Slingshot’s Vince Nairn caught up with Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth after Astralis’ ELEAGUE semifinal win Friday night against SK gaming to talk about the match and look ahead to Saturday’s final.
Vince Nairn: You are in your first final since March. How does that sound?
Andreas “Xyp9x” Højsleth: That sounds pretty good. It’s been a long road getting here, for sure. Adding gla1ve really made an impact, and that’s good to say now. We kind of were in that slump for almost (seven) months, but it’s really good to be out of that slump and winning like when we were TSM. Everything is great right now. Team spirit is high. People are confident in each other, and people can step up on any day, so that’s really good.
VN: And you guys all did (step up) in that game. You had that insane 1-v-3 in the first half. Seemed like everyone had a big moment. Did you kind of feed off each other?
AH: I don’t know. When everyone does good, it takes pressure off one another. It’s cool to see anyone can step up when needed, and that’s really what you want as a team. It doesn’t matter if you’re a support player, entry fragger or an AWPer, everyone needs to step up when needed, and that’s what we did today
VN: What went into your strategy picking maps? I think you caught a lot of people off guard with your choices
AH: We had a lot of discussion about it, and we wanted them to pick Train because that’s our best map. If they want to pick our best map, then sure. Do it. But about our pick, we discussed a lot. We had lost to them on Mirage before. We felt we were shut down on that map even though that’s one of their weaker maps. Then there was cache, and we don’t play cache that matchup. To be honest, it would be a coin flip. We figured we would go with overpass because that’s one of our confident maps as well. The problem is we both have similar good maps, so it’s just being the best team on the day. And that’s what we were today.
VN: You had to be expecting them to come back CT side on Train. You were up 13-3. Was there ever a point you started to worry? If so, how did you regroup and refocus?
AH: We lost some pretty stupid rounds, I’d say. That was hard on us, but we took some rounds and started to get our own game working again. We got to the (point) where we were just playing passive and just playing out the time and making them think that we’d do something extraordinary and just hit them. We didn’t do anything extraordinary against SK today. We played our game and that’s why we won.
VN: Obviously the biggest move of the year for you was getting rid of Karrigan, who ended up on FaZe, and bringing in gla1ve. It seemed like one of those situations where changing one player made two teams better. How did that sort of work out?
AH: For FaZe, they have lacked an in-game leader for so long, and obviously when they get an experienced in-game leader, they’ll trust him. They just have too much trust in him. And for us, we lost trust in Karrigan, his calling. And we lost trust in the team. Nobody was really believing and there were some internal issues. Then when we got gla1ve, he’s more strict in a way and he’s more — it’s more of a thing where he controls us way more than what Karrigan did. I’m not saying Karrigan didn’t control us at all, but we were kind of a lot more free to do what we want to do. Then when people wanted to do something inside the game, they kind of messed up the game plan, and Karrigan lost overview of the map, and it just crumbled from there. And it was really easy for us to get down in a hole we couldn’t get up from. But now, even though we lose some stupid rounds, it’s really easy for us to come back.
VN: yeah, it seems like gla1ve just has this confidence about him. Do you guys respond positively to that?
AH: Yeah. I think it’s really important that the leader of the team of tactician is a leader type of guy, who you respect. If there is no respect, you can’t be a leader. I feel that, and every teammate does as well.
VN: FaZe still has to beat OpTic tonight, but how odd, coincidental, funny, serendipitous would it be for you guys to play FaZe in a final?
AH: It would be amazing. It would be the biggest funny moment, funny match of 2016. I really want to play them. I’m sitting here, really wanting to play FaZe. I hope they win.
Cover photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack