We sat down with Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev before Natus Vincere’s Semi-final clash with the winner of MOUZ/Astralis at IEM Cologne 2022.
Q: You got an extra day off because you are in the Semifinals. Is this an advantage for you guys as you have more time to prepare, or does it not matter as much due to the long break?
sdy: I think it is more like an advantage because we have time to practice one extra day and to figure out the team that we need to, and I think it will help us.
Q: You seem to perfectly fit into this current role you are playing at Natus Vincere. How similar are your positions in this NAVI roster in comparison to your ex-teams like MAD Lions and Team Spirit?
sdy: I have played a lot of the positions before, but a long time ago, and overall I am mostly filling in the positions that I didn’t play for a long time. But there are still positions that I played in the past teams, and so it is kind of okay for me, and it is working, so that’s good!
Q: Do you think it hurts the level of competition that IEM Cologne is right before the player break, and everyone is exhausted because there are only two Top 10 teams in the Playoffs? And do you think the top teams are more exhausted?
sdy: Maybe, I don’t know. I just started playing with NAVI, and I had some time to rethink my life and the things that I used to understand on another level because the war started, and there was a lot of time for me to rethink my life overall. Now, for me individually, I am not exhausted because I just started playing, but maybe teams that played for the whole season are exhausted, I don’t know.
Q: You mentioned that this NAVI stint is a learning experience; you take it event-by-event. You are not a full official member. But how much are you involved in the system? Because normally, with a trial player, you fill the gaps, and you get told to play this certain position. How much are you involved, and how much can you give feedback to the team?
sdy: I am involved. I could say 90% they tell me everything about the game and how they see it. But on the other hand, as you said, I have a good feeling on most of the positions, and these are the maps where I have the most impact, for example, Overpass.
Q: You skipped some events with your last tournament being BLAST Lisbon. Nevertheless, you are in great form, tremendous form. Can you tell me about this decision as to why your last tournament was so long ago? Was this a team decision, was this because you needed a break, or did you prioritize IEM Cologne?
sdy: I think they prioritized IEM Cologne, and there were no other tier one tournament like this in the break.
Q: You are the favorites for the tournament with FaZe Clan. Is there extra pressure for you guys being the only two “top” teams in the Playoffs because there are many underdogs? You played Movistar Riders and they were really good. Why is it that these underdogs eliminated all the top teams, and how did you manage to keep up your teams’ momentum?
sdy: Individually, I don’t think about it this way. So, there is no extra pressure. You focus on the game, you take it round-by-round, game-by-game, that is it. Underdogs are surprising because they believe in themselves. For example, Movistar Riders they won ESL Valencia, and they came here with good form. They truly understand what they are doing and have a good game plan, and they bring a lot of new things that tier one teams do not expect. That’s how underdogs surprise tier one teams.
Q: Is it also harder to prepare for these underdogs because you have played Vitality a lot of times, you have played all these top-tier teams like FaZe and Astralis many times, but you have barely played against Movistar Riders in comparison. Is it harder to prepare for a team like the Riders?
sdy: I think that it is the same level of preparation, but they can bring some new things just for one best-of-three that you have never seen before, and it might surprise you.