Pol0: "It's good to know we can win something"
Following their victory at Fragadelphia 17: Chicago, Jeffrey "Mnmzzz" Moore had a chance to sit down with Axolotls' Marco "Pol0" Hernandez for a post-match interview. The two discussed what it means for the team to win on LAN after a rough ECL showing, their drive to win, and the team's sales pitch to organizations looking for a team, among other topics.
I'm here with Pol0 coming off of Axolotl's win against Davenport in three maps, how does it feel to claim your first title with this new team?
Really good, long time coming, haven't had a great few months so it's good to get back on track, you know we are back to grinding.
With this you have proved you can stack up against top-level Advanced opposition, does that give you a good feeling heading into Relegation?
It's good to know we can win something, coming off of ECL we got one map and it was against MIBR and it was a 16-2 and then we failed to get another map for the rest of the season. So finally being able to prove we can win an official, it's good to know, and going into Relegation it definitely gives us more confidence.
Do you think there was a LAN buff for the team, and if so what factors were critical for the team performing above expectations at this event?
Yeah so this is Tender's first LAN and Tender came off of Relegation last season being one of the highest-rated players. Everybody has been playing on 40-50 ping to online servers so coming to LAN everything just feels so much smoother, especially against the less experienced players it gives us an advantage.
Looking at this team, there are a lot of names that are familiar to people who have followed Advanced and ESL for a long time but haven't had their breakout in ECL yet. Who has impressed you the most out of your new teammates so far?
Probably Tender, we picked him up knowing that he was going to be a really good player just from trying him out and watching his demos before we tried him out. We knew he was going to be a lot of our firepower coming into the team, and putting him in the right spots and giving him the right utility is definitely what he needs to be successful, and what we need to be successful. Now we showed it.
Your team gained a lot of attention and maybe infamy at this LAN for being very vocal in your matches, with lots of colorful language coming from the team. Can you explain the thought process that goes into that? What is the whole aggressive persona you put on stage, what does that do for you as a lineup?
Can I cuss?
Go ahead, fuck it.
I just like talking shit. jermanji loves talking shit. Back from the Cold Ass Riders days, we were extremely vocal, screaming at everyone. Tender is more on the quiet side, consti is more on the quiet side, but if anyone knows Elk from any of the other LANs, he just does not stop. So between the three of us we are pretty loud, not a ton of thought goes into it more just having some fun.
Looking towards the future with this team, you guys have Relegation coming up. How do you feel about your chances in Relegation?
I think we have a really good chance, a lot of those series that we lost in ECL were both maps being 16-14, barely losing, we barely lost to MIBR, both maps we lost were 16-13, 16-14. Considering those losses are so close, we know we are just on the edge of being a good team, going into Relegation, especially coming off of this win, I really like our chances.
One thing that flew under the radar with this team is that brett has been in the coach slot for the entirety of the ECL season. What is brett's function on the team, does he fill a more traditional coach role or is he just there for emotional support?
So brett doesn't have a ton of experience coaching, he's more looking for a team right now. It's good to have him on the team just as like a birds-eye view of what's going on and because he has good relationships with everyone on the team it's good to have someone that's close with us and understands how we take criticism, how to put forth criticism and he has a lot of experience too that also helps us out.
Is this something he wants to continue doing with the team or is it just a place for him to be until he finds a new home for Season 42?
Probably a place for him to be until he finds a team.
With Axolotls winning Fragadelphia Chicago, you have secured your team a direct spot into Frag 17 which will be in September. What does that mean for you guys to get travel support and a direct invite to the event?
I mean it's huge, all we want to do is play in the end, we are an orgless team, we came off of ONET4P last season, their financial support was pretty good and we are just looking to get some big wins up and getting the opportunity to do that is pretty huge for us.
If you had to make a sales pitch to an org as to why they should sign you over other orgless teams in ECL, what would you say to them?
As far unsigned teams go, besides the huge names like Bad News Bears, and Party Astronauts and Carpe Diem who are now signed, I don't think you'll find a harder working team. Practice hours, we are trying to match as close as we can pro practice hours, and I mean, a couple people working part-time jobs, everything to just fund this passion and everybody on the team is ready to jump in and just be full committed and we are looking for the right opportunity to do so.
When Axolotls return home, they will begin their campaign to retain their ECL spot in Relegation. ESL Challenger League Season 41 Relegation is set to begin on July 15th.