TaZ: “Stewie wasn't the first choice but he was destined to play with us”

Олексій Харченко

Players Editor-In-Chief Alex Kharchenko talked to G2 coach Wiktor TaZ Wojtas after his team won IEM Dallas 2024. 

First of all, congrats. The first question is about emotions.  Is there anything else left, taking into account the emotions in the arena? Anything left for you, for the team right now?  

This arena, this crowd was next level. It felt personal. It actually felt like an American dream. Yes, I told the guys that this is an American dream, and we are the main characters in this. There is no way we are losing this.There is no way. I knew when I woke up today, before the final, that we were going to win 100%. 

But Vitality is a very good team.  So you know you're on the scene for a long time, you know the strengths of the players, you know Zywoo basically, his play.

I mean, I know Vitality, but I also know G2. I know that, from my experience, that finals are not won by names, but by heart, and by playing to win, and living it all. Making decisions, and taking them on your chest. So that's what I ask the guys - just don't play passive. Be aggressive in your decisions. And the first two maps we had to be more aggressive than in the previous games. But the last map wasn't about being aggressive.

Last map was about being good at just playing with comms, playing with, you know, each other. Because on Nuke, this is our biggest strength, especially on CT. 

It was an extremely close game. We had additional rounds from the first map. Were you expecting that it would go from the first map to additional rounds, even for the two additional sets of rounds? 

Well, on Inferno, I didn't expect us to have such a close game. I thought that we would be much better, but, well, we take it. We take it. We are happy that we are able to close it out. 

On Anubis, I just feel that we had some trouble. I think we lost, again, the eco round. And we just didn't play aggressive enough. We didn't make aggressive calls. We didn't go for mid-round re-aggression and other proactive plays. We just waited for them to come and kill us. And I think that that's what cost us Anubis, even though a really big strength is that we came back. Us going back to overtime, I think this was the most important thing before Nuke.

We just knew how good we are. 

Okay, coming back to the crowd. We're expecting that the crowd will support you as a whole, because they were, first of all, supporting, and then they were screaming some things. I think you know what I'm talking about. F to Apex or other things. Was it the sixth player for you? 

Of course. This crowd was amazing. This is one of the best crowds I played in my whole career. And I played Counter-Strike for over 20 years on pro level. It's definitely over 10 or 15 years, and this is the top five. Top five of the best crowds I played for. And to be here as a coach and being able to fully feel the crowd, hear the crowd. It's just the next level feeling. 

Can you compare these crowds? You mentioned the top five. Any others? Maybe Brazilians? 

I've never been to Brazil, so maybe in the future. But definitely the Polish crowd at IEM when we played (ed. - Katowice). Definitely Cologne. But this one is just... You know, I played ESWC. ESWC crowd was amazing. But this felt personal. No, this just felt like a home team. 

Yeah, that's for sure. But, again, there is another angle. And when the guys, the crowd screaming things like F to Apex. Your thoughts on this? Is it okay? Or is it just a part of the show? 

I feel like it's not that good. But it's also a part of the show.

Definitely I know that a lot of these guys, they respect Apex for what a great player he is. But he is also, you know.. He's always very outspoken. So I think that people know that this is how you play. And maybe it's even some part of respect if a crowd is chanting your name. No matter what they are saying, they need to respect you. 

I think the main question here is who was the initiator of the idea to invite Stewie2k as a stand-in to this event?

Oh, this was a team effort. Definitely players had their say. You need to feel comfortable to invite a fifth guy. And then it was also management who had to agree to it, right? And I'm part of it, I'm in between. So it was a team effort. 

So you had, let's say, a list of people that potentially can play with as fifths. And you decided to go with Stewie.

I can tell you, Stewie wasn't the first choice. But I guess he was destined to play with us.

Is HooXi’s place secured right now because of Stewie? 

Of course. We cannot go over ourselves. Of course, we won the event here with a stand-in, but we need to understand that this is also this honeymoon period. This freshness, you know, where a different person is in the meeting. The game is a little bit different. And the style is different. So you need to take that into account. And Rasmus was helping us in practice. He was helping us from home. And you cannot just forget about that. 

What's next for G2 right now? So what are your next plans?

I mean, the next event is in, I think, nine days. We are going to London. We have the Blast Spring Final. So definitely we want to get the best possible result. And let's see if we can take one more trophy just before the break. 

And the HooXi, of course, will be playing in London?

Yes, of course, we'll be playing with the full lineup. 

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