe some of us can be overly emotional but I think we didn't have that issue. It's okay though, we can take a pause to chill and say "Guys, it's okay, we have the map, we have the lead, let's just go win, don't worry."
Alright so you're very close to getting to the final, even if you lose, would you still feel that you've been successful so far at this Major or do you feel you deserve much more?
Well, if we take a look at the results, it'll be a top-three or four and that's a good result. And I don't think we really talk about that, we just talk about enjoying the game, playing the game and talking about what we've practiced. We're just enjoying the moment, first time on stage for all of us, it's an insane experience and I'm loving it.
Spirit will now be eagerly awaiting their semifinal game versus FaZe which is set to begin today at 10:30AM.