Grady sits down with Evil Geniuses' in-game leader Walco to chat about the recent roster changes, the big differences with playing tier-one CS, and their chances against some of the big boys at ESL Pro League.
Grady: Hard to have an Evil Geniuses interview without talking about the massive shakeups in the team. How does that feel as a player with so much change up and uncertainty around who's gonna be in the team?
Walco: The feeling around like the roster changes isn't too crazy for me. It's funny that I'm the consistent piece, I've been on the roster for a long time and people have come in and out. It can be a little hectic sometimes, but I don't think there's necessarily an uncertainty. If you're a good teammate and you work hard, you're gonna have a spot on the team and people are gonna wanna play with you. It's that simple. Sometimes people will come and go due to circumstances, but that's just the nature of the game.
Do you think it affects the team when it comes to in-game, having the players swapped out, the roles swapped out?
Yeah, definitely, it affects the dynamic of the team, I have to adjust. I've been playing with a couple players here and there, HexT came back in to the lineup, I have an understanding of how he likes to play and what he wants to do. With newer people such as autimatic, who's the most recent player I've been playing with, it's definitely learning what they like to do, how they like to play, and you're always taking that into account no matter which players you're playing with. Luckily I've been playing with a bunch of these guys for a while now, so I'm pretty fortunate in that instance.
How do you like the combination that you've ended up with and that you're bringing to Pro League?
The combination of players we have is really good. I think we have a good mixture of aggressive and passive players. We're trying to figure out everything perfectly, integrating autimatic into the team, and figuring out what's best for us, but we have a good environment and we have good players and I'm confident in the squad.
Yeah it's a weird one, from a team name perspective you guys have come up to the main roster, but in reality autimatic is the new boy on the team. Has it felt any different to you playing for the main Evil Geniuses versus when you guys were, were EG Black?
It's definitely is a little different. I don't think the difference come from like the name value or anything, it's just the resources we're getting. Being able to go to Pro League and going to BLAST and like playing in the upper tier tournaments is really big for us. A couple of us haven't had the same amount of experience, so that's where the difference comes in. It's not necessarily the title we have, we're still trying to do us and trying to learn from the best as we get better and better.
As you come up into that tier-one CS, has there been anything that's surprised you with how similar or how different tier-one has been?
I don't think there's been anything too surprising. We watch a lot of the teams, so we can get better and learn from them. I think the biggest thing is just our individual prep as players and for the team has been improved upon. Especially with the help of our assistant coach maLeK, he has had a lot of experience, he's played with G2 for a long time, he is been a part of a lot of great teams - so we learned a lot from him. autimatic as well, we've learned a lot from. So the opponents that we're playing, it's not too crazy, it's not too different, 'cause we've been watching them for a long time and we pride ourselves in trying to play good CS.
Here at Pro League your first round against ENCE, bit of a tough draw, but how do you guys rate your chances heading into that match?
For our game against ENCE I would say rating is, it's hard to say, if I had a nail to the coffin, I would say we have like a 40, 50% chance. It depends on how we are feeling in the day. We have junior, he hasn't been feeling too well, he's a little ill. If we're all able to play well, we've already shown at BLAST when we had less practice, we were able to beat a top five team and we almost beat G2, I'd say we should have beat G2. As long as we're in the right mindset and we're having a good day and we're playing well, then I think we can beat anybody right now.
Looking at the rest of Group B, is there any team that you are excited to face, want to dodge, or see as a favorite?
Obviously Heroic is one of the best teams and they've been the best team, arguably for many months now. I would actually be excited to play them, and see how it feels to actually play them. We haven't had a chance to scrim them really at all when we were in Europe before. It'd be really exciting to play a lot of these teams, we haven't played many of them in officials. We've played MIBR back on home soil before, and we played them in CCT recently.
Being one of the lower ranked teams coming into this tournament, do you think that helps you guys and people might potentially overlook you guys?
Generally I would say yes. I think being a lower ranked team, a lot of teams will overlook people, but as of recent, there's been upsets more and more commonly. People and teams are really trying to prepare and they're trying to take all the games very seriously. Plus, I think with our showing at BLAST where we were able to actually almost beat two teams, we almost beat NiP and we almost beat G2, I think teams won't look past us. I think they're gonna see that we are capable of beating them, so they need to take us very seriously.
Taking you guys from where you are now to six months, twelve months down the line - what is that key thing that you are gonna have to bring to Evil Geniuses to see that success or to rise up in the ranks?
I think the thing that we'll need to bring for down the line is definitely just consistency. That's just the number one thing. A lot of these teams, and specifically us, have the talent and we've obviously shown how good we can be. We've shown a little bit of what our potential is, so we need to just keep building upon what we have and then we need to learn to use it when the circumstances are correct. We need to make sure that we're just playing very consistent, the things we're taking from practice, putting them into the game, and just believing what we've practiced, what we've built upon, and we can use that to succeed.