sAw: "Dallas will help us because we have that win"

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    ENCE finished the first season of 2023 on a high as they claimed victory at IEM Dallas. With an extended break, it was understandable they were concerned it might affect any momentum they would have otherwise built up, but given their place in the IEM Cologne semi-final, it’s safe to say those worries were unfounded.

    Following their game against Heroic, we sat down with Eetu "sAw" Saha to discuss maintaining momentum, beaten the world’s number one team, and the success he and Marco "Snappi" Pfeiffer have at bringing tier two talent up.

    Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: A huge win for the team there that means you've now qualified for the semi finals, how are you feeling straight afterwards?

    sAw: It was a hard match, I'm just glad we were able to get the win in the end. I said to the guys before Mirage that we need to have high energy for this match and prepare for an overtime, just so we would be ready. They delivered, they had good energy throughout the match and it showed when we were able to close it.

    BLIX: Winning against a team like Heroic, how much of a confidence boost is that to the team?

    sAw: The win gives us great confidence. Even before the event we were thinking we can beat everyone, but of course, all of the matches we have played now, have been close ones, even fnatic who we beat 2-0. Every match has been close, the opening match against 9INE we were down 15-10 and managed to come back and start going on the run from there. Overall, it brings us confidence to beat Heroic, they're a really good team.

    BLIX: How much of a boost is it to be straight into the semis?

    sAw: I've seen some of these interviews where people say the advantages and disadvantages, maybe we don't get so much of a warm up game in the quarters, but I think any team will take the semis instantly, any day. I'm glad we're there and now we have three days to prepare for that, we have more time to prepare for who we will play so I'll take it of course.

    BLIX: You guys won in Dallas and got the experience of winning the tier one trophy, not having that experience is something that holds a lot of teams back, how big do you think that is for the team?

    sAw: That's an interesting question actually, because I think it comes down to a lot of individual things in the players' minds as to how the boost can show for them, because maybe some of them might face more pressure if they haven't won, and some of them might have less pressure so they can focus on the game rather than the trophy and the win. Dallas will help us because we have that win, we've done it before and we know we can do it again. It's the proof for us that we have done it.

    BLIX: You and Snappi are regarded as being excellent at finding talent and bringing it up into tier one, we've seen it again with Nertz now, how do you keep doing it?

    sAw: [laughs] As I've said, bringing up players is never a simple task. Most, if not all of these players we bring up have had their moments in tier two, and, I would say, it's a mix of our system as well that we're able to get them into our system and help them. It's a lot of details, the scouting part, you get the outside info, you see the numbers, you try to find out what kind of personalities they have, look more into details from demos; are they passive? Aggressive? How do they react to different situations?. And of course, in the end, even if you do everything correctly there can be unknown factors that only show when you get the guys into the team and start playing with them, and then you can try to improve that.

    BLIX: This is Nertz' first time on one of Counter-Strike's biggest stages, do you think there's a chance we might see him struggle?

    sAw: After seeing Nertz perform in Dallas and how he reacted to the crowd, I'm not worried about him at all, actually. Of course, it's a bigger stage here, but he was so cool, calm, and collected in the matches we played and he showed no fear whatsoever. I think he can only get a boost from it, and of course, he'll gain more experience and I think that will only boost him more for the future.

    BLIX: Finally then, you said to HLTV that after Dallas it felt like your season was cut short, are you surprised by how you've not lost momentum?

    sAw: In a way I'm a bit surprised, you never know what you can get after the player break. I would say our practice went well, but you can never trust those results only. We had good results, so then I wondered if we were blind to something that we should be fixing that might come up in officials, but we have good form and I'm happy. In these matches we've found things we need to fix and improve, so it's a good place to continue from.

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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.