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Acend BONECOLD: “We haven’t shown our best yet and we’ll give NA a reality check.”

We spoke to Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi of Acend following their win over SuperMassive Blaze. He talks about playoffs, preparation and his confidence going into the match against 100 Thieves.

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Hey, BONECOLD, thanks for the interview and congratulations on making it out of groups and into playoffs!

BONECOLD: Thank you very much. I still kind of feel the adrenaline pumping.

It was definitely an intense series. How was the team feeling before the match? Were there a lot of nerves given the stakes of this match?

BONECOLD: It really wasn’t such an exciting matchup. It was the third time in less than a month that we played Supermassive Blaze. Nerves weren’t really a factor going into the matchup. After the first game where we started off very slow, we had a really good talk with the team before Bind. So, I think that was one of the biggest reasons we beat SMB today.

You already touched on it, but this is the third Bo3 you played against SMB. How comfortable did the team feel going in?

BONECOLD: I mean, we were very comfortable but at the same time we had kind of lowered our expectations on them. We didn’t have them on the same level as we did in the first game we played against them. I think that was one of the biggest factors as to why we didn’t perform as well as people may have expected.

I can tell you that, right now, coming from the Vision Strikers loss and winning against SMB and getting out of groups, we are a lot more relieved and we’re going to be a lot more relaxed and focused going into the next matches.

Going into the games, it felt like Acend kept up in the first half of Ascent but why do you think the second half was so one-sided for SMB?

BONECOLD: It just felt like we played really low energy on the first game and that is something that has happened to us before. We just had a really slow start. We have already dealt with it before so it wasn’t hard to get the energy back and rolling for the second map.

You said there was a good talk after this game, but what was the initial reaction after this first loss?

BONECOLD: Honestly, it wasn’t entirely unexpected since that was their map pick and they really like playing it. We weren’t shocked that we lost against SMB. I feel like that is one of their best maps. Because of that we still felt very comfortable in the series going into the next map.

On Bind, all of Acend performed much better but you particularly had a turnaround performance. What do you think allowed you to have such a better game?

BONECOLD: I just really love playing the map and I was the one giving the speech before the game so I felt really hyped to go up on Bind. We had beaten SMB before on Bind with some really one-sided games so I was feeling really confident going onto that map. I knew that we needed to get the momentum rolling to take it to map three as well. I just did what I needed to do.

Bind is definitely one of your strongest maps, but why do you think you guys play this map so well?

BONECOLD: On that specific map, I just feel like we just have the most ideas and we have better execution. I just feel like the map is really good for us, everyone likes the way we play and we have a lot of ideas there so we feel really comfortable.

Game three was obviously very close but was there a moment or round when you knew that Acend was going to take the series?

BONECOLD: I feel like it was the first gun round in the second half when we just knew that we had what we needed to get rolling. Our attack side is just really good on Split. I feel like there was a lot of pressure and adrenaline to get out of groups. People think that Split is one-dimensional on attack but we have a lot to show on that map. We’ll see if anyone plays Split against us in the quarter-finals or moving forward.

How well do you think that your group prepared you for the playoffs?

BONECOLD: We had a better game than we did against Vision Strikers. We had a really slow day and then against SMB, we were kind of clawing on the last map. We just feel really relieved and we are really prepared to play against 100 Thieves to show our true form against the NA teams.

You guys are now on the ‘NA side’ of the bracket, facing off against 100 Thieves first. Do you have any thoughts before this matchup?

BONECOLD: I’m really confident that we haven’t shown our best yet and that we’ll give NA a reality check.

Thank you for the interview BONECOLD and best of luck against 100 Thieves!

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Image credit: Acend (Twitter)