It has been almost two weeks since the last episode – at that time we didn’t know we’d lose to Fnatic. We were celebrating the group stage triumph and preparing to do bring our A game for the play-off. We were trying to play our game at BLAST. If you remember, we were ahead 15-14 in two games against Cloud9 and Astralis. I guess we lacked experience. After all, we’re a new roster and we can’t compare it with others that have been playing together for more than a year, with 7 maps in the pool – I’m talking about top tier teams. We are trying to achieve that, but before we can prepare everything, we have to start from scratch. That’s what we are doing. At StarLadder, we lost and placed last, and now we are in the playoff – we are a different team now. You have to gain form throughout the tournament, it’s great to start with victories though. We’ll see. The playoffs will settle everything. I’d like to face Liquid in the semi-final, if they lose to Astralis and beat Fnatic. I’d like to play a bo5 against Astralis though. They are in good form now, and they’re one of the contenders for the title. If we make it to the final, I’d like to face the strongest team here. The players did their best to make it into the final and practiced the entire day off. Kostya and I had a chance to visit the venue among the first, would you tag along? The venue has already opened its doors! The atmosphere is incredible. I remember when I was young, 16-18 years old, and was making my first gaming steps, if I’d seen something like that, I would’ve been happy. A lot of cool things here, and we’re going to show you everything. For console fans, look at this heavenly place! It features all the consoles I’ve ever come across in my life: PS2, MegaDrive3, PS1, Power Sticks, all types of gamepads… I think the majority of our audience won’t ever remember these PCs, however, some people would. To be honest, seeing this corner makes me wanna cry. If I’m not mistaken it’s Warcraft, it looks awesome. Guys, this is the Omen’s booth. Omen is our partner, you know it already. Here they have an interactive zone, everyone can get into this pool, and try to jump over obstacles. Let’s move on, there is a line near the phone box, something is happening there. Guys, let me tell you what’s going on. Papers are being flipped into the air, you have to catch them, and put them in here. Six, not nine, unfortunately. Guys, we won a hat. I think we should give it to one of you. The most original comment to this video will be awarded with this hat. Do you know what always motivates the guys? The yellow and black jerseys and banners in the audience. There were few of them at this tournament, but we managed to find our fans even amongst the Astralis crowd. Hello guys, we are at the venue. Guys, as you may know, we are in Odense, over here is the Astralis fan sector. I’ve found only one person wearing a NAVI shirt, this guy is sitting in the Astralis sector. Maybe he has an Astralis jersey as well to support his favorite team when they’re playing. We’ve found two more supporters! We thought they came from Ukraine, but they are from Odense. There are four of us, and another guy in the Astralis sector – 5 supporters, and Kostya. Oh, I see two more, 7 in total. It’s gonna be lit. The time has come! We are going onto the stage, but first, we have to hand over our phones. Every time before a match the admins take our phones. The players can’t follow their messengers, news, highlights, statistics – they can check it after the game. Let’s wish them good luck. We’re being checked with a detector to ensure we aren’t carrying any metal items, like knives, pistols. Let’s go, guys! Victory on the first map! Does the win on the opponent’s map provide a boost in bo3? I think so, the next map is your pick, and winning the opponent’s map gives you confidence coming into the next one. Though in no way you should relax thinking the deal is done. Something went wrong on Nuke. Final round now. You are probably curious about what happened after the game. You can guess that the defeat was crushing. The EPL final was the main goal for the past couple of months. So we decided to sum up the tournament after the emotions faded. This tournament was our priority. Though we didn’t feel too upset about not winning it as we knew it could happen with a new roster. But it was our goal, and we achieve it. As a result, we reached the semi-final with confidence, but we fell just short on Nuke though we played pretty well for the offense. If you look at Astralis and other teams that play Nuke, winning 7 rounds on the T side is pretty decent. I guess we underperformed on the defense: we lost two key rounds which led to us making other mistakes. Our economy was lacking for us to show a solid defense, otherwise, we’d have had a chance to win. I think it didn’t affect us that much as we hadn’t had a lot of tournament experience in a few months. We could’ve played better and reached the final, or even win the whole thing, but that’s how it is. After we won the first map against Ftanic, we lost focus and lost the game. We could’ve won 2-0, and even get into the finals. If the game is going well, we feel great, and play even better. If not, our game crumbles, like a domino, and the mistakes start to pile up. In reality, there are not only black and white, but there are also a lot of other options. We are working for the players and the team to become more mature and more objective. We dissect every situation: what things went wrong, why they went wrong, what feeling it caused, what was done in the moment, reasons, actions, what actions followed it? We do slip up, but in Malmo, our first tournament, we were one map away from the final, at Blast we were one round away. In Odense, we were a few rounds away from the final – these results were quite difficult to achieve. We make some mistakes, but we know our goal, and we will reach it step by step. Okay, guys, we have the new goal – Epicenter 2019 with a $500.000 prize pool. This is the last tournament of the year, and we want to end on a high note. It feels great to play at home soil, but I think it also adds extra pressure on us. We want to do our best and given the stakes, we might make mistakes. It would be great to play in front of the fans, but we’ll see. I hope the crowd will support us – because the fans are overwhelmingly from the CIS. Of course, it’s great to play at home tournament, there are a lot of fans supporting you. I don’t have any special mindset as we’re trying to have the same mindset for every tournament. However, we do want to win at home ground as we’ve never done it before, so we’ll do our best. This tournament features plenty of strong teams: VP, Vitality, Mousesports. Mousesports has won 3 tournaments in a row, they are a serious contender. I think we are an underdog, we’ll see. Any team can do well here, except for probably EHOME. I think EG and Mouse are the main favorites. Mouse has a good chance because they’ve won three consecutive tournaments, and they are in good form. I’m not sure about Virtus.pro, but they’re a top team, too and they’ve been doing well lately. We’ll see if we can win here. Mouse, EG, they are the main favorites. We’ll see how it goes. I think there are a lot of good teams here, so it’s not going to be an easy ride. EG held the second spot for a while, Mouse won three tournaments in a row. Avangar is a solid tier 2 team, there are teams that can surprise. Apart from Ehome, the teams are very strong here. I’d gladly give you a tour of our hotel and practice room, show you our preparation day, but we arrived at the venue only before the end of the game against Heroic. Let’s get to discussing it right now. We’ll get back to our tour later. We’re NAVI, so we’re supposed to beat the likes of Heroic. I’m not implying they’re bad or anything, but we’re aiming to be a tier-one team so we have to be able to do well against teams like Heroic. We got off to a confident start as we were fully focused and composed. Similarly to Odense, we finished our opening pretty convincingly, which is great, and indicates that the team is improving and we don’t struggle against tier 2 teams in opening matches. I believe it has to do with several factors: our preparation for a specific opponent and the work we put in throughout the bootcamp and outside of it. This suggests that the team is making progress and the result is there to see. All five of us were in the zone during the game: our communication was on point, everything was clicking and going smoothly. I think our communication and everyone being confident really made a difference. You took on this role just some months ago. Do you remember we were sitting on the steps of the Ferris Wheel and you said “I am ready!” How are you now? Did you take it down a notch or does It get you going even more? I need to sit there some more. – To rethink the strategy? – Yes. As a captain, do you think that changes is the way to go? Do you ever make hasty decisions? When you played on QBF, did you kick the guys quickly there? No, we didn’t kick anyone. Were you always looking for ways to improve the team?
Boombl4 said he was kicking everybody left and right on Winstrike. Like this? Of course, I said it’s me or them. So, you are not radical, right? There’s no plotting against others? I should be careful… captain or not, if I say something wrong, they can kick me. Are you gaining confidence in yourself as an in-game leader?
Or maybe when you lose a game or a tournament, you think that it’s not your place. – It happened once. – When? – At Blast. – Did you feel bad after it? – That day, yes. Did you cry near the window with a cup of tea? Writing posts, that you might be born for something different. – No, I was born to win. – That’s cool. Do you think about your retirement plan, like Zeus? Books, seminars, some business maybe.
You have Ninja Sushi, mine will be Sushi from Kiryusha. Speaking of Vitality, we played them 20 minutes after our Heroic game and I guess our mindset was off. Well, I mean, not exactly off, but we didn’t get into the proper mindset the way we had done for other games; and I think had we faced them on the next day, the outcome could’ve been different. We played two followed by series, whereas Vitality had two hours of rest to recharge and prepare for the game against us. Our mindset switched from Heroic to Vitality, which was rather an extension than a different approach. The Heroic win kind of dropped our guard giving us a sense of contentment and making us relaxed a little. Instead, we should’ve gotten together and slip into a proper mindset for that series. The main thing we didn’t get around to was setting up our game plan for all 3 maps, which, I think, affected the last two games of the series. And besides, we were running out of energy on the final maps, thus our focus and concentration were lacking and it led to us making more mistakes. We totally outplayed them all around on the first map the way they did in the next two. They kept taking a lot of poor solo peeks, making mistakes and doing late executes – nothing worked out, in the end. I don’t know what happened next exactly. We thought we were way better than they were but they pulled themselves together. It was clear they used the break during our Heroic game to prepare for us, and I guess they knew what to anticipate from us tactically, so it was a really tough one. Looking at the score makes you think nothing worked out for us, though we did have our opportunities on the T side. And I think, had we won a couple of post-plant situations, it could’ve been just enough to enable our comeback in the second half, but we didn’t because we played awfully – as a team and everyone individually – and that explains the lop-sided score. We totally dropped the ball on Banana – I did, in particular. Our map control on the offense was lackluster. You may fall short of winning a round, but here, we didn’t even stand a chance to try and steal one. We’re yet to get our teamplay going on Inferno, so I’d say we need a bit more time to figure out our positions on the map and what things work best for us. I don’t think Vitality were playing insanely well or that we’re bad on the map, we just need more time to improve our sense of the game as a team as well as our teamplay and cohesion on Inferno. It kind of went downhill from Inferno – we couldn’t fully get ourselves together for the next map. We tried but nothing worked: our performance was off, we were unlucky and the opponent played well. We gave away a lot of disappointing rounds on the defense. I think they had a team talk between the maps to remind themselves that they’d had a lengthy bootcamp, skipping a lot of recent tournaments, and it got them going as they didn’t want all that effort to be for nothing as a result of losing the first map with a one-sided score, and when they got back, their approach on Inferno was completely different – full concentration and motivation. They simply outplayed us in certain situations. Dealing with an opponent who’s determined to bounce back, and get revenge for the first map takes confident and spot-on counteractions that’ll knock them off balance. But at this point, our Inferno requires more work for it to be on par with Dust2. We won their pick and lost our map of choice without a fight – 16:3 or something. Our CT side on Inferno was terrible. Sanya and I didn’t win the pistols in a 2v2 and it went downhill from there. We played poorly and the game was bad all around. On Nuke, it was evident they were prepared for us and everything was working out for them: they were hitting their shots and reading all our rounds – it was a really difficult game. They were prepared and that’s why they won. We couldn’t see eye to eye in the comms on what to do after exchanges and even in 5v5. I don’t know why but we’re trying to figure it out. We were aiming for the win, as we always do. We played two series in a row, heavily winning the first map, which might have made us think the opponent wasn’t as strong as we’d expected, but we were proved wrong as we got destroyed on the next two maps pretty embarrassingly. However, the format allows you to advance to the playoffs even having two defeats and that’s where all the action is going to be. So it’s okay, we’ve identified our mistakes and we’re going to try to fix them. I’ve attended dozens of tournaments with NAVI and watched hundreds of matches, but I still don’t understand why some things are happening. Let’s listen to the guys, maybe they’ll have an answer. I’ve noticed when we’re playing our game, we play the way that arguably a top 3 team in the world is supposed to. I’m not saying this is necessarily the case – that’s just my opinion, and it makes me feel good thinking this way. What’s the reason for the inconsistency? I believe the answer is pretty simple. We had a team talk just today and everyone agreed that there’s still a long way of trial and error to go. What’s the difference between a strong and consistent team and a team that’s just starting to gain traction? I think the worked hard first victories go into the foundation in the form of positive belief that gives the players faith in the team. Meaning, the team starts to believe they’re really good and they can do it, and this belief gets stronger. And to think of the reason how come we swept Heroic and steamrolled Vitality on the first map only to then get shut down 16:3, 16:3 in the next two maps: precisely because we lack consistency. A few slip-ups may ruin your confidence. We break down mistakes with our coach as he’s the one who detects our mistakes and points them out to us so we can fix them as quickly as possible. We already know our mistakes and we’re working on fixing them. We’re practicing new things, working out the kinks of the tactics we already have and trying to minimize the mistakes. I have a proposal: right now I go to my fan page and pick a couple of questions for you to answer in a rapid manner. The first question is from Elec. How come your VK works? It works because I use Wi-Fi and it works very well. Opening the video… How many gunkans can you fill in your mouth? I don’t know. No idea, but I’ll try. – Five pieces? – How large are they? You had some. This large. I think three. A question for Elec. Apart from NAVI, what team would you like to play for? I hate loaded questions like this; they force you out of your comfort zone. However, let’s discuss which team would be a good fit for you? What do you think? Which teams do you prefer? FaZe? Liquid? Do you want to play for Astralis? – Astralis are too conservative, aren’t they? – Yeah. Would you be able to fit in the US team, or is the language barrier a serious obstacle? – Virtus.Pro maybe? – The Polish team or Kazakhs? I don’t know. Is it important? Well, Polish is a bit similar. I mean the organization. Are you talking about the roster with PaszaBiceps and the other guys? Okay, out of Liquid, FaZe and VP or Renegades. Liquid, FaZe, VP or Renegades? And Astralis. – You want me to join DickStacy’s team? – Yes. That’s a tough one. – Maybe EG? – Yes, what about EG? To switch things up. – Can I form my own team? – Sure. What would be your team’s name? I don’t know. Cloud9 I guess. I’m kidding. Well, I have no idea. So, that was a nice question dodge from Electronic. He says he’d start his own organization. Yury Maslov, “What’s with the constant reshuffles and issues? And we keep hearing, “Just give us some time.” How long is that? Then in 6 months something happens and we have to wait again.” This question might be addressed to Boombl4, but I don’t think he’s the one to answer it. – No, it’s okay. – So you want him to answer the question? – Of course. I’ve only been here for 6 months, so I don’t know. I think it’s Elec who does all the kicking. So this one’s off you? Elec gives everyone the boot slowly. Soon he’ll want to kick me, too. There are a lot comments asking: “When will you kick GuardiaN?” This is really unpleasant to read and I want to address all of you as a host of this channel and Boombl4 will back me up on this one. These are incorrect questions because if you think that players get kicked on a whim just because they don’t hit some shots, or have some real-life issues to deal with that led to inconsistency, then hear me out: it doesn’t work like that. – So we try to avoid these kind of question… – I’m sick of it already. Got that? Boombl4 is sick of hearing this question. What’s your answer to the fans who always want to kick someone? I don’t think they are fans. So, haters gonna hate and winners gonna win? Fans always support their favorite team and cheer for them in every game at every tournament instead of spamming, “Kick him!” Have you noticed how they change their mind on the fly? One hour ago they were praising their team and now they’re bashing them, asking to kick someone. That’s a mob mentality right there. – This is not how things are done. – Boombl4 doesn’t get it. – Yeah. “Tell GuardiaN to pass the AWP back to s1mple. His skill is being wasted.” Aleksandr Shebanov tried to insult GuardiaN, though we’re not gonna tell him that but we’ll discuss that. I think that the decision to give the AWP to GuardiaN didn’t just come out of nowhere and Kirill Karasiov aka Boombl4 is going to tell us why. Kirill Karasiov? Hold on, I’ll give him a call. – I mean Kirill Mikhailov. – Anybody got Ange1’s number? It is believed that s1mple passed the AWP to GuardiaN so that he could play with the rifles. That was Sasha’s decision. Did he want to absolve himself of the responsibility of being the AWPer or did he just want to play with rifles? He wanted to be a rifler. – This allows him to be more mobile on the map? – Yeah. The last tournament of the year is upon us and we don’t want to distract our players. Nobody, including our coach and our psychologist, would like that. That’s why we can only chat with them at the end of the workday or after the games, because the guys spend a lot of time practicing. You can find out everything else in the vlog and I hope this information will be useful. See you all soon.