Slingshot’s Vince Nairn talked to Emil “Magisk” Reif after North picked up its first win of the ELEAGUE Major in overtime against HellRaisers to avoid elimination and advance to the final day of group stage play.
Vince Nairn: When you’re down to your final point, 15-14, what’s going through your head as you’re trying to win that last round to force OT?
Emil “Magisk” Reif: It’s never fun being one round from being eliminated from the Major, so it was pretty intense. You get a bit nervous because it’s a really important round. We tried to stay calm, and we had a good feeling what they were going to try to do in the last round. I was pushing A because we thought they had most success against B. So I took some info peak in A, and we kind of knew they were going B. It was kind of a gamble, but it paid out.
VN: Yeah how did you kind of keep your composure there? You drop your first two maps, and now you’re losing to HellRaisers. How did you stop it all from spiraling at that point?
ER: When it’s such an important match, you never get tilted because every round counts, and you need to stay focused every round. We tried to do our best communicating and trying to do the right calls and out play them. But they played really well, and it was a bit more intense than I would have liked.
VN: What has been the biggest struggle for you guys this week trying to get back into form?
ER: It’s probably that our individual level has not been that good right now. We need to step that up, but I think it’s gonna help when we start winning some pistol rounds as well because the first two matches, we lost all four pistol rounds, which is normally something we are very good in. We get some great momentum and get rolling. But I think if we can start winning some more pistol rounds and get more momentum, it will help us in the individual level as well.
VN: You guys were in America for a long period at the end of the year. You take some time off. Join a new org. Now you’re here for the Major. How would you sum up the last few weeks?
ER: We had some time off around the holidays, so that was really nice to get some time home and be together with the family because we hadn’t seen them in such a long time. So that was really awesome. But there’s also when you take those days off, you can feel it in your game. We hadn’t played official matches before the Major. It’s been a long time since we played official matches where you can kind of figure out where your level is. How good are you right now? When you don’t have those, it’s kind of hard to figure out how good it is. So for us, we were kind of doing fine in practice. We were beating Na’Vi, SK, FaZe. We’re beating all the top teams. But when we came here, it was a bit different from playing practice and official matches.
VN: What’s it been like switching orgs and now being under FC Copenhagen
ER: I’m not really a (soccer) fan, but it’s really nice. They’re really professional. They’re taking really good care of us, which is also the reason we wanted to go there. The standards in Denmark and how you treat the players and stuff like that is much higher than we would get any other place. And of course it’s really nice to play for such a big football club.
VN: With this being your first Major, what has that been like to experience so far?
ER: It’s really awesome. It’s much bigger than I would have expected. Every time you play, you look at the scoreboard. There’s like 700,000 viewers looking, and you’re like OK. This is really big. So it’s really nice to finally play my first Major, but I can feel it in my game as well that I’m a bit more nervous than normal. That’s of course the downside of it, but it’s really amazing to be here.
Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE