jks: "I think it would be nice to play [FaZe] in the playoffs"
Right after a clean 2-0 win against BIG on the opening game of IEM Katowice 2023 Group Stage, Dust2.us' Liam "Slevo" Slevin caught Justin "jks" Savage, who topped the fragging list and propelled his team to a positive start in what could be jks' second Katowice trophy in just two years. Slevo and jks talked about the BIG match-up, Rasmus "HooXi" Nielsen's AWPing, being one of the defending champions, and the prospect of facing FaZe in the Group stage, as well as in the playoffs.
You guys just beat BIG. You beat them in BLAST Premier Spring Groups and you beat them again here. Tell me about the series today and what was different from the last time.
I don't think it was too much different from last time, except that we played Anubis, instead. We had pretty much the same game plan on Inferno and for Anubis, we just played our own game. We looked at what they like to do, and their spots, but we didn't focus too much on it, we just played our own game. I think it went pretty well overall, I think the first half of Anubis was a bit shaky but I guess it's just because we haven't played for a while, and we had to get into the groove of things and stuff like that.
Considering BIG are trying to make Anubis like their home map, was that something you guys were ready for?
Yeah, we had a good idea it was going to be Anubis. It could have been a few maps but we had a pretty good idea it was going to be Anubis. Like I said before, we just took it to our own game, we don't really take into account a lot of what they did. We know we have a good Anubis, and it's a new map as well. We trust our own game and look at basic things.
A bit surprising to see HooXi AWPing. Is that just an Anubis thing or is that across all maps now?
I don't know, you have to watch the rest of the maps. On Anubis, he is definitely comfortable AWPing on the B-site and I think on that map is a pretty strong position to have an AWP. It's kind of just playing the meta.
Speaking of HooXi as well, since you have come under him as an IGL, your form has skyrocketed and you have been playing really well. Tell me what is like having him as a caller.
It's been really good, I think he is a really hard-working IGL, I think he is super smart, and people don't give him credit enough for the things he does, they focus too much on his individual level, at least they did in the past. Now that we are winning, people started to realize he is a good IGL, he knows how to play the game properly and knows how to use the pieces he has on the team. I think he has a pretty good team to work with, considering what he has had in the past but he is a really good IGL. I have enjoyed playing with him.
We all know the story of you being here with FaZe and beating G2 in the final. Is that symbolism something that you thought about coming into this tournament?
A little bit, of course. Can't not think about it, it's really nice to return here, even though I was just a stand-in with the team it's nice to come here as the defending winner in a way. It's something that I hadn't felt before, it's different for sure, but it's a nice feeling. I'm trying to think not too much about it because I don't want to let it get into my head, stuff like that. Every year I'm here is very nice to play regardless of if I was winning or not. It's a really nice event to be in, I think there are a lot of memories even before winning last year.
You mentioned trying not to get it into your head. There's a chance you are going to meet FaZe in the next match, we don't know if they are going to beat Spirit yet, but is that the match-up that you are looking forward to?
I mean, sure. As a storyline, it's really cool to play FaZe but I think it would be nice to play them in the playoffs. I think the group stage is just a group stage in a way. We are good to play them, I always enjoy playing them, they are really good friends of mine and every time I see them we talk. It's always fun playing them,
FaZe are going for the Grand Slam here, that's their big chance for it. Is that something you think could go in your favor, knowing that the pressure is on them to get the Grand Slam and if you meet them in the playoffs you get the chance to knock them out, maybe?
Honestly, I haven't thought about that, at all. Now that I know, it's interesting to add to the storyline but it's not something that you'd think about in the end. You just focus on the game you are playing and hopefully, you can win it and what happens after is kind of a bonus. It's not really something you should consider.
For you personally as a player, this being the first big chance of 2023, for the year in general what's your main goal on a personal level?
As a team we want to win a lot more trophies, I think we have the team to do it right now, I think we are in good form, we have good momentum, and that's the main goal for everyone in the team. Individually I want to get a lot better from what I have been in the past, I think I showed glimpses of what I can do, every now and then but I just want to make it more consistent like I was in the past. When I was on Renegades and 100 Thieves I think I was super consistent and I think that's a part of playing in the same team for so long, and I think I'm on the same path to get there with this team. I just have to work more and keep playing. I just want to be more consistent and just play the best I can.
With this win, G2 will face FaZe in the group's semifinal match-up, tomorrow at 01:30PM.