They surprised everyone by getting this far, but now HellRaisers have to overcome an unstoppable Team Liquid squad. Vlаdуslаv “bondik” Nеchуроrchuk thinks their chances are better than you’d expect.
HellRaisers took the scenic route getting to the New Champions stage in the FACEIT Major London 2018. They won the CIS Minor, overcame the Challenger stage, and against all odds qualified through the New Legends stage.
Team Liquid, on the other hand, breezed through the FACEIT Major, winning all six of their games. We asked some CS:GO pros and even they were almost certain the North American team will win tonight.
Esports fans at the PvP bet exchange platform VIE.gg are giving HellRaisers odds of 4.19, compared to 1.12 for Team Liquid. It seems only the most loyal fans still believe in the HR dream.
However, Vlаdуslаv “bondik” Nеchуроrchuk in an interview revealed that they may have a better chance of winning than people seem to think.
Note: The interview was translated from Russian.
Vie: You worked so hard to get to the playoffs. How does it feel finally being here?
bondik: I can’t even comprehend it, to tell you the truth. There were some tears, not gonna lie. But those were confused tears: maybe I’m happy, maybe not. You know, what I worked towards for so long finally became a reality. We worked hard, we are well prepared… Four weeks we’ve spent inside CS:GO and it’s paying off.
Vie: You had four days of rest after the group stage. How did you prepare for your game against Liquid?
bondik: We took a day off after the last game of the New Legends stage. We made the playoffs, everyone relaxed. I played some FPL on Sunday and Monday. But the plan was to prepare for our opponents and to practice. We reached our goal, we made Top 8, but if you have a shot at something more, why not take it? We played against them before, in the Challenger stage. We lost 16:9, but we feel like we can do better. I’m a bit angry with myself right now and I want to show that we can win.
Vie: What do you think are Liquid’s strengths?
bondik: They are all very strong individually. It will be very hard playing against them, but at the same time, they don’t play Train, which is a great plus for us. If we want to have a shot at this we must win our map pick. They will probably go for Inferno again and we already know how to play it against them. If all goes right, we could even win 2:0 against Liquid. We just have to play really hard for it.
Vie: It’s your first Major playoffs. Can you feel the pressure?
bondik: No, why would I? Yes, it’s my first Major playoff game, but at the same time, I’ve played in many playoffs in some of the biggest tournaments before. No worries there.
Vie: Your side of the bracket seems just stacked against you. Now Liquid, then Astralis or FaZe.
bondik: We are taking this step-by-step, one thing at a time. We have a game against Liquid, that’s the one we’re concentrating on. Yes, they are good, but we are no pushovers either. We have a good chance to overcome Liquid, after that — whatever happens, happens. After we defeat Liquid, we would rather play FaZe than Astralis.
Vie: Who do you think will go all the way on the other side of the bracket?
bondik: NaVi against MIBR is a crazy match-up. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I believe in the all-CIS final!
Vie: Draken made some statements on Twitter about the CIS teams. Did you take that seriously at all?
bondik: I wasn’t angry at him. He was just trolling, and some took it to heart. At the same time, fate took care of it, as he got matched against all the CIS teams. But I don’t take it too seriously. In the end, he got NaVi and us and that ended poorly for them. Since we won the CIS Minor, I guess it means he couldn’t have won there either.
Vie: Would you like to see a Double Elimination bracket in the playoffs?
bondik: It’s hard to say since it’s my first Major playoffs game. But overall I like Double Elimination.
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