In 2018, Natus Vincere were crowned champions of ESL One Cologne. Last week, during this year’s event, Na’Vi sadly didn’t make it that far, instead, they dropped out during semi-finals against Team Liquid. During the finals, in which Team Liquid would go on to win 3-1 against Vitality, we sat down and spoke to “electronic”, as the roars of 15,000 eager fans filled the LANXESS Arena.
“ESL One Cologne is always a great competition, and we love to be here”, says electronic. “When we came here, we had higher aims than the semi-finals. We wanted to take the title. We eventually failed to reach that goal, but that’s okay as well. With our recent roster changes in mind, we are still satisfied with our result.”
In late May, shortly before the tournament, Na`Vi had just signed the 20-years-old Kirill ‘Boombl4’ Mikhailo. The move came after the iconic player Ioann ‘Edward’ Sukhariev (31), who had been a part of Na`Vi since 2013, left for Winstrike on a loan.
“Boombl4 himself, however, hasn’t been the issue for us this tournament”, electronic continues. “There are deeper issues we need to look at. We aren’t ready to become champions just yet, and must invest more in our preparation.”
When asked about how he saw his personal performance, electronic responded with a clear determination for victory “You can always improve further and further. There is no such thing as perfection. I thrive to be the best and set my goals higher and higher.”
On the day of the quarter-finals, Twistzz from Team Liquid stated in an interview that if electronic performed to his full potential, Na`Vi would have very good shots at performing well both at ESL One Cologne and in the future.
“I’m very glad to hear that a top player like Twistzz speaks such high words of me. It means that I am on the right way. Even at the top, we all still have a lot to learn from one another.”
Throughout ESL One Cologne, multiple respected such as gob b and Twistzz stated that within the top 15 or so teams, everyone is capable of beating one another, and it can simply come down to who’s having the better day. Supposedly, this is caused by more an escalating frequency of the changes imposed by Valve through game patches.
“I don’t think you can really say that every team within the top 15 can beat each other. First and foremost, the rankings don’t really represent the current strength of a team. You might lose a player, miss a few competitions, and no one can really judge your level of play. Rankings just cannot keep up with it.” (Note: After ESL One Cologne, Na`Vi jumped up 6 places in the HLTV ranking.)
The next big event for Na`Vi will be the StarLadder Berlin Major, which they qualified themselves for through IEM Katowice 2019 in March. “We will bootcamp and travel to Berlin one, perhaps two weeks ahead of the Major. We will try our very best to be in top form.”