Catching Up With The Team - An Interview With ViolentPanda
Mon 25th Nov 2019 - 7:11pm
With League Play over in this season of the RLCS, I catch up with Jos "ViolentPanda" van Meurs to discuss how he thought the team did and what improvements the team is looking to work on!
Placing 5th in League Play, how are you feeling about the overall performance of the team in this season of the RLCS?
ViolentPanda: It started out very rough. In scrims, we have always been pretty good with no problems at all, but for the first few weeks of RLCS there were problems where players just weren't performing the same as they did in scrims. So that made us lose some matches that we shouldn't have lost.
So that being said, what do you think the team as a whole needs to work on in order to improve?
ViolentPanda: I mean, you can always get better but, for us, we had to focus on playing like we played in scrims. That was really the only problem. In scrims we won almost everything and then when it came to RLCS we couldn't because some players got nervous or some players played differently. So eventually we just had to ask ourselves, how do we play in scrims and how we can play like that on the day.
Alternatively, then, what do you think the team does really well that you are proud of?
ViolentPanda: Offensively, we are really good. Aztral is very good mechanically and I am a very good passer, so that fits really well with each other. In general, just connecting on passes is what makes our team really good when we are on point.
Great! How often did you guys scrim in between your matches every week?
ViolentPanda: What we do is we take Mondays off, because it is Sunday that we play, so Monday is just like a day off every week. Besides that, we scrim every evening and most of the time we do about two hours of scrims. So we would play against two teams, each would be like an hour long, and we would also look at replays from the previous games with our team. So really around three to four hours per day.
That's really good to hear. So is there a lot of constructive criticism being given to one another in order to help eachother out?
ViolentPanda: Yeah! I mean sometimes we have had problems with people that didn't do that but, yeah, that is always helpful. People should just be honest, and we've really worked on that as a team.
As the longest standing player on the team right now, does this add any pressure on you to perform really well on the day?
ViolentPanda: No. I always say it; I don't think I ever under-perform. I always play at the same level or better. There is only one match where I can honestly say I didn't play as well and that is Season 6 Final against Cloud9 where the whole team wasn't feeling it that day but that was really the only time where I didn't feel that great about how I was playing. I always try to play as well as is needed for the team and I never try anything too flashy or anything like that. I like to think I'm pretty consistent, myself.
From when Aztral joined to now, have you seen a noticeable improvement in the team and how so?
ViolentPanda: Yes, I always say Aztral is one of the best mechanical players in the world. But he just had to be properly taught how to play threes and stuff like that, so we just had to teach him a lot of stuff from the start. i saw that he was smart and he would always be passing to his teammates, but he just didn't fully understand how it worked in professional three versus three games and that is what he really had to work on himself and it's what we helped him with. Yeah, he's been doing great so far!
That's great! Are you always aware of what to work on whenever you lost games, or did you just feel like you were unlucky on some days compared to others?
ViolentPanda: Like I said, that was really our biggest flaw, that we couldn't perform on RLCS days and some people just couldn't play the same. Of course, there are other small things we had to work on, so we talk to our coach, Virge, who helps us a lot with getting better and playing smart in general as well. But it really was just that we could not perform like we did in scrims. That was the main issue.
So how does the team take losses? How do you not let it get to your head and affect your performance for the next week?
ViolentPanda: I mean different people take losses and wins differently right? I've always been kind of mild over losses, like I don't care too much, I just look forward to the next one. Sure, when we lost in the RLCS final in Season 6 that hurt us, but when we are still in the season I don't really mind because we can still have another chance. I can't say for the other two right now, but personally I don't mind too much.
Overall, then, as a whole roster, are you proud of your advancements as a team?
ViolentPanda: Yes. Even though at BTS (Beyond The Summit) we got third and did really well, I'd say we were just feeling it that weekend. Then when we got home and we played a lot, we weren't perfect, but we've worked on a lot of things and I think we have gotten a lot better.
Good news! Finally, do you have any shoutouts to give?
ViolentPanda: Big shoutout to my girlfriend, of course, for always supporting me. Shoutout to Virge, our coach, for the work he has done for us. And of course the big boss Mike Prindiville, he does a lot in Dignitas and the esports scene in general.
I would like to thank ViolentPanda for joining me on this interview to discuss how the team is getting on. You can find ViolentPanda's social media platforms below!