We talked with Finn "karrigan" Andersen at the LANXESS arena during IEM Cologne 2022.
Q: You guys breezed through the Group Stage without dropping a single map. Still, a very strange tournament. The underdogs knocked out many favorites. Are you more cautious playing against underdogs now?
karrigan: Not really; I think that's what you see in this season; some teams, it's hard to play at 100% every single time. I think many teams wanted to achieve 100% in their game and in their playstyle, and if you don't achieve 100% other teams like MOUZ and Movistar will overperform, and they will win. I think we're having the same mentality as always, we play the teams that are in front of us and have to respect, maybe do some disrespect in the veto and stuff like that, but we have to see how the game goes and make sure to shut down their momentum early on in the game.
Q: Is it harder to prepare for those underdog teams because the sample size is smaller?
karrigan: I think it's harder to play in that sense, you don't know how the playstyle matches up against each other. We have a lot of information on a lot of teams during the season, and we just keep seeing what they're improving and what they're adding, and yeah we haven't prepared for a team like Movistar in a long time so coming into the game we have to prepare a lot for Movistar. Or we have to go with a small sample size for Liquid, they just added YEKINDAR for this tournament so yeah, all in all, the prep isn't going to be the best for tomorrow's game, so we have to adapt on the fly and figure out the solution there
Q: You guys were rushing from tournament to tournament; you went straight to Dallas after the Major, a weird tournament with stand-ins. Was it this post-Major depression that you were exhausted from the Major from prepping and also Roobet Cup? You didn't win it; in hindsight, would you skip those events to prioritize Cologne, or was it still a good idea to go into those tournaments?
karrigan: I still think it was a good idea. I mean, IEM Dallas was a little bit close to the Major, and we just tried our best, tried to achieve playoffs and play CS there, and obviously lost to Cloud9, you have to look at the situation, who did we get eliminated by, we got eliminated by Cloud9 who went on to win the tournament, and last NAVI beat us, so we lost both times to the teams that won the tournament. Sometimes we don't achieve 100%, and maybe they did that day, but for me the Roobet Cup was good, it made us play worse maps, so instead of picking Inferno and Nuke every single time, we went for other picks, and I think that helped improve our map pool, and we won an Overpass game here against Astralis. So I think Roobet was good for us with the mentality we had for that tournament.
Q: IEM Cologne is right before the player break. Does it hurt the competition that every team is exhausted by now? Like Twistzz yesterday mentioned that you're playing mostly against tier 2 teams when you're scrimming because tier 1 teams are basically on a break.
karrigan: I don't think it hurts; four days of pracc against lower enemies or higher enemies doesn't really change, it's more like the quality of the practice is worse, but you still get to play CS. Those four days you have before Playoffs, you don't want to change too much, you wanna add a little stuff here and there and improve on the mistakes you did the other days, so so far it doesn't really matter and no matter what it's always going to be like that, it's the last tournament of the season and teams go out earlier, and I still believe it's good to have a big final in a tournament like this. It's a big tournament, it's the end of the season, everyone wants to do well and go on vacation in a good mood, so that's what we're aiming for here.