The Australians will contest their first-ever Big Event final on Sunday after disposing of Vitality in a series marked by a stellar performance from jks, who powered his team to a 16-2 thrashing on the decider map, Inferno, with a 2.50 rating.
But despite the importance of the upcoming clash with Astralis, jks argues that nothing feels different than normal for his team. Aided by the Krieg in his dismantling of Vitality on Inferno, the Australian rifler gave us his thoughts on the weapon, as well as some insight into several current topics concerning his team.
You’re going to play your first Big Event grand final. Anything special going through your mind?
Honestly, it’s not that different from any other tournament. I’m just really happy that we made the final. Of course it feels really nice, but it doesn’t feel like something completely different, for me at least. I’m very happy to be in the final, though, and I think we played really well, so yeah, it’s good.
Let’s dig into the match against Vitality. Your pick, Mirage, went their way quite convincingly. Why couldn’t you get it to go your way?
We fumbled a lot in the first five rounds on the T side, and were having some issues with microphones and stuff like that. I also think people were playing a bit too scared, almost nervous. We managed to bring it back a bit, but in the end they managed to run away with it. It was a first-map jitters kind of thing and we weren’t playing how we normally do, and playing like that we’re not going to win. We just gave them too much space and weren’t communicating properly.
I’m not too sure why, honestly, I’m not sure if there were but it’s the way it felt to me. It just felt like we weren’t playing the normal way we do so I just cast it as nervousness issues, but we managed to bring it back on the second map so it kind of faded away after.
Vitality started quite well on Nuke, they had an 8-7 T-side, what was the half-time chat like to refocus it?
We kind of screwed up a lot of those early rounds on Nuke, we lost that 1vs4 and some other rounds where they ran out on top site and we didn’t know what we were watching, so there were cracks and they slipped into the site and killed two of us… we kind of weren’t on the same page in the first half. We just chilled out after half time, it wasn’t like a terrible half, we just made a few mistakes, and we know our T side is good so we could make the comeback, and we did, 16-14. Towards the end of the map we were definitely more comfortable in comparison with the first map. On top of that they also play a really good Mirage, they found our cracks, so props to them for that.
On Nuke they could have closed it out, they were 13-12. Was there anything particular you figured out for those last few rounds?
I don’t know if we figured anything out, we kind of ruined their money a little bit which gave us some rounds, but they also ruined ours at 14-14 and we had a lowbuy in the 29th round, but we somehow made it work and it kind of saved our ass. We just kind of played the way we always play and today we just hit our shots and won some of the lucky rounds that we did and that’s about it.
Inferno was the jks show, what divine entity took over you there?
I just got off to a good start and for some reason after the first three or four rounds I kind of felt really comfortable and knew that we were going to win the map. Something in me knew we were going to win so I was super comfortable. Everything was working and we had a really good read on them, especially on B, we knew what they were doing and what to expect and when they weren’t going B we knew they weren’t, so we just had a really good read on the CT side. When we have that kind of game everyone plays really well.
I managed to pick up the Krieg, and I know people hate the Krieg, but if they buy it I’m going to pick it up and use it, so… [laughts] I think the gun is a bit broken, but I feel like I could have gotten a lot of those kills with an AK or something as well. Once the CTs get the Krieg it’s a lot more powerful in comparison to when the Ts use it, so I used it to my advantage. We also had really good flashes and smokes on B from the rotators, AZR and Gratisfaction, they were really on point. A couple of those rounds I would have probably died if I didn’t have those nades.
I try to stay away from the Krieg topic because everyone has already said their piece, but apEX brought it up a little bit on his own in an interview earlier and he made an interesting point about how the game is becoming more skill-based and less tactical and therefore it allows for more randomness. Do you think it’s a fair assessment?
Yeah, I think it’s definitely more skill-based because if you’re sharper on the day and hit your shot then the other person is… well, dead. That kind of opens up more opportunities in comparison to how it was before, so yeah, I think the gun’s a little bit stupid and I think it needs to be nerfed, but it’s just the way it is right now and you have to use it to your advantage because if you don’t, you’re not going to be pulling ahead. It has lost its technical aspect a bit just because you can see that if people are sharp on the day and have a really good T-side they’re going to walk in and kill you. They don’t need to use anything, just scope in and kill you, so yeah, I guess it has become more skill-based.
I was talking to AZR a bit about the ups and downs…
Yeah, this year, but you had that fourth place in a pretty stacked StarSeries, now you’re at your first Big Event grand final, linking two good results… How is the team growing?
It’s kind of funny because at the IEM Katowice Major we came in eighth, then fourth at the StarSeries after, now this time we did 3-4th at the Major and 4th at StarSeries, but now we don’t have all the visa issues that we had before. I’m not going to go into it, but I feel like we’re building upon these tournaments and we don’t have issues that can stop us from building on that. We’re trying to go tournament-to-tournament, and we know what works for us so we’re going to keep doing it and hopefully this time around we don’t have anything that can plague our lives and we can just focus on CS.
I have two little topics to close out, one is something that AZR talked about the other day, which is constantly refreshing the playbook now that people are studying you more. How does that work?
It’s pretty simple, right after every tournament we see what works for us and what doesn’t. We’ll see what worked for us and we’ll see how we can spin it in a different way and build upon it. I think we have to look at what’s really obvious that we’re doing, if teams can counter it, and how we can use it to our advantage.
Lastly, it seems that Liazz and Gratisfaction have been slowly starting to get more comfortable. Do you think that’s helping you find some stability?
Yeah, for sure. We all fit in really well outside the game, that’s not an issue at all. Inside the game, I think everyone understands what their role is and what’s expected of everyone. But yeah, we’re definitely getting more comfortable the more we play with each other in-game. I think Liazz had a bit of a rough time adjusting to his roles at the beginning, which is hard when you’re in a role like his, and a bit was expected from him because he was dominating the Aussie scene, but as you can see in the last few tournaments he’s showing a really high level of CS, so I think he’s getting more confident and used to his role and spot in the team, so it can only go up from here.
Same with Gratisfaction, he had the issues with the visa and stuff, which hurt his confidence a lot, but since coming back he’s had some good games and he’s building his confidence up right now and each event they’re both getting better. Slowly, over time, they’re getting more used to their new lifestyle compared to what they had at home and all of the pressure outside of the game, as well.