Following the conclusion of the eXTREMESLAND 2018 – Singapore Regional Finals, we sat down with members of the winning team, B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape’s Nevin “splashke” Aw and Kumaresan “Tommy” Ramani. Together they shed some light on the recent struggles of the team, as well as what to expect from them going forward.
CSGO2ASIA: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today. So to start off with, how does it feel?
splashske: It feels good to win the third year in a row!
Tommy: Yeah, I think it also feels especially good this time because we just came off a loss at the WESG Singapore Qualifiers, so this is really good for us, it gives us a boost in morale.
CSGO2ASIA: Yeah, that’s right. That was quite an upset it seems. Between this event and the WESG qualifier, you were definitely the favorites to go through. Walk us through a little on what happened with the WESG qualifier?
splashske: I think it was a lack of practice, to be honest. Everything was just all over the place. After that qualifier, we went back to the drawing board and just had an open honest discussion. We just talked it through. We went through everything, our roles, our maps, everything, and just worked to fix it all.
Tommy: Yeah, I agree. It was just the way we were practicing. We were practicing all wrong. So what we changed now isn’t drastic, it’s just about having a goal before going into practice. So we focus on that goal and only that goal. For example, if we are working on de_inferno, and we want to work on improving our banana control, we aren’t even focused on anything else, win or lose, just perfecting banana control.
CSGO2ASIA: Right, right. So a much more focused approach.
Tommy: Yeah, exactly. Just practice with a purpose rather than practicing for the sake of practicing, haha.
CSGO2ASIA: Cool. So, there is a common theme you see when it comes to domestic match-ups, not just here in Singapore but also whenever two teams from the same country go head to head, it’s almost as if it’s anyone’s game. Do you think the level of competition here in Singapore has improved? And do you find you let your guard down a little when you face the local teams compared to the international competition?
splashske: Yes, sometimes I think we just underestimate them. We probably come in a bit too overconfident. Then on the day of the game, we’re surprised by how much hard work they put in, like whoa, this team has actually improved a lot! They seem to have studied us, so when that happens, we don’t really have a plan B, which isn’t good. We definitely won’t let that happen anymore, we have to have a plan B and not underestimate them.
Tommy: Yeah, I would agree to an extent, if they study us then we just end up being stumped as to what to do, because they literally know all our strategies. I also feel that the Singaporean teams have really improved in general. They have more teamwork now than before, and that’s a good thing. Of course, some of them still just rely on their aim and a very ‘PUG’ style of play, but the teams that are putting in an effort to their teamwork, it really shows, they will go far.
CSGO2ASIA: That makes sense. On that note, dream[S]cape has been shuffling the roster quite a bit lately. That obviously has had an impact too. Can you speak a little about your process of selection when it comes to replacing teammates (like Benkai) or bringing in a stand-in?
Tommy: Yeah, so basically with Benkai in the team our T-side setup, for example, was more of a 1-3-1, where Benkai was one of the solo players. This meant he had a lot of space to work with, and he is more than capable of doing things on his own. We found ourselves playing off his plays and playing around him, which is different when you remove him from the equation. Right now, we’re moving towards a more 4-1 setup, so it’s just different. It’s better in some ways, but we’ve also lost a lot of firepower where Benkai is concerned.
CSGO2ASIA: Right, so losing that firepower, are you looking for someone who’s better, or equal, or just finding someone more than capable and adapting to that?
Tommy: I mean, Benkai is a one-of-a-kind player. You can’t really find anyone like him in Singapore at the moment. So what we’re trying to do is make up for that with better teamwork. I think our newest addition, Leslie ‘Bobosaur’ Soen, has the teamwork we need, he just lacks some experience right now. So, we shall see.
CSGO2ASIA: Got it. It’s also great to see Benjamin “moxie” Kou playing with you guys again, as a stand-in. Is this the line-up we can expect for the eXTREMESLAND 2018 Grand Finals?
Tommy: Well, I’m not sure if I can comment. Let’s just wait for the announcement from our org, it should be released soon, don’t worry.
CSGO2ASIA: No problem. Anyway, good luck, practice hard, we’ll see you in Shanghai!
splashske: Yes, thank you, see you in Shanghai!
Tommy: Awesome, thank you!