B4 head coach darkpsy: “To win over Nigma, you have to have a surprise for them"

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    B4 Esports reinforced their current position in the world of women's Counter-Strike by finishing 3-4th in the ESL Impact League Season 3 Finals in Dallas, Texas. Coming off a perfect run to qualify for the event from South America, B4 was seen by most as a prime contender that held the potential to win the Impact League title for the first time in South American history.

    While B4 reached the playoffs to set up a match against Nigma Galaxy in the semifinals, they couldn't manage a groove long enough to propel them to victory, losing 2-0 off of a pair of 16-11 map losses.

    Despite the result, B4 saw plenty of positives in their second consecutive run to the semis, as discussed by head coach Igor "darkpsy" Zaniboni in an interview with BLIX. To him, seeing his team put up a big fight against the best team in the world, the series gave him plenty of reasons to continue building for the future. Soon enough, darkpsy believes B4 will take the next step to become the world's best in women's CS.

    In addition to talking about B4's semifinal series against Nigma, darkpsy also discusses what he thinks is why Nigma remains ahead of the game in women's CS, his contribution as a coach since joining in July 2022 and more.

    Facing Nigma in the semifinals

    Pedro Romero, BLIX: It was a challenging way to go out from the Season 3 Finals by losing to Nigma Galaxy, but this marked a second straight run to the semifinals in the Impact circuit from Katowice. What's going through your mind right now?

    Igor "darkpsy" Zaniboni: I am happy to be honest because our team is really getting better, so I can't be sad. We lost to the best team in the world. There were some doubts about them, but they are very good. They have good players and many titles, so I can't be sad. I am very happy.

    BLIX: Since you're taking this in a pretty happy mood despite the loss, what are some positives you've seen from the team from that series against Nigma?

    darkpsy: The biggest thing from our team is our mentality. If you guys saw the game against Black Dragons where we were 9-1 or 9-2, we had a pause, and I told the girls, "Look at me. Guys, we trained a lot. We have been boot camping for two to three months, and we have a great psychologist, and he helped us a lot in this. We always play as underdogs, so we are the underdogs no matter what. No matter if we're facing the worst or the best team in the tournament, we're always the underdog." The mentality brought us back into the game, and this is the best thing for us. We are a family.

    BLIX: With this loss to Nigma, B4 is now out of the tournament, so you head back to Brazil and reload for next season. What will be the biggest things that you and the rest of the team will work on to return to this position in the future?

    darkpsy: I think what we have to work on right now is the base on how to counter because Nigma plays the default game, and they know about the timings and everything like that, so they are kind of not so good in that aspect. What I mean is we have to play chess, and sometimes we don't play. When we play chess, the game opens up where we can win the rounds, so we have to gain more structure and get more confidence, and we'll gain them by playing more tournaments. We should have more time to do this.

    BLIX: I talked to some other players about Nigma, and they mentioned that they usually rely on defaults, as you mentioned before, and yet they keep on winning. What about that makes it possible for Nigma to remain one step ahead of the rest of the teams?

    darkpsy: To win over Nigma, you have to have a surprise for them, but you have to change the rhythm of the game too. That's what I was trying to do. We played some defaults, and then we tried to rush into B. If you watch the game, we rushed B for the first three rounds [in Nuke], and we killed Kat two or three times, and we would win each of them within 15 seconds. We have to change the pace of the game and make the best decisions, but Nigma does that through their teamwork. One of their traits is that when one person dies, one person trades, so it's like this. You have to be better in the trades and have a good rhythm, but you have to know when you stop too.

    Darkpsy's contribution to B4 as coach

    BLIX: You joined B4 in July 2022, and their recent form speaks volumes about the team's progression in becoming one of the best in Brazil and the world. What does that speak about your level of coaching and how enabled B4 to be in the position that they're in?

    darkpsy: I was a player in Brazil, and I didn't play in the best tournaments, but I really like the game. I played for 16 years. When they called me around the time they were Black Dragons before Impact Season 1, I accepted the challenge to be their coach. I have been friends with some of the girls before, so I am learning too because you always have to learn. I'm improving myself as a coach in addition to improving the players, so we are kind of improving together. The things that I do that I feel boost the team is just focusing on the basics.

    We have the protocols, mid-game protocols, and basic tactics like using the same defaults and using variations of them. You change the base, and that's what I try to do, and the girls are on the same page with me, so we kind of proved ourselves because of that. We have been together for one year now. We changed dinha for poppins, so that was the only change we made, but by keeping the same players, we'll get the team better. You kind of have some fights and problems within the team [here and there], but if the people can resolve them, you can get better.

    BLIX: Your Twitter bio lists that you're studying aeronautical science, so how do you balance that with being a coach for the team? How do you do that?

    darkpsy: Before the COVID pandemic, I was studying aeronautical science, and I have now graduated. Before I could become a coach, I was playing in tournaments and flying, so I had to make a major decision in my life. I really like CS, but I really love aviation too, so I stopped aviation because I knew I had a future in CS because I love the game. I love to work, I love to coach, and I love to be a part of this, so I really stepped it up. Now, I'm kind of off aviation, but I am 100 percent into CS.

    BLIX: What do you think B4's performance in Dallas means to their place within the world of women's CS regarding ranking?

    darkpsy: I think right now we are the third-best team because you have Nigma Galaxy and NAVI. We are the best South American team right now, so we want to keep it, but we want to be the best in the world, so we will keep working to do that. One thing that we really need is better practice because, in Brazil, you have poor practices. That's maybe one of the causes as to why Nigma and NAVI are so good right now. We are looking to have a boot camp in Europe soon when we get the opportunity so we can be the top teams.

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    CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
    Copyright © 2024 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.