BIG's tiziaN on their 2020 season, competing online, and their upcoming matches
Before the start of the Blast Premier: Fall 2020 season, GGRecon sat down with Tizian "tiziaN" Feldbusch. Having been at the highest level of German Counter-Strike for almost a decade, he has been a staple for Berlin International Gaming (BIG) for almost two years, celebrating his arguably greatest achievements of his career with BIG this season. In the interview, he talks about his team’s success in 2020, the debate of playing offline vs online, and their chances in Group B against their immediate opposition.
How are you guys in high spirits coming into this tournament?
Yeah, definitely. We played a couple of tournaments now and we are also a little bit exhausted so we tried to not give 300% this time, we tried to prepare a little bit differently and try a slightly different approach. Of course, still on high energy and full spirit.
What have you been focusing on mostly? Did you look at the opponent and anti-stratting them, or is it more focusing on yourself and your fundamentals?
Before, our approach was more anti-stratting a lot. We tried to really find every weakness of our enemies and I think we had really good anti-strat approaches. It was too much work for people and you can’t just keep that work up all the time and give 300% because at some point you’re getting exhausted. We also don’t want to risk people getting burn out. Right now we tried to focus a little bit more on ourselves. Of course, we will keep anti-stratting but not as much as before.
It has been a wild year for you. To find a German team that had as much success, you’d almost have to go back 10 years towards the mousesports era. Why is this German line-up so successful this year?
Honestly, we tried a lot of different line-ups in BIG. We always looked at German players before we picked up international players like [Owen "smooya" Butterfield]. We thought about how we can we figure out the best possible German line-up but it wasn’t really possible back then like two or three years ago because the [German player base] wasn’t that far in having a high skill ceiling. We picked our guys up at the beginning of this year, [Nils "k1to" Gruhne] and [Florian "syrsoN" Rische], when we saw that Sprout had really good players and they were developing really fast. We thought, if we pick k1to and syrsoN we will have a stable line-up with good firepower, and we’ll have good role players. The success of our line-up is based on that everybody has a set role and everybody knows what he needs to do.
It’s unfortunate that the circumstances of this year panned out this way because of the scepticism it caused. While you did get two new players, it also coincided with the competition moving online. What do you say to the sceptics that say you guys are only able to have this much success because it’s online?
These people didn’t even see our LAN results. We played two LANs this year and we drove over the enemies on both LANs. If I can say it like that: Both of them were pretty easy wins. If you look at these games you can already see where our level at that time was and that it’s not that far away from what it is right now. Of course, I get the argument. Online is a little bit different and I’m not sure if everything that happened would’ve happened on LAN as well. Some stuff is different, like the pressure of getting to the final of an international event and playing a best of five in an arena. That’s of course much different than it is online in your boot camp room where you are feeling comfortable. I get it but I think we would’ve had kind of the same results. Maybe.
You mentioned in another interview that you didn’t really know what it was like to be a professional player until you played in front of 10,000 people. Are you looking forward to that experience again?
Oh yeah, definitely. I’ve been at home for way too long. Usually, I travel every two or three weeks. I really miss travelling and going to different cities. When you are a professional player you move constantly and at some points, it gets a little bit boring. You aren’t really interested in going to Sydney anymore. It can be a really good experience, but you don’t see the value of that if you travel so much.
Right now, I’m so looking forward to going to different cities and playing LANs there, meeting fans and doing other stuff.
The first match is against FaZe. Historically throughout this year, you guys had a pretty good match record against them. The match is of course under the lights of a potential roster move for your opponent. How are you guys feeling and have you taken those circumstances under consideration in your plans for this game?
The matchup was always pretty favourable for us. I think we will go into this game like any other. I don’t think they can change many strategies if they change a player now. I think they are going to use the same strategy anyway, so we probably have most of the preparation. As I said, we want to focus on ourselves right now. Maybe we’re just going to check a few more things again, but nothing special.
One of the reasons could be doing this well against them is because if there is one team that hates Vertigo than you guys, it’s probably FaZe and they will likely instantly ban that map. On what other maps do you feel confident against them?
Basically every other map but train.
Why not Train?
It’s really not our map. We pick it sometimes but it was a little bit gamble-y. I like to play Train, I say it in during every veto: “Let’s gamble on Train, let’s play. I don’t care, I really like train!” But, us as a team, we aren’t that good on Train but we tried practising it a little bit for when it happens one day.
The other teams in your group are no slouches. Do you have a preference out of meeting Complexity or Vitality?
Definitely Complexity. Even though we should’ve probably won some games against Vitality in the past, I think Complexity is an opponent that fits us more.
You haven’t played them in a while, and with the new roster there are some question marks around the recruitment of [Justin "jks" Savage] and how they will adapt. Why do you think they fit you more?
Because of the games we had against them, we always felt very comfortable. When we analysed them, we realised when we lost rounds or maps that it was mostly our fault. It wasn’t the things they were doing well, it was more the things we were doing badly. We played things we hadn’t practised and we played more individually instead of playing as a team. Then we lose all these anti-ecos. We just die one by one. I think that happened most of the time against Complexity because we felt comfortable against their players - like taking the duels. We realised what the best approach against them is and I think that’s why they fit us more.
You played Vitality last week. The individual monster performances from [Cédric "RpK" Guipouy] and [Mathieu "ZywOo" Herbaut]. Unless something really unforeseen happens, you will likely meet them in your group. Can you guys bring it back against them? Do you have anything that you learned from the last game that might give you the edge?
Definitely, when we watch demos together as a team we sat down watching demos at 11 am on Discord and one Vitality half took like six hours, just one half on one map. We watched the whole the demo, so we know what we did wrong and we know what they did well. We know how to fix a couple of things. I think that’s the most important thing, if you lose games you have to learn from it. Every time we play against them it’s an experience because they are also a team that has good antis and uses different weaknesses than other opponents. I think anything can happen. If we would meet them, I wouldn’t be sad, I’d take them with open arms.
Images via Dreamhack