Perfecto: "I've always wanted to play with a crowd completely against me"
NAVI, an early favorite for IEM Rio, had their fair share of challenges early on in the Legends Stage. Early losses against Cloud9 and Liquid put them on the back foot, needing two best-of-three victories to make the top-eight. They were able to secure playoffs, however, their shaky form certainly left much to be desired. Between the Legends Stage and playoffs, Dust2us' Ryan Friend talked with Ilya "Perfecto" Zalutskiy about their run to playoffs and the Brazilian Crowd in Rio de Janeiro.
Congratulations on making it this far. The team struggled a little bit getting to playoffs, are you worried heading into the next stage?
It didn't affect us at all that we struggled during the first stage. People expected us to do it flawlessly, but that's just what people expected. It's not obligatory for us. It didn't affect us, it just made us work a lot harder. Playing more games also shows more of our mistakes, and with review, we can fix those. After the work that we put in, we feel more prepared for playoffs.
One of the harder matchups you had was the 1-1 game against Liquid on Ancient. There was that big comeback by Liquid on their CT-side, is there anything specific from that game that you learned which you're now looking to learn from?
Ancient itself is kind of a broken map, as you would call it. On T-side, it's quite complicated to get back into the game after a tough start. We had a lot of new and interesting rounds we wanted to implement, but we just couldn't do them because of mistakes players were making or wrong nades, things like that. That was one reason we couldn't do anything good on the T-side. Now we've done a lot of work on these rounds, and hopefully we can show that in the playoffs.
You're gonna go up against crowd favorites FURIA, are you worried at all about the crowd noise, and knowing how loud it is, are you trying to compensate for not being able to hear one another on stage?
We don't have any fears about facing this crowd. I've actually always wanted to play with a crowd that's completely against me. It's more motivation, and as for the noise issues, we're just going to adapt on the go.
Is there anything particular about FURIA that you're looking to exploit as a weakness?
Their weakest point is probably being a bit overaggressive. This is something we'll try to control against them. This is what we think might help us.
Being in Rio, you guys have a Brazil specific jersey, have you guys embraced the city? Have you gone out and been able to enjoy anything about Brazil? What makes it different from any other tournament or country you've been in?
Brazil is special because of it's people. We've never experienced anything like this. We can mostly see the crowd, which is absolutely crazy, but we weren't able to meet a lot of ordinary people. Number two is definitely nature. We're right next to the coast and you can just feel how beautiful it is. As for sightseeing, we don't really have time for that, sadly. We do preparation or practice. This is our second off day and we're here doing press. Hopefully, one day, we'll be able to experience the other side of Brazil and do a lot of sightseeing, but this is not the time.
NAVI play FURIA at 03:30PM tomorrow in their first match in playoffs.