GamerLegion became overwhelmed with emotions when they beat Apeks last night to secure a place on stage at the BLAST.tv Paris Major. There was shouting, screaming, and plenty of tears from the international side including their British coach, Ashley “ash” Battye, who took the time to talk with UKCSGO. In the post-match interview he struggled to hold back his emotions as he expressed the pride he had in his team, the reason they were so dominant on best-of-threes, and how he is the first British representative to make it through to the Champions stage.
You are going to be coaching at the playoffs of a Major, what are your thoughts right now?
(holding back tears) I honestly don’t know what to say, it literally doesn’t feel real. It’ll probably sink in tomorrow when I start preparing for it, but I don’t even know what to say. I honestly haven’t got a clue (laughs).
There’s only a select few coaches to coach at the top eight of a Major, your name is now alongside all these big names. How does it feel to get that recognition?
It’s just an honour. I know I could this for the rest of my life and the chances of getting there [again] are pretty slim, so I just can’t wait. It’s just going to be an amazing experience.
When you look at how poorly you started, what was the main thing that got you here?
Belief. Definitely belief. That’s the thing I’ve been pushing. We really challenge ourselves to show what we can do and we knew we could win. Last time my main criticism of the team was that we couldn’t win best-of-threes, now we’ve won four in a row and we’ve dropped two maps since we’ve lost the first two games. We haven’t lost any best-of-threes. We’ve won ten maps and we’ve dropped two – we have won every game off of that. The belief is there again. We are taking it one game at a time and we are taking it one round at a time. We just don’t know what could happen and we are just going further and further, and getting better and better as well which has been sick.
You mentioned the big difference in your best-of-one play and your best-of-three play, why is that?
I think we messed up with the best-of-ones, I think we had a real problem that our Inferno and Vertigo was so strong and our other maps were not. Then we put a lot of time into Overpass and a lot of time into even Nuke and Vertigo, to get them up and then we thought our Inferno was still good. Then we played it and we just hadn’t been playing it enough. We played it and nothing clicked, and we played it probably against the wrong team as well. Now we’ve, hopefully, fixed the map pool and it’s helping us a lot in the best-of-threes.
There were some big plays in your run, acoR especially and just some great calling from siuhy. As a coach you are unable to talk to them in the games, now that you are able to what is it you want to say to your players?
I just want to hug them. Some of the plays they are making are just unbelievable, I’m constantly like “wow, how are these guys doing this?” (laughs). “When I was playing I could do nothing like that!” I don’t know you can just see it in them that they have skills, everyone is there to be a top top tier player and it’s just the belief they are showing now and we are seeing the best [indecipherable].
Would you say that because of this performance that acoR is above device in terms of legacy?
(laughs). Definitely, easily. acoR owns device as they say (laughs).
The other matchup that will be played tomorrow is Into the Breach and Fnatic…
Yeah… So we are going to get at least one more British representative at the Major playoffs. Any thoughts on that matchup at all?
I just feel really sorry for who doesn’t make it. They both deserve it. The game today Fnatic played so well [against G2] and Into the Breach have been amazing. I never thought they’d play this well, and to lose the first game, as bad as they did, and come back it’s been incredible. Whoever makes it definitely deserves it and whoever doesn’t I think they can feel a little bit hard done by.
I know you are going through a lot of emotions right now, is there anything you want to say to anybody?
Thanks everyone that has genuinely supported me, I think it’s nice to know that you have some people that want you to win so you don’t feel as alone in it a little bit. Otherwise it’s kind of your family and a few close people. So shoutout people like dobbo, Adam9130, mezii, CYPHER and people like that.