Heroic came into IEM Katowice 2023 as the number one ranked team on HLTV, and so far Rasmus “sjuush” Beck has had a barn burner of an event to propel the team straight into the Semi-Finals. We sat down with Sjuush to discuss their performances thus far, and their hopes going forward in 2023.
Sam “AN1MO” McKenzie, BLIX.GG: You've been performing really well here at Katowice, is there anything you've adjusted in how you practice individually?
Rasmus “sjuush” Beck: I think I've been playing a bit more deathmatch, but also we talked about a few things before the tournament, like what our focused goals were for the tournament, and for me, it's a small thing with patience. My role can be super stressful, I can easily over peek and die then we lose the whole site. This tournament I've been hiding a lot when I get contact. I just stay alive and play off my teammate's contact. I think that's been working really well for me and it helps me get out of a tough situation knowing I don't have to do everything alone. My teammates have been helping me a lot by coming with a flash or a rotation when I need it, my teammates and patience are what have helped me a lot this tournament.
BLIX: One thing that's really nice to see about you is that players that play your roles often are a bit understated, but you seem really confident. Is that based on how you're playing at the moment or are you just a confident person?
sjuush: I'm pretty confident in general, I know I can do a good job every single time I play, and I know I make a difference on the server just by the roles I play. Especially knowing no one can do it as well as I do. There's also the confidence I show vocally, I don't seem nervous at all when we play, and I give a chill vibe to the team even in stressful situations like clutches and when things are going bad.
BLIX: You guys have really come together as a team in the last 6 months since you've added Jabbi, what would you say is the case for that, was it just a matter of integrating him?
sjuush: I think it's a lot of things. We usually like to go out and do stuff together, and we had a little bit more time to do that in Abu Dhabi. We lost and went out last place but we had time to take a vacation together so we really bonded there, and I think that helped us a lot to have a good ending to the year and have some fun together before coming into the new year. Jabbi seems a lot more comfortable in the way we play in terms of our playstyle, he's really good at making decisions on his own, but he's way better now at bringing the team into his plays so we can help him and he can help us a little bit better.
BLIX: So in that sense, with Jabbi starting to feel more comfortable, does that mean this Heroic isn't the peak and we can see you guys go further?
sjuush: I definitely think we can keep evolving because we still struggle sometimes and watch those games through where we can clearly see the mistakes we made. It's not the way we want to play, so from that, we improve ourselves and individually look into how we make decisions. At BLAST two weeks ago we saw that it was mostly individual mistakes, bad decisions, or not thinking about how you can involve a teammate to help you. I would say we can definitely get better and more consistent.
BLIX: your opponents are potentially NAVI or Outsiders, obviously there's narratives between you and both of those teams, is there a team out of those two you would rather face?
sjuush: I don't really care too much who we play. NAVI we've had some struggles with in the past but have also beaten them, and at the moment they seem to be struggling a bit. Then there are Outsiders, I don't really know what to think of them yet. Obviously, we want revenge so it could be fun to face them, we've had a good grip on them every time we've faced them other than the Major Final, but I don't really mind who we play. I think we have a good chance against either of them if we just play the game we want to play.
BLIX: The other Semi-Finalist is G2, do you expect that they'll make it to the final? Is that a match you’d be looking forward to?
sjuush: Yeah I would definitely look forward to meeting them in a final, but they could also choke [laughs]. It's hard to say because they're so confident right now that it might actually hurt them in the end, so I'm excited to see their Semi-Final.
BLIX: Would you not say that having that confidence is something that could also hurt you?
sjuush: I mean yeah definitely, it could hurt us. We go into every match with respect for the other team, because the hardest match is always the one in front of you, that's the match you have to win to move on. So we don't really care about the matches beyond that, we just focus on the match we have to win.
BLIX: You guys won the Fall Finals, this event is considered to be one of the biggest three to four events of the year. How much more would it mean to win here rather than there, or is it not different?
sjuush: There is a difference because this is an OG event, it's been here so long so it would be amazing to win Katowice or Colgone, an event like that. It's different than BLAST but BLAST also meant a lot to us since it was in Denmark as well and no Danish team has won it. One of the last events we played was BLAST Fall Finals and we won that, we played the World Final as well but we had a stand-in which is always rough, all of it is still contributing to us coming into this event with confidence.
BLIX: There’s always been this thing for a few years now that Astralis is huge in Denmark; do you think you've already toppled that or do you think this is the year you become Denmark's signature team?
sjuush: It's hard to say because Astralis is a Danish-based organization so there's always gonna be a lot of fans no matter what, you also have to consider they have lots of history and a lot of achievements. I think we can convince a lot of Astralis fans to join our side if we do well this year but Astralis will always be a huge brand in Denmark.
BLIX: What are the minimum expectations for this year?
sjuush: I think it's hard to say but I really want to win an event, a good event. It would important to me especially, we won BLAST and that meant a lot to me but I'm not satisfied at all. We even went number one in the world and it meant a lot, but I don’t feel satisfied because we haven't won that much, I just want to win events.