Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and his Natus Vincere has been in a rough period the last couple of months. Even though there have been glimpses of success, they've had troubles with converting it to titles. We got the opportunity to talk with Kovács about the reasons behind that, his view of the swiss format as well as their thoughts on the major overall.
You have since winning ESL New York been struggling to show a consistent level. Can you pinpoint the reasons for why that has happened and what you've done to work with that?
I think the main reason behind our awful period of time since ESL NY, was that we haven't had proper preparation at all. Every time an issue that broke the practice came up, we did not approach the process of preparing the right way at all. We tried hard to do things, but it doesn't work out without having a proper preparation.
It's been a while now since you replaced starix with Andi. What does Andi bring that starix didn't? How has it worked out so far?
Andi brought a lot into the team since he became our coach. He is working with the players individually, trying to help them improve their roles or positioning, he is looking for many things such as smokes, flashes and stuff that can help in an actual game. He is working hard, he is trying to make new tactics, watching demos, he is always analyzing all opponents before an official. He’s simply doing everything he can to make us better.
In a swiss format, you only know one of the teams that you're potentially playing against beforehand. How do you feel about not being able to thoroughly prepare for your group matches? How does it compare to other tournaments in the aspect of preparation?
That is true that you don't get to know your opponent beforehand, but at the same time, you approximately know which teams you could face, if the favorites win their games. But yes, it's quite hard to get ready for the opponent, especially when u get to play your game in the morning. But our coach is working even in the night to have something ready for us before the game, so in that case, we can be aware of some things. I kind of like this system, because you simply have to show your best to win the next game, so you have to prepared for any map, any situation.
You have a very good track record when it comes to swiss format, looking at the last major where you went 3-0 for example. Is that something you've reflected on? What is it with swiss that suits you well?
I have no idea why that is. At the Eleague major we had superb CT sides, that was our main focus before the event since we played pretty bad CT before that. But then in playoffs, we had to face Astralis the first game of the day and first playoffs game, and we lost, due to bad CT sides. So winning the group 3:0 means nothing sometimes, if you lose the first game in the playoffs. The best thing I like about swiss system is that you have to play your best to win, failing could guarantee going out of the groups. You have 2 chances to fail, but that is tough in a swiss system, you face random teams and from 15 teams, could be any team and that is quite huge pressure to play with.
In your first matchup, you were drawn to play G2, what are your thoughts on the match?
G2 is one of the strongest teams in the world nowadays, getting back on track and showing some strong results. But playing G2 feels more comfortable for us than facing SK for example, maybe our style suits to play against G2 more or something. We have defeated them in Cologne, after some crazy comebacks on both maps, and here I would say, maybe we have a little bit better map pool than they have. Looking forward to playing against them again, always a fun game!
What are your expectations overall for the tournament? What placement would you feel “satisfied enough” with, and why?
I think we gave everything we could to practice for this major, so worse than top4 would be a disappointment. For me personally, it would be a huge disappointment since I gave the game all the time I had to prepare individually better than I was for Cologne. Its been a long time we played some good CS, and now I feel we can show a little bit better than in Cologne. Lets see.
Any last words?