mezii: “I think at the moment I'm trying to find consistency”

Олексій Харченко

Players Editor-In-Chief Alex Kharchenko talked with Vitality player William mezii Merriman at IEM Dallas 2024.

Did the loss in Malta affect your mental state as you prepared for IEM Dallas? 

I think overall our performance in the Pro League was pretty strong. We beat FaZe, Astralis, who are two teams that are really strong anyway. And of course the final was a lower level than we previously showed.

So it was obviously frustrating to show that level because we know we're better than that against Mouz. But they also played very well. Coming to Dallas we were confident, we had a lot of talks and we're showing improvements, which is the main thing.

So that's all we care about at the moment is showing improvements and the progress. And that's what's happening at the moment.

We talked with you at ESL Pro League and discussed your performance. What can you say about it now? 

I think at the moment I'm trying to find consistency.

I think some games are up, some games are down. And of course it's hard for the team when for me individually I'm up and down. I think if I can find this consistency at a strong level it doesn't have to be the best in the team or anything.

Because of course we have Spinx, we have ZywOo, it's a lot easier in that department. But for me I need to be at a consistent level. And I know the things I have to do to be at that level.

It's just trying to keep doing it, keep making sure I go over it. Because I know my strengths to play, I need to be a bit more aggressive at times. And that's what I'm trying to do.

Are we talking about the game improvements or are we talking about the mental things or combined? 

I think it's kind of combined. I think overall I'm pretty mentally strong in-game. I don't tilt or I don't worry too much about the pressure or the confidence.

I think for me it's mostly not being too scared to ask things from other players. Of course coming to a team full of stars and full of players that have won everything it’s not so easy. I’m not scared to ask for flashes, ask for smoke, ask for help.

Of course it's a challenge at the start. But for me now it's having that confidence just to go, okay, come flash me. Sometimes I need to make the play.

But sometimes I'm fully aware I need to support other people making the play as well. 

You are in the team for some time, not just a couple of months. Do you have some kind of timeframe when you need to show your best performance?  

They’ve given me a lot of time anyway. I think they're aware that we have our certain goals.

Of course we have the second major this year towards the end. And obviously the goal is to do even better than we did this year and make it to the final and even win. And even before this player break we want to be winning either Dallas or BLAST as well.

For me of course no one is putting pressure on me within Vitality. They know we're still a new team. And of course we've been here for months and some up and down in certain tournaments.

But I think we're showing progress and improvements at the moment. Which is the main thing. And I'm happy with where we're going at the moment.

But also we want to get back to winning which is the main thing. 

We had a new patch in Counter-Strike. How much time from your point of view did the team have to prepare for the updates? 

Definitely a couple of days is not enough. I think that's why a lot of teams are avoiding Vertigo at the moment. 

Can we say that Vitality will now start banning Vertigo all the time? 

No, no. We had some practice on it. We need at least a few weeks or even a month to even get some foundations. Because it's not just a small update.

It's a big update to Vertigo. At least it plays a lot differently now. I mean not so much for me because I'm towards the B side.

But for the A guys it's very different. So I think we definitely need more practice on it. But like I said we're not shying away from it.

If we need to play it we'll play it. But at the end of the day we know and can see from the vetoes. Not many teams are comfortable playing it at the moment.

What about Dust2? Do you prefer it?

I prefer Dust2 over Vertigo that's for sure. But I think losing to Overpass was a big blow. Because I really enjoyed Overpass.

As for Dust2, before I found it kind of boring. But in this team with the French guys, they love Dust2. I'm enjoying it at the moment.

It's fun to have a new map anyway. Even though it's like an old-new map. It's still fun to bring something fresh into the map pool.

You destroyed Heroic but lost to 9z. Was it an underestimation of the opponent or something else? 

If you look at both maps against 9z we had really bad starts. I think we didn't really stick to our plans in the game against them. We knew they were going to come out stronger.

I think it's not like they've fluked their way through this tournament. They've beaten some good teams. Mouz and Liquid.

So when we went up against them we knew it was going to be a tough game. But I think they played really well. And we were not really connected on the same page.

Against 9z we were not clicking. We were more like 5 individuals, not a team. 

Can you tell me what ZywOo and apEX were eating or doing before the game against Heroic? They showed extremely good performance.

Apex has been putting a lot of time into the game. He's one of the players that has been around for so long.

He's an IGL. He's still focused on getting better as an individual as well. He's not just like “ok guys I’m the IGL now and just do what you do”. 

He's also doing a good job at staying informed. Deathmatching. Watching demos and stuff.

It’s great to see a guy like that who's been here for this long to do that. It gives you motivation. If he's doing it then I need to be doing it as well.

So I think the time he's putting in is why he played so well today. 

What are your expectations for the next matches you will play against Spirit, who analysts and experts name one of the favorites of the IEM Dallas 2024? 

Of course it's going to be a tough team to play against. It's the first time we've played against this roster.

The storyline of everyone wanting to see ZywOo against donk is going to be a big thing as well. 

But he’s not the only focus. They've got five individuals who are also really strong. But for us, we know if we bring the level we did today where we focus on ourselves, playing together as a team, we can beat anyone.

We show such a high level. It's about keeping it up there as well. Because going up against Spirit, we have to be at the top level.

Because, like I say, they've got an amazing team and are really tough to play against. And they've shown it at the big stages as well, winning tournaments. So for us we just need to focus on ourselves and just do as well as we can there.

We also have flameZ and apEX who like to go crazy as well.  

But we also have the number one player in the world. We have Spinx as the top five player in the world. We can match them as well.

And we have also aggressive players as well. So it's going to be a fun game. Like I say, they're an aggressive team.

They have really good individuals. But likewise on our side, we're definitely there to match them. And the confidence is there to go all the way as well. 

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