stamina: "We still have what it takes to qualify"
Following Strife's loss to TYLOO earlier today, Ryan Friend had a chance to speak to Bobby "stamina" Eitrem to discuss what factors led to the defeat against the Chinese squad, Strife's European bootcamp, how the team's rebuild has ben going, and their plans for the future among other topics.
What do you think happened on the server that led to the 0-2 loss against TYLOO? It seemed like it was a relatively close game where Strife fell short in the end.
Yeah it was pretty close. What it came down to was we had a slow start on Overpass, usually we're a lot better about our CT-side on Overpass. We knew some of the things they were going to do and we were ready for them and they still happened. We also had some unlucky timings, there was one round where BnTeT just made a play up sands on Overpass and SLIGHT should've seen him but didn't see him unfortunately so it was millisecond timing that lost us the round. Honestly, it was a lot of stuff where we made mistakes, and not TYLOO pressuring so too much. We knew exactly what was going to come and we couldn't put it together, we were a little bit shaky to start.
You went into EPL Conference off the back of a short European bootcamp. How was that heading into your first European event?
The bootcamp was really impactful for us. We had a lot of time to reflect on what we had done in North America but also look at it and realize we were "honeymooning" and we needed to work on some things. We got to buckle down and work in-game and out of game. I think it was really important to get experience against European players. That was really good, but unfortunately we never really got to play anybody from the Asian region so we didn't know too much about how TYLOO were going to play outside of our preparation.
I think we maybe slacked a bit on the prep, we could've done more to make sure we were really prepared. The way they play is they walk around the map and they don't really play European or North American style. It's a mix of things from both regions and then play their own game.I think we needed a bit more preparation.
When I talked to IHC at the Major they said Complexity played super fast like an Asian team. Was that extreme speed evident against TYLOO or was it more cerebral from them?
On Overpass it was more cerebral, they were slower and a bit more respectful but they still played a scrimmy style. It was BnTeT making a lot of plays and DANK1NG wasn't really letting off the pedal either. On Mirage, they were definitely kind of running around. There was a round where I called what they were going to do and they did but we still couldn't capitalize off of it so it really comes down to not everybody being 100% ready for that style. It's tough because we lost to ourselves a little bit too.
There were rounds where we were in a really good position to win, there was one round where fejtZ killed two people in underpass, we had two people in window, and all of TYLOO were running back catwalk to grab the bomb; we just didn't trade efficiently, tensed up, and didn't comm that much. Part of it is first international event nerves and part of it is simple mistakes that we wouldn't have made if we were a bit more comfortable.
This Strife lineup is still really new with the additions of reck, fejtZ, and ToH1o. How have those changes affected you guys? Are things still up in the air?
This bootcamp really helped us develop in terms of getting on the same page and understanding how everybody wants to approach the game. Mixing that with how I'd like to approach the game and how ToH1o wants us to play, Counter-Strike is very complex because everybody has their own play style individually and you need to have one style. Early on in NA, we were getting away with the fact that we are way more skilled than almost everybody we were playing rather than being on one page and playing together. Europe has helped us with that but unfortunately we weren't able to show that today.
You will be playing cowana tomorrow off the back of their loss to MIBR. As a team that's familiar with MIBR's playstyle is there anything you can bring from that series that will help you with this series?
It's tough to take anything away because we probably would've played MIBR closer than we played TYLOO today. Not because of skill difference or team play difference but because we know. Going into cowana we don't really know them but I think they'll be easier to play against because we're used to the European style by now from the teams we've played. We've also had two European coaches so we've been gearing towards a European style as a team ourselves. I think we should be prepared for cowana and how they're going to play.
On a personal level, how does it feel to get to the Conference level?
It feels really really good. I think it felt too good in a way that made us so ready to go that we lost sight of the basics in some situations. It sucks because we're super confident and super excited to play this but at the same time it would be foolish to believe we're a million percent ready. We are still a very new team and we're still trying to figure out how we want to play the game. This was a ramp up game, we started slow and honestly we still have what it takes to qualify. That's where we're all at with our heads.
What are the teams plans after Conference? Are you planning on staying in Europe any longer or are you planning on getting back to NA?
Based on how everything was set up, we fortunately will be able to stay here until the end of the event regardless of our result. So, we would try to use that time efficiently and continue practicing. After this event we have ECL playoffs immediately so we're going to be a bit jetlagged but even more so fejtZ can't come back to the United States right away so he hasn't secured a P-1 visa yet. That's something we're in the process of trying to get but it's a very tough process so until that happens he will have to play from one our managers' homes in Canada. So he will be on a new setup in a different country. After ECL playoffs he'll probably go back to Estonia so we can work out the visa situation.
It's not the prettiest situation but we have the player break coming up to figure that out. After the player break whether or not we qualify for EPL again we probably look into Fragadelphia or practicing from there on out.
Overall, what's the main thing you're trying to take away from this event as one of the emergent teams in NA?
The biggest thing is the practice. The way we practice in NA is drastically different from how teams practice in Europe and we want to take things we've learned here and apply those to how we approach practice. Hopefully we can continue to go upwards and regardless of what happens work really hard to win ECL every season and continue to come back to Europe.
Strife will be taking on cowana bright and early for NA viewers tomorrow at 06:30AM. Should they win, their next match will be against the loser of Outsiders vs. Falcons.