markeloff: «I’m sure that Gambit could surprise us»

You have not participated in any big events after The ELEAGUE Major except for Adrenalyne Cyber League. Why did that happen? What have you been doing all that time?

Everything’s simple here. We’ve been playing, except for one week in May, and we’ve been training all the time. We did not get through most of the qualifying stages, lost qualifiers, so we did not go to LANs. That’s why we did not participate in big events. ESL premier league had not started then, so we did not play it as well, and we’ve started to play only recently. This is one simple reason: we’d lost, so we didn’t play

How have you been preparing for the main event?

We’ve been preparing for the main tournament in a standard mode. Every day we started to play at 2 or 3 PM and played till 10 or 11 PM. Two or three hours we devoted to analysis of tactics, this can be called a theoretical part. And after that, we started to practice. This was our schedule for 2 months. We had a goal – to prepare for this tournament, and the main objective – to take the highest place, but we ended in the group stage.

Many are interested, as well as I am, in the details of your signature smoke on de_mirage. How did you get it? For how long have you been practicing it?

We’ve practiced it not for such a long time, it’s not very hard actually. By the way, we call it Legendary. And we’ve found it accidentally. We had three hours of theory, threw the smokes, run accords the map, and we’ve got the question: is it possible to throw Molotov to firebox on A, when you standing on the head? So we started to collect Molotovs and we found out that it’s possible to throw them here and there, so we created this smoke in this was.

Why do other teams cannot do that

This smoke works for one time, till the opponent did not see it and did not decide on some strategy against it. I think we will use it in the future matches just to surprise the opponents. Or we will just fake it. It’s rather straightforward and it’s possible to find some counterattack. That’s why I think other teams won’t use and they have other rounds on A. So I think it’s not obligatory to use it.

You’ve lost against Fnatic and Na’Vi. Fnatic were not among the favorites, but you won FaZe, who were one of the main candidates for winning. How does it come?

We should have won the game against Fnatic, we’ve lost it to ourselves. We have almost no chances with Na’Vi, but again, we’ve lost rounds only because of our mistakes, not because of their great game. Theoretically, we could have won these games, if there weren’t for the key rounds we lost. Later, we’ve played against FaZe. I think that the fact that we had nothing to lose worked for us. We knew they were a strong team, and we were not such disturbed as in the previous games. That was all or nothing, we had no time for some unsure actions and so on, and I think it helped us to start and end this game strongly. Besides, we won veto and put Faze into stupor in the first stage of bans when we banned cobble. When the match ended, Karrigan told than he was 100% sure that we would play on coddle with them, and it became the first map we banned. He was shocked and could not understand what was going on. As a result, we played on mirage, a map that everyone is afraid to play against them. This is their strongest map, so he had probably thought: «What’s going on? They’re out of their minds?». Starting from the gun round, after taking the first eco-round, everything went quite good for us, we felt confident, and they guys were lost and discouraged after we just started to shoot them.

Did you become more confident or boosted your morale after winning FaZe

Absolutely. After 0-2 result we felt some pressure, despondency, lack of confidence in our strengths. And when we won top-2 team (according to HLTV.org), it empowered us, but it was not enough.

You won the next game against PENTA, but lost the final match against Immortals. What did you lack to win?

I can’t tell a lot about game against PENTA. We turned on too late, we were nervous, we played for attack for some reason. In general, we played bad, and it was great that we won the round when wayLander made ace, which helped him and us to become more confident, so we won the match.

I even don’t know how to explain the situation with Immortals. There were too many reasons to lose. One of them was that we got tired, as 13 hours between the first and the second game is too much. We played the first match at 11:00 PM, and the second one at 12:00 AM. Though we had some time for sleep, it was too much time. Besides, because of our tiredness it seemed that they wanted to win more, they were more disappointed because of the frags, rounds, and even if we won rounds, it was not so emotional. We said nice and kept playing.

You wrote in your Twitter-account that you are likely to take AWP position. Is that like old times?

No, it’s not like old times. I meant that I will take the second AWP more frequently, as well as other teams do that, like SK, G2 and others. It concerns both attack and defense. I wanted to prepare for this tournament in this way, but we had another plan. It was opposite: we practiced a game with one AWP, who moved to A and then to B, to the middle, and then somewhere else. I think for the next tournament that I will persuade B1ad3 to have one AWP for A, and another one of B, and so forth.

Will you have a new system? Your team will get not the only AWP and you will be the second one?

Yes. At least, I will try to make it happen.

What do you think about a new map veto?

It really interesting. It’s good for the group stage, I liked that.

What about match with BIG? It was kind of a scandal, so what do you think about they were using a bug? Is it right or no?

It’s 100% right. This is a part of the game and it is not prohibited by the game itself. Valve developers themselves told that they won’t prohibit that because they needed to fix those bugs to prevent them. They’re great. Not everyone can use bugs in a right way, it’s hard to do that. I’m sure about that. Electronic tells that it’s almost impossible to do that by a simple jumping. The guys prepared, found the spots, where they could do all that, they tested that, and it is a huge job. They developed their game on this, and they were good in that. Now, when this is prohibited, the guys still can play great, they got to play-off, and they almost competed for top-4. They weren’t lucky enough, but the jumping was not the reason.

What do you think, who will get to the Grand Final?

The obvious favorites are Astralis, of course. But I’m sure that Gambit could surprise us. In the lower bracket, this is Virtus.pro. I think Virtus.pro can get to the final due to the support of the audience and their morale. We can easily see the final match of the previous Major with Astralis and Virtus.pro. I do not exclude Gambit and Immortals, everything may happen.

What are your future goals?

After coming back home, we will probably play several matches in the premier league, and as far as I know the qualifiers to the third ELEAGUE are going to start. Later on, starting from the end of August we will get 2-2.5 weeks for having rest. This is a kind of official vacation for CIS community, as there will be no events. Perhaps, I will go to The International to watch matches and to cheer teams.