VPesports had a chat with Nathan “NBK” Schmitt following his teams grand final victory at DreamHack Open Atlanta. The Vitality player and his team had just taken down Luminosity with relative ease to secure their victory and showcase the new teams ability on LAN. NBK discussed the teams LAN performance, map pool, ZywOo, what this means to him, and more in this exclusive interview.
You can find the full interview below.
VPesports: Coming into this event, it was your first LAN with the team. What were the expectations? Since it’s not necessarily a tier one event, but it was a chance for you guys to show that you were better than the tier two level, how do you think you guys represented that idea?
NBK: That was the exact mentality we went on. I think all the teams right here really wanted to prove themselves in a way, and winning these sort of tournaments can make… Everyone needs to go further into the rankings to do other tournaments, so it was really personal for us to have a good showing and debut, and yeah, we just did. We had pretty slow start in the best one which we’ve struggled with since the beginning of the roster, but I find another thing is we entered the best of three stage, we could see we can play seven map which is something that is very few teams do. That played into our advantage coming into the best of threes. That’s why we are confident coming into the tournament.
VPesports: Looking back, Luminosity, that was a pretty quick, and for lack of a better term, easy series. compLexity didn’t quite go as smoothly. They took the first map but then you guys fought back. compLexity was very similar to you guys and your approach, I think, to this event. They were like, “We did well at the Major, and we need to prove that we’re better than that.”
What are your thoughts on Complexity, how they competed against you guys?
NBK: I think they’re a solid team, but I think they are also very good on five maps and I think that’s what is holding them back in that sense. In a best-of-three, we can see that we have much more depth in our map pool. For example, we don’t play very good on dust2, but we still had a decent showing, 11 or 12 rounds that we won. It was a very shaky game for the most part. Then coming to train you can see that they were not confident in the map, and we played simple and with confidence, and that was enough in this game. Then in Nuke, again I think we had more depth than them and we had players firing on all cylinders, especially Zywoo that made like 40 frags on two maps again compLexity. It was harder to play compLexity because they have a much more intricate game style and LG is much more brutal in the waythey approach the game.
VPesports: Speaking of Zywoo, how much help have you guys with experience, you veteran players given him with being so new, but being so skilled. Do you guys give him a lot of feedback, a lot of criticism, or do you just kind of like off the leash, and let him do his thing?
NBK: I think there are two sides to it. The idea to put him into a position where he doesn’t have to think anymore, and he feels free to do whatever he wants in that controlled system and that’s the place we want him to be. He’s so clever in gaming, so talented, that we don’t really need to guide him in any way, but it is important for him to improve and its important for us to make him improvement and showing a way to be even better because we think very satisfying for him to be very good but to become better. We need to set him a path where he has to do different things to get better at some parts of Counter-Strike in general, like the team approach we have, and that’s what we are trying to do. He’s excellent, but I think we can make him much more efficient.
It’s like you have a kid , and you’re a teacher. You have to give him something. “If you do this, you’re going to get better. If you do that, you’re going to get better.” That’s pretty much the idea with him. He’s already very, very good, but you have to keep giving him objectives in order for him to move forward and thats the approach I have.
VPesports: For you personally, the French scene as of late has been kind of really up in the air with the G2 fiasco and things. For the longest time, you were on the best team in the French scene, and there wasn’t really question, right? There was one top team, but now it’s very up in the air. How does that impact you, or what does that mean to you, someone that has always been in the top and now, LDLC and G2, and there’s so much going on.
NBK: That’s what we signed for when we created our team pretty much. We knew we were going to start low but that’s not something I’m really afraid of, and that’s why I’m very confident leading our team and moving forward by creating something with our roster and with Vitality. I’m pretty confident that in our ability to build something long-term that we will win, and that we’ll be back to the top one.
We’re trying to create something new with our roster. That was the idea that I had when we started, and that’s what I’m trying to do with that. It is a process. I thought that we were going to qualify already with the Minor and stuff like that. Those are some problems. We won our first LAN which is like the counterpart so it’s okay. As you said, the French scene is quite open right now, and the first spot is all for ours to take. We’re not in the big leagues. We can just practice against those teams. but I think the reward is going to be even better once we make it. I’m 100% confident that it’s just a matter of time. We just have to keep on grinding, and at some point we’re going to grow bigger and bigger, and I’m not letting my thought of being the best French team go away. I was bench and now I’m building something better.
VPesports: Last question. Speaking of the Minor and things like that, you guys have proven you can play on LAN, you have the experience from a majority of the team playing on LAN, but unfortunately, the Minor is online. That has to have some sort of impact where you guys are like, “We know we’re good enough. We know we could do it,” but then there’s online play and that’s so risky.
NBK: I think we’re just being pushed a lot that are more free in the game and their part of Counter Strike. It’s not really an excuse because a lot of teams are like this right now, and we can not afford to lose to teams like this regardless of who they are. So we have to better in that regard. Best-of-one can be very hard because teams seem to have only five maps, so when we get to best-of-threes we have a huge advantage because we’ll have one map for free.
VPesports: And you have the chance to learn their tempo.
NBK: That as well. We have trouble setting our pace sometimes in best-of-ones and starting to really control the game from beginning to the end, and that’s what we need to really need to try to improve on. That’s our biggest flaw. We cannot change the system, so we just have to be better and win more. That’s what I said to the team in the beginning. I want to have a team that doesn’t find excuses. I want a team that finds solutions, and that’s what we have to do. Just keep on running and get better.
(Photo: Adela Sznajder / DreamHack)