Slingshot’s Jarek “DeKay” Lewis caught up with Dan “apEX” Madesclaire after G2 won the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals in Dallas, Texas.
Jarek Lewis: You guys probably came here expecting to win right? Did you expect to win 3-1 or did you think it would be much closer?
Dan “apEX” Madesclaire: North has the same map pool as us other than our permabans so we were really confident in the maps we knew we would play. Their play style is pretty much the same. We expected everything they did. It was easy, not that easy but easy. They started strong on Cache. K0nfig wrecked us a few times, especially on B site but we knew that our T side would be really good so that was OK. For Overpass, it was a disaster losing both pistols but encouraging almost making the comeback. On Cobble and Inferno, we knew there was no way we would lose. Even though our Inferno is a bit shaky, our CT side is really good and they are not that good on it. Cobble is one of our best maps and we are just really good on it so we were really happy they picked that for the second map. We knew we were better than them, we just had to play our best and that’s it.
JL: Something I noticed on a lot of maps you play on CT side, you guys play in pairs and are always there to support each other. There wasn’t ever a time one of you peeks alone without someone backing you up. Is that a specific play style? Is it your great communication or is it something else?
DM: Two weeks ago after DreamHack Tours we had some trouble as CT and we talked a lot together about all of our maps to get better. Even though our CT wasn’t that bad, it was still shaky. We decided to play together more similar to how you play T side: slow when you have the advantage, peek when you have information. When they take a zone, you take a different zone. There is a lot of team play in our CT side. Some teams play too much individually, like North. They are really good but on CT they are playing alone too much.
JL: I think a lot of people would agree with me that KennyS is the best AWPer in the world, is there a specific reason you believe he has become so good again?
DM: When we started this team, I told myself that I would try to support him as best I could because we always play together on CT and T side. I just try to get him to the best positions, flash for him and go first for him. I think it’s working really well. It worked that way when we were on Titan together. It was much different when we were on EnVyUs because Happy didn’t let him do what he wants. Now he can do what he wants, wherever he wants, and I’m just trying to help him. I don’t know if people see it, but I’m trying to do my best to help him.
JL: With Smithzz, how do you view him as a coach?
DM: In France, we have big egos. That’s why we never had coaches for our teams. But when we created this team, it was really eight guys. We wanted eight guys. In France, we really needed a coach, but the coach we had we didn’t respect a lot. Smithzz is the oldest pro player in France. He has the biggest experience. He knows how to win because he won for years. He just knows everything. We’re just listening a lot to him and we’re trying to do what he says. Even if he still (needs time to grow), he’s already really good. He has the good words. He knows us really well. He knows how to put us in a good position. I think if it continues that way he can be the best coach we can have. If you want to have a good coach, he has to be an old pro player. It’s not about tactics or strategies. He knows how to win. He gives us advice and it hypes us up to win.
JL: Moving forward, let’s say you make it through the qualifier and make it to the Major: Is there a team that you want to see or would like to play right now?
DM: For me, the perfect one would be beating SK in quarterfinals, FaZe in semis and Astralis in the final. We hope to be the best team in the world. We’re trying to be (the best), but we don’t have much pressure for this Major. We won this event. That’s nice. But we don’t put too much pressure on ourselves. If it’s not this Major, then it’s going to be the next, and the next. We just see our team in the long term and trying to work like that. The biggest thing is to go through the group stage. Quarterfinal is the goal. If we do that, the rest is (on top). If we go through, anything could happen.
JL: What did you think of this event from a player standpoint? It seemed like ESL treated everybody really well.
DM: Yeah, I’m really happy with this event. ESL was at the top for years because they were the only one who had the best things in the world. But now there’s ELEAGUE, ECS. Some are just giving us the best conditions ever. I think ESL was a bit behind them because many things weren’t that good here. We never had practice rooms, which is really important for us. We have to prepare ourselves. This event, we had (a) room to play whenever we want. They just took care of us really well. It was perfect. Even if we didn’t win it, they took really good care of us.
JL: I saw you in here yesterday (watching the semifinal between Team Liquid and North), and you were very enthusiastic when watching the game. Is it always like that just watching the game? Some players, they like to play the game. But you can tell after a while they get tired of it. It seems like you’re always enthusiastic about it.
DM: I’ve always been motivated in my life, except maybe two months in my entire career. I started in 2007 and I never had that happen. I was that emotional for the game because I wanted Liquid to win. North, we’re not friends at all. We don’t like each other.
JL: You’re not? I saw the playing back and forth, but is that actually serious? You guys don’t like each other?
DM: We don’t like each other. We think they are way too cocky. They won EPICENTER, and after that, it was impossible even to talk to them. We have a lot of French players who have achieved like 15 more (wins) than them, and they are not that cocky. We don’t like cocky people. Just for an example, SK. SK has never been cocky at all. They are just the best guys. So motivated at all time. They never talk bad to anyone, and that’s all we have to be. North’s not like that, and that’s why we don’t like them. We wanted to win this so much. It was really important for us not to lose this. We wanted to do a timeout at 15-3 (in the fourth map) just to make them feel really bad. We wanted to. We didn’t do it. That’s cocky, and we didn’t want to be cocky. So we talked and said no.