Fresh off of their flawless start at the Season 10 ESL Pro League Finals DBLTAP’s Jarek “DeKay” Lewis talked with Evil Geniuses Counter-Strike: Global Offensive coach Chet "ImAPet" Singh. They discussed expectations moving forward, traveling more than any other team, and his bond with in-game leader Peter "stanislaw" Jarguz.
Jarek “DeKay” Lewis: You guys are flawless so far through the first two matches, have your expectations increased now that you’ve made it out of the group stage?
Chet "ImAPet" Singh: I think right now we are trying to start from scratch again and take things slow. Our goal initially was to make it out of groups, which we just accomplished. Now that we did that, we are just going to see if we can go any further by taking each game one at a time so we don’t get ahead of ourselves.
I think we have been putting too much pressure on ourselves lately and we just need to chill out since this is one of the last events of the year. We just need to take it slow and have fun with it.
JL: You mentioned on Twitter that you guys will have attended 24 events this year by the end, which is more than any other team. How much would you say that has had an effect on your performance recently with how close events are right now?
CS: I think it has had a huge effect on our performance. I think everyone on the team, including myself, is extremely burnt out. We haven’t practiced in a long time, which is affecting our confidence because we aren’t as prepared as we should be. There are so many factors.
There is the lack of practice, burnout, and the jetlag. Everything right now is kind of working against us so we are trying to do as much as we can with the time we have, which isn’t really a lot. We are making the most of it. If we can end the year and remain top three or even top five I think it’s OK because we know next year we will have a bootcamp and comeback stronger.
JL: How will you approach how much you travel then next year? Have you had any discussions among the team about that?
CS: I think we discussed that we want to make sure that we have a bootcamp for each of the million dollar tournaments like Katowice and Cologne and both Majors. When we approach the calendar here soon, we are going to make sure we participate in the right tournaments and make sure we have bootcamps for the biggest ones. We need to make sure we have four bootcamps minimum next year. That’s the minimum standard we are going to have for practice.
We are also going to make sure we schedule correctly around the player break so we don’t over-schedule and dip into that time. Mainly because we are going to have to cut into the break with a bootcamp for one of the weeks. We want to make sure everyone has enough time to recover and approach the season without being burnt out like we are this time.
JL: In October you guys had a brief period as the No. 1 ranked team on HLTV after winning StarSeries. Did that achievement cause you guys to feel more pressure trying to retain the spot afterwards, or did it relieve pressure because it was a long time goal of yours?
CS: I think it relieved pressure, winning that event and getting the No. 1 rank, because we had never gotten there before. We didn’t really know what we were capable of at that time, but now that we did it we know we aren’t always going to choke under pressure or crumble to the better team. We know we can beat the better teams and I think that gave us a ton of confidence. Any time we are in the playoffs, we aren’t that old NRG that choked in the semifinals consistently. We know what it takes to make it to the finals and take the whole event. Reaching that point made us stronger as individuals.
For the upcoming tournaments we are obviously trying to win everything, but like I said before we have kind of reset our expectations so we don’t get ahead of ourselves. We want to take things slow and maintain a top-three, top-five ranking right now.
JL: Tell me a bit about your relationship with stanislaw. I get the sense that you guys work extremely well together. How important has that bond been?
CS: Our relationship is super strong, I’m pretty happy with how things are going with him and I. When we do practice, we will discuss what we are trying to target ahead of time each day and what we are trying to target overall for the week. It could be map-wise or fundamentals, basics and reactions that we know we can set down. He has a lot of good ideas and we also have differing opinions sometimes which is good because that helps us create conversation with each other. That way we explore as many avenues as possible.
Our different perspectives help our team a lot but don’t ever get into discussions that don’t have conclusions. We are always finding some type of solution that we can both agree on that implement both play styles. Our performance overall is kind of the result of that work together.
JL: Now that it has been a little while since you made the switch over to Evil Geniuses, how would you describe the support of the organization? Have they met your expectations?
CS: Honestly, Evil Geniuses is probably the best org I have ever been in. They are super supportive. They are not afraid to spend money, which is good. They are always being aggressive, for example they got valens to be a data analyst for the entire organization. Eventually next year, he will be impacting our team and giving us statistics and maybe even a new demo program.
We can have a sports psychologist at events that we need them and there are just so many more resources we have never had before that we are looking forward to using. Next year is going to be a blast. They are going to do so much for us. They were recently purchased by Peak6, so they are kind of in a transition period right now. Once things settle down, it's going to be a super good time. It’s already amazing though. They are super structured and it feels almost like a super corporate job because you get all the benefits of a normal real life full time job. You don’t really get that anywhere in other orgs as far as where I’ve been.
JL: How do you or your players feel about the game of CS:GO as we head into 2020? Many people still aren’t happy with the way the game plays from an economic standpoint.
CS: I think right now the game needs another economy update. The Ts get too much money when they lose. I think they need to revert the Ts to $1,400 starting money, but for CTs it should stay the same at $1,900. CT side is just so much harder to bring it back and you can’t even reset Ts anymore. Sometimes it's hard to get in the game and the second round is already way too hard. They shouldn’t change any guns, but just change how money works. I think that’s the biggest thing and it would have a bigger impact than what they are doing now.