Given their poor performance at the BLAST.tv Paris Major, it was no surprise that MOUZ made changes in the recent off-season. Kamil “siuhy” Szkaradek’s return was inevitable, however, there may have been a slight shock when Jimi “Jimpphat” Salo came in to replace siuhy’s former MOUZ NXT teammate, Jon “JDC” de Castro.
The younger brother of former ENCE player Jere “sergej” Salo, Jimpphat has long been a future prospect for Finland, and in his first event for the MOUZ main team, he’s already gotten two wins under his belt.
We sat down with Jimpphat after MOUZ’s advancement to the IEM Cologne 2023 Group Stage to discuss his first games with the team, his new roles, and the nerves that come with playing at his first tier-one LAN event.
BLIX.GG: So, a great day for you here in Cologne. How are you feeling?
Jimpphat: Amazing. What else can you wish for the first day? Qualified for the main event. Going well.
BLIX.GG: It's your first big event. How did you prepare yourself for that coming into it?
Jimpphat: I mean, I don't think I did like anything. Honestly, I did like the normal stuff and it went pretty well in my opinion.
BLIX.GG: You're sergej's brother, did you ask him for any advice before coming into it? Is there anything he said to you?
Jimpphat: No, not really.
BLIX.GG: In terms of your own performances today, how are you feeling about that? You struggled slightly on Nuke Ramp earlier?
Jimpphat: Yeah, I was really nervous, but I knew that it would happen and I knew that I shouldn't care that much about my individual stats and performance. I just let it slide and as long as we win as a team that’s what’s important.
BLIX.GG: Do you think then the performance was maybe more down to the nerves rather than playing in a new position?
Jimpphat: Yeah, I think it was more of a mental thing. We've been practicing now for three weeks and the practice has been going really well. So I wouldn't say that it's about the positions, it’s just the nerves.
BLIX.GG: So what's it like going from being an academy player to joining the main team?
Jimpphat: It's completely different. Everything is different and new for me and I still have to figure out a lot of stuff. I like it a lot here. The amount of work we put in is amazing.
BLIX.GG: You played with xertioN and siuhy before, you’re back together now on the main team, what’s that like?
Jimpphat: It's really amazing. We had played before, so coming into the main team it wasn't that hard for me because I knew who I was going to play with already and what kind of personalities they have, so it was really easy to adapt.
BLIX.GG: Do you think siuhy coming in has been a big boost to torzsi? Obviously, he played really well today.
Jimpphat: I think that siuhy can help torzsi a lot with his in-game stuff and also outside of the game. So it really helps him, and also he's really good at the moment, he's in form. You can just see it from the stats, he's playing really well.
BLIX.GG: This is your first event together, you've already made it to the main stage, which we’re sure was a big goal. Have you spoken much about what your actual full goal is for the tournament? MOUZ made Playoffs last year, have you spoken about that at all or is it just a case of this being your first event and just seeing what you can do?
Jimpphat: I think it's more like that, it's like the first event and we’ll see how it goes. Our first goal was to get into the main event, and now we’ve done that we're just aiming as high as we can and we'll have to see what happens.
BLIX.GG: Do you think that there will be any role changes in the team? You're playing in some new roles, maybe some of the others are playing in some new roles. Are you going to stick with these roles for a while, or will you maybe still change them around at a later date?
Jimpphat: For now at least we will stick with it and we will look at it in a long-term way. I'm just really happy that I get to play with this team. I don't really mind. I think that this role suits me better than the previous one so I really like it.