The Virtus.Pro players also give their thoughts on the biggest surprises and disappointments so far at Katowice.
One of the few teams that has not made a roster change in 2022, Virtus.Pro has already secured a top 6 finish at IEM Katowice 2022. The team defeated Copenhagen Flames and NiP but could not overcome Heroic. Despite the 0-2 loss, Virtus.Pro is considered by many as a dark horse at IEM Katowice 2022.
Esports.gg had a chance to speak to the VP players during the IEM press conference. The players shared their thoughts on the results so far their upcoming match against G2 esports.
Q: Many consider you as a big dark horse to win the whole event. Some would even go as far as to say that you are coming in as one of the favorites, an in-form team that has been together for quite some time. How is the feeling within the team? Are you guys in optimal form right now, or is there still some improvement to be done?
Yekindar: There's obvious room for improvement especially after the 16-5, 16-10 loss against Heroic. But that match didn't hit us that hard. It's ok that we lost it, because we got a lot of experience from it. The Heroic match showed us our problems in our team's structure. So we are going to focus on these problems going forward.
It doesn't matter if people see us as favorites or not favorites. We think everything is possible and the playoffs are a different kind of game.
Q: You guys have 4-5 days before your quarterfinal match against G2. What's your plan for these days? Are you going to practice the entire duration or will you take some time off?
Yekindar: There's not really that much preparation we can do about the G2 lineup cause they have mONESY and AleksiB, two completely new players that has completely changed their structure.
We're just going to practice cause we know we have some problems in our gameplay, some of which you saw in the Heroic match. We know what we need to focus on and what we need to change between playoffs and the group stage.
We still have these four days and too much work to do.
Q: You said G2 is a new team that you cannot prepare against. But they also had a stumble against Fnatic in their opening match. What are your thoughts on their form so far at Katowice?
Yekindar: I think Fnatic is a good team. So even if G2 lost to them at the start of the tournament, I think it's not a big deal. In that match Fnatic was definitely an underdog. Overall I think mONESY is showing up and showing good quality Counter-Strike. The G2 individual level is really high and we need to be cautious of their individual skill.
"Heroic's CT sides are strongly based on fast rotations and guessing the enemy's movement" :Yekindar
Q: I want to talk about this match against Heroic. You guys came into the match with six wins on the back and played some stellar CS this year. So what happened this year?
Yekindar: Heroic are in really good form and we haven't played them a lot. Their style is quite unique that you need to adapt to. They are not playing the same style as any other team in the top ten.
In that match, there was almost no stress because even if you lose, you don't lose anything. You will stay in the quarterfinal, it is a no-stress match and people tend to be overconfident.
Q: You mention that Heroic play style is a bit unique. Can you elaborate more on that?
Yekindar: Their CT sides are strongly based on fast rotations and guessing the enemy's movement. So basically, they can start with 3A and 2 mid on Vertigo at the start of the round and not even be thinking that somebody could be on B. It's a bit of stack-based CS where its really hard to play the right sites on executes and defaults and not to die on the aggression on those stacks.
mONESY is the new S1mple.
Biggest surprises and disappointments at IEM Katowice
Q: Among all the teams in IEM, which teams surprised you the most and which team disappointed you the most?
Yekindar: For me, personally, I think the team that surprised me the most was mousesports. They were playing with JDC, a last-minute stand-in. They also had Torzsi, it's his first big LAN event and he showed some good results.
I think I am very disappointed with OG.
He then turned and asked his teammates the same question to which their replies were:
Virtus.Pro will face G2 esports in the IEM Katowice quarterfinals in front of a huge Spodek Arena crowd. The IEM Katowice playoffs feature a best-of-three double-elimination format.