Northern Arena came to an end on Sunday, with Immortals claiming first place after defeating Cloud9 in a best-of-three Grand Final series that went the distance.
Following their LAN win, theScore esports spoke with Immortals' coach Rafael "zakk" Fernandes to discuss the team's run through the tournament, his thoughts on the headset controversy and playing with Wilton "zews" Prado.
You guys had a near flawless run to the Grand Finals, only dropping a map against Echo Fox. What's you opinion on your team’s form at this event?
Overall, I think we have to improve a lot if we want to be the top team in the world. We played well but we made a lot of mistakes. Many of the games we could be way better so there's much room to work and that's it.
boltz was one of the biggest impact players at this event. Is his performance thanks to him not being pressured by the in-game leader role.
Absolutely, 100 percent. Like I said before, I was the one to say that boltz doesn't like to lead in the interview with HLTV and you can see that's true. Now he doesn't have the pressure he can focus on his own game and he's killing everybody.
In the Grand Finals, Game 1 on Cobble was a pretty tight series. You guys were down 6-9 at the half. How did you guys claw back on your T side?
Actually when we were losing we said “Keep calm. We are doing a lot of mistakes.” We are shooting worse than them. So keep doing the same thing, just breathe. Just breathe and keep going.' And that's what I did.
Cloud9 returned the favor on Train going down 6-9 in the first half but bringing it back on their CT side. They won four massive clutch rounds. How was the team's morale being on the receiving end of that.
Actually it was fine. Like, we don't shake because of this — we just keep playing and try to get better each round. But they were the better team on that map. They deserved to win.
In the third map on Overpass the map was paused due to a situation with the players. Can you give us a quick rundown of what happened.
On the first round, HEN1 [Henrique "HEN1" Teles] didn’t have the noise [canceling headphones]. So C9 stopped the match on the third round and said that we should start from the beginning. The problem is that HEN1 doesn't speak English at all so he didn't understand a word. The first round we went into a trap by C9, the second round we went to a trap too, so there was no difference. There was no point to reset the game and we waited for the decision. Happily they tend for us.
As this was this lineup’s first LAN since zews joined, what are your big takeaways from the event? What did you guys learn?
I think that maybe, we have to respect him. Sometimes we try to say things, like he's saying a strategy, and we say 'No let's do this let's do that.' But he's always right. He knows a lot of the game. So we should respect him more and trust all his calls.
As it stands, you guys are effectively in the Top 2 of this region. Are you guys looking forward to taking down your brothers in SK Gaming?
Of course, of course. That's what we most want is to beat SK. That's our goal.
What did you think of the event overall?
I really like it. They gave us the best hotel I've ever been in, and I have been to many events — I used to be a pro player before I coached. They had little problems on the first day like delays, and headphone problems, but that's, you know, experience. You have to acquire experience to improve and they did this. The last day was OK.
How do you like Toronto? What have you guys done in the city? What have you explored, check out?
We didn't have much time to explore actually. Henrique and Lucas have never been to an aquarium, so I took them to see and their reaction was amazing...and it was very fun. But we still have to go to the CN Tower and that's pretty much it. The other days we just stayed in the hotel.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.
Navneet Randhawa does stuff and things at theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.