Before the breakup; Interview with Cr1t- at ESL One Birmingham
Image courtesy of ESL
The first of those interviews was with Andreas ‘Cr1t-’ Nielsen. This interview was conducted shortly after EG's elimination from ESL One Birmingham and just days before the huge roster changes between EG and OG. Cr1t- was very open and candid about the struggles of the North American giants and indicated that some adjustments were needed.
What are your thoughts on the patches coming every two weeks and does it make a big difference to your training?
Cr1t-: “I think it makes training less valuable and more instinctive. It can be both good and bad, it devalues people putting in a lot of hours to practice to learn a new patch but it is nice for the game to keep having new and fresh changes.”
Do you feel the patches have a big impact on the events?
Cr1t-: “It definitely does have an impact on the events, the teams that are in the playoffs are constantly changing compared to if it was still two-month patches. These teams having a good patch will not be at the top as long, it’s now shorter periods of teams that dominate.”
You are attending the China Supermajor, where a win could see you guys secure a TI8 invite depending on other results, what are your thoughts on that event?
Cr1t-: “I think for us, we are in a spot where we expect to play in the TI qualifiers. We aren’t going to China expecting to get more than top 8 there. I think most of us realize that ship has now sailed so we are going to go to China and just do the best we can, enjoy the tournament and try to improve as a team. We’ll see what we can get from it and then there is a small time till TI qualifiers for us to prepare. We want to use this tournament mainly to get better for the qualifiers.”
Do you feel there is anything to adjust as a team heading into China and possibly TI qualifiers?
Cr1t-: “We are definitely going to have to adjust. Right now we are not in a good spot, before this tournament we were really confident and that we had improved since Thailand, we knew where we had messed up there and worked on that but we started this tournament and it was kind of the same issues re-occurring again which is really frustrating. We are just going to have to move on from here and try to improve.”
There isn’t a great number of teams in the NA regional qualifiers, who do you think is your biggest threat going into them?
Cr1t-: “Depending on results, if OpTic win this tournament they will be in a direct invite spot. That’s one of the biggest teams gone. Another is VG.J Storm, who have to go through open qualifiers. They won a minor and came second in a major and they are a scary opponent. There are a couple of teams that could make it a hard time for us. Depending on how many slots we receive, it could be rough. There is also Complexity which is kind of in a weird spot right now, no one really knows where they are in terms of their support roles but they are a team that can perform, so we will see what happens but it’ll probably OpTic, VG.J Storm and us contesting for the TI slots.”
Do you think the NA region is now much stronger despite there being fewer teams, compared to previous years?
Cr1t-: “Oh for sure, even though this year has been our worst for a while it’s been a better year for the NA scene in general with three different teams winning a minor and two getting top 3 or 4 in a major. There is some really good results in the region this year, especially in the second half of the season.”
Last thing, are there any improvements you would make to the DPC system now the first year is almost over?
Cr1t-: “I think minors should be more valuable or at least make it so not all the top teams are going to them. For example, Newbee’s Genting win should have been worth more because all the top teams were at Genting so it was a much harder competition. I think just in general the minors need restrictions on how many of the big teams can go or they should just be worth more.”
It is interesting hearing his thoughts on qualifiers and the Supermajor just before the kicks of Clinton ‘Fear’ Loomis and Rasmus ‘MiseRy’ Filipsen, as he did not give any major indications of a big roster shuffle happening, but certainly could be seen as foreshadowing in hindsight. How much was already planned and confirmed at this point is not known obviously, but it does seem to fit the narrative that the changes happened very last minute and that they came as a shock to many.
Evil Geniuses will be attending the Supermajor at the start of June but due to them picking up two key players from OG, OG has now been forced to drop out. This has major implications on the DPC as OpTic now have been given one last chance to secure enough points for an automatic TI spot, taking OG’s place at the Supermajor.