A look at the finalist: wolsung
BESL Pro Season 3 finals are going to kick off on the 1st of June at Kipsala exhibition center in Riga, Latvia with the event being hosted as part of HyperTown RIX 2019 urban & esports festival. Tickets can be found here!
The culmination of €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 Baltic states, taking home the beautiful BESL Pro Season 3 champions trophy, but will also receive the lion share of the prize pool in form of €2,500!
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 continue our ‘A look at the finalist’ series with the only Latvian team left in the competition - Season 2 champions wolsung. Their qualification to the LAN finals comes as no surprise as Latvians have set themselves up for a much bigger challenge - winning back-to-back BESL Pro titles in front of their home crowd!
Wolsung qualified to playoffs with victories over teams such as Team Titan, ayned and LESGEDI, and while technically they did receive forfeit loss against 1337HUANIA, due to not being able to field a roster on easter break, in the actual server Latvians are still undefeated.
The series turned out a bit closer than some might’ve expected as wolsung’s 16:4 victory on their opponent’s map pick of mirage was quickly answered back with a 8:16 victory by MAKONGA on Latvian’s map choice, inferno. However, the final map of the series, dust2, saw Latvians once again establishing dominance in the server as they closed out the match with a quick and painless 16:5 victory.
Congratulations on qualifying to the LAN finals for the third time in a row! As I think that asking the traditional question of ‘were you confident that you’re going to qualify’ would be a waste here, because we all know the answer to that question, I’m going to instead start us off with a different one. Were you surprised that you were the only Latvian team who managed to reach the playoffs this season?
Yes, I was definitely surprised, because last season, for example, teams were fighting for a single spot in the finals since wolsung, 1337HUANIA and XGR/WASD were basically guaranteed to make it. But this season, there were 2 spots up for grabs and that should’ve encouraged everyone else to step up, including Latvians, who were fighting for a chance to play in front of their home crowd. Realistically, though, I think that the only other Latvian team that could’ve qualified was Team Titan, but they lost their 2-2 game against Lamp in 3 maps.
Like everyone else, you started your journey here in the swiss group stage where you, as defending champions, had the perk of choosing your round 1 opponents from teams that came through the qualifiers (MALCO, MAKONGA, Team Titan, Timechasers). As we all know now, you ended up choosing your countrymen of Team Titan. Care to explain the decision of choosing them over any other team from that list?
Honestly, we didn’t care who we play against in the first round. I just decided to choose Team Titan, because we know those guys very well and we thought it would be more fun for them to start the season off with 0-1 win-loss record than any other team from that list.
After two weeks of play you were up 2-0 with victories over the aforementioned Team Titan and ayned. On week 3 you were matched up against 1337HUANIA, but, sadly for us, you guys were not able to play on easter break, so you forfeited the game. I know this is purely a speculation at this point, but if you did play that game, do you think that you would’ve gotten the W, thus closing out the swiss group stage with a clean 3-0 win-loss record?
I think that we would’ve ran over them 2-0, because, just like last season, we feel very confident in the roster that we have and confidence is one of the most important things in CS. Even if we somehow manage to lose in the LAN finals, we would still be happy, because we all enjoy playing with each other and we’re just having a good time.
As for the forfeit - our pro100 players were a bit burned out from playing CS every day, so when the easter break arrived, they decided to take time off from PC and just chill with their families. In the grand scheme of things, that forfeit changed nothing for us and we’re at the same spot we would be without it - in the LAN finals.
In your ¼ final match you had to play against Lithuanians of MAKONGA. You started off strong with a very dominant 16:4 victory on their map pick (mirage), but as server changed the map to your own map choice of inferno, things clearly did not go your way (8:16 loss). What exactly happened on inferno? Additionally, how confident were you going in to the third map, dust2, with momentum clearly being in their favor?
First of all, for me it felt like they gave up before the game even started as in they did not really believe that they can win. The mirage game was pretty straight-forward - we just played spawn based CS and they couldn’t do anything about it. Funnily enough, on inferno we actually tried harder than on mirage, but our CT side was just not working. On the last map, dust2, we switched back to playing spawn based CS and after taking the first few rounds, we started doing dumb pushes with taking positions that no one would ever play and, once again, they just couldn’t punish us for that, so there’s no reason for us to play default style.
The first two seasons of BESL Pro were played out using the traditional league format of round-robin, but this time around things were different as teams were competing in the swiss format groups while transitioning into playoffs a bit earlier than the LAN finals. Now that you have been through the process of qualifying to LAN finals in both the formats, which one do you prefer and why?
I definitely prefer swiss format, because I think that it has a lower chance of favorites being upset compared to the traditional round-robin. In swiss, if you are one of the favorites, you are basically guaranteed to get to the playoffs. If you didn’t, then you’re obviously not as good as you thought.
Also - it’s much easier to schedule and play one best-of-three series per week than scheduling two seperate best-of-one games against different opponents. Not to mention, the fact that you don’t have to play every single week is also a huge plus.
Moving on to the LAN finals in Riga. In your semi-final game you’re going up against the ever-consistent Estonians of WORTEX who, similarly to you, are also attending their third LAN finals in a row. Historically, last time you met these guys was last season online and back then you demolished them 16:4 on mirage. With you guys clearly being the favorites here, do you think that this is going to be a clean-sweep (2-0) in your favor or could things get interesting if WORTEX turn up with their A-game like they did in Tallinn?
If things go as planned and you do indeed take down WORTEX in your semi-final match, who do you think is going to come out on top on the other side of the bracket and how do you view your chances of winning against them in the grand final in front of your home crowd?
I think 1337HUANIA will win the othe semi-final, but no matter who be play against, we feel very confident, because Lithuanian teams are notoriously famous for playing bad at LANs.
Last season we were playing the finals in Estonia against Estonian team, but we felt like people are cheering more for us than for them and I hope to see even more wolsung fans cheering for us this time around in Riga, because it really did help us perform better!
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?
I would like to say thank you to everyone who is watching and supporting not only us, but the whole Baltic CS:GO scene and BESL Pro! And, of course, thanks to BESL Pro for another great season and thanks to everyone who has made this project possible!
Special shoutout to our biggest fan Heccu - thank you for your support as well!
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 HyperTown Riga Urban & eSports festival!
BESL Pro Season 3 is a 7 week battle between the sixteen best Baltic state CS:GO teams for their share of the €9,000 prize pool and the chance to acquire themselves one of the four spots at this season’s LAN finals held in Riga, Latvia at Kipsala exhibition center with the event itself taking place on 1st of June.
Want to attend the LAN finals? Grab yourself a ticket HERE!
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Interview by: Bruno ‘Gekons’ Gailītis