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“This is the best line-up that I’ve played with” – s1mple backs NaVi to keep winning


s1mple is the best player in the world.

He might be the best player of all time, but that's slightly more controversial to say.

Whether or not his team can be the best is up for debate; though s1mple thinks this line-up has the best chance.

"I think this team has the most knowledge of this game, so far, in any line-up. Maybe it’s because of our new system that we have been working with for one and a half or two years, like when B1ad3 came he taught us a lot of new things, how to understand the game, so some new players need some experience."

He later added: "I think we’re doing a great job, and this is the best line-up that I’ve played with."

via Getty Images.

If NaVi is to become the best team in the world, s1mple believes they need to cut out some of the mistakes they were making at the RMR event.

" I think we managed to be in good form because we played too many matches, and three of those games were against Gambit. It’s a lot of experience, we made a lot of mistakes, and right after we lost to them we work on these mistakes and we just told each other that we lose these games because we’re losing 2 on 4, 2 on 5.

"Sometimes I think we miss some really good preparation - I mean, I’m talking about a bootcamp - and maybe at some point Gambit, it’s easier for them to do a bootcamp because they have four players from Russia and one guy from Kazakhstan, they can just do a bootcamp in Moscow. We have a different story with Ukraine and Russia, sometimes we just couldn’t meet together in the same country."

via Getty Images.

Coach B1ad3, when asked about whether or not Gambit's emergence has helped push NaVi to become better, had a lot to say about the young team too. It seems NaVi think quite a bit about Gambit!

"I think at some point it’s true, actually, but it happens to any other great or any other top team. If there is some rivalry between teams, they always improve each other. It’s a natural process.

"[Gambit] are a really young team with great potential, they are showing good results already. 

At some point yes, our players are a bit more competitive when we play against Gambit, because they came from nowhere; it’s not like Astralis or Vitality for example with big names in the team. The fact that they came from nowhere, from online, it’s a little bit annoying I think for our players when they started to win everything! It’s not that big, it’s only a little factor."

He does imply that at a real LAN NaVi might have the advantage - or perhaps, that's just my take. You judge.

"At the moment [Gambit] will play from their hotel rooms, I think it’s not even the same as LAN. They will not even have the big headphones, on the stage, the ones that distract you."

"I don’t know, potentially it can be, but it depends on how we will perform on LAN, and how Gambit will perform on LAN."
B1ad3, on whether or not the Gambit/NaVi rivalry can be the GOAT rivalry.

B1ad3 also mentioned that NaVi would have liked to have continued with a six man roster, but the RMR rules 'changed their plans' - and instead the conversation changed to B1T's effect on the team.

"[B1T] just fits as a player to our system, so we’re trying to integrate him perfectly to use his strengths, and to get the best performance out of him."

s1mple also spoke about the young headhunter, also accentuating the fact that he plays important roles for the team that they struggled to find before.

"B1t has really good aim, like flamie had, but I think B1t is a younger player and just needs more experience, he has more motivation to improve his game. For us, he plays really good roles that we missed before."

The team were asked about how Boombl4 differed from Zeus, and Boombl4 (via a translation, so don't take the exact wording too seriously!) said that they are working more on the 'tactical element and little details', while B1ad3 added that it's a "deeper understanding of Counter-Strike". This was in contrast to Zeus' execute style, that B1ad3 compared to Gambit.

s1mple believes the change is more to do with the coach, though.

"It’s not only about IGLs, it’s about coaches. If you talk about Zeus and Boombl4, we need to talk about B1ad3 and Kane. I think the main work was always done by the coaches, and the preparation was because of the coach. As Boombl4 said, we have more structure, we understand more situations, like what you’re going to do if the enemy does this.

"You might have some situation, and there can be 20 different situations on some map, and you should know all 20. B1ad3 is the coach who will teach you everything, but with Zeus and Kane, Zeus knew more about the situations, and Kane was more like an analyst coach. He was really good with maths, but Zeus had a really great feeling about how to read opponents during the game."

NaVi won their opening game against Renegades, thanks to some heroics from s1mple - but he has his eyes on Vitality.

"I want to play against teams I lost against, and didn’t have a chance to rematch yet. I want to play against Vitality, because it’s always a fun game against them. A lot of teams like Vitality, we haven’t seen their performance yet - it’s interesting to see how they’re going to play against us. But still of course Gambit is the main opponent because they beat us before we won against them in BO5, they beat us three or four times in a row."