G2 pipsoN: “If we’re looking at the quality of the game, I’m not ultra happy. If we’re talking about results, I’m happy of course. A win is a win…”
G2 Esports have managed to repent the Turkish force, SuperMassive Blaze (SMB) in the second week of EMEA Stage 1 Challlengers 1. After a clean, yet rather close 2-0 victory over SMB, we managed to have a chat with G2’s coach, Daniil “pipsoN” Meshcheryakov. The Russian-born gave us extensive insight into why he thought G2’s performance is not up-to-par yet despite the win, reasoning behind G2’s Omen pick on Split, as well as his personal opinion on the format of VCT Challengers this year.
Run It Back: Congratulations on defeating SMB today. As the team’s coach, how happy are you with G2’s performance against SMB?
pipsoN: It’s all about what we are looking for. If we’re looking for the quality of the game, I’m not ultra happy. If we’re talking about results, I’m happy of course. A win is a win, no matter what.
Run It Back: Any things in particular you weren’t happy with? Any specifics?
pipsoN: The first thing is round conversion into the win. So as an example, when we have a big lead, we are still not converting it into the round win. As an example on Split on attack, we played [to a] 4:8 [half] but we lost pistol round 4v2, we lost first buy round 3v1, we lost one more round 5v3. And these are the important rounds. If we win pistol, the enemy has eco. If we win the first buy round, the enemy has an eco. And therefore, instead of 4:8 it could have been 9:3 for us. It’s one of the main weaknesses we need to deal with.
The second one is that we are not aware of certain stuff that might happen. Even when someone is pointing it out in our voice comms, not everyone is reacting to it. There is a lot of room to work with. We switched a lot from the last game (against Fnatic) and we are trying a little different style of play.
Run It Back: Following that thought, you guys are now 1:1 at EMEA Challengers. So what are some things you feel like you need to improve moving forward when you get to face the likes of Guild or Acend?
pipsoN: First of all, as I said, we need to make sure we are winning the rounds which we are supposed to win. That’s one of the most important parts. The second one, we definitely need to improve our individuals at some points. There are some situations where we are not in the best shape individually. Third, awareness. A lot of times we are not aware of situations that may happen and we become a free frag for the opponent. So these are the three things we need to make sure to improve to beat Acend or Guild or any team.
Run It Back: How confident are you in G2 making it to the playoffs?
pipsoN: We are not really thinking about it, we are just trying to go from game-to-game. Just trying to focus on finding what’s working for us. We switched our game style a lot. We completely switched everything from what we played against Fnatic in this game against SMB. Not on every map, it’s just we switched the way we approach things as a team game. And it’s not because we lost to Fnatic, there’s just some reasoning behind it.
Today our t-side (attack side) looked way better. And it could have looked much better if we converted the rounds like on Split. We are trying to find what is really working for us in terms of how we need to play the game, the way we need to work together.
Run It Back: Now to touch upon a specific. You guys pick Omen on Split. In your eyes, what value does Omen bring over the other controllers, especially Astra?
pipsoN: I can explain. It’s all about having a flash which is ultra important on Split when you want to run a comp with double duelists. If you want to run a comp with a double duelist like Jett plus Raze, what we are doing, you need to have a flash to be able to explode properly in many zones. As an example, Dash and Satchel, to make it safer, you need to make sure you have a flash.
Then, it comes down to two variations. You either have Omen, Sage, or you have Skye, Astra. As we see, Sage is insanely strong on Split if you utilize her properly on defense. I think we showed that in Giants, this is the comp we played on that team. We had 15 wins in a row against teams like Liquid, NAVI, Guild on Split. We lost only once to Acend who didn’t play it, and then started to play the same comp as us, and then won in the final against Gambit at VALORANT Champions using this composition.
The idea is you are really explosive in certain territories and you need to have the flash. And the Omen flash is one of the best for being explosive, as an example flashing Heaven, or B default. Omen allows you to run Sage. It’s not that Omen is better than Astra, it’s just that if you have Omen you are allowed to play with Sage. If you don’t run an Omen, you cannot take Sage, because you have no flashes and your double duelists become a weak part because you have to contact consistently and you are not able to use the explosions (utilizing the flash).
Run It Back: Is there a chance for Neon to make an appearance by G2 any time soon?
pipsoN: Yeah, it will be possible. I will not say when and where, but it will be possible. One day you will see it.
Run It Back: Spicy. How are you liking the new Challengers format this year compared to last year? Is it more beneficial to have consistent matches stretched over a longer time or would you rather have the matches more condensed in a shorter period?
pipsoN: I don’t know what is better for the team exactly. But I have my own personal opinion. I don’t really like such format. I can explain why. It’s because you know your opponent for one week and there are a lot of teams who really focus on preparation for that exact opponent. So instead of growing as a team, they are just focusing on beating the next opponent.
But when it will come down to the real tournament, let’s say a LAN tournament, you will not have much time for preparation. Let’s say you played a best-of-three in the evening, and then next day you have a BO3 the next morning. You basically have to sleep and prepare for ten hours.
I do think this system (round robin) is good for the players because you’re not playing that much, but from a competitive side, for certain teams, it might be that they are focusing on completely anti-stratting and preparing for the next opponent. So when it comes down to the real tournament, they will not have this opportunity and their results may be a little bit different. And not because it’s a LAN, but basically because of a different tournament system.
In other FPS games, there are no systems like this and it really comes down to the skill and adaptation during the tournament. But right now, it comes down to the preparation for the next opponent. You can just fully prepare for the enemy, just practice what you expect to be played, what you’re going to ban (maps), what they’re going to ban usually, and I’m just not a fan of that. But I understand that it may be better for the players.
I just want to see the difference on how it’s going to be when a different format comes in. How are they going to play when they won’t have as much time for preparation.
*Note: questions and answers may have been altered slightly for the sake of clarity and or fluidity.