Astralis are one of six teams who traveled directly to Malmö immediately after the conclusion of ESL One New York, but unlike the other five, they have looked confident throughout DreamHack Masters, making it to the semi-finals after topping Group A with wins over Envy, G2, and Vitality.
After their last match of groups, device commented on the topic of the effects of jet lag and how Astralis battled against them, as well as on some of the upsets that saw the teams from New York such as Evil Geniuses and Liquid eliminated early.
You seemed to have the upper hand against Evil Geniuses at the Major, but back in New York they had your number both in the group stage and in the grand final. What was different there?
I don’t know what happened in New York. We were definitely not as confident individually and – at least I can speak for myself – I couldn’t find myself in the playoffs, against Liquid, against EG, I just had bad timings, didn’t hit my shots, I wasn’t aggressive enough because I just felt like I was bad individually. We were playing on some different monitors, so I actually switched back to black bars and it didn’t work out, so I just felt very uncomfortable against them in general. And then I just think Brehze is probably one of the best players in the world, he can at least be considered top-three, he’s just amazing when he’s good and he had an amazing tournament.
G2 were surprising us with a lot of strategies on Nuke. I was surprised that they had come up with so much stuff in like half an hour.
You’ve looked convincing here outside of an overtime encounter on Nuke with G2. Were you surprised to see them put up so much resistance as a completely new team?
Yeah. We were sitting right next to them and we could see when we picked Nuke that they hadn’t talked about it yet, so they were sitting and speaking about positions and everything. Maybe it gave us a little bit of overconfidence, I myself took a few too many duels at some points, so yeah, I think it’s a mix of us being kind of tired, they were kind of tired, and they were surprising us with a lot of strategies. I was kind of surprised that they had come up with so much stuff in like half an hour (laughs). I expect a lot from them in the future, to be honest, I think nexa and huNter are really solid players and I think, if they can find a way to communicate really well, they will be a really good team.
I remember on the first day, when we had the first best-of-one and then the best-of-three, I felt like a zombie (laughs). But we have a guy who does body treatment on us that gives you a lot of energy.
Every team that flew over from New York is already out of the tournament outside of you guys. People are naturally pointing to jet lag, what do you think about that as the only team who managed to make it far from those?
Yeah, jet lag can honestly make you feel dead sometimes when you get tired to the point that you can’t focus and so on, so I think it’s a really legit excuse. Of course, there was always a planning issue and it’s hard for people to say no to a Grand Slam event, so I can understand why people have a hard time performing. I remember on the first day, when we had the first best-of-one and then the best-of-three, I felt like a zombie (laughs). But we have a guy who does some treatment on us that came yesterday, it’s like a body treatment that gives you a lot of energy, releases all the toxins and so on. It’s something we had in the last three Major playoffs and it has worked out very well for us, we haven’t lost a map there. Maybe it’s kind of a superstition, but it really works when he is taking care of us, so that was really important and a good move from our sports director, Kasper.
Other than that, I just feel like teams that flew over haven’t had time to prepare their game at all, they’re just going into the matches and they’re playing with whatever they have left in the strat book, while the teams that have had a break have had a long time to prepare for this tournament. I’m especially astonished by Grayhound, they come from a region where it’s hard to get good practice and they beat Liquid today! I was amazed, it wasn’t even a fluke, in my opinion, of course Liquid can play better, but Grayhound played really great, as well. I think that is a mix of both the jet lag but also the other teams stepping up.
We are really satisfied with already being in the semi-finals. Sometimes it’s more or less about just giving all the energy you have and then we know that, after this, we will be rewarded with a good time off.
To touch on the scheduling issue as you said, with these tournaments being so close to each other, that’s a situation in which you’ve previously opted to skip one of the events. Was that in consideration this time?
Yeah, it definitely was. We spoke about skipping the tournament a few times, even last week when were in New York because when went go to New York we also got jetlagged there, so it was kind of tough. But most of our guys live in Copenhagen, they are really close to home, they have gone home and slept some of the nights, seen their families, girlfriends, etc., so I think that gives them a bit of energy, whereas me and Magisk, we live a bit further away from here so it has been really tough on both of us. We are really satisfied with already being in the semi-finals. Sometimes it’s more or less about just giving all the energy you have and then we know that, after this, we will be rewarded with a good time off, a few days, where we can reload and build on for the next tournament.