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valde: "There was a lot of pressure on us to perform"

Valdemar "valde" Bjørn Vangså was interviewed by StarLadder after his team North qualified for StarLadder Major Berlin 2019, following the victory over MVP.PK in the Play-in Stage.

valde interview

valde's North have advanced to
StarLadder Major Berlin 2019

The Danish IGL reflected on their loss against CR4ZY, talked about playing versus Asian teams, how he is handling the role of a captain, and shared some details on how they will prepare for the Major.

First of all, talk to me about the game against CR4ZY, which was the last series of the EU Minor. How did the team feel after that loss and how did it manage to recover from that?

I think all of us were really down after the loss against CR4ZY. I don’t think we ever got into the game. It was just a mess. There was a lot of chaos in that match. Obviously, there was also a lot of pressure on us to perform. I think we had some leftovers in our minds from the mousesports game. When you are not able to clear your head and play 100% and forget about the previous game, you bring it into the next game, and then, it affects you. 

I think we still had some issues from the mousesports game that we didn’t manage to resolve before we played the CR4ZY game. You also just got to give credit to CR4ZY. I think they have played a really good Minor. They ended up qualifying for the Major from the second place, so kudos to them as well.

Coming into the Play-in Stage, you knew that you would be facing an Asian team. The question is - how does it feel to be playing against teams from Asia these days?

Playing Asian teams is always different. We don’t get to play them as much. Maybe, it’s only once or twice per year when you get to play an Asian team. It’s always about doing your preparation, but you also have to be ready from the get-to because they always have a surprising playstyle. It’s a different experience, but I think that overall we were a better team [than MVP]. We were pretty confident coming into the Play-in Stage and we were sure that we were going to make it.

Comparing ViCi Gaming, who you faced at the previous Play-in Stage in Katowice, and MVP.PK, have you noticed any similarities in their styles of play?

I think the Koreans from MVP play a bit more like Europeans do. It’s more safe, more T-play oriented, whereas Chinese - ViCi, TYLOO, and the others - are doing a lot of crazy stuff. I think the Koreans are a bit more like we are, whereas Chinese teams like ViCi play pretty unpredictable.

This question is about your map pool. It’s about your Mirage, which has got worse over time. From your perspective, what is the problem for your team? How are you going to fix it?

You said it quite well, we had some issues with Mirage, but I think it’s nothing new for us to have a bad map. The only way to fix a bad map is to play it in scrims and officials. Eventually, you just have to win some games to become confident on it, but if you keep losing, it’s obviously going to stay in your head. I don’t think there is an easy way out apart from actually playing the map and winning on it. Mirage has actually been a good map for us in the past, so I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t become a good map for us again in the future. We just have to keep working on it and don’t be afraid to play it.

Sometimes being a captain is not only about calling strats. Sometimes a captain has to be able to cheer his teammates up. How good are you at it?

It’s tough to say (laughs). I would say I can definitely get better. Also, as you say, it’s one of the most important aspects of being a captain. It’s not really calling strats, it’s about the whole mental side and keeping everyone on a team on the same page. I still think we have a long way to go in terms of our mentality and the way we work, but overall, I feel like it’s also the responsibility of all players to keep the mood high in a team - not only of a captain. Of course, I always have a bit more responsibilities because I am a captain, but I think it’s a team effort in the end.

How are you going to prepare for this Major? Are you going on vacation, or it will be more about playing the game during the weeks prior to the event?

We will only have a few days off after we get home. We are going to fully prepare for the Major to come in as strong as we can in order to get a good result.

Are you potentially ready to go for a long run and spend three weeks in Berlin playing the Major? The same thing happened with Astralis at FACEIT Major and ENCE at IEM Katowice. 

I think we would be able to do it, but we don’t have any set-plans right now because we had all our focus on qualifying for the Major. Now, we are qualified, and we have to go home to make a plan for what is coming. I can’t really answer that question exactly because we don’t have any set-plans as of right now. We have to go home and prepare.

I think that all of us know that the Major is one of the longest tournaments of the year. As long as you keep that in mind, I don’t think it would be a problem. Sometimes I even think that it can be a good thing to stay in the tournament mode instead of going home and then coming back. Sometimes I actually feel like it’s a positive thing to stay in one place and just have your focus entirely on the Major.

valde was interviewed by StarLadder's @EllanarkJesus

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