A win at BLAST cemented them as a top contender, but what have OG shown so far at IEM Katowice and where will they go? We talk to nexa about how much that win meant (or didn't mean) to their momentum here in Poland.
OG made the decision to bring in a new in-game leader for the 2022 season, exchanging Aleksi "Aleksib" Virolainen for Nemanja "nexa" Isaković of G2 Esports. Thus far, the trade seems to be paying off: the team went undefeated through the BLAST Spring Groups and finished with a 1.22 overall team rating, the highest at the event. As they arrive in Poland, the question to ask is clear: can they do it again?
When asked, nexa had some particularly interesting thoughts on the importance of that victory:
Josh: You guys got off to a really good start this year by winning BLAST undefeated. I was wondering how important that win was for this team – especially with a new IGL – in terms of building momentum towards Katowice?
KRIMZ: I don't think the win was so important. I think it's really nice to start off a season on a good note, but BLAST was never our main focus and our main goal, it was more like: we have a week and a half of practice, let's see what we can do, let's see where we stand, where our map pool is, where we have to improve. So we were kind of testing ourselves. I think it's really great for us that we managed to qualify directly for the finals and not have to go through showdown and go at it the hard way. I think, overall, it's really great that we won, of course it builds confidence but it was not our goal at all to perform well at that tournament or have any set expectations coming into that event.
However, it is now clear that BLAST was anything but a fluke. Although things looked uncertain in their opening game against Renegades, OG was able to stabilize and close out the game 19-16. They only improved from there, defeating ENCE in a convincing 2-0 series to earn qualification into the group stage. The Spodek is now within touching distance, and OG looks to be in prime form to make it there.