• Gonçalo "ghazz" Louro

“Communication was definitely a bigger issue than we thought” - Interview with MiBR's tarik

We got the chance to talk with Tarik “tarik” Celik in Lisbon, before the start of BLAST Pro Series on his expectations towards the tournament, the language barrier that they seem to have and how they’re implementing Braxton “swag” Pierce within the team plans, since fer had to miss the tournament due to a surgery.

It's your first time here in Portugal, but your team has already been here this year in a tournament they won. What are your expectations towards the tournament and the crowd, based on what your team may have said to you?

tarik: We aren’t playing with our full roster, which is kind of unfortunate, but either way, we’ve been practicing with Brax, aka swag, and we’re going to do our best to make all the fans here proud. I’ve never played in Portugal, but I’ve heard only good things about the atmosphere and I’m really excited to be playing in front of this crowd.

There are rumors/confirmations regarding the future of your lineup, mainly around going back to full brazilian. How are you coping with that decision and what are your plans towards the future?

tarik: I don’t really have a comment on this.

Was the language barrier a harder mountain to climb than you were expecting?

tarik: Yeah, I think the communication was definitely a bigger issue than we thought it would be. At first it was pretty bad but over time it got better, but I don’t think that we are at the point we can say that we are fully comfortable. I think that some improvements still have to be made. Everyone did try their hardest to make it work.

Let's now talk about BLAST Pro Series Lisbon. Despite all the problems, you still came here to win. How is the confidence and chemistry within the team for the next couple days? Have you been practicing normally the past days?

tarik: Yeah, we’re still practicing with brax. We only have two days of practice with him, so we’re going to try to make them as productive as possible, but our plans are to do the best we can here, there’s a lot of fans supporting us and hopefully that can give us that extra push to be even better and we’re going to try to take it home.

Not only that, but fer is also not present due to a surgery. swag is standing-in in his place. How is Braxton adapting to the team in the few practice days you had, if any at all?

tarik: We only played yesterday and we’re going to play today, but I think that we’re just trying to make him comfortable and putting him into to spots where he feels familiar with, so if wants to go somewhere we’ll let him do it. We can have a little more freedom and make him play his own game more, so were trying to work around him and i think it’s going well so far.

So, you’re not entirely trying to put him in fer’s place?

tarik: Sort of. I think we're trying to do a balance in both. Sometimes we'll put him into fer’s spot and sometimes we are also letting him do his own thing. So, we’re just keeping a balance of letting him do what he likes and also filing in fer’s shoes.

You are not the only team using stand-ins in this tournament due to medical reasons. In fact, you're playing Cloud9 without Golden in the first round, on Mirage. What do you have to say about that match up?

tarik: Should be a good matchup, both teams are playing without their full roster. For us, luckily enough, 4 out of 5 of our matches are on Mirage, so all we have to really do is practice that map and we should have good chances of going through and I think we have a pretty solid chance of beating Cloud9 as well. It should be a pretty fun game regardless.

CSGO is now free-to-play. What is your opinion on this direction taken by Valve? How do you think will impact the game growth and its competitive side?

tarik: I think there’s a lot of good things that can come out of this. The free-to-play is a good thing to do but I think what’s more important for them to do is an overhaul of the matchmaking system and make it more competitive to play on CSGO`s system instead of requiring people to play on 3rd party services, so I’m hoping Valve takes more steps to making the casual community experience a little bit better but also implementing the competitive aspect into matchmaking more. Overall, I think it was a good update to the game and hopefully more players come to our game.

Is there any words you would like to say to your fans out here?

tarik: We’re really looking forward to play in front of the Portuguese crowd and hopefully they’ll show us all of their support and push us into the finals. We’re going to try to make it as entertaining as possible for all of you.

I would like to thank tarik for the interview and wish him good luck in the tournament.

Cover image credit: Dreamhack