CaliberJacob: Talking with [Paul "Hyper" Kontopanagiotis] from DarkZero after their victory in the semifinals over Team Liquid, a 2-1 victory that had a little bit of a scrappy start but still felt like it picked up a lot of steam and momentum as the series went on. Is that slow start something you have to worry about with a best-of-five game tomorrow, or is this something you can shake off when it comes to an actual best-of-five scenario?
Hyper: ...Historically, we have had slow starts, not going to lie, hopefully it's not an issue tomorrow. Um...I think today's was mostly getting a feel for them. We haven't played a team like that, where they just hit all their shots, like, basically ever. We just worked on going to the next map, like just feeling more confident to work together as a team; to work individual picks.
So, I think that worked into our favor going into the next two maps.
CaliberJacob: It's kind of been a bit of a trend for both of these previous best of threes. Sometimes the first map has a bit of that problem, but heading into the rest of it is something you guys can clean up, and it's not just going dead even with teams, sometimes it's dominating. There wasn't a round in that match where there was more than four people left alive at the very end of a round. You usually have the resources at the end of a round to carry you through the rest of it, so are you very confident in how your team's individual players are playing at this point?
Hyper: Yeah, I think everyone's extremely confident in individual players. We have an ongoing joke that there's a Netflix movie on us just because of how close every game is, and like last NAL season it was a little like you can't make it up, rivals are playing for a LAN match.
We lost the first map, we went backstage, and were like, "listen, you know, the Netflix movie's on us, they're just a part of it."
And then, going into the next two maps we just played our game.
CaliberJacob: Team Liquid, of all teams, the last team from not North America to be competing at this Major, and now it's an all-North American final. Is there someone on the Astralis or OXG side you'd prefer to face tomorrow for the championship? Or is it just kind of a toss up because, you know, you've played those guys already?
Hyper: I think it's just a toss-up. I mean, I would like OXG to win just because I have a couple of friends on there, and it would be nice to play them. I think it could be a good match. But, either way, we're going to have a tough opponent tomorrow and we're going to have to prepare for them.
CaliberJacob: You guys have usually been regarded as a team that's, like, close-knit to a point where it's all strategy, it's coming down with a crazy, intricate plan, what does it mean if you go in tomorrow and win for your teammates because of how much work you've been putting in over the past two years?
Hyper: Um, I just think that kinda comes as part of the job. Everyone here wants to win, and we all put in an equal amount of work and effort, and just like are good teammates to be other. I think it would be huge for us to win tomorrow.
CaliberJacob: Anything else you want to say to DZ Nation before I let you go?
Hyper: Thank you to all the fans, everyone from the crowd who is rooting for us, we need you tomorrow. So, uh, we're expecting you guys.