Death, taxes and Sash getting an upset win on LAN. The only three inevitable things in life. In an absolute masterclass of mind-games on Nuke, 24.8 Average caused the first massive upset of EPIC36 by taking down BLVKHVND, a favourite to win the whole event. After the match, UKCSGO’s Dafydd Gwynn was able to catch up with Alexander “Sash” Fomin to talk about their win, what it takes to win on LAN and his future as the potential face of the UK Counter-strike streamer scene.
How does it feel to upset the favourites?
We knew it was happening. We knew it was happening. We were talking last night and we were playing a pug on Nuke and we were talking through the veto ban as it was happening and we were saying if we get nuke, are we happy? Are we happy guys if we get Nuke? Because we look at them and we knew how they like to play Nuke, and we know some of their roles. I think they messed up the ban by picking Nuke.
Were you surprised that they let it go to Nuke?
No it was Nuke or Ancient, I mean it shows a lack of confidence maybe in their CT-side of Ancient. I know they’ve been very strong on their T-side but you know I don’t follow them too closely so these words might not be correct (laughs).
To a basic level, why did BLVKHVND lose?
Two pistols. That’s got to be a killer, losing both pistols. And I think they weren’t good at resetting momentum, so when they broke our momentum on the CT-side, they won one round it was something like 7-0 turning 7-1. They really had to pick up their spirits and be in control of the game as the T’s, they went a little too quick in the round and we were ready for it. Right? If they had slowed it down, we had no util and we didn’t know what we were doing then they start to panic. You must have seen me screaming at one point because I was tucked outside aggressive and they were crossing, shifting down secret and I got a 3k, just on outside. I mean those are mistakes that you just can’t make.
You were 6-8 in intermediate this ESEA season, what does it take to be a better team on LAN?
It comes with experience, you’ve got to understand how the game changes from online to on LAN, when you’ve got a lower MS you’ve got a huge peakers advantage, everything feels more crisp. Moving faster, loud steps aren’t being heard, people are scared, people aren’t sure what they are doing, they make mistakes. Punishing that and capitalising on that is how you win a LAN.
The other element is obviously the mind-games, as you said you were screaming your head off that game, how important are mind-games at a LAN?
They are massive. They were seated quite far away from us so I wasn’t sure if my voice was going to reach them and I was typing in the knife round “TIMMO stand up and look at me.” Just to get myself in his mind, he’s thinking about it, he’s not going to mute us right, he’s going to see that but he’s not going to react. And that’s just starting to get in their heads and then they hear you screaming whenever you are winning, they hear you screaming and they’re getting a bit upset. So yeah, it’s massively important.
So do you think they were overhyped as favourites?
No! No, they are incredible players, they still might win the whole thing, I mean they’re obviously going to get out of groups. Groups is something where you have got to get out and then the playoffs start. For us it was all about getting out of the groups and everything else, we just take as it comes. For those guys, they need to reset now, ensure they get out of groups, which of course they will, and then really reset for that playoffs. They’ll have a strong BO3 map pool when it comes to playoffs.
Aside from beating BLVKHVND, what’s your expectations for this tournament?
We want to beat all of our previous LAN records, we want to get higher than top eight if possible. Top eight is the goal, top four or top six would be unbelievable. But there’s no reason why we can’t right. We are 24.8 Average, the joke being that our average age in ESEA was 25 years old, we’re all old, we’ve got lives and we’ve got stable jobs so we don’t spend a huge amount of time on CS but we have in the past. It’s like riding a bike, it comes back and the experience is there and I think it just shows that it never goes away.
Just about your personally, you’ve been streaming a lot and have a great personality for it, do you think you can be the UK’s fl0m?
I don’t know, I don’t know honestly. I’m in a difficult position in life, I don’t really know where I want to go. I recently started a technical consultant job and that’s where I’m putting a lot of my efforts in now, I’ve been there for two months and I really like that. I did a masters in mechanical engineering which was just problem solving, and day in and day out I solve problems. But in terms of streaming, if it builds traction and it goes well, I’ll do it. I’d love to do it.
Would you say that’s your dream in terms of CS?
I would love to. I think it is my dream for at least a good two years, I’ll try it and if it gains traction as well then I could do it my whole life, I love it.