Slingshot’s Vince Nairn and Jarek “DeKay” Lewis caught up with Astralis’ Lukas “Gla1ve” Rossander during ESL New York last month to talk about the team’s dip in form and playing a LAN in his native Denmark.
Vince Nairn: What is difficult about being able to stay at the top once you get there?
Lukas “Gla1ve” Rossander: I think there’s different reasons for why it’s so tough to be on top. People are going to look at lot at you: why you are on the top and what you are doing so well, and they try to copy you. Maybe you don’t always have the answer for the things you start to do. Also when you get on top, it’s really hard to stay there because you start to think about other things. Let’s say you only focus on CS and then you get on top, you stay there for two months, then you want something else to achieve. You always want to achieve more, and then you start to think about different things and you start to put CS a bit in the back. Let’s say you play CS 95 percent, that’s enough for you not to be on top anymore.
VN: Do you feel like you guys had any of that effect? The 95 percent instead of 100 percent?
LR: Right now?
VN: At any point since you won the Major.
LR: I think we kept the 100 percent for one or two months after the Major, then we started to fall down in a hole where we started to focus about other stuff, I think, and not always the game. But I can’t say when and where it started.
VN: As the in-game leader, how do you go from here and figure out how to get back to the top?
LR: We discussed this within the team. Our coach is involved in it as well. I think we are pretty clear about what we are going to do and how we’ll achieve this goal, so now we just have to hope it works.
Jarek “DeKay” Lewis: And the funny thing is we talk about “not being at the top,” but this is only the first time you didn’t make the playoffs. Is it tough to keep that perspective?
LR: Yeah, I think so. I think this and especially the last event in Malmo hurt us really bad. We really want to get back on top, and we are trying a lot. We are working really hard when we practice. So we’ll have some different approaches we want to try, and we hope to get back there.
JL: With Kjaerbye, I’ve noticed a bit of a struggle. I think it’s been exaggerated, but he has struggled a little bit. Do you think that’s something personal with him? Or is it more the way the team is trying to adapt right now?
LR: I think Kjaerbye is feeling pretty unstable right now, and I think that’s fair to say. We all have these periods of time. I feel a little bit unstable as well. Not too much, actually. I think I played pretty well (in New York). I don’t look too much at statistics, so I don’t know if I did good in a statistical way, but I feel like I played OK. But Kjaerbye is a bit up and down right now, and he’s working really hard to find his level.
JL: How does the player break serve as kind of a reset for everybody? Did it come at a good time? Did you feel like you were able to use it well?
LR: I think it’s good to have a player break, and I think we used it pretty good. I don’t think it changed a lot for us. I think that the scene is just evolving that much, and we have a hard time following it, and I think we have been pretty unlucky as well with some of the matches. Some of the matches we could have won, like against Liquid (in the ESL One New York group stage). We had other events in the past, like in Sydney and London, where it’s just marginals that make us go out in semifinals and not make the finals of big events. We just keep believing and have the whole time. And we’ll just proceed from here.
VN: Is there anything you use from your past experiences to draw from to help the team in times of struggle?
LR: Yeah there definitely is. I know we should not focus too much about these losses. I have a pretty good understanding of why we lose, and if we play bad or play good. If we play bad, you have to do some changes. But if you play good (and still lose), eventually you will win something. We just keep our hopes high.
VN: You always seem to have a sense of calm and level-headedness. Where does that trait come from?
LR: I think I’ve always had that. If we lose, we lose. And if we win, we win. I’m also not too happy about the wins because I know that there will come losses. I’m just steady minded. I’m not sure where it comes from, but I’ve always had that feeling.
JL: You guys are going to have at least one but maybe two chances to play a LAN in Denmark. What will that be like for you?
LR: That’s going to be crazy. We have been waiting for this for a long time. We’re really excited about this, and we have set up some goals for our event, and one of them is definitely to play in the ESL Pro League finals and also to do well in Royal Arena.
VN: What do you think about going from three Majors to two per year?
LR: I think it’s fine to have two Majors per year. That’s pretty good. We have a lot of events, so it’s tough. I think three would be fine as well, but two is also all right.