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Hazed after Gamescom: ”As soon as we got eco’d it put us on tilt”

av Tobias Lundgren
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CounterLogic Gaming at Gamescom. Photo: Helena Kristiansson / ESL

After losing four straight matches at Gamescom, CounterLogic Gaming became the first team to get eliminated from the IEM tournament.
And looking forward to the ESL One major in two weeks, the team knows what they have to improve on until then.
– As soon as we got eco:d it pretty much put us on tilt. We gotta go back and talk about our eco rounds, that’s our number one goal, James ”Hazed” Cobb tells Aftonbladet Esport.

The new format at IEM Gamescom has claimed it’s first victim as CounterLogic Gaming were eliminated on friday after losing four straight games against SK Gaming, Team EnVyUs and Team SoloMid. But despite their short run in Cologne this time around, James ”Hazed” Cobb and his team is still seeing the bright side of playing a tournament so close to the ESL One major.
– It was definitely our worst maps, but we needed this because we can see the holes in our game. So it’s alright losing the way we did. We got eco’d a lot and if we didn’t get that we would’ve probably won against EnVyUs and Team SoloMid so it’s a little disappointing, but whatever. We’ll just move on.

You had the lead against both those teams but ended up losing anyway. Where did the games slip out of your hands?
– As soon as we got eco’d it pretty much just put us on tilt. We started playing scared and we weren’t playing our game. It got to us and we were never able to come back. Especially on Inferno against EnVy, it’s such a hard map to come back on as T. Once we got eco’d we lost control and they just took over.

”We’re gonna figure out what went wrong”

Noticing their difficulties with the eco rounds, Hazed says that’s where they’ll put the focus leading up to ESL One.
– We’re gonna go back and talk about our eco rounds, we get eco’d so much. That’s our number one goal, we gotta stop it. We’re gonna work on some setups and our theory about how we play those eco rounds, and then from there we’re gonna watch every match, all the demos. We’re gonna figure out what went wrong other than the eco’s, plug up those holes and just try to play a lot. Probably more than we’ve ever played before. Hopefully we can get ten hours of scrims a day. I don’t think any other team in NA is gonna let us, but…

How much does it mean for your preparation to get a tournament like this so close to the major?
– We’ve never gotten to bootcamp ever, so this was kind of a miniature bootcamp. We wanted to play more than just four matches but since the quality of the teams is so high it’s alright. We’re ok with it. It’s great preparation even though it might not be maps we play. It definitely shows we’re not as bad on these maps than we thought we were, so our map pool is bigger than what we’d expected. It’s very good going forward for us to the major. We got some stuff to work on, but we’re not in a bad spot like we thought we were.

”We’ve definitely evolved as a team”

A couple of months back, CLG moved in together in a team house. Hazed says that he’s already noticed a development in the team since the move, even though they’ve barely had time to live there because of a hectic travelling schedule.
– We’ve definitely evolved as a team. It’s so much more progression in your game when all of you are in the same house and you can look at each others screens and talk to each other in person. It’s hard to explain I guess, I can’t really put it in words but it has definitely helped us. For me personally it helps me understand how my teammates are playing and their logic behind why they do certain things. You can do that online, but for some reason it’s different when you’re on LAN.

There was a lot of talk about the North American teams’ communication during ESL One Katowice. Is that something you’ve worked hard on since then?
– We got a lot of flak for our communication, and I guess deservedly so. We’ve worked on it and we’ve made it to where we’re trying to have precise comms rather than just calls. Our problems before was that we weren’t calling at all, and then we started calling too much, we couldn’t hear. We weren’t focused on our shots. So we’re trying to be precise with our calls, at this event we were better but we’re still lacking.
– What’s gonna help us is if we can get to where everyone knows the strategies and are on the same page before we can leave the spawn. A lot of times when we leave spawn it’s 10-15 seconds where we’re talking about what the start is gonna be, so instead of hearing footsteps, which would be really vital and helpful to our game, we’re talking constantly. We can’t hear what the other team is doing, so that’s definitely something we need to work on. Because coming out of spawn, sometimes we don’t even know what we’re doing.

”It was a huge confidence boost for us”

The last couple of months, Cloud9 have made three international finals in a row. Something Hazed says has inspired them to perform even better.
– We are definitely inspired by them. I have a lot of American pride, you know. I always root for all North American teams and when we started seeing them doing good we were like: ”Dude, we play this team really close online and 16-13 is like our average score against them”, so when we see them getting second we’re like: ”We could be getting second, that’s crazy”. So it was a huge confidence boost for us, definitely.

Have you noticed the skill level in North America go up because of the ESL ESEA Pro League?
– I wouldn’t say it’s just that league, it’s the amount of leagues and all the opportunities that have come up. And now teams are getting salaries. That has really helped because it made people that were half in it and half out… like going to school, now they just drop it and they’re like: ”let’s play CS and practice”. There’s more teams to practice against now and more time to practice and it has really helped our scene.

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