Astralis are feeling ready for the main stage

Xyp9x: "There's so much pressure playing CS and if you don't perform you will get community backlash"

Coming off an important win over BIG, Xyp9x spoke about his expectations for the event.

Astralis, a team that used to strike fear into the hearts of whomever they played is now barely making the main stage of IEM Cologne as they fought tooth and nail to surpass BIG. With his team making it into the main stage, Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth sat down with' Liam "Slevin" Slevo to talk about what's changed since that legendary core, and his expectations for this stage of IEM Cologne.

You have qualified for the group stage of IEM Cologne, what are your immediate feelings after that game?

Relieved. I think that missing out on the main event would have been a disaster so I am just really happy that we have qualified. Not so much about how we played, because I think the best of one against 00 Nation should not have been like that in any way. So, kind of disappointed with that match but we re-grouped ourselves after that and we found the development that we have been showing prior to this event.

You guys had to take on BIG who recently won Roobet by taking down FaZe - the number one team in the world. When you saw that draw, were you nervous considering that they are one of the better teams you could have met at this point of the Play-in?

We have met BIG before and I think that they are a good matchup for us since we tend to win against them, and we can win Dust2 against them even though it's not one of our best maps. I believe that our playstyle fits well against their playstyle so I wasn't nervous but it was just another match.

Since IEM Dallas, you have got 2nd at Pinnacle and then 3rd-4th at Roobet. What would you say are your expectations now that you're in the main stage of IEM Cologne?

We really want to go to the playoffs here, but there are a lot of good teams here. I believe we can do it, but we can't have games like we did in the series against 00 Nation and we have to show our A-game. Now we will go to the hotel, look at our mistakes here and fix them so we can hopefully have a chance of making it to the playoffs. So, that is the ultimate goal and then it is just a bonus from there on. I want to say top four or stuff like that; I think we have to be realistic because of all the good teams here and the last two tournaments even though we went to the finals and semi-finals, there weren't really all the good teams there participating. So yeah, playoffs is the goal.

You have played with gla1ve for quite a while and you two are the last two remaining members of that legendary core. With the three new players that you have had time to adjust to now, what can you say that is different now in terms of gla1ve's calling and his approach to the game?

I think the main difference is that we have to learn about each other. Just small things like what does one person like to do on certain kinds of maps, which is so vital. We were used to not changing players in the old Astralis, where you could just call a default and people would already have plans made together without the rest of the team even really knowing it so it was just on initiative. I think this is something that we are now starting to work on. Things that are coming into our play because we have been playing together for a little bit longer now but it's small things like that where he has to micromanage more than in the previous Astralis.

For you individually, you went through a pretty rough streak from last year's IEM Cologne to Antwerp, your form is starting to pick up now with you going positive in the last few events. What can you say about yourself individually, what has changed or are you just feeling it more?

I think the feeling comes when you have good games, so I think it's fair to say that I've put in a lot more hours into CS, I'm grinding a lot and I've been working a little bit on the mental aspect. I think it got to me. There's so much pressure playing CS and if you don't perform you will get community backlash, even your own thoughts go "am I not good enough?" So, just getting confidence first and then putting in the hours. I'm really happy with that and I'm showing progress, all the work that I'm doing pays off in the end. I'm happy about that.

Both you and your old teammates at Vitality had close games against German teams today, what can you say about the guys at Vitality from the outside looking in and the system zonic has been putting in?

Obviously, they have their problems, they won the BLAST Spring Finals and somehow they managed to make it work at that tournament but I can't sit here and say what their problems are because I think you have to be on the inside. If it's communication I don't know, I think people overblow it too much; the communication. I think it might be the roles or... I can sit and say everything but I don't know for sure. I'll let them deal with their problems and we'll deal with ours.

Heroic have added jabbi and you fell to them when you got second place in Pinnacle. Is there a feeling of wanting revenge if you come up against them in Cologne here?

I think it's always an exciting match-up, and I think a lot of people enjoy it. There is a rivalry going on and I think they've proven that they are the best team right now. I actually think the up-swing we have had in the last couple months can make a difference in that match-up but they are favorites if we match up against them.

Astralis' run through the group stage of IEM Cologne gets started with a matchup versus FURIA tomorrow at 06:30AM.

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