At the BLAST Europe RMR, Martin "stavn" Lund sat down with us to discuss his team's recent victory at a major tournament, the challenges of preparing for back-to-back matches, and his thoughts on the highly anticipated release of CS2. He also shares his insights on the pressures of competing in a major tournament and how his team plans to balance their time between CS:GO and CS2.
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX.GG: Congratulations on making it to 2-0. This game was a real nailbiter, can you talk me through it and why did it get so close?
Martin “stavn” Lund: Yeah, to start with we had a very good CT side, 10-5, and we felt like we had a good read on them from the preparation we’ve done. Then on the T side things went a bit wrong, a bit south you could say. I got a bit of a flashback to the previous RMR, in Malta for the Rio Major, where we played Outsiders in the second match, being 1-0 up, and we also had a 10-5 or 11-4 CT half and we threw that away 16-14 or something like that. So it was kind of similar for me and that just shows the experience as well, that we learned from that match, that we managed to keep calm even though we’re behind 14-11 and close it out.
BLIX: Either Casper “cadiaN” Møller or Richard “Xizt” Landström called a timeout at 14-11 before you managed to close it out. What did you guys say in the timeout? What was it that made you guys finally able to close it out?
stavn: I mean, our coach Xizt said that we should just believe in ourselves still, we should believe more in ourselves when we are playing and when we’re taking aim duels. That helped out a lot I would say, but Casper just had this[…] I can’t say exactly what he said, but he said some nice things that changed the way we wanted to approach this T side in the end, and that helped us to overcome [the disadvantage].
BLIX: Talking a little bit about preparation, the first days at the Major’s RMRs are always a bit hectic. You played only a couple of hours ago, and then you found out you were playing Aurora. What was the process like between the two games?
stavn: Every team, and ourselves, we have our coach but also analyst coach and stuff like that who can sit from the hotel or from home and prepare as well. This time around we also had a few hours. I think it’s needed to find a good mixture, both as a team but also as a personal player. When you’ve just played that best-of-one, when you come back home from the hotel, you need to find a good balance between relaxing and also preparing, because first at least we like to prepare and that’s what we did here as well.
BLIX: Last Major, you went to the finals and sadly lost against Outsiders. Now, this is the last CS:GO Major that we’ll ever have. Do you come in with a bit of bloodlust, or revenge? Do you maybe feel a little bit more pressure since you came so close last time around and this is your last chance to get your name engraved on that Major trophy?
stavn: I wouldn’t say that I’m feeling more pressure than in previous Majors, I think it just gives more bloodlust as you said, more hunger to win the Major. Everyone is feeling it in the team, we want to be in Paris. We’re still not there yet but we’ll give everything to be there.
BLIX: Talking a little bit about CS2, have you been able to play it yet?
stavn: I’ve played a little, and it’s hard to say too much about the game yet, I’m trying just to focus on CS:GO mainly. It’s the thing that’s still in front of us, we have the Major and many tournaments still in CS:GO so that’s the focus for the team right now.
BLIX: I heard from Viktor “sdy” Orudzhev that EPL will apparently be on CS2. Some tournaments will still be on CS:GO, so how will you guys divide the time between the two games? Have you guys talked about that yet?
stavn: We haven’t talked about that yet. I think what’s important is for Valve and for the tournament organizers to speak together and find a good time to put it into place for the competitive environment. So that we don’t have BLAST running as [a] CS2 tournament one week, and one week later ESL is holding a CS:GO tournament. There needs to be some kind of good mixture and for me personally, I also hope that they will take some consideration considering the player break as well. Because let’s say that they just release it after the player break or like that’s the first tournament, we’re also humans so we need breaks as well, so I hope they will find a good balance there as well.
BLIX: Was it the right timing to release the Beta right now, or should have they waited until later in the year? I’ve heard some mixed reactions and I’d be curious to hear what you think.
stavn: I think it’s a good time to release it personally, I think there’s been a lot of talks behind the scenes for over a year now with Source 2. I think it’s a good time to release it, I think it’s getting a lot of attention, and a lot of hype, and I think it’s a good thing for competitive Counter-Strike.
BLIX: From the things you have seen so far, has it lived up to the hype and the expectations you had? Have you been able to notice anything that you’d like to see changed before the official release?
stavn: I think it’s hard for me to say yet if I want anything big or something changed, I’m still trying to figure out if I like the nade in the smoke and stuff like that. But it’s the same for everyone and it’s kind of cool as well. For me I think, some people also talked on Twitter about it, something feels a bit off, I don’t know if it’s the movement or… It’s a bit laggy, shots are not hitting, and I don’t know the tick rate and stuff like that. But it’s also a beta, right? So they’ll also improve it for sure.