Interview with JT
NA Mountain Dew League has just wrapped up their 28th season and the champions are Bravado Gaming. A team from South Africa who moved to the US to get more chances to play at a higher level is really starting to show. I got to talk with Bravado’s own JT about his time on the team.
What has it been like moving to the US during this past season?
A BIG learning experience, some of my teammates had previously travelled for tournaments but not for this long period of time. We learn something new everyday and that’s what keeps me positive we’ll become a great team. I’m loving every minute playing in the US.
What were your goals or the team goals when it was first announced that you guys would make the move?
We had huge ambitions coming into the US but we set ourselves goals that were in my mind small. Win Main, win MDL and qualify for one international tournament. Of course this turned out much more of a difficult road than myself and the team had imagined, but even so we did achieve 2 out of 3 of those goals. I’m still personally a little dissatisfied as qualifying for an international tournament was my main ambition. (All this not counting WESG, where we qualified from South Africa)
Winning MDL is a huge feat, especially in the manner you guys made it. How crazy was it that the two lowest seeds ended up meeting in the final?
It’s crazy that almost 24 hours before the playoffs started we were trying to deal with the fact that in our minds we had missed playoffs. And to go from that state of mind and to end up in the final and eventually winning it is a big deal for myself and the team. Congrats to Vision as well for a great playoff run, they were a great team to play in the finals and are always great to play against, definitely not surprised to meet them in the finals!
Your first match up in the quarterfinals was against Dignitas who had just finished a near perfect season. What did you guys do to prepare for this matchup?
Honestly, not much. All of us put in a little extra individual time going into the playoffs and we watched maybe a handful of their demos. We were confident in our game plan and coming into the playoffs we knew we could beat any of these teams in a best of 3 series if we just played our game.
Going into this next season of MDL, what do you think are your chances of qualifying for EPL?
I think we’re the best team in MDL, so I feel our chances are quite high.
What are some of the teams goals for the end of the year?
Qualify for EPL, that’s our main focus this time around. Anything extra is a plus.
What is the scene like in South Africa and do you think all of the potential you guys have
shown will get players more motivated? To me, the South African scene is best described as a family. It’s small but it has a lot of heart, the players have a huge want to improve and become a cs powerhouse, the problem is we need more players and we need more tournaments and we don’t get that because the viewership isn’t great. I do believe that our run will get many young players back in SA huge motivation, I’ve already received messages from players back home telling me that. I’m hopeful for the future of South African pros, there is something there and needs to be tapped into somehow.
One last question, what was that third map against Dignitas like on Dust 2. It was extremely stressful just watching, I can't imagine what you guys were feeling.
The first half was easy, we got ahead of ourselves and that made us complacent. I feel that we were our worst enemy in that last map, Dignitas had a really strong CT side and a lack of focus put us in a bad position real quick after that first dominant half. We were too confident going into that second half, my calls and insight as the IGL were lacking and when it started slipping away we started to freeze, it was a very frustrating game honestly.
Thanks so much to Johnny for joining me, I wish him and the rest of Bravado good luck on their journey to EPL next season!