We talked to Damian “daps” Steele at IEM Sydney on Friday where we discussed how tarik has integrated into the squad, thoughts on their opposition heading into the final and if we have seen the best ever squad NRG has ever produced.
Do you think this is the best iteration of NRG we’ve ever seen?
Daps: I think so.
I think picking up tarik was a huge pickup and it gives us more versatility so I think so far the results have been pretty good and hopefully we do well with him.
You spoke about tarik who joined NRG in January. How’s he integrated into the squad especially after the major?
Daps: He’s integrated pretty easily. I think his role is less defined in that he’s more of an all around player so it’s a lot easier to call I’d say so. Most of the players on the team can do everything now. So that helps mid-rounding so you know to put certain people in certain spots. So it helps a lot.
You’ll be facing off against either Fnatic or NIP tomorrow afternoon. Do you think they have anything that will stop you from making the final on Sunday?
Daps: Generally we’ve struggled versus Fnatic and NIP. So yeah, it’s definitely one of the harder matches for us. We’d obviously prefer to play a domestic rival like MIBR or Liquid even though it sounds insane to say.
But yeah, I think our map pool is stronger now and I think the break we had after StarLadder has helped us a lot. So I think we’ll be able to beat Fnatic or NIP.
LET’S GOOOO WE IN SEMIFINALS NOW BOYS!! ?
— NRG Current (@NRGcurrent) May 2, 2019
So you talked about domestic teams, your next few events will be back home in North America. Do you think they’ll give you an extra benefit going into next few events?
Daps: Yeah I think definitely the travelling to Sydney is a long journey. So it’s really tiring. I definitely think playing NA events is a lot better for us obviously to adjust to the time zones or anything. I don’t think it gives us a huge advantage since most top teams are used to the travel now so it definitely helps a little bit.
I just want to elaborate on that point a little bit especially with teams like Astralis and NaVi not deciding to go to too many events away from Europe now. Do you think that gives smaller teams a chance to rise through the ranks?
Daps: Yeah, I think it’s good. I think the fact that there’s a lot of a lot of the good teams are getting invited now from North America, it helps the scene a lot because before it used to just be like Cloud9 being invited to LAN’s and all the other teams had to qualify, even Liquid.
So now that we’re getting invites, Liquid’s getting invites, MIBR gets invites, even Cloud 9 is getting invited. It helps teams like Complexity and Ghost get some more events and it helps sort of the younger players come to events even eUnited even though eUnited didn’t do well at this event it’s a good learning experience for those players.
And finally just on Sweden once again, what are your thoughts on IKEA?
Daps (Smiling): IKEA?
Yeah it’s a great store. Most of my furniture comes from there. It gets a lot of us easily accessible easy to build stuff, except for the dressers the dressers are really annoying. Plus it’s really nice.
Be sure to catch daps and NRG tomorrow from 6:50PM AEST where they take on Fnatic to see who will make it to the Grand Final live on twitch.tv/esl_csgo.
Tickets to IEM Sydney 2019 are still available on the official website or ticketek.com.au.
Photo credit: ESL | Helena Kristiansson