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NBK on Major format: “I think it should be still seeded until we have some logic to the matchups because, I mean, poor OpTic.”

Slingshot’s Vince Nairn talked to EnVyUs’ Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt after Tuesday’s win against Godsent on Cache at the ELEAGUE Major. Envy (2-1) is one win from qualifying for the playoffs.

Vince Nairn: What’s your mentality when you’re 1-1 and going into a match where you obviously don’t want to find yourself on the brink of elimination?

Nathan “NBK-” Schmitt: We’re just worried about which opponent we were going to get, and facing Godsent was fine with us. Their players, we have a lot of history with, so they know how we play. We know how they play. And we knew which map it was from the get go, and when it went Cache we were obviously pretty happy. And when you’re 1-1, that game is really important because it gives you — it’s everything. It brings you closer to playoffs and it brings you one step farther from elimination.

VN: You had the insane match against Liquid on the first day. What has the feel been like for you getting back into it after a break?

NS: The game against Liquid was a lot closer than it should have been because we should have closed the game at 16-7, whenever JDM got his 1-on-5. But aside from that, the loss against Na’Vi, they were far better than us. So we didn’t really take it as a hard loss. We really couldn’t adjust anything. They were far above us. It’s pretty long when you play in the morning, especially when you lose, because you have the whole day to wonder what was going on. But now that we won this game, today is going to be much more relaxed.

VN: What do you think of the Swiss format for the Major?

NS: I like the Swiss format. I don’t like the randomness. I think it should be still seeded until we have some logic to the matchups because, I mean, poor OpTic. If OpTic would have faced North on the elimination game, that would have been a fucking disaster for them. (The format) has its flaws, but overall I think the main problem is technically we only play three games. Randomness plays a part in there, but if you play four, five games or have a system like The International, where you play every other team, that would be the perfect system.

VN: Coming off the end of the year, you won WESG. What kind of boost did that give you guys coming here?

NS: It’s definitely a good thing. It kind of swipes off 2016, where we absolutely fucked up the whole year. We couldn’t win anything relevant, and all of the things that go around it — no increase in confidence in whatsoever, etc. — so at WESG, although not all the top teams were there. VP was good, and even Epsilon and Space Soldiers, the Turkish teams, they especially played good. It was good to see we can win tight games and come back no matter what.

VN: One win away from the group stage. Is it different playing early in the day? You can watch everybody and try to prepare, but is there a point where you’re over-immersing yourself if you do that?

NS: I think it’s bad if you are 100 percent into every single game. You need to basically watch a game, and if there’s one thing that comes up that’s nice if you see, then you keep it. But aside from that, I think it’s great to be not too focused (on the other games) and just try to take things away. You let the games run in the background because you want to be updated, obviously. The good thing playing in the morning is you don’t have the pressure of seeing other teams and what’s going to happen. Now that we played our game, we can stay calm and just try to play our best game. From there, now we have the whole day to figure out what happened and who we’re gonna play.

VN: There has been talk for the last month — and even before that — about the French shuffle and what’s going to happen with you guys. How do you handle all of that extracurricular stuff while trying to focus on the Major.

NS: The only thing is just we don’t read whatever is written, whatever the people are posting of speculating on. We just take that out of our mind and just play the tournament as if it was any other. We’re here to go as far as possible, and game after game, we’re gonna try to win each and every one. That’s the only thing that matters to us.

Cover photo courtesy of Turner Sports/ELEAGUE