Gnaske speaks to esports.gg during the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs in London. He admits that having his full roster is giving him confidence.
Casper "Gnaske" Præstensgaard is a standout star of the Apex Legends scene. A born performer, a fan favourite and one of the ALGS's most outspoken personalities.
He is heading into the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs with an impressive third place in the EMEA ALGS Pro League. He has had some LAN success, with a 5th place at the ALGS Championship in Raleigh. However, he didn't find his best form last time in London finishing 26th.
esports.gg spoke to Gnaske after his first Group Stage matches.
Gnaske responds to MaTaFe
During the last Pro League and International Scrims, a rivalry has developed between Gnaske and Vexed Gaming. Speaking to esports.gg, Vexed IGL MataFe said that those who ctiticise him are "lesser" IGL's.
"Everyone will agree I'm a better IGL than MaTaFe. And I mean... If you're not subjectively agreeing, you can objectively agree based on results. I'm miles ahead." *laughs*
Managing responsibilities as an IGL is challenging
MaTaFe also drew attention to now IGL's have so much on their plate in game. They have to micromanage their teammates, strategize their next move all while playing the game themselves. How does Gnaske manage so many responsibilities?
"Well, I try to manage it, but I don't think I manage it too well. But it's hard as an IGL because you're focusing on the IGLing part, making sure your team-mates are doing what you want. If you look across most teams they don't have a mechanically good IGL. And I think that's just because you have to focus on so much other stuff than just making sure that you're winning your trades. Previously, before, with GSC, when I was just fragging, it was much easier. You're just focusing on winning your trades.
I want to say I manage it well, but it's hard. It's a lot of things to do. That's why my mechanics aren't peak, I would say I'm average mechanics-wise."
Differences between LAN and scrims benefitting KCP
Like many teams, KCP have shared frustrations about the quality of International Scrims. That can result in some challenges when teams adapt their LAN strategies overnight.
"I was surprised [about the differences] in a beneficial way towards us. We weren't surprised in the negative way. There was a Ship Fall ending in game three, where SAF, who land Ship Fall, didn't go for the buildings, which is like the second best spot in the zone. We wrapped all the way around from Mill and we got it. So I was pleasantly surprised that we could get it for free. I don't think we should have been able to, but l'm happy about it. So I'm surprised that the macro was easy in the lobby.
Gnaske tried to avoid Mill contest
Gnaske and KCP started their ALGS Championship campaign with a contest at The Mill. It is unusual for contests to make it all the way to LAN, but did Gnaske try to avoid it?
"I actually told the DF coach, Luc1fuge, I told him straight up, I said "Hey, I'm not trying to ego your spot, if you guys are better, we'll leave." And then I tried to arrange a custom match where we could go in a lobby and just, three vs. three and find out each other's skill. And I even suggested, winner takes it, and there'd be no contests at all.
"And they didn't like that. They said they'll stay anyway. And I said, "Well, would you guys be keen to do it anyway, just so we can see how good you are? If you guys are good, we'll just go leave, we won't contest your guy's plan." And we went in and we absolutely demolished them after 30 minutes. We said "We've seen enough" and even though we had scheduled for an hour and a half, we completely rolled them. And then the score overall, before going into this, was like 9-3, something like that.
"So we were content on just going Mill for this lobby. Not because we wanted the spot or anything like that, but just simply because we thought it was the best play. And the way we remain calm is... I don't know, we're just not really an anxious team. It's just like we still have the same scrim mentality. It's like second nature"
Restarted lobby was extremely tilting
Their contest started in the best possible way, Gnaske and KCP successfully saw off DreamFire. However, the game had to be restarted and a significant delay followed.
We won the first game and then it restarted, won the contest first game. It was very tilting. But we won it so convincingly. So we were all like "We'll just do it again, I think we can win easily." So we did it again. And then it was a three vs. six.
Like many teams, Gnaske has felt the impact of a very unpopular ranked system. Pro players are finding it difficult to grind the ranked system.
"[The ranked system] has impacted me in the way that it's very unpleasant to play the game. It's very hard to grind. And that's not what it was like back in the day and in 2020. It was not a grind to play 12 hours a day. It was enjoyable, every minute was enjoyable. Now it's a grind. And yeah, the ranked system sucks."
Gnaske feels confidence from having his full roster
One of the hallmarks of Gnaske's recent LAN performances has unfortunately been requiring substitute players. Formerly, Gnaske teamed with Max Strafe who is residing in Ukraine. He has been unable to get permission to leave the country. After the Split 1 playoffs, the decision was made to bring in Zaine.
It's so nice to finally play with the full roster. It's a different type of confidence. Because it's not only that we haven't been playing with the main roster. But it's every time we play with a sub leading up to the LANs we've been playing absolutely horrible. We would have been in loser brackets every time. And that's where we found our confidence or finally found our swing. Now we know what was coming and everything is nice. It's really nice."
Due to a dissapointing showing at the Split 1 Playoffs, KCP do not yet have the Playoff Points needed to qualify for the ALGS Champs. What is Gnaske aiming for at this event?
"If we get top five and plus, then I'm happy. I expect us to at least get top 10, but I wouldn't be happy with a top 10 finish. I'd be happy with top five. But expect us to be top 10 to first."
Gnaske's ALGS Split 2 Playoff campaign will continue on July 14th.