Slingshot’s Vince Nairn and Jarek “DeKay” Lewis caught up with Natus Vincere’s Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev during ESL One New York to talk about the team’s form, playing against Ladislav “GuardiaN” Kovacs and the recent success of his former teammate Tomáš “oskar” Šťastný.
Jarek “DeKay” Lewis: What did you guys expect to do at this event?
Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev: We expected to make semifinals at least. We had not a strong group as Group B, but we didn’t make it. So yes we are frustrated because of results. But we didn’t deserve to go to semifinals. We played very bad.
Vince Nairn: What is the main area where you guys think you need to improve right now?
OK: We should improve our individual skill. That’s my opinion. Because everyone is better than us right now.
JL: Is it hard for you mentally when you have a game where you get 30 kills in a map and you play well but the team still loses?
OK: After losing, I always think where I can play better in some situations because we lost 2-v-4 two times at the end of the games (to Cloud9), so I’m just trying to see what I can do better. Maybe just try to play a little bit safer.
VN: Going through moments like this where you aren’t playing that well — it happens to everybody. Is there anything you draw from past experiences that helps you get through these moments?
OK: If you’re losing a lot, and you know that you need to practice, and you practice enough, you know your day will come. We’re just gonna wait and practice for this day.
JL: Is it weird seeing GuardiaN on another team?
OK: It’s weird that I see him in FaZe jersey. It’s not weird to play against him, but I don’t know. It’s just competition so I don’t care if he’s in other team. It’s just (like) playing against any team.
JL: One of your old teammates, Oskar, I know you guys didn’t always get along, but have you seen the form he’s been in lately? What do you think of his surge?
OK: Yeah, they are playing good but he has a different style of AWP play. He’s not like FalleN or kennyS. He stays behind enough to be in clutch situations. He’s good at clutch rounds, so it’s a good role for him in mousesports, and he’s playing better and better every tournament.
VN: Who are players you kind of looked at to emulate? Are there any specific players you look at in that respect?
OK: I watched coldzera before when I played his position. I just saw some micro situations, macro situations. Now I need to watch new spots in the AWP role. It’s kind of hard for me, but I watch now AWP players like kennyS and Oskar. I need something new because I didn’t play this role for two years.
JL: Are you happy about moving into that role?
OK: I was happy before, but now I understand that AWP is more easy to play as AWP in some positions. You’re just free on your map. You can do whatever you want. But in (the other) position it’s really to control some positions. You need to communicate to players who’s holding with you. It’s much harder than AWP. It’s harder for me with AWP as well because it’s my new position.
Cover photo by Helena Kristiansson/ESL, eslgaming.com