cadiaN: "Nothing to be worried about yet"
For nearly two years, Heroic have been a team hovering just below elite squads. While Heroic's best showings came during the online era, the team has still been a force to be reckoned with on LAN, but they have largely been unable to secure big event wins, often falling short early in the playoffs. Recently, Heroic finally secured their first LAN event victory, at the Pinnacle Cup Championship, but victory celebrations were quickly cast aside with the subsequent announcement of the benching of Ismail "refrezh" Ali, who would be making room for Jakob "jabbi" Nygaard.
In their debut showing with jabbi, Heroic marched on through the IEM Cologne Play-in with little issue, but the squad collapsed in the main stage, bowing out early after losses to NIP and MOUZ. Following their elimination by MOUZ today, Dust2.us' Liam "Slevo" Slevin had a chance to sit down with team captain Casper "cadiaN" Møller to discuss the loss, the recent addition of jabbi, and to reminisce about cadiaN's time in North America with Rogue, among other topics.
How are you feeling following your elimination match against MOUZ?
It sucks obviously, it's the first time in a long time that we've had an early exit from a tournament. It's a bit unfortunate, but we're one of a few teams that made a change in the middle of the season with one tournament left. We didn't make the change hoping to improve and be better from day one, this is a long-term change. That [loss] showed today that we're not ready yet.
A lot of people likely had Heroic to go through over MOUZ based on your rankings and results. What went wrong in that game specifically that let MOUZ come out ahead?
MOUZ is a team that's had some trouble breaking through for quite some time now but I think they have a lot of good players and they're a little bit underrated. What went wrong; our T-sides were not what they usually were. We had a really rough T-side on Vertigo and five rounds on Nuke without a pistol is ok but it definitely could be better. I think we played ourselves into some good situations on Nuke but just didn't capitalize on them. Today felt like an off-day and MOUZ were playing well, so those two things combined is not the best combo for us.
You played against MOUZ previously in the Play-in stage. Based on their performance today, do you think they learned from their mistakes in the previous matchup?
It was more of a different Heroic that showed up than a different MOUZ so not really.
Regarding the recent addition of jabbi, what has he brought to the team as a personality?
He has an awesome personality and I still have very high hopes for him. He's willing to learn, he's listening, he's doing good things. You saw the 1v3 clutch he had even though he had a bit of a quiet half. You can never count him out so I'm still expecting big things from him and we'll send everyone on vacation and come back with some new energy for the latter part of the season. Nothing to be worried about yet.
Dust2.us interviewed you all the way back in 2018 when you were with Rogue. You said it was a great time for your career, what memories can you share of your time in NA?
A lot of good memories. The organization took such good care of me and there was never anything I missed. They were also ready to fix things, the CEO Frank, the manager Philippe, and Andrew, there were many people who had the heart and soul at the right place. In terms of the players as well, you can see that SicK is doing super well in VALORANT, vice also switched to VALORANT but I'm not really sure where he's at right now. Hiko and Rickeh, the two experienced guys, also brought a lot of good things to the team. I have only fond memories of thinking back to them.
Obviously it was tough living alone because we weren't doing the gaming house, but I owe the players because they gave me trust and were able to try some of the EU-Danish mentality. I miss playing with them every once and a while.
Do you have any thoughts on the current state of NA based on your time with Rogue?
Back then the scene was in a way better place. I remember at the beginning when I came we were fighting to be the 7th or 8th best NA team and there was Liquid, Cloud9, NRG, and all the Brazilian teams as well. I feel like the scene was in a very strong place back then, very competitive. It's a bit sad that the scene doesn't have the same level. I don't know the exact solutions but Liquid with YEKINDAR is super interesting and I'm hoping EG can figure out how they want to do things going forward because I know a lot of those players personally.
I know the level they showed in the last iteration of the lineup is not at all what they're capable of... many of them legends of the game. Hope they'll fix it and come back.
Heroic now head into the player break where they look to build up around jabbi and prepare for the second half of the year. The squad's next scheduled outing is the BLAST Premier Fall Groups in mid-August.