By Taras Bortnik
Special to VPEsports
VPEsports had the opportunity to chat with Denis “electronic” Sharipov following Natus Vincere’s 2-1 victory over mousesports. The 20-year-old Russian Counter-Strike player discusses the series, how tight-knit the team is, and how Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhailov is adjusting to the team and a new role.
VPEsports: mousesports wasn’t an easy opponent for you. Did you expect so much resistance?
electronic: Honestly, yes. mousesports is a good opponent. They play great individually, but as a team, I think they still have room to improve. But in any case, they play cool, we waited for the fight and were confident in our victory.
VPEsports: The first map went into overtime so let’s start with how you you ended up in this situation and couldn’t win another round until the score was 11:15. What was going wrong?
electronic: I think that on the attack we simply could not find the key to their defense. We misused our preparations, the ideas — the performance was lame. We must also pay tribute to mousesports – they were ready for us. We tried to play fast, tried to play slow – nothing worked. But when we took one round, we understood how to proceed.
VPEsports: What exactly have you changed in the game?
electronic: Like I said, we didn’t perform our pieces well. In addition, it is difficult to play when you are constantly open fragged for an attack on Inferno. I will not say that this is impossible, but it is very difficult. In addition, mousesports for a long time did not give us a chance to even out the situation, they stood clearly in their positions, made executes.
Therefore, during the match, we came to the conclusion that if we simply fulfill our own ideas a little better, we can win. It seems to me that we are very well prepared for the tournament.
VPEsports: Dust 2 – your pick didn’t go your way. What went wrong? It felt like nothing was working for you guys.
electronic: That you correctly noticed. We couldn’t get a damn thing to work. We tried a lot – a lot did not work. At one point on Dust 2 we lost hold of the game, tried to return, but they pressed us too hard. I would say that we did not quite correctly prepare the map in advance, before the game began. For example, we watched their demos on Dust 2 when they first got together with this lineup. Now they play together for 2-3 months and therefore their game has changed. As a result, our expectations did not correspond to reality. Moreover, we performed poorly as a whole, both as a team and individually, and received a natural result.
VPEsports: The third map was Train. On the attack you won a lot of rounds, which is not typical for this map. Was this due to the fact that you have already played against mouz earlier in the group or something else?
electronic: I will say this, we are very confident in our Train. We were even ready to play it against mousesports in bo1 before because we are confident in our abilities. We understand how to make the right moves on defense and offense, for what timing to move positions. We feel comfortable playing on Train, but for the first time the match was tense – this was our first official game with a new roster.
Boombl4 is very nervous, even so far – this is his first tournament with us. He very much wants to show that he is worthy to replace Edward. Because of this pressure, he can not show a decent result. I remember myself when I first came to Na’Vi more than a year and a half ago, I also wanted to prove to everyone that I was worthy.
VPEsports: Did you have conversations with Kirill [Boombl4] this topic?
electronic: When Kirill just came to the team, I tried to share my experience with him. I tried to explain to them that it is very important to just play your own game. I can not say that we spoke directly about it with him, but a couple of times we touched on this topic. We all were very lucky in the team because a team such as ours is rarely seen on the professional stage.
VPEsports: What do you mean?
electronic: The fact that outside the game we communicate even better than in the game. We really enjoy spending time with each other. Other teams have a little more at another level, at some more professional level, you rarely see that they are teasing each other or something like that. The exception is Astralis, but they are more tied to the general pastime – they have breakfast together, go to the gym together and so on. By the way, I can add Liquid to this list. And the others I did not notice this, even though everyone often speaks in interviews about “family.”
Therefore, adapting to our team is easy. Everyone behaves naturally, encourages each other. In the team, there is no difference in the generations between Zeus, Kane and the rest, for example. Danya does not feel like an older person and he does not put himself above us. Same with s1mple. He is the best player in the world, and could easily be arrogant, but he does not feel this arrogance. Just the same person as everyone else. That’s why I think that we were all very lucky.
VPEsports: Boombl4 was the captain of his old team, but Zeus is the captain of Na’Vi. Does this cause any conflicts for communication during the rounds?
electronic: There is such a problem. But we are trying to fix it. Boombi4 is already speaking less in the game and we are trying to make him understand how best to talk in the game with us. Certainly it is clear that he used to be a captain and an in-game leader, but now he just needs time. He is a very strong player and man, he will cope.