On the eve of their BLAST Premier Spring Series opening match, Astralis' Dupreeh spoke with GGRecon to discuss all things Astralis, Mad Lions, The prospect of facing ZywOo & s1mple + more
BLAST Premier Series continues tomorrow in London with Na’Vi v Vitality, the second game of the day features the worlds number 1 Astralis, prior to their game Dupreeh spoke with GGRecon to talk all things Astralis, their Danish counterparts Mad Lions, ZywOo + s1mple & more!
One of the oldest members of the Astralis core standing with me right here. We’ve got dupreeh heading into the BLAST 2nd weekend and this is going to be your first LAN tournament of the year after a long time of not playing. How are you guys feeling? Are you excited to get back into the groove?
Definitely. It’s been really great to be home and have some time off with my family, and everyone that you haven’t been able to spend that much time with, and then starting out practice and feeling really confident. It’s been great. So, I’m looking forward to starting playing here.
Well dupreeh I’m sure while you guys were on break, you were itching for competition. You were watching whatever you could, and one thing there was to watch was the new Danish team that’s taking the world by storm right now. Mad Lions underneath HUNDEN who’s finally got himself an organization under which his players can get the salary, not get poached away and everything. What do you feel about them? How do you think they’re going to do?
I think if you look at them as a whole they remind me a little of our team. In that way, that they’re playing really great together as a team. It seems like they have a really strong way in which they have players to determine each role. It’s really good. It’s like it’s set in stone, like everyone is confident about their role. Everyone wants to do what they’re doing, and at the same time they have some strong individual players, and they have HUNDEN doing some great in game leading as well. So, I think they’re a great team, and it’s great to see that they’ve been claiming the spot as the second best team in Denmark, but at the same time showing that they can perform at the international stages and actually perform against better teams. They just played against mousesports almost beating them, overall qualifying for Katowice. They’ve been producing some really great results.
Of course it seems like every year Denmark just throws some new talent at us. One way or another generally trained by HUNDEN at the hull of the ship. But there is still an issue with HUNDEN being there, and this is something a lot of people have been raising up which is saying that it looks like a great team but it looks like it’s going to have a bottleneck at some point. Do you think Mad Lions can break the top ten, the elite tier, without running into a slight bottleneck of your ingame leader and not being able to frag with the best of them?
I mean, it could become an issue because eventually if you keep underperforming even as an ingame leader. At this point I don’t think he minds that much as long as he just plays good and the team performs, and he set up his players to be really good. I think that matters the most for him, but at the same time when you go up against these elite teams and you start not performing eventually you will start losing and that is probably the main reason why they would not break into the top ten, but I have hopes for them. I think they can do it and in Counter Strike it really matters that you’re consistent and that’s probably going to be their main key.
Well they’re definitely a team that’s going to be that’s having their foundation of consistency in terms of structure and everything like you mentioned, but beyond Mad Lions onto Astralis now. You guys are also coming up to Katowice and with that you’re potentially coming up to your second era. How does it feel going there? How does it feel doing what honestly no team has done before in the same way. I know some people say MIBR has had some stretches. This huge resurgence to the top is completely brand new. How do you guys do it?
I think it all comes down to people being motivated and people wanting to perform, and also the fact that the preparation that we do in terms of our team, the way we want to practice is that we put in a lot of effort into being better all the time, focusing on the mistakes instead of just playing. Like we have a really good discussion about what we want to achieve and how we’re going to get there. I think that’s the main key and obviously once we get there we have a plan talking about how we’re going to stay here, because that is like the main issue. But overall I think it obviously comes down to raw talent but at the same time, it comes down to a lot of preparation and planning. And I think we are doing really good. Everyone is really motivated and that’s probably the key to it and that we are just really good friends outside of the game because that’s also a really great factor. We can share and have a lot of things together as a team more than just being colleagues in the game. So, I think that’s really strong for us but I’m just looking very much forward to go to Katowice and hopefully also here and perform, and just show everyone that we are still the greatest team of all time.
Well, here you guys have got yourself ample chance to show that you’re the greatest team of all time because you’re going up against two players who challenged dev1ce’s potential throne, something that’s been evading him for a while. You’re going up against s1mple and ZywOo and they are both back on AWPing as well. How does it feel to you as an entry fragger going in against on T side up against those two monsters?
Yeah, it can be a struggle. I mean going up against really strong AWP player and when you’re doing the entry frag, it can be really frustrating. But it really requires your teammates to throw some really good flashbangs for you and also you need to be able to hit your shots, sometimes a little bit more than you usually do. I mean it can be a struggle but I also have my teammate dev1ce just gonna go out there and try pick them off for me. So if he gets to pick off on them then it’s just going to feel great. That's really something I put any effort into. I don’t think ‘I ’m gonna go against ZywOo or s1mple’. I don’t really mind that. I have played against FalleN, in his prime, it was worse.
You think FalleN in his prime was better than them?
In terms of AWPing and playing like these close angles and being a monster in terms of just sitting in all the close angles and then picking off the entry fraggers is horror. I have tried worse. Trust me.
Wow! Those are strong words right there. I never thought I would hear those. S1mple and ZywOo, you guys haven’t quite caught up to the master himself. And the master of Brazil, unfortunately, was eliminated last week. MiBR not looking fantastic despite the addition of new talent, the addition of Meyern. You know, despite having good maps against Liquid. Later on, we found out that Liquid themselves are weak as well. Do you think they are on the route to coming back or do you think there might be some more changes needed for them?
It’s a good question. I think MiBR’s looking better even though they, maybe, didn’t show them. I mean they had some good results. Maybe they didn’t win but they played overall pretty well. And I think they have the right constellation of players right now. Maybe, they need to change one player more or change or find a new way to play, I don’t know. It seems like they have finally figured out how they are supposed to play against and against them in practice they’ve been playing pretty well. In terms of Liquid, I’m not sure. I think Liquid is still a top three team in the world and they will continue to be because they are just so good. For Liquid, I think, their biggest struggle is probably themselves. They have said before as well that they have some mental issues sometimes. Especially when they went up against us. But I mean, you saw last year, they started dominating everything and playing really well. We had struggles with them as well. So, everything can change in a matter of time. I think what they just need is a little bit of a confidence boost. I hope they won’t get it because then we are going to have to struggle beating them again. But yeah, I think both teams are really great and obviously Liquid would be the better one right here.
Well the other thing that I had to ask you, which is that, you alluded to the top three right now. But, the one question that we have got going into 2020 from Astralis is, and gla1ve said that mousesports are going to be your main contender for number 1. A lot of people were saying that NaVi could be back on the rise. A lot of people saw FaZe Clan last weekend with broky showing that he’s somehow godly AWPer that we never knew that he would be. Who do you think is the big rival for Astralis? Do you think it’s still mousesports or do you think it might be someone else like EG?
I think it’s gonna change throughout the year. But as of right now, I think it’s gonna be mousesports. And, in a couple of months it could be NaVi and in a couple of months it could be FaZe Clan and in a couple of months it could be EG - it could be anyone. I think mousesports is playing really great right now. And they are also proving that now, they are about to win against NaVi, from what I remember. And yeah, they’ve been in like five grand finals in a row and they won a couple of them. They are playing really great right now and I hope to face them again soon because losing to them in Odense was a big oops from our side. We should have definitely won the game, even though they deserved it and played great. It’s hard to say but mousesports right now and then it could be anyone in the future.
Images via Astralis.