Following Astralis' match against OG, TheSwedishJoker caught up with dev1ce to get his thoughts on the tournament and what's next for the team.
Hugo “TheSwedishJoker” Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: We talked a little bit on the media day but I would like to ask you now, how has it been for you coming back on LAN and playing against pros instead of FACEIT?
Nicolai “dev1ce” Reedtz: I mean, it's obviously a big difference for me. It's still like a learning process. The first few tournaments here are just going to be me trying to figure out what I need to work on in-game and out of the server. We have lost two games, I actually think the game versus Vitality was pretty good for us but against Heroic we got destroyed on the two last maps. So, we're learning as a team, and even though people hate to hear it but it's true, it's a process and we need to build our fundamentals. We kind of have an idea of how we want to play and develop our game and that takes time and that works well and helps with my situation where I also need to kind of get used to being back on LAN.
BLIX: You talked a little bit about the Vitality and Heroic games. What do you think went wrong there for you guys?
dev1ce: I mean, I think actually in the Vitality game we had an 11-9 lead on CT-side Overpass, with money control. So, that is, I would say, almost always in our favor and there was some stuff we needed to work on to make sure that we would be able to close that out next time and that's something we are actively working on. So, actually, we also lead 9-1 on CT-side Vertigo, which is a huge lead as well. So, we had very good moments in that game and I'm actually happy with the performance from that game. Against Heroic, it was a different story. I do think that they just showed us what level their peak is at in those last two maps and they got a little bit fired up and just kudos to them. We learned a lot of things from that as well and that is important for the team on how to perform.
BLIX: Was the heartbeat racing a little bit in your first Danish derby against Heroic?
dev1ce: For me, honestly, no, it was fun to play them and I do have a lot of respect for them. I think they actually changed the meta a lot and they're a really clever team. I do think there's history between the other players but for me, I don't really care. I actually don't mind them too much and there was not that much aggression and stuff from my side, so no, not really. But you can feel that it means something to all players, even though it's not like the adrenaline is rushing completely.
BLIX: My final question now before I’ll let you go. Katowice is on the horizon. Many of the other teams and players have said they are using this event as practice for Katowice. Are you guys on the same page as them?
dev1ce: I mean, I think we're the only team here not going to Katowice, actually. So for us, this event was not as much practice as maybe the other teams but it's pretty clear that we are still just at the beginning of the process of learning about how each other work. So, it's going to be a learning curve no matter what. But I do think we've been taking every game really seriously where you can see some other teams tested their map pool numerous times, so no excuses there. I do think that people underestimate how hard it is to qualify through the Showdown (BLAST Premier Spring Showdown). So for us, it means a lot to actually go through.
BLIX: So that's the main goal, to avoid the Showdown and playing online for you guys?
dev1ce: It's not about playing online. It's just Showdown is one spot and all of the non-partner teams also want to go to BLAST events. So we're just one game away from qualifying and the only goal we've had here is qualifying.