Image: Copyright ESL | Adela Sznajder
BLIX.GG sat down and spoke with Heroic coach Richard "Xizt" Landström after his team's historic Grand-Final win at BLAST Premier Fall Finals 2022 inside the Royal Arena.
BLIX: So the first map was close, was 0-5 in the first half to FaZe before you managed to make a comeback to 8-7 at the half; what do you think made a comeback possible for you guys to take home that map?
Xizt: Well, I mean, 0-5 is not a, it's not a big deal. I mean, it's, it's like you have lost one weapon in reality. In reality, when you look at it, we have to become calmer when we play on stage. Like, even if we're back 0-5, it doesn't affect us as much as I did before. You know, it's still, as I said, only one weapon round, so I think cadiaN did a really good job today at calming the boys down, and then we just took it from there.
BLIX: And the second map was the reverse. There it was, FaZe, who was making a comeback. What do you think went wrong for you guys on that map?
Xizt: I mean, Inferno has been a really bad map for us lately. We won both pistols and then lost two force buys against them. And then we have that round that rain did with the Desert Eagle. It's like three very unlucky rounds, or yeah, so we couldn't recover economically from that.
BLIX: And then the last map, Mirage, very, very close, OT, FaZe making a huge comeback into OT, where you managed to win. What was the atmosphere within the team when they were starting to make that comeback? Was the heartbeat starting to rise and stuff like that?
Xizt: It's a similar story to Overpass, like they got a good start there in the second half, winning the pistol and getting the first weapon round, and we just talked and said that it's no worries. It's only one weapon round so far, and we just needed one round to start rolling. Jabbi stepped up there on T in the last half. He played amazingly, had some really good clutches, and took some really good initiative as the B lurker, so everyone stepped up.
BLIX: In the veto, you chose to remove one of your best maps, Nuke, and let them pick Mirage. What was the reason behind letting Nuke, one of your best maps, though? Was it a mind play, or what was it?
Xizt: A little bit of mind play, yeah. FaZe probably expected Nuke because it was in the last veto, and we didn't even play it. So, they expected it. So, it was like some mind games; maybe they would have prepared less than they would on Nuke; for example, we knew they finished late yesterday and didn't have that much time. So yeah, it was a mind game, but Mirage has slowly become one of our best maps, and historically for Heroic, they had their online era when they were winning a lot. They always played Mirage as the decider in the finals, so it's also like for good vibes.
BLIX: Since the Stockholm Major, you've been coaching this team for about a year. How's it been like so far? You've won the Pinnacle Cup, and now this big, BLAST win. So how have you found the transition and this one year?
Xizt: Well, I mean, I have personally learned a lot as a coach. I've become more comfortable in the role, and I was really happy when I got the job because my number one priority was to get into Heroic, and they have an interesting play style. cadiaN calls it an amazing game and also a funny and interesting game, you know? So I'm happy that we finally lifted a well-deserved trophy.
BLIX: Did you have any other? You mentioned that you got the offer from them. Did you have any other offers that you were considering? Or was Heroic the first one that, you know, stuck in your heart and you said, like, this is the place where I want to try and coach?
Xizt: No, not really. I didn't put the word out there that I wanted to start coaching. I just contacted cadiaN privately, and we started from there, so I didn't have any other offers as a coach.
BLIX: And the last question from me, and now you've got the World Finals ahead of you in about two weeks. What do you think the preparation will be for that?
Xizt: Same as always, I would say. Just keep working hard. We have made two finals in a row. We need to do the same work, have a few days off after this, and then get back to work.