Aleksib about NAVI’s at the semi-final of PGL Major: “We just need to be aware, we just need to be awake as individuals, we just need to be fearless”

Софія Піхало

NAVI captain Aleksi Aleksib Virolainen gave an exclusive interview to Players correspondent Sofiia Pikhalo.

The Players editorial team is very grateful to the Ukrainian e-sports organization NAVI for organizing this interview.

Congrats with this win. How are you feeling right now? 

I’m feeling great. I think getting the first game out the way feels very good. Especially winning 2:0. Just waiting for tomorrow, for the semi-final. 

What are you expecting from tomorrow’s match? 

It’s hard to say. I think G2 VS Mouz will be a tight match. G2 has a lot of experience on stage and they can really surprise Mouz but no matter who it’s going to be, we will do our best to prepare and fight. 

You had overtimes on the first map and it was really close, even to lose it. What happened there? 

I don’t think we were too prepared on the CT side. They caught us off-guard, we had no solution at first and we figured it out and made a really important comeback so we can get to overtime. Once we got to the overtime I knew that we would take the game. Before that we kind of crumbled and we definitely need to fix it for tomorrow. 

From your point of view, why did the overtime happen? 

I think they played a really good T-side. They executed their plan really well. We just needed to learn and it took us maybe a bit long to adapt our own game. We let them have 12 rounds but 12 rounds is not enough. We went to overtime and won the game. That’s what matters. 

Inferno is quite a strong map for Eternal Fire. How did you manage to win it? 

We struggled a bit on CT, they played really good again. We managed to get 6 rounds. After winning the T pistol round we had a huge confidence because we know that our T-side is really good on this side, as well. Even though we lost a couple of rounds, we needed to save, we still kept to our plan. In the end it just worked. We played really well on clutches, b1t and jL played really well on these clutches. 

When w0nderful joined NAVI, b1ad3 started to make some changes within the game style. What can you say about the internal chemistry of the team? 

We’ve been working for a long time now. We had a couple of bootcamps with w0nderful. We have done a lot of work. We got to the semifinals of the Major. We are just going to do the same thing. I think when playing the play-offs of the Major and playing on the stage - it feels different. We just need to be aware, we just need to be awake as individuals, we just need to be fearless.    

Previously b1t had some issues in communicating in English. Is it better now? 

Yeah, I think it’s really good and I think that he is doing a really good job in improving. I feel he is getting more comfortable. In some clutch situations he might speak Ukrainian or might not feel more confident on clutches but overall he’s doing a really good job and he has improved a lot. Finally he’s feeling better at the international roster and speaking English. 

What can you say about jL? Is he already a jLegend or can he do even better? 

I think he’s a legend right now by the way he’s playing: important clutches, good fragging ability and playing really calm. That’s the most important thing. We played really solid on the stage today and I hope he’s going to play as solid tomorrow at the semi-final. 

With what team are you expecting to play tomorrow? 

I have a feeling that G2 is going to surprise us. I think we will play against G2 on the stage. 

What if Mouz will win? 

We can expect a rematch. We played against them in the EPL finals and lost. They are a strong team but so is G2, that’s why I’m expecting G2, as they have a lot of experience on stage. If we play Mouz, we are going to have another Finnish player in the semi-final. That’s great. 

What is your secret of winning against former teams? You had a long win streak in your favor. Is it because you are very familiar with these teams? 

It does give you an advantage if you know a bit about teams, how they are going to play, what their system is but in the end I’m just always trying my best when playing against former teams. You just have this fire inside you that you want to show better. It can be a coincidence, it can also be the fact that there’s something deeper. I don’t want to think about it too much but it’s going really well for me against my former teams. 

Name one or two Finnish players, who didn’t get to the Tier-1 scene yet? 

I don’t think I can name anyone but jimpphat has been playing on the Tier-1 and it’s his first Major play-off. It’s an obvious choice because he’s still really young. I wish all the best for him. 

The Verkarrs will perform at PGL Major Copenhagen 2024. Can we expect you on the stage? 

I don’t think so. They are my good friends and they are doing amazing work and I think their show will be amazing. 

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