ash: "It's just magic"
Nobody could have predicted the run that GamerLegion would go on before the tournament, let alone after their Major appearance got off to a 0-2 start in the Challengers Stage. The BLAST Paris Major has been upset city though, and GamerLegion one of the main culprits. After taking down Monte in the Quarter-Final, the team were drawn against Heroic, one of the best teams in the world.
GamerLegion's run continued against all odds as they took down Heroic in a close three mapper, after letting a lead slip in map one. Incredibly the young team managed to pull themselves together and get back into the game, taking Inferno and Mirage to seal a 2-1 win and a spot in the Grand Final. Ashley "ash" Batye spoke to Dust.us' Arnie Petty about being the first ever British representation in a Major final, the teams run and the MVP form of "iM".
Bearing in mind his team had just made the final, ash was relatively composed in his initial post match reflections. The coach felt the team played almost as good as they could and that they should have won all three maps.
I thought it was an amazing match, I thought we played really well. We could have won all three maps, I don't think we can play much better than that and we will try again tomorrow.
Going more in depth about the match, ash started on the team's lost lead on Ancient, their map pick. Although he doesn't blame nerves or a choke, rather gives credit the Danish side's T side.
They played really well, I didn't feel like it was nerves when they were getting into the lead maybe there were doubts a little bit. They played really well though, it was really hard to play against. It was definitely the best Ancient team we have played on T side.
As coach ash plays an essential role in keeping the team's mentality in line, after the opening map went the way of Heroic he tried to focus on giving confidence to his team.
I try to remind them all how good they are, how well they are doing. Make them leave the mistakes in the past. It's really hard to do but we are doing a great job of doing it. We just focus on the next round all the time.
The theme of the game was strong attacking halves, as both teams flourished on their T side. ash credits the strength of both team's IGLs, with cadiaN being a proven top caller and siuhy becoming one of the best new up-and-comer.
Both teams are really strong on T side, it felt all maps were really hard on CT side. cadiaN is one of the best IGL's out there, siuhy is showing himself to be right up there competing. Everyone's communication was amazing, on T side it is a bit easier to set the pace when everyone is communicating that well.
GamerLegion started the Major going 0-2 in the Challengers Stage, with losses to Complexity and TheMongolz. The teams bounce back has been truly incredible, and they have been playing good Counter-Strike along the way.
(laughs) I don't know. We had a lot of talks, we just reminded ourselves of how good we are. We know we had so much to show, being 0-2 we had a lot of pressure on ourselves and now we have let that go. Now we are just playing our own game and it doesn't feel fluky we are playing proper CS, everyone is just playing off each other and it's just magic the way it's going. Maybe things will go differently at a different time, but everyone is doing a great job.
We couldn't talk about GamerLegion without talking about iM. The rifler has broken out this event showing star form and being the best rated player at the tournament.
He's just unbelievable. I have been saying it for two years, that's how long I have known him now. He has so much potential and he's had to learn, he's had to change with this new team and learn a new role. Before he was a hard entry and now he is more in the team and he's showing his best. It took him a while to understand that but now he is seeing it and he is buying into it. Everyone is playing an amazing role in the team and we are seeing the value of it.
ash also breifly touched on the UK scene, the resurgence it has seen recently and the fact that there was a first UK core in the Major, let alone Major playoffs ahead of CS2's release.
I hope so. I hope it continues for CS2. Hopefully, it will come back again, there are a lot of players coming through and there's been a lot of progress. Hopefully, there's some potential in the UK which I think it has deserved for a long time.
The obvious question is how will GamerLegion deal with the crowd, especially if they are to play Vitality in front of thousands of French fans. So far at the tournament GamerLegion have enjoyed support from the crowd, as they got support on their Cinderella journey, as well as cheers for their Belgian player Nicolas "keoz" Dgus. Against Vitality it will be a different story and ash is keenly aware of that.
I can't say it wouldn't bother us. The crowd here has been fantastic, especially compared to Rio, in Rio it was a bit hostile. They were never on our side. Here it has been amazing, obviously it's a bit different but we have done way more than expected. If tomorrow we don't play great and we lose then it is what it is, but we are going to give it everything we have got.
GamerLegion will play the winner of Vitality and Apeks in the final of the BLAST Paris Major, the last ever CS:GO Major.