ben1337: "We were playing just with our heart and soul"
Right after his Fragadelphia 17 grand final win over BIG Academy, Ben "ben1337" Smith talked with Dust2.us' Samuel "Draik04" Popkes about the game against the young German squad, the evolution of EG.PA's map pool, and what it means for ben1337 to finally win FRAG after three prior tries.
I want you to talk to me about what you expected from this game. I know you guys were all sitting around watching BIG Academy play Apeks in that crazy double-overtime game. What were you thinking when you saw that you were gonna play them in the final?
Honestly, I was a little sceptical because [BIG Academy] play Vertigo and I knew Apeks didn't, and that's not really part of our map pool. But also playing against them, I watched how they played so I know the type of style that they played for the most part and that was like, not exactly how they played, but for the most part, they stuck to how they played.
We're kind of better at reading teams when they play the more “you” style and we can figure out their positions and all that stuff. Going into it, honestly, we want to win so we were going in trying to win, but we just wanted to show a good game.
So can I ask why you let Vertigo slide on the veto? It's the only map you lost this whole event, earlier against 7AM. So why let it slide?
Well, we've been practicing Vertigo and we've been practicing Ancient too, but our Ancient results aren't as good as our Vertigo ones and we’ve been practicing just how the game feels, the adjustments we can make. We feel like it's easier on Vertigo, but obviously, in the matches it didn’t pan out.
I also think European Vertigo is way different than NA’s, because in NA people will just fight A ramp all day. Me and Jonji play there and it's basically like Inferno on B, and we're monsters at it, we just use our utilities well, all this stuff but now, playing these teams, we're getting picked through smokes, spammed through smokes, boosted on. Also, we aren't really fans of Ancient, but we're trying to have a seven-map map pool. So also getting this experience on Vertigo against these teams and getting to review it later will be very beneficial, I think, for us.
You mentioned that you've practiced Vertigo. I interviewed Jonji after you guys had just qualified for the main stage, he said you guys basically shifted from Vertigo practice to other maps after you guys qualified for Melbourne. So did you guys get back to Vertigo practice after losing to 7AM?
I'd say he's right. I'd say during Melbourne we knew teams weren't playing Vertigo or wouldn't play Vertigo then, so we didn't practice it. So we haven't scrimmed it in like two weeks probably before this event. We weren't able to practice it, but we just talked about the map more just how we could have fixed this, we could have done that better but we still have things to learn and fix and adapt. We need to adapt better on that map for sure.
During the first map you guys were super loud, the second map obviously not so much, in the third map you guys got loud again, but it took some warming up. The third map was close at first, were you guys worried?
Uh, not really. I mean, there were really close rounds that we could have won. I feel like we could have won the CT half even better. There were just a couple of rounds where we messed up key little things like swing rounds, honestly. But going into it, not really. At the end of the day, it's a best-of-one at that point. We were playing just with our heart and soul, leaving it all on the server and that's what we did and we stuck with what we know and what we know how to do and how to do it well and stick to what we're good at. We did it and we played well and took the dub. We got the ring and we are FRAG champs.
If I'm not mistaken, this is your fourth FRAG event, and the last time you were here, a year ago, you placed second. How does it feel to finally get that Fragadelphia win?
Oh, it feels so good. It's indescribable really. This event has just been so prestigious. Going from my first one and barely making it out of groups and stuff and watching the good NA players play the final until this time it's just unreal to actually be experiencing it. It's a funny experience, it's hard to put in words.
Currently, the Evil Geniuses White (EG.PA) do not have any tournaments as all of EG's commitments are being filled by their main roster as well as their Carpe Diem roster.