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“We had absolute minimum of preparation against Rogue”: MrOfficer on Heroic Jönköping Major qualification & more

After missing out on the Berlin Major, Heroic are back on the international stage.

Image: Ubisoft/Kirill Bashkirov

Heading into the final play day of the European League, very few would have predicted Heroic’s performance against defending Major champions Rogue. The match was pivotal for both teams -- whoever won would qualify for the Jönköping Major.

In outstanding fashion and against all odds, Heroic were indomitable against Rogue after Aleksi “UUNO” Työppönen went berserk with a perfect KOST and a SiegeGG Rating of 1.81. Five of six attacks won on Villa turned into a 7-1 victory, ending any potential Rogue title defence and sending Heroic to the Major instead. The result also meant William “Spoit” Löfstedt will not be able to play in front of his home crowd in Sweden.

While the 7-1 victory was very much on merit from Heroic, it was certainly a surprise given the rest of Heroic’s 2022 season. Though they dominated the EUL in Stage 1, getting 24 out of 27 points, the team’s trip to Charlotte seemed to be cursed from the moment they crossed the pond. Right after touching down on American shores, the players found themselves unexpectedly spending 30 sleepless hours in New Jersey due to some complications with an airplane

While more experienced teams could have perhaps bounced back, Heroic were kneecaped when their practice plans got scuppered.

“It just kept going, snowballing into a shitshow,” revealed Heroic coach Murat "MrOfficer" Motevalli in a SiegeGG interview at the Charlotte Major. But, as he reveals now, that was not why Heroic failed to perform there.

“Stage 1, we walked over absolutely everyone, we played extremely good, and I think with that we also built up some ego but also it came a lot of pressure with that. We were really confident we were gonna walk over everyone, but obviously that hit us in the face,” he shared with SiegeGG ahead of the upcoming Jönköping Major.

Heroic finished in fourth place -- last -- in their group despite two regulation victories against w7m esports, who were playing from Mexico. 

Three months later, Heroic fell victim to G2 Esports’ incredible Stage 2 comeback and only managed a fifth place finish in the EUL. Unsatisfied, they sprung into action immediately, parting ways with Georgi “GorgoNa” Stoyanov and benching Jake “Sloth” Brown.

Following the trend of signing hot prospects from the second and third tiers of play, Heroic decided to replace them with Marc “Jume” Steinmann and Maxime “Meloo” Cahagnet from the GSA League and the 6 French League, respectively.

“We came to Pro League together, we had an amazing run, but as every relationship out there sometimes we just grow a little bit apart from each other,” said MrOfficer about the move. “We needed some fresh blood, some new motivation, some new structure changes into the team.”

The changes were certainly necessary, but were almost not enough. While they started all three stages well, they only stuck the landing in Stage 1. In both Stage 2 and Stage 3, the team struggled throughout the final five games of stages -- and missed out on one Major.

“We do really good but it comes to a point where it stops a little bit and then we start falling for pressure,” MrOfficer explained.

Most recently, in Stage 3, they had a very decent start and found themselves in third place with eight points by play day four. A maximum overtime victory against Outsiders and a regulation loss to Wolves Esports, however, saw the team fall to sixth.

Struggling for both consistency and the ability to handle the pressure, Heroic then lost to MNM Gaming on the penultimate play day of the stage for the warning bells to start going off. In sixth place again and with just one game left against Rogue, their chances to qualify for the Jönköping Major seemed very low.  

“When we lost to MNM, I am not gonna lie, we felt that one. Because statistically as well we knew if we won that one we could almost sleep and chill on the last game,” shared MrOfficer. But the pressure management that then followed was just the ticket for them.

“We must remember where we come from and that we had no goals of like making top four this split anyways, we have two new people on the team, let’s show them the respect of playing as a team and improving til next season and then we can make good results together.”

For the game itself, the team apparently had the “absolute minimum of preparation against Rogue”. Shoring up their own mentality was more important -- and proved more vital.

“I think the only thing we did if I remember correctly was map bans and a bit of operators, and that’s about it, we didn’t focus on where they are gonna play, how they are gonna play, what site rotations they are gonna go for,” revealed MrOfficer.

In Sweden, Heroic will share a group with SANDBOX Gaming, Team Liquid, and TSM, as the Europeans will try to sneak into the final bracket for the first time in the players’ careers.

“The way we see it is it’s definitely not the easiest group, I would say the group of death is definitely Group C followed by us,” concluded MrOfficer. “(But) we don’t care, your name can be whatever man, we are there to play our game if we are good enough and a bit of luck, everyone needs that, we are gonna take the games we deserve.

Catch Heroic on the international stage again at the Jönköping Major, which will take place from Nov. 21 to 27. 

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