ruggah: "It's not for fun that flameZ is the most traded player"
Unlike many other top-ten teams, OG had to fight through the play-ins to reach the main stage of Katowice. That they did, qualifying without dropping a match after defeating Sprout and fnatic. Once they reached that main stage, they came out of the gates swinging, taking down MOUZ and setting themselves up for success.
Sadly, following that, they fell 0-2 to Heroic, a favorite to win the event. Looking to regroup and ready for their bout with Outsiders, OG were then struck by a terrible situation. flameZ, the team's star entry, had fallen sick and could not participate in the match. ruggah, the team's coach, stood in and tried his best, but unfortunately, and somewhat predictably, fell to the Outsiders.
After that elimination match, Dust2.us' Liam "Slevo" Slevin talked with ruggah about his time in the server as a player, and generally, about OG's prospects after Katowice.
An unfortunate way for you guys to go out of the tournament with the flameZ situation, tell me a bit about that series and whether you guys were expecting anything more given the unfortunate circumstances you were going into the game with?
Actually, we've been quite unlucky the whole week. F1KU was also feeling sick on the first or second day of play-ins. We've been hit a lot by this flu that is running around. It was unfortunate that it was this morning that flameZ was hit the most by it, and he had a big fever this morning, so playing with him probably would have led to the same outcome on the two first maps.
For you, jumping into the server, how often do you actually get a chance to play, or is most of your time on the server doing demos and focusing on other teams?
I'm not normally playing. When I'm playing, it's with my friends because we have this common hobby from when we were like 13, 14, years old. When I play, it's mostly with them. But obviously, I know the strats, I know how people position, and I watch a lot of demos, so the CT-sides were a little bit easier than the T-sides because you could rely on your brain a little bit more.
With Vlady, the general manager, being a former pro player, was there any chance we would have seen her jump onto the server today?
And for you, being that voice in the team as the coach, when you're on the server with nexa, is it hard to hold yourself back and not overcall nexa, or do you give him plenty of space.
We talked a little bit about it. I think the starting idea was I try to help as much as I could, but it felt weird because we also didn't want to play our full normal style. It became very individual, guys calling what they want to do here and there. When we went back to playing 5-man CS, I pitched in as much as I could. But obviously, flameZ has a very important role in our strats. It's not for fun that he's the most traded player across HLTV stats. It was a hard role to fill and I also think that if we could replay it again, I would just play strats from spawn again.
You mentioned F1KU also being struck with that flu, he was a player that was struggling this series. There were stages where even you were outfragging him. For you as the coach, not being able to stand behind them and call the timeouts, it's harder for you to get involved and try to pick him up. What was that like on the server?
You couldn't feel it at all. To be fair, it's also because he is normally playing alongside flameZ. So when I separated myself from him, he doesn't play the same situations he normally plays. I'm not thinking too much about it. It's kind of unfortunate, but I had good practice in underground on Overpass, which is why he was playing B also. I think him losing flameZ was a bigger hit than me just going in and playing freely.
You also mentioned that you guys have struggled with different things throughout the tournament. How much are you going to put into this tournament as in looking back, or are you just going to be able to brush it off in terms of the stuff you had to go through?
I think we have some key points that we need to look better on, that we have been evaluating on a daily basis, like communication, getting on the same page, building the big picture of whats happening on the server for each other. That will be one of the things we continue to work on because that's what we're missing against the best teams, like FaZe. They got into our heads in that regard when we played against them at BLAST. Also against Heroic, we were lacking some small pieces of information here and there that could have turned it. But also, we look back, and we have only lost one game with our starting roster and it was against Heroic, the world number one, that will probably in the semis if not the finals. I wouldn't take that loss too harshly and I'm not gonna use that game for anything other than watching, at least our CT system to see if it feels good.
Ahead of Pro League, are you guys gonna get more chances to practice in terms of bootcamps?
EPL we are down-prioritizing a little bit, also because we have the closed qualifier for the RMR the next week and go on the road for a long time. I think right now we have been on the road for 36 days in a row, so coming back home is all about refreshing, getting that motivation back, and then focusing on EPL when we get there. I don't think we're gonna practice more than a couple of days.
Following their loss to Outsiders, OG are eliminated from IEM Katowice. We will see them in ESL Pro League in Group C when they take on 00Nation in their opening bout.