jL on the development of NAVI: ‘You will see our progress with every tournament’

Олексій Харченко

NAVI player Justinas jL Lekavicius talked to Players. We discussed EPL S19 goal, playing in the arena and winning the major. 

You're in new jersey. Is it good?

It's amazing. I thought maybe it was a little crazy that we have a blue stripe on the sleeve, but it's good. Now I look at it from the side, I also saw some pictures. It looks fantastic. Do you like the jersey, though? Tell me.

Yes. You can't see my reaction but I like it (due to the nature of the online interviews during the EPL S19, a journalist can see the player on the web camera but the player can’t see a journalist - Players). 

Ok, let’s start with the first question. The 1.23 rating against FaZe in the grand finals of a major was the second best in the team. What helped you to tune in to the game? 

I think it was our team chemistry that got us through it. We believe that we can win the tournament, we can beat FaZe because we've beaten them before. It's just believing in yourself that it's one game at a time. If you even take it one map at a time, you can always win a map against any team. 

You win a map and then you go on to the next one, you can win the map again because you don't think it's 2-0 or 2-1. You think it's just another map and you can win it. We took it this way. We believed. We said we want to win. We are going to go and take the win. We're going to dictate the pace. We're going to show that we are bigger than them. We showed and we did and we won. We got the trophy. I'm super happy about that.

Okay, let’s talk about MVP. Were you expecting to get it?

After we won the final, yes. But before, no. It's hard. Before the play-offs I saw stats that I was 0.10 ahead of the second player. I'm like, okay, it's interesting. If I keep the form, I might get the MVP, but I didn't focus on it. 

We won the final, and I didn't think about it, but I wanted to make a Twitter post. The funny thing is that I opened HLTV. I wanted to take a picture from HLTV because the instant you upload, I go to my profile and I see a major winner, a major MVP. I'm like, okay, I got it. I was super happy. 

At the same time, if we look specifically at stats, b1t was in the first place. I’m talking about figures. 

I wasn't thinking about it too much. Even when we played the final, I wasn't. It's not like, I have to perform well to get it. I was just playing the game and if I get it, I get it. If I don't, whoever got it, deserves it more than me. I will be happy for every teammate who will get the MVP.

We had an interview with B1ad3, where he mentioned that sometimes you can play a bit with the audience or on the camera and maybe lose a bit of concentration during the match. Don't you worry that it can sometimes happen?

Not really. I feel like if I'm in the zone, I might play with the camera, I might play the game. It doesn't matter. Sometimes I might lose focus if I overdo it, but it's just in me. I like to play with the camera. I used to stream a lot and I don't think it unfocused me. But I did it a lot less in the major.

In terms of your reaction to the camera, you're totally fine playing in the arena in front of the crowd? Are you not feeling stressed? 

No, I didn't play with the crowd a lot at the major. 

I don't mind. It's just a game. I mean, it's different when you walk out to 15,000 people, maybe if you're a bit anxious. But once you get into the game, you're used to sitting in your chair, you have your mouse and keyboard. I saw my fiancé in the crowd as well. It gives me a lot of safety and good feelings. What is there to be stressed about?

Does winning a major make you realise that you're on the right track in building your game personally and that consistent results are only a matter of time within the team overall?

Yes, of course. We're halfway there, maybe not even halfway. I don't think we're complete. There's always something we can work on. It gave us a lot of confidence in whatever we're doing, it's working. We have to keep on doing it and add an extra.

Basically, that's the answer of your head coach. He mentioned that the team is only about 40% of its peak form. Do you agree with this statement?

Yes. We are still expanding and still developing. It will be more and more of NAVI’s better part. Each tournament, you're going to see our progress.

Do you know, that this interview is recorded, so I can refer to you later?  

Oh, f*ck. That's it. (smiling - Players).

Did the break after the major benefit you?

100%, because we didn't go to IEM Chengdu. We took the time to relax, wind down a little bit, and find new motivation for the upcoming tournament. We had time to change our strategy book, everything. We had three weeks of practice from Malta and I think it's going to be good.

Who do you think is the most dangerous team in your group?

I don't care. You just go and play the game. 

You're not looking at opponents at all? 

No. When I play them, of course, I'm looking at them. You're not just always thinking, like, these guys are big.

What's the minimum goal for NAVI? 

The minimum goal for EPL is final. 



So the maximum goal is to win this tournament?  

Maximum is a win, yes. I mean, that's the maximum we can actually have. 

Another MVP for you? 

Okay, that's more than the maximum. 

Let's give it w0nderful then.

Yeah, w0nderful will have the MVP. He's good. So, the maximum will be a win plus MVP for w0nderful. I can take the EVP, it's also not bad.

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