Casper ‘cadiaN’ Møller was impressed with his team after grinding out a tough win at the PGL Stockholm Major against Virtus.Pro. They’ll face tougher competition in the semis but Heroic’s IGL believes his team “have no limits” and will answer the call.
Nerves are expected for the first LAN event, let alone Major, in two years. They were in full show at the PGL Stockholm CS:GO Major playoffs, where Virtus.pro and Heroic faced off in the top 8.
There were shaky moments by both VP and Heroic on the first half of the opening map, Mirage. But the game would eventually stabilize for both teams into an all-out slugfest.
All three maps went over 25 rounds and it quickly became a war of attrition the longer the series dragged on. Heroic, and by extension VP, dug deep into their playbooks to find any edge they could manage.
Rounds came down to individual talents having to clutch out bad situations. This persisted through Ancient to the final map of Inferno, and cadiaN wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“We’ve seen it from [Ismail ‘refrezh’ Ali],” he told Dexerto after their 2-1 triumph over their CIS quarter-final opponents.
“[Martin ‘Stavn’ Lund] as well. Me and him in a two-on-three, two-on-four on Ancient. [René ‘TeSeS’ Madsen] is making magical moments. [Rasmus ‘sjuush’ Beck] is all of them.
“You can take any player and YouTube a clutch from them and it’ll be absolutely insane.”
Heroic’s clutch gene needed vs VP
CadiaN was amazed by his team’s effort. Of all the squads at the Major, few test a group’s resilience like VP.
Whether they full-send the team to get a bomb plant or get a pick on-site just to fall back into silence, the former Avangar core — who made the finals in Berlin two years ago — kept Heroic guessing throughout.
Mental fortitude and infallible communication were required from the Danes.
- Read More: PGL Stockholm Major 2021 results
But even in man-disadvantages, the Danes bet on themselves to keep the maps close. Refrezh’s disrespectful 3k on Ancient broke a 5-5 tie and even defied the IGL’s expectations.
“Refrezh with the deagle. Holy– I’m about to swear,” he said.
“I told him ‘you have an AWP.’ He just keeps the deagle, goes out and gets another one… I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it for quite some time on LAN.”
They would go on to lose Ancient off of VP star Dzhami ‘Jame’ Ali’s game-high 28 kills and Timur ‘buster’ Tulepov’s 1.35 performance rating. But Heroic were looking forward to playing on their second-best map of Inferno where a rising star would start to shine.
TeSeS became the difference-maker his team needs him to be in this Major. His 1.49 rating outpaced everyone on the server, tacking on 24 kills with 14 headshots.
Though VP held its nerve to keep it competitive, Heroic ran away with the last map after warming up to the stage.
Heroic have no limits
Before the Major, Heroic was a good team that had great players who would break down at the worst times. During the Major, they hit a level of consistency to make them a threat to everyone.
Now, in the playoffs, they’re looking to improve their chances with the intangibles that define Major winners at their core.
“This team has no limits,” cadiaN said. “The players, individually, are so good. The team vibe is amazing and everyone is pretty goddamn clutch.
“I think we exceeded expectations in the way we played and how our communication was. I was so impressed. Very calm, very collected.”
Natus Vincere (NAVI) are looked at as the heavy favorites going into Stockholm. Coincidentally, that’s who the 26-year-old IGL wants to face off against the most.
If Heroic struggled with VP, then they’re really going to be tested in the semi-finals versus G2. And that’s not to mention NAVI, should they both make it to the Grand Finals.
But the Danes know what they need to improve to stare down the world No.1 team.
“We need to win the 2v2s, 1v1s, 1v2s [against NAVI],” cadiaN explained. “Because we should’ve beaten them in the last best-of-3 … and [we] lost.
“[In the group stage], it was the same. They won like three, four clutches in the end which defined the game. The clutches will be key.”
Of the teams still at the PGL Major, Heroic have the most clutches (21) across their starters. Stavn and refrezh lead the way with six each.
There’s still a long way to go before the Grand Finals but Heroic have a renewed sense of confidence and are ready to blow everyone’s expectations at Stockholm.