At media day before FACEIT Major's New Challenger's stage, we spoke to Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson of Ninjas in Pyjamas about their DH Stockholm run and the upcoming opener against Virtus.pro tomorrow.
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Let's kick off with a question about DH Stockholm. You had a spectacular run, you reached the semifinals against Astralis. Tell me about that run, what were your expectations going in, were you happy with the results and a little bit about the series against Astralis.
The first step for us was to make it into the finals [of DH Stockholm] so we can play in the Globe. That was the main goal for us and I'm happy that we really did it. Once we got there, the next goal was of course winning it. The result, getting to semis, was pretty OK but I don't think anyone was really happy with it because I think we can do a lot better than we did. We lost some focus in the Mirage game, we should've easily won it, I think; we threw away some rounds and had some bad communication and it showed on Nuke, especially. It wasn't a really good game for us to show everything we had.
Before DH, you guys had a little player break. What was it like for you guys? I know GeT_RiGhT went on holiday. Did you get up to anything special and how fast did you get to the server after the holiday?
I think as soon as we got the vacation time, I just played Dota and World of Warcraft. That's all I did, I didn't play any CS. I wanted to put my focus on hanging out with friends and play some chill games. The focus was getting away from work, if you can say so, and once the break was over, I was really hungry to play. That's a good thing that I have going — I don't force myself to play, I wait until I really want to play again and then I have full motivation for the rest of the season.
At any point, did you get the urge to get back to CS while you were relaxing in other games or was it literally, "OK, I am going to stop playing CS and get back when the guys are back."
As soon as we got the vacation time, I just played Dota and World of Warcraft.
I didn't miss it at the beginning because we played so much and had a little break. It was maybe towards the end, the last week, I really felt like I really wanted to play CS. But at the beginning, I only thought about chilling.
Fair enough. Let's get back to the New Challengers. Your first match tomorrow is going to be against Virtus.pro. The team recently had roster changes, they're working with snatchie where previously they had Snax on the roster. What's the approach and your confidence going into it?
I think we're happy where we're going, we've improved a lot in the last month. We're not going to overthink anything against VP, since byali
is leaving too, I guess, and snatchie is a new addition so we don't know what they'll bring. We're just going to focus on playing our game instead of anti-stratting.
In terms of VP, you guys have met them on several occasions. If you had to outline their competitive spirit and the main characteristic that makes them solid players — the core at least has been in the game for over a decade now — what would it be?
We know they're legends and skill doesn't just fade away. We can't underestimate them even though they had a bad streak. You never know when Virtus.plow is coming back. We know what they can be and that's how we gonna expect them to play.
Valve recently overhauled the New Challengers invitations for Katowice 2019. What do you think of the implementation?
[...] It's a good implementation as it's harder for Challengers who got in on a fluke to stay in the Major, so probably the people who deserve it more will stay.
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