A look at the finalist: Timechasers
BESL Pro Season 5 LAN finals are set to take place on the 15th of February at the Kipsala exhibition center in Riga, Latvia with the event being hosted as part of the HyperTown urban & esports festival. Additional information about the festival and tickets can be found by visiting hypertown.pro.
The culmination of the €9,000 CS:GO competition is going to feature the four best teams from the online stage. These teams are going to continue playing out the single-elimination playoff bracket with all the games being played as a best-of-three series.
The winner of the event is not only going to be crowned as the best team in the Baltic states, taking home the beautiful BESL Pro champions trophy but will also receive the lion's share of the prize pool in the form of €3,000!
As we’re still waiting for the event itself to come along, let’s take a closer look at the teams that made it to the finals this time!
We finish off our ‘A look at the finalist’ series with Lithuanians of Timechasers! Attending their first-ever BESL Pro LAN finals this season, Timechasers are looking to finally prove to everyone that being an actual team is more beneficial than playing in a mix, and who knows - that might be the key to them taking home the trophy in Riga.
Timechasers began their journey in the fifth season with a successful Swiss group stage as even though they opened things up with a loss to FiGURE05, they still managed to bounce back in the following three weeks with victories over teams such as WORTEX, deprEST, and Team Titan.
In their ¼ final game series, Timechasers were given the chance to redeem themselves against the only team that they lost against in the first phase of the competition - FiGURE05! Interestingly enough, despite them suffering a defeat the first time around, this time, Timechasers were actually considered the favorites.
In the game server, Timechasers had a very rocky start as they were crushed by FiGURE05 on their map of choice, namely inferno, with a pretty convincing result of 16:8. However, Timechasers pulled themselves together and won both nuke and train with a 16:11 scoreline, thus securing their first trip to a BESL Pro LAN finals event.
Congratulations on making it to your first-ever BESL Pro LAN finals event! If I’m not mistaken, you are the only member left in the team since the first initial Timechasers roster that we saw back in Season 3. Accordingly, you’ve stuck with them through thick and thin, and while players around you have changed, you’ve not given up and kept going. How does it feel to finally prove to everyone that anything is possible if you work hard enough? And how much does it mean to you personally to finally reach the LAN finals?
It’s not really about proving anything to anyone, other than to myself. I love being involved in anything competitive and, most importantly, constantly grinding and improving.
Personally, it feels great - just two seasons ago we dropped out 0-3 from the swiss stage, and now we actually qualified for the LAN itself. The upward trend we’re showing looks alright for now.
As I mentioned before, we’ve seen a couple of different iterations of Timechasers throughout the last three seasons of BESL Pro with you being the only variable that has not changed. Can you tell us a little bit more about all the rosters that you guys have had and how do they differ from one another? For example, how is your current roster better than the one you had in Season 3 (you, jL-, ShAdOwOw, Ind1ff3rent, and Jalzaz)?
When talking about roster history, I have to mention that our coach Undercover has also been here quietly working in the shadows since Timechasers picked up our CS:GO roster.
I’m personally not a big fan of roster changes, but every once in a while they just have to happen as our gameplay stagnates, personalities start clashing or people just lose passion for Counter-Strike and/or the team.
Our current roster is just superior compared to the one we had in Season 3. We’ve got better individual skill and our communication in-game has improved drastically. But, personally, the most important thing is our mental game - everyone can feel good when they’re winning, but it takes a great mindset to recover from losing horrible Xv1 situations, or even dropping our map pick in a Bo3 series. I still get surprised by the mental reset that happens after some of the throws we manage to pull off.
The competition did not start off as planned for you guys as you kicked off the swiss group stage with a 0-2 loss (10:16 dust2, 10:16 vertigo) against your fellow countrymen of FiGURE05. Tell us - what went wrong and why weren’t you able to get a W on that day? Did you guys feel nervous as it was the first game of the season or were they just better?
The lack of official matches at the time didn’t help for sure, but we were still practicing. In the series, it felt like we had dust2 all figured out, but Timechasers office got hit by a DDoS attack, where two of us were playing from. So, we were playing a few rounds 3v5, and then Sidivo and Advo had to switch to using mobile hotspot internet, meaning that they had around 80 ping for the rest of the series. The mood after that wasn’t great either. Miscommunication, not being fully focused, on top of that, FiGURE05 were obviously playing a really good vertigo. All of that combined just lead to an easy 2-0 for them.
Still, it was a good wake up call! We had to give it our best for the remainder of the season if we were to beat our last season’s placement.
However, every other swiss group stage game went your way and during the time period of the next three weeks, you scored three 2-0 victories against teams such as WORTEX, deprEST and Team Titan. Can you tell us a bit more about these three series? Which one would you say was the hardest to win and did you feel like the favorites coming into all three of these series?
We came in prepared for all three of these series, because, as I mentioned before, there was no room for hiccups if we were to keep the trend of improving our placement at BESL Pro.
Though, speaking about a particular series - the one against Team Titan was the most exciting for sure, even after the anti-climactic overpass. It just meant the world to me to beat EiZA in an official league game as we tormented each other the whole week leading up to the series and, of course, Team Titan had just won ESEA Main last season, so we were really hungry to take them down. All the preparation was done and the fact that we saw respect bans from both sides during the veto just got our blood pumping. All that was left to do was to play our hearts out for the next couple of hours!
As for being favorites or not - I personally don’t look too much into who’s the favorite and who’s not. I’m just there to score as many rounds for my team as possible, always hopeful to hit that sweet 16.
In your ¼ final game series, you got the chance to once again meet your perpetrators in the form of FiGURE05. When I initially saw the veto, I thought that it was a bit strange that you did not go with your hallmark pick of vertigo, because even though you did lose it against them the first time around, I thought that you were the kind of team that would go back, look at the demo, and come back stronger on the same map the next time. But, that wasn’t the case here. Can you walk us through the thought process for this veto and why did you decide to go for inferno instead? Were you really not that confident in your vertigo anymore?
Well, we still love our vertigo dearly, but, at the time, we chose to pick inferno just because FiGURE05 usually ban it, while they weren’t afraid to leave vertigo open. However, we underestimated their inferno and our was shaky at best. Combine that with my own performance being bad, some rounds I felt like we were playing 4v6.
The thought process of trying to abuse our opponent’s weakness instead of playing to our strenghts comes back to haunt us every so often. I guess this is yet another reminder to keep grinding and to retain a solid map pool.
As we now know, the ¼ final game series against FiGURE05 went your way and you got the taste of sweet revenge. Now, looking forward to the LAN finals event in Riga - in your semi-final game series you guys are going to go up against the defending champions Akatsuki. With them being far more experienced at events like these, would you say that your ability to deal with the pressure is going to play a big part in this series? Or are you confident that the pressure is not going to affect you guys and you will be able to perform just like you would online?
At the moment, I can’t be too sure about it. We did talk a bit about playing on stage and it seems like we might just be able to handle it. Personally, I’ve already had loads of matches where I was visibly shaking, even online. Most notably, our first ever BESL Pro debut game back in Season 3 against 1337HUANIA. There I was legitimately shaking to the point of having trouble using my mouse. Nevertheless, we were obviously massively outskilled there and I don’t think we had a good shot at beating them at the time. Ever since that game, I’ve worked on dealing with the pressure, so we’ll see how it goes.
Though, I do agree that Akatsuki have the upper hand in this department as they are the defending champions and they have far more experience playing under pressure at events like these.
However, if you do manage to defy the odds and score a W against Akatsuki, who would you want to face off against in the grand final? On one hand, taking down both 1337HUANIA and Akatsuki in a single day would finally give hope for Baltic players to start playing in teams, while on the other - I imagine it would be pretty fun for you to face off against your ex-teammate jL- in a grand final of BESL Pro?
While the thought of defeating both of the Lithuanian powerhouses in one day brings a happy tear to my eye, I’d most definitely prefer to face off against jL-. Win or lose, the banter would be never-ending, and I absolutely love jesting around, regardless if I’m on the receiving end or not.
On top of that, we’ve already got a good track record against jL- specifically (wink wink @jL), I wouldn’t want to miss out on yet another triumph against him.
Thanks for your time! I wish the best of luck to you and your team in Riga! Do you have any final words or shoutouts you want to give?
Thank you Gekons, and also thank you to all the individuals who every now and then check in just to see how this Counter-Strike thing is working out, never thought I’d appreciate it so much.
Shoutout to the couple of fans we’ve accumulated during our run! Go Timechasers!
Stay tuned as even though the online portion of the season has come to an end, our news section is still going to be filled with interesting content such as interviews with the teams that made it to the finals and the big LAN finals preview article to let you guys know what to expect from the matches happening at the HyperTown urban & esports festival!
BESL Pro Season 5 is a seven-week competition between the sixteen best Baltic state CS:GO teams for their share of the €9,000 prize pool and the right to call themselves the best in Baltic states.
The four best teams from the online part of the competition are going to meet each other on the Samsung Odyssey esports stage on the 15th of February at Kipsala exhibition center in Riga, Latvia at the HyperTown Riga 2020 urban & esports festival. Visit hypertown.pro for more info about the festival and tickets.
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Article by: Bruno ‘Gekons’ Gailītis