Misfits fell short of qualifying for the New Legends Stage at the ELEAGUE Major: Boston, but in-game leader Sean Gares spoke with DBLTAP’s Vince Nairn after the team’s lone win of the weekend against Flipsid3 Tactics. The ELEAGUE Major continues at 10 a.m. Friday with the New Legends Stage.
(Note: The interview took place before Shahzeeb "ShahZaM" Khan announced his free agency from the team)
Vince Nairn: What went well for you guys during the match today?
Sean Gares: Everything went right according to plan. We had a very different game plan today than typically on Overpass. I think that threw them off, as I thought it would. We didn’t have many A hits. EPL we had a ton of A hits. Also saw a couple weaknesses in very old B setups. I was kind of using that as a template, but not anti-stratting it, really.
VN: What has kind of been the story of Misfits for the past couple months as you prepared for the Major?
SG: I think the story of the last couple of months is roles falling into place really well. People understanding how to trade rounds. I’m more comfortable as an in-game leader giving freedoms, but I also know when I call rushes, people are gonna stick together. I think it’s just a lot of hard work, honestly. A lot of criticisms from me. I’m sure my teammates are sick of hearing my voice, complaining. But typically when we have problems, we talk it out. I think it’s definitely worked out well.
VN: What has surprised you most about the team heading into the Major?
SG: It’s hard to say right now because as an in-game leader, I always think we could be better prepared. The playbook could be deeper. There’s a lot of things I’d like to implement to our CT sides. I think we could get a lot better than we showed right now. I feel like we’re a raw a lot of times in how we play. But I think we can hang with almost any Tier 2 team right now in my opinion.
VN: What do you think about the Major being expanded to include 24 teams?
SG: I think it’s great for the scene because I always thought there was a problem with spreading the wealth. Making this new investment money coming into the scene have a place. I was a little worried about it on Echo Fox. We weren’t really built to be a Major team. It was never designed for that. Even if it was, could we have gotten one of 16 slots? It’s very hard. It prevents a lot of money from coming into the scene (to get back out to teams and players). I think Valve did a good job with it being two separate stages. If you earned the right to skip this stage, you have an advantage. Teams (playing this weekend) are at a massive disadvantage. You get an extra week of games to watch and prepare from. So I think the new format fits everyone well.
VN: There’s been some angst among fans that saying 24 teams are “Major” teams kind of waters down the meaning. But you’re saying it’s a bit more big-picture than maybe they realize?
SG: They’re looking at it from a competition point of view and I’m looking at it from the game needs to stay alive. I understand that point of view, but I think dollar-wise this is something that’s important for the sustainability of our game.
VN: How has the last year or so gone for you? I know there have been some ups and downs, but how have you gotten to where you are with this team?
SG: To be honest, where I stand right now, I’m quite lucky. After the whole peacemaker saga within Misfits, things are better. I wanted to quit in the middle of the year. I did not want to play CS. I had the lowest motivation I’ve ever had for CS. When we collapsed against EnVyUs (at DreamHack Valencia), I thought literally the team was dead at that point.
Then the player break happened and could not have happened at a better time. We came back reinvigorated and just hit the ground running. Really good boot camps after that. Roles changed a little bit, and I think everyone was just prepared to move on (from the summer) at that point.
The interview was slightly edited for clarity
Photo by Adela Sznajder/DreamHack