Prior to their BLAST Opening Match against CompLexity, Magisk spoke with GGRecon.

12:00, 08 Feb 2020

During BLAST Premier Spring Series' media day & prior to their match with CompLexity, Astralis' Magisk spoke with GGRecon!

It’s week 2 of the Blast Premier Spring regular season and we’ve got ourselves the top dogs here with us. Magisk is joining us from Astralis, and Magisk you guys have got yourselves a game against compLexity tomorrow, but more importantly you guys have got yourselves the entirety of 2020. Somehow, you guys managed to bring yourselves back on top in 2019. You guys were on top all throughout 2018. You’ve won all the majors there are to win. How do you guys stay motivated? How do you guys say, ‘you know what, let’s do it again?’

Obviously, we had a period in 2019 that gave us back the motivation and hunger. We’re used to winning all the tournaments and suddenly we had like 3 months where we didn’t win anything, so that was definitely a huge reminder why we’re doing it, suddenly having that feeling of losing and suddenly you’ve got all the motivation and hunger back because even though it sounds weird that you can kind of get tired of winning, it’s not like that. It’s not like you get tired of winning. You’re still happy about it. You’re still proud, but you lose that feeling. You’re not jumping out of your chair when you’re winning. It’s different and I think a lot of people who have been in the same position understand what I’m saying, but obviously having three months was a good reminder for us that why we’re doing this and why we put in the effort and countless hours to be the best team in the world, and I’m glad we had those three months because it was a good reminder. We learned a lot from that period. We understood that if we wanted to be the best team in the world we had to keep going, we had to keep working hard for it and be good as a team and just keep grinding.

Interviewer: Well Magisk, you individually have had a standout performance as well, but unfortunately, or fortunately for you, it’s been overshadowed by someone else on your team, dev1ce, who’s been stellar. When he got shouted out as the third best player of HLTV I remember a tweet from you saying, “You’re always going to be the best player in my eyes.” What makes dev1ce such a goddamn good player and such a goddamn good teammate?

I think the difference is he doesn’t take as much space as ZywOo or s1mple in a team. He doesn’t need a lot of space to be a good player. He’s just always consistent. He has really good ideas of how to prepare before a game, and he just in general has a lot of things to contribute with, so he’s just a really good team player. He can play almost any role in the team, and he’s not playing to be the best player in the world, he’s playing to win, and I think sometimes those two, I don’t know about ZywOo but I feel like sometimes they are taking up a lot of space and you can feel like they’re playing, it’s not because they’re playing to lose, but they’re playing to have good stats and win. That’s how I feel sometimes, obviously it can be a lot different than what I think because I’m not in the team you know. It’s always difficult seeing stuff from the outside when you’re not in the team. That’s the same thing that people have no idea how the roles are outside the game in our team because they’re not behind the scenes. So, obviously it’s very different from being in a team and then watching a team. For me, he’s the best player in the world but obviously if you ask someone on Vitality or Na’Vi then it can be quite different, because I know how much dev1ce contributes but I don’t know how much ZywOo or s1mple give to a team. 

Well Katowice is also right around the corner, and before we talk about Blast, I want to talk a little bit about that, which is that that’s where you guys have your chance for the next era. I think that if you guys win Katowice there will be no questions asked, it will be the Astralis era all over again, and if you guys win Katowice you guys also have the potential of being the first ever team to win two Intel grand slams in a row, if you guys win two more ESL tournaments or the ESL pro tour tournaments. Does that add more pressure now that you already had an era when you’re number one and you’re thinking ‘oh no, I need to go for this again’ or are you guys just saying, ‘oh you know what, it’s all right. It’s another tournament, we are going to play like we always do. ‘

Honestly, we don’t really think too much about stuff like that. We just take one tournament at the time. If people there think that we need to serve a new era, that’s the way it is. We don’t decide that ourselves. I think the best thing that you can do is focus on one tournament at a time and just play. Do your best in every tournament. Give everything that you have and then let the community and the analysts and all those people behind the scenes decide if you need an era or not. That’s not really important for us. We just need to make sure that we are the best team in the world, we keep winning tournaments, we keep working hard, and we keep staying on top.

Magisk Astralis

Well, you’re definitely on top. But, I wanted to ask you about something you as an individual are on top of Astralis which is that everyone else in Astralis are sort of the mortal players, you will see them fire up sometimes but the hub of emotion very much seems like it’s coming from you sometime. If there’s banging on the desk, it might be Magisk, if there’s anything like that. History tells us, North versus Virtus Pro. We all remember. But another thing that I just wanted your quick comments on was, we just got the announcement of B side being flashpoint now and it’s a league that’s very focused around trash-talk overall. What do you as an individual player think of its concept? Forget about whether Astralis is playing in the league or not. As a concept, do you think that’s something you yourself would welcome?

I think it really depends on how you do it. Obviously, having banter is okay. But I think you need to do it in a good way. Obviously when I’m trash-talking, it’s in game. It’s nothing personal. I’d never do anything. I think it’s different how you do it. In general, try not to get personal. Because there’s nothing personal in the banter. I’m just having a lot of emotions. I’m showing them. I think that’s important to show people that you have emotions and you actually care about this. This is something that we love to do. And I think that’s important to show but there’s definitely different degrees to how you do it. I think I’m doing it in a good way because I’m not really doing it in a personal way. I’m just showing that I care about the game and I love winning. 

Well, I’m sure you guys got some great lessons from Dr Disrespect along the way as well. But, final question, just about BLAST. You guys are in the group of death. It’s definitely a group where any team can technically upset the other even if compLexity might seem like the underdog, they definitely a team you know, you haven’t seen as much of on the top levels; you never really know what they’re going to be pulling out. If you guys end up getting the first seed, who do you think is going to be second?

I think it’s a bit too early to say it. The most important thing for us is definitely finding our own level again because it’s been like over month since we have played anything in any tournament. I think you always need to get back to your own level. Once we do that, we can look at how it looks afterwards. I definitely believe we are gonna be favorites to win this group. The thing is, NaVi just played a whole tournament. They can be really warmed up right now and that can be dangerous to play against as well because we haven’t played a LAN tournament in quite some time now, so we need to get back to that as well. It’s different playing practice than actually playing in a tournament. We definitely need to get back to that level and we will see afterwards how it looks. I definitely expect us to win a group, of course. I have to believe in that. I think NaVi is a good joker to come second. Oh actually, I’m not sure because Vitality has a good tendency of actually beating NaVi. I might actually have to go with Vitality if you go back into history and we look at their games.


Images via BLAST.

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