Hugo “TheSwedishJoker” Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: You’ve been in G2 for a little bit more than 2 years now. And you finally managed to win a trophy after being close many, many times in the past. Has it sunk in yet that you have finally managed to get that long-sought trophy after so many tries?
Nemanja " huNter- " Kovač: I mean 3 and a half years it will be in G2. So yeah, I won the first tier one trophy at the beginning when I joined the team. After a couple months, I already won one trophy, but it was not a tier-one trophy. It feels amazing especially because I played a lot of finals, big finals like Katowice finals two times, then Cologne, then Major finals. It feels amazing honestly and yeah, I am really proud of what we did as a team. And now we are coming with much more confidence than we ever had. So yeah, it feels amazing.
BLIX: Does it give you more experience when you come into finals after playing so many finals. Do you kind of just get numb to it?
huNter-: Yeah of course it is a different feeling than losing of course in a final. It’s really different because it's the first time I feel like I won something in, let’s say tier one scene. So yeah, it feels amazing. And it always gives you more confidence when you’re winning. Everything is better, obviously.
BLIX: In what ways did it help the team to win a trophy since Katowice finals with the core that you had of you, NiKo, and m0nesy. What do you think made you win that trophy?
huNter-: Yeah, the Katowice finals were one month after we made this team with Aleksi and m0nesy when he arrived plus coach XTQZZZ wasn’t even with us in Finals and Playoffs because he was sick. But yeah, it’s different because here we had more time to prepare, we spent more time together, it was the last event of the year. So, we went through a lot of bad and good together. We started really good with BLAST Group Stage Spring. It was Spring, no? It doesn’t matter. In BLAST Group Stage we started really good. Then we did amazing in Pro League. 10-0 in the group stage.
We didn’t lose a single map. Then we lost in the semifinals, but it was still fine. Then after that, it was heartbreaking for all of us as we lost RMR. So, like, in 2 or 3 months we went through everything together and we took a lot of, like, we didn’t give up. We knew that we will just need to just fight. We need to keep up because we brought two new players, we cannot just change, and it will be stupid to change again. And I’m happy that we didn’t decide to change anything. So yeah, we trusted each other. We didn’t stop believing and it paid off in the end.
BLIX: Do you feel that after a turbulent year with many roster changes: coach XTQZZ go out, IGL Aleksi, JACKZ. Do you feel now that you have finally found stable ground, a good foundation where maybe you will keep going with this roster for a little bit of a longer period than with previous rosters?
huNter-: I am happy because we didn't change anything now because last two or three times before the break we were changing and it was really tough to start from zero over and over again. And I’m really happy that we didn’t do it again. So I think in this roster we have a lot of firepower. We have Hooxi who is an amazing IGL. So, there’s no reason not to trust. Because people around us, they trust we can do good like even the casters, all the fans, from other teams [as well], not only from G2. So of course, we won't stop believing that we can do even more than what we did in Abu Dhabi and that’s why in the end we didn’t want to bring any coach or analyst.
We had our guy who was our analyst when XTQZZZ stepped down. He became our coach and after the season was done, we wanted to bring a new coach. We didn’t want to rush things. We just wanted to finish the season and then bring a new coach. But Swani did amazing, honestly. So, we decided together as a team that we didn’t want anyone, who will ruin the atmosphere again, and ruin what we did in Abu Dhabi and before Abu Dhabi together. So, yeah that's why we kept him, and I think we have everything that we need now. We are trusting each other and everything is fine in the team.
Of course, you can lose if the team is like, there are a lot of good teams right now in the scene. Really good teams and you can lose against anyone if you are not fully focused and fully prepared. Like you do against all the opponents. So yeah, no underestimating anyone. We are good but if we want to be better, we need to just keep doing how we did at the end of the year.
BLIX: What do you feel Swani brings to the team that XTQZZZ couldn’t?
huNter- : I mean XTQZZZ is an amazing coach as well. His English was not the best because we were the first international team for him. He improved a lot. But it was tough even for him because he couldn’t explain himself [to us] what he really wanted from us a lot of time. That was the only thing that was bad. But overall, I think XTQZZZ was an amazing coach. Swani is kind of similar like we didn’t change much. Because even when he left, we didn’t change much. We had put in a lot of work before when he was coach, so it was just stupid to put everything in trash. So Swani was always a good guy for the atmosphere and now he has got a lot of experience working with us. He has got great timeouts, he is carrying great preparations.
BLIX: In the past, you have had consistency issues with the team. Sometimes you made the finals, and sometimes you bombed out of groups. But now after winning BLAST Finals do you feel like people will be eyeing your team more and you will have to work a little bit harder to win games and events?
huNter-: I think we will need to work hard if we need to reach our goals. And that’s just it. Let's not set any expectations because expectations are, in my opinion, shit. Because that’s just putting some bad pressure without any reason. Play the game. Enjoy like you did 10 years ago when you were a kid. Try your best. Work hard with your teammates.
BLIX : So, Swani will continue to be the coach for now?
BLIX: Jks has been in the team now for a while. How do you feel that he has improved and how does he affect the team when you play?
huNter-: I think since the beginning he joined the team; I knew that I needed to make this guy comfortable. And we need to make this guy comfortable because when we do it, it will be alot easier for us. The main reason why we brought him is because he is a great anchor on the CT side and we had problems with that a lot in the past. On the T side, he is the lurker and I was in the role before even though it's not my prime role. And that's the guy that we needed in the team at first. After, we knew it will be tough in the beginning because he didn't play competitive CS for a long time. He played with FaZe in Katowice but it's not the same when you are playing as a stand-in and when you have a team and you practice with them every day. So I knew that we needed some time with him and he came when it mattered the most and it was playoffs of Abu Dhabi where he played amazing. And that was the real jks and we hope he keeps playing like that.
Here more from huNter- in part 2 of our interview with G2's rifler at the BLAST Premier Spring Groups.
Feature Image: PGL