Following Monte's game against FORZE to qualify for their first Major, BLIX sat down with the team's IGL, Volodymyr "Woro2k" Veletniuk, to discuss his feelings on qualification, the experienced staff Monte have built up around them and the team's plans ahead of the Major, among other topics.
Qualifying to the Major
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX: Congratulations on qualifying for the BLAST Paris Major. This game against FORZE looked a bit one-sided, it was a pretty convincing win, so how was the game from your point of view?
Volodymyr “Woro2k” Veletniuk: This game was easy for us, we knew before [that] we should win against them. We played against them before and we have very big confidence, so we knew it was a very very good chance against them to do it.
BLIX: You started out as kind of an FPL mix. Coming into the event, what were the expectations like? Did you expect to make it through this easily or did the expectations progressively increase with every game?
Woro2k: We expected that we could beat everyone and we just did our best. We prepared well I think, we had time to prepare all the maps we needed for this RMR and we did!
BLIX: What playstyle would you say that you guys have? Do you prefer having a structured style, or do you like throwing some more “pug” strats into the mix?
Woro2k: Right now we’re trying to become more of a team, we have some structure. We have some freedom for players because it’s a very good point for us to have some players in some positions. Sometimes we play like FPL, we’re trying to see what's better against which team, but everyone is trying to play together, that's the most important [thing]. We are a very friendly team, we try to support each other and that's it.
Discussing lmbt and KrizzeN
BLIX: Your coach, Sergey "lmbt" Bezhanov, has been in the scene for quite a while, coaching MOUZ for example. Considering his experience, how does he help you guys here at the RMR?
Woro2k: He does a lot of work as well, we have more guys, managers, who are helping with some analytics. We just have [our] coach working on strats, he’s more focused on our mistakes and [making sure] they don’t happen again. He’s having a lot of impact here, and it’s a good thing we picked him up a few months ago.
BLIX: The analyst of the team is Aidyn "KrizzeN" Turlybekov, who also used to play until pretty recently and represented AVANGAR in tier-one events. How does he work with the team, and how valuable is the experience from his time as a player?
Woro2k: He didn’t have any experience being an analyst, but I told him to come and try. He agreed, and he started to work. We’re always trying to improve our things, make [them] better. What we can do more, and how we can be better. He’s doing very well right now, he's already got a lot of experience in these eight months or something like that. He’s liking it and he’s very much enjoying it.
BLIX: You’ve been through a lot personally, with cheating accusations both on FACEIT and in official matches. How have these allegations affected you? Have they made you stronger, and do you see this as a statement that will make people finally shut up?
Woro2k: It’s very good when people think you’re playing with cheats or something like that, it’s only giving you a boost to morale. It’s only a plus for me when people say [things] like this, they already have something in their brain and they can start to overthink or something like that. I just play my game, this tournament was not so good for me but my team destroyed everyone here and I’m so proud. It’s the first time in a big event as IGL, and I think we can do a lot in the future.
BLIX: As you mentioned you’re a very inexperienced team in big events, with the exception of Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev and lmbt. How did they help you guys to deal with the nerves you might have had coming into this event?
Woro2k: They help us, but the coach cannot say anything, only in pauses. We’re just trying to keep our mood good, to control the map and he’s helping us a lot to not create gaps or something like that. They’re helping a lot I think, and it’s very good when you already have good experienced guys because you are more confident.
BLIX: People didn’t expect you to do this well, has this result elevated your expectations for the future? Do you think you will manage to stick together?
Woro2k: Everyone, the players, have their goals for sure, but I think we will be together and we will focus on the Major. We will try to get a Legends spot as well, we have two best-of-threes I think. We’ll play together and everyone is very comfortable because we’re very friendly and I think it’s a very good thing for teams. I know a lot of teams are not friendly outside of the game, but we are.
BLIX: BLAST.tv Paris will be the last CS:GO Major, how does it feel going into your first Major during the last one? Does it put a little bit more pressure, knowing that you only have one chance to get your name on the trophy?
Woro2k: We didn’t care about this I think. I always wanted to go to a Major, I had already three chances I think and the third time we did it. For me, it’s [the] minimum goal to go on to Major.
CS2 and plans for the future
BLIX: You’ve been streaming a lot in the past, FACEIT and FPL. Since FACEIT has opened a CS2 hub, have you been able to play it yet?
Woro2k: I haven’t been streaming for one or two years and I focus only on CS, on my pro career. I want to make this career good, so that’s why I don’t focus on streams.
BLIX: Have you been able to notice any issues or things that you would like to see changed before CS2 officially releases to the public this summer?
Woro2k: No, I don’t know.
BLIX: How do you think you guys will divide the time after this Major? Viktor "sdy" Orudzhev told me EPL is going to be played on CS2, and you guys have a spot there.
Woro2k: First we focus only on Major, and after that we think about CS2. The Major is the most important thing for us right now, we will have more tournaments as well before the Major and we will play them to gain some form. I think the more we play, the better form we have. After the Major, we’ll think about it and focus on it.
BLIX: What are the plans for Monte going into the Major? Will you go home, take a break and then have a boot camp?
Woro2k: I was thinking about this but I don’t know what will happen, because we will go back to Ukraine or we’ll stay in Poland, we don’t know yet. We will have some games in a week and we will play a few tournaments before the Major, it will be good preparation for us. We’ll play pracs, and yeah, that's all.
BLIX: Qualifying for the Major was the main goal, but I can imagine you don’t feel fully satisfied just yet. What will your goals be in Paris?
Woro2k: Our goal will be to win the Major!
BLIX: And last question, have you thought about how you’ll celebrate this Major qualification yet?
Woro2k: We will drink some beers, some rum, whiskey and we’ll have a chill, but I think we’ll do it in a few days because we still have games for the Legends spot. It’s very important as well, and we will try to do our best.