Another day, another tournament for Astralis. This time, they’re competing in the playoffs at IEM Cologne 2023. Despite playing with a relatively new lineup, Astralis have been reaching new heights of success. b0RUP hasn’t been with the team long but he’s already made an impact. We spoke with him ahead of their quarterfinals match against Heroic, due to take place on August 4th.
Are you enjoying the tournament so far?
I’m loving it, I’ve been missing going to these big events. I say that like I’ve actually been to them before. I’ve obviously played a lot of them online during the Covid era but I’m loving it. I feel like I belong here at these big tournaments as well so it’s just a very pleasant experience.
I’m doing what I love doing and it’s one of the biggest tournaments in the year that’s not called a Major. So it’s just a real experience to be here we’re playing well at the same time.
At this point of the tournament, Astralis has already had a long run. You’ve gone through play ins and groups, how do you stop yourself from burning out?
I don’t think burning out is going to be on the table for a long time. I’m quite the grinder and I’m playing a lot as well as everyone else. We’re still in a very early phase of progress with the team and we all enjoy being with each other so much that we just don’t get tired of each other. We’re still so new together so it might be something else if we’d been together for years and just travelling so much but it’s just so nice and we’re loving it.
Obviously it’s still tiring preparing and playing so much but when you work hard, you earn so much more as well. It’s so rewarding when you actually go through the lower bracket like this with all the work you put in. We actually want to do it again.
Speaking of you being such a new Astralis roster, what did you guys do to build such a strong foundation as a team?
I don’t necessarily think that there was anything that needed to be built. I knew blameF from Heroic back in the day so there’s always been some laughs there and we spent some time together outside of the server. We knew each other. And I knew Buzz from a former team of mine when he was standing in so I know him quite well as well.
But besides that, the other guys of dev1ce and Staehr have played a lot of Faceits together and have been casually enjoying each other’s company. So their bond has already been made. It’s very easy to slide in and have fun with them. So there was anything that needed to be built in any type of way, we are just being ourselves and enjoying each other’s company.
About your Navi game where you had a close win and a decisive win, how do you keep your head in the game in such a high pressure environment?
We have an excellent performance team behind us. They are helping us to gain all of the small percentages that we can before a game, between every game and during every game. Obviously we had a busy day earlier in the day so it’s one hell of a long day. They had two as well. But I just think that our performance team is helping us so much to conserve energy, use energy and recharge ourselves between the games.
Obviously we need to do the things they are telling us to do and be very open minded about it but it’s very good.
During the group phase, we’ve been seeing a lot of big reactions during key moments in the game. How does it affect you when an opponent has such a big reaction when they beat you in a round?
To be fair, I don’t even really hear it that much. I’m not sure if that’s because they don’t scream high enough. The earphones we are wearing are very sound proof. So I’m not hearing a lot. Sometimes, I obviously do but if they’re yelling anything at me, it’s not like I can hear what they’re saying. I just hear some noise. I hope we’re yelling loud enough so they can actually hear us but no, it doesn’t get to me.
In the next round of the tournament, you’re going to be going up against Heroic, who are on a bit of a hot streak. How do you feel about playing against them?
I think it’s going to be a very good game. Obviously, they have stated that they’re not scared of us, which they shouldn’t be either. They are the better team and they’ve proved it the last two years. I haven’t been part of the rivalry. I have been on their side of it in the beginning and I have been playing against them for years. It’s going to be a very good game. But I do think maybe they are slightly scared of us. Obviously, it’s not something they can say. They don’t want to be open about it but I do think they have the most amount of pressure.
We haven’t done what we want to do yet but we’re not that result oriented. It helps keep us in the game and if they play better than us, then they play better than us. But if I feel like we did everything we could to get a decent result, we will be happy with that. We have accomplished so much already so we are just enjoying the moment and anything else will be a bonus.
Astralis will be taking to the stage on August 4th. They need to play against Heroic in the quarterfinals of IEM Cologne 2023 before they can move onto the next stage.