Slingshot’s Vince Nairn caught up with Ninjas in Pyjamas’ Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi before Wednesday’s ELEAGUE quarterfinals to talk about his wrist injury, rejoining the team and having stability for the first time in his career.
Vince Nairn: First of all, what do you think or your matchup tomorrow and your side of the bracket in general?
Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi: I think tomorrow is gonna be a bit tough, but we are very confident against Astralis because we have beaten them a lot of times before. They haven’t beaten us yet, so we’re hoping to continue that.
VN: What do you make of having such a stacked half of the bracket? SK or Dignitas await if you get past Astralis. Is that challenge something you let yourselves think about at all? Or do you throw that out?
JM: I think it’s a bit unfortunate, especially for the viewers, but I still think you have to beat anyone to win the tournament. Yes, it will be tough with SK and VP and everyone else there. It will be a challenge. But you’re gonna have to be the best if you want to win the tournament. (The bracket) doesn’t matter that much, but it’s still gonna be really hard.
VN: How is your wrist feeling since deciding to come back to the active roster?
JM: I haven’t had any problems since I came back playing active again. It’s been good, but i still have to make sure I don’t get any injuries in the future or get this injury back. So I guess I have to be careful and take it easy. I need to not think too much about it being fine. I just have to be careful.
VN: Is there anything specific you’re doing to take care of it and prevent it from getting hurt again?
JM: At the beginning I had this wrist (brace) at night when I slept. They basically made my problems at night (go away). I had problems at night. I had these really uncomfortable feelings when I was going to bed. Now they’re gone away. There are a few exercises I try to do. I take a small break every hour or so. Stand up and stretch a bit. Doing some exercises — don’t know what the proper name is — but they have helped. I’ve been trying to take it easy. Not trying to play too much.
VN: At what point did it start to feel better?
JM: I’d say it got better when the team went to ESL Brazil. Before they went away for ESL Brazil and ELEAGUE, I told them I felt better. They told me to just take it easy and come back for Oakland, so that was the plan.
VN: So when you missed MLG Columbus, you guys won DreamHack Malmo when you came back. Then you miss time this summer, and your first event back, you win IEM Oakland. How do you explain that funny coincidence?
JM: I know what you’re talking about. Before MLG Columbus, I practiced a lot with the team. We had some really sick tactics with the team. And then I had to miss it, so we didn’t use them. We used everything we had practiced when I came back. We had just used everything we prepared for MLG Columbus. It was kind of the same with Oakland. I have a lot of tactics. I think we have a really big playbook to use, and people don’t know what to do with that.
VN: This is the longest time you’ve ever spent on the same team. What does it feel like to just be able to find stability at this point in your career?
JM: It feels really good that I found a team I can feel comfortable with. In the past it has been problems with salaries, and it had to be your job so people had to commit full time (to other things) because they didn’t have enough salary. So we needed people to commit. I needed to have a team I had (a livable) salary with and not just be Tier 3 and have no salary. I just wanted to have a team I could have a full salary with. It was what I wanted to do. You couldn’t make that much back with a lot of teams. If I didn’t see that potential with that team, I would leave that team. I had to show up individually, which is hard. But I just kept working to find that team.
VN: And likewise, having that stability now, how has that affected your life away from the game? Is there anything you’ve learned about yourself now that you’re not having to fight for a sustainable wage at all times?
JM: Yeah. It’s obviously been stressful before when I played, and you just wanted to make something out of your life. I was thinking about going back to school. Now it’s easy. I have this as a full time job, playing CS. I do whatever I want to do. Now I can just play a lot and try to be the best. I didn’t have that luxury before. It’s been really good so far. I try not to make it too comfortable. But you try to have fun. That’s the most important thing.
VN: As a whole, your team seems to have that mindset that no matter what, you’re not going to get too high or too low. How have you guys been able to grasp that, which it seems a lot of teams necessarily don’t?
JM: It’s going to be really hard to be consistent for this event, I think, because we travel a lot. We didn’t have any time to practice. It’s going to be really hard to show the same consistency in our performance and our mindset as well. We have to take into account that we didn’t practice anything and it’s really hard. Play slow in the beginning and try to make up a lot more new stuff and things on the fly because we haven’t really had that much chance.
Cover photo by Adelan Sznajder/DreamHack