Following ENCE’S win over iNation at the BLAST.tv Paris Major, BLIX sat down with ENCE's rifler Pavle “Maden” Bošković to discuss the team's tough start, how NertZ has been integrating into the team, and the team's results before the upcoming Major, among other topics.
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: Congratulations on making it to the 1-2 pool. This was a game of polar opposites, winning the first map 16-0 and the second map 16-14. Can you talk me through the series, and why it got so close at the end?
Pavle “Maden” Bošković: I mean, we feel much more confident on Nuke overall than on Mirage, and I would say they stepped up their game quite a lot on their second map. Probably they had some talk between the maps that they should play more “with balls” or just be more aggressive, do the plays, and be in the face of the enemies. They stepped up a lot after the first map and it showed for them.
BLIX: After the first day you unexpectedly were 0-2. What do you feel went wrong in those first two best-of-ones?
Maden: After we lost the second one we felt a bit sad but the tournament is not over and we need to step up and focus on the best-of-threes where we feel more confident. I felt like we maybe played these first two best-of-ones like we don’t want to lose, in a way. We [...] just played a bit scared, we were scared to do mistakes and it just costs you a lot in best-of-one when you don’t have a second chance. The second game was pretty close and Forze just took over us, so I think we will bounce back in the best-of-threes.
BLIX: You’re from the Balkan region, like Nikola “NiKo” Kovač and Nemanja “huNter-” Kovač, and this time you faced off against iNation, a full team of Serbians. How was it for you, facing off against a full team of Balkan players for the first time?
Maden: I always enjoy playing against Balkan players, I would say I get some kind of motivation boost whenever I play against Balkans. I think it’s normal, I just want to be the best player, to beat all the [others], even though they’re all my good friends! I just want to be the best in the Balkans in a way, just beat everyone who is from the area. It’s just competition and I really like that so… that’s it.
BLIX: You guys brought in Guy “NertZ” Iluz pretty recently. How has integrating him into the team been so far?
Maden: Since NertZ joined we had a lot of hard work, we had a lot of practice days and we’re still adding the stuff on the maps. We’re fixing the map pool and we’re adding the strats with him because we just want to make him feel confident in the team. That’s it, it’s just been a lot of hard work and I think in the near future we’re going to have a great map pool.
BLIX: What do you think that he brings to the team that you guys were maybe lacking before?
Maden: I think he’s [a] very energetic guy, he brings a lot of positive vibes before the games, and also during the games he’s hyping up, which before we didn’t have much. Valde was kind of a more quiet guy in a way, obviously, he was hyping up sometimes but not as much as NertZ. The second thing is just the firepower NertZ has, I think he’s really talented and he has insane individual skill
BLIX: This is his second RMR circuit after PGL Antwerp, a full year ago, and these events can be quite overwhelming. Since you guys are more experienced, how have you been helping him in that sense?
Maden: As I said we just want to make him feel as much confidence as possible, we have this kind of “trollish” atmosphere in the team where we feel like a family together and I think he fits it quite well. He’s handling the pressure better than we expected.
BLIX: Have there been any changes within the team since NertZ joined, maybe in terms of map pool or positions?
Maden: Yeah, we had quite a lot [more] different positions on T and on CT than before. We just tried to fit him in positions from his past team so he can feel more confident than ever. We just put him into his best positions in a way, so we fit around that.
BLIX: You guys have had some up-and-down results in the past year, sometimes challenging for titles and sometimes not doing so well. What do you think is the thing you’re lacking to become more consistent and bring out better results than last year?
Maden: It’s just a lot of hard work. All of us need to put [in] a lot of hard work and I feel like now, since we added NertZ, he’s the right fit for the team and we just need quite a bit more time, like a few months. Once we fix the map pool with NertZ I think we’re just going to be much more structured, not random in a way, but more consistent. We just need a bit more time with NertZ and that’s it.
BLIX: You mentioned you guys being like a family, really close. How do you feel like the team chemistry has changed since NertZ came in? What kind of steps have you taken to make it become how it is right now?
Maden: I mean, whoever we had in the team, even before, we always had this kind of family vibe in the team, which I think is the most important thing if you want to have a good team. You shouldn’t feel stressed or anything, and I think with NertZ, as I already said, he fits in pretty well. He’s also the type of guy, like me and SunPayus (Alvaro “SunPayus” Garcia, ed.), who likes to troll a lot and has a lot of energy. I think he just fits perfectly about it.
CS2: Beta and Implications
BLIX: Valve recently published the CS2 beta. Have you been able to play it prior to this RMR?
Maden: I played like two maps of competitive, and I didn’t… I mean, it felt kind of the same. Obviously, there are these smoke changes and everything, but it’s not huge of a difference. I think the movement and stuff are kinda rough right now in CS2, but I think they will fix it in the near future and it’s going to be good.
BLIX: Is there anything else outside of the movement that you would like to see Valve change before the official release and tournament play?
Maden: I think it’s pretty much good! They should fix the movement, I don’t know what they are going to do about the smokes, [if they] are going to keep the same thing where you can nade them and they disappear, I’m not sure about that. But I think just the movement, now you cannot bunnyhop like in CS:GO and have a good strafe. I don’t know, I felt like the recoil and spray patterns are kinda random-ish in a way when I was spraying. Maybe it’s just a new pattern that I’m not used to yet and is a bit different from CS:GO, but I felt like it was a little bit random.
BLIX: I heard from Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev that the next EPL season is apparently going to be played on CS2. Regardless of whether that’s true, we will have another couple of tournaments on CS:GO, like the Paris Major and IEM Cologne. Knowing that there are still CS:GO events but that you also don’t want to be left behind in CS2, how do you think that you will divide the time between the two games?
Maden: I don’t think we’re going to play CS2, we’re going to play CS:GO until all the tournaments are over. Once they are over we’ll start grinding CS2, we’re not going to play it beforehand. Maybe we’ll play it at night with friends, like some casual games, just to feel the game a bit, but we’re not going to practice or anything. We’re just going to grind once all CS:GO tournaments are over.
BLIX: This is the last CS:GO Major, is there any added pressure coming from it being your last chance to get your name onto the Major trophy?
Maden: I don’t think we have much pressure about that, because almost all of us played Majors before, except NertZ of course, but as I said he doesn’t feel much pressure. We already played many Majors, like three or four, and Snappi (Marco “Snappi” Pfeiffer, ed.) played even more, so we don’t feel this pressure that we have to play, even this Major. We’re just going to focus on game-to-game now, once the best-of-ones are over. Now we have the confidence to win best-of-threes and we feel we have the space to make mistakes.
BLIX: NertZ came into the team pretty recently, so have you guys been able to talk about the expectations and objectives, outside of obviously qualifying for the Major?
Maden: I mean, we kinda had expectations to make EPL playoffs, for example, which we already achieved, we made [the] semifinals. It was a really good result for us, we showed against Cloud9 in the semifinal that we can also beat them and it was a really close game against them. We were leading 11-6 on the second map and we won the first one, so it was close, we could have almost made it. So our expectations are not so high at the moment, because NertZ is new to the team and we’re still fixing the map pool and everything. We’re just going to focus, our main goal for this tournament was just to qualify for the Major, not any bigger expectations than that.