Slingshot’s Vince Nairn caught up with OpTic’s Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz after defeating mousesports 2-0 to reach the semifinals of ELEAGUE, where they’ll face FaZe Clan.
Vince Nairn: What are your overall thoughts on taking that match and reaching the semifinals?
Peter “stanislaw” Jarguz: Really hyped about the win. I think after our DreamHack result, we were really down and had to just mentally reset. Coming in here, we just wanted to play our game and just point out the mistakes we made in the previous event We just went back to simple CS, and we knew we would win because we’re good at the fundamentals and all that.
VN: You are one of a few teams that have had some up and down results lately. You had New York, which you did pretty well in, the group stage here and winning Northern Arena. Also the struggles at DreamHack. Do you think that’s more because of what you guys are doing? Or is that a symptom of the kind of unpredictability going on right now?
PJ: I think it’s more on our end. When people watch our games, you can see we either play really bad or we can compete with the best of the best. So it’s more on our end. We just added Tarik, too, so we’re still ironing out what we want to do for the future. It’s starting to go well. We’re figuring out all the spots. We’re expanding our map pool, so honestly it’s just on our end. We need to keep practicing and become more consistent, and eventually we’ll get there.
VN: Yeah what was that whole kind of transition period like? With Tarik coming in, you leaving and then coming back?
PJ: I was pretty bummed because I knew we could become a top team, and all the hard work I put in. But they called me back up, and I was excited to play with Tarik because I’ve never played with him but I’ve always admired his play on CLG. I was pretty excited to come back.
VN: What were the emotions like for you in those two weeks? Were you surprised they wanted you back so soon after letting you go?
PJ: Yeah, it came as a surprise because it was so quick. It was “We don’t want you, but now we want you again.” Emotion-wise, we just all bounced right back and went into practicing again. It wasn’t weird or anything.
VN: Likewise, what has it been like playing with Tarik? What are the things you’re doing or tactics you’re implementing as you shape the roster?
PJ: Well they brought me back so I could be the in-game leader, and I’m trying to implement my philosophy, which is a lot more freedom and people working toward their strengths all the time. Tarik’s a type of player I notice who really, if you let him loose — same with Mixwell as well. If you let them loose they’ll just tear heads off. So that’s what I’m really trying to focus on. We’re trying to play really basic team CS, and it seems to be working out.
VN: What do you think of Mixwell? His ascent to get here from where he started is kind of interesting. What has he added to the team?
PJ: Mixwell is just extremely competitive. All he wants to do and all he cares about is winning. You can see he has an insane amount of skill, and it shows. All we really try to do is make him as comfortable as possible. The language barrier, some people think we have problems communication, but his English is fine, honestly. Everything seems to be working out with him. He’s a great teammate.
VN: The semifinals are going to be you against FaZe or VP (Editor’s note: FaZe Clan won 2-1 later in the day to earn the right to play OpTic). VP has been one of the best teams in the world, and FaZe has started to come on strong. What do you expect out of your semifinal matchup?
PJ: Between FaZe and VP, I expect VP to win. Just their experience I think will carry them through. FaZe s still ironing stuff out. But it’d be really exciting to play either team.
VN: ELEAGUE is one of the biggest tournaments in the year and you’re here — definitely as an underdog — in the final four. And people can say whatever about having an easier group or playoff bracket, but how does it feel to be that team to make this run?
PJ: After our DreamHack result, we just wanted to prove that we’re not as bad as we played there. In terms of our bracket, we got kind of lucky with the Mouz draw. If you look at the other side of the bracket, it’s stacked, but to get here, we still had to beat EnVyUs. We beat Fnatic, though they had Jumpy. But we still did our job, and now it’s just onto the semifinals, and I’m pretty confident we can put up a good fight and show everyone how good we are.
Cover photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack