Vinicius “VINI” Figueiredo has shared his thoughts on how the adaptation to a new communication system is going following the signing of Paytyn “junior” Johnson from Triumph in January. The North American AWPer debuted for the team only in IEM Katowice, helping them to finish 7th-8th following victories over NIP and FaZe, and defeats to Natus Vincere and Virtus.pro.
Due to passport issues, junior joined up with the rest of the squad just days before the start of IEM Katowice, even though he had practised with the team from home for a while. But despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, VINI believes that the dynamic in the team in the $1 million competition was better than expected.
“To be honest, communication was quite good, we expected it to be a lot noisier and to miscommunicate some words,” VINI said. “It was mostly me, junior and arT doing the talking to make things easier for KSCERATO and yuurih. I think we are improving a lot, we are taking English lessons and it’s been good.”
IEM Katowice was junior‘s biggest tournament to date, but he still managed to hold his own in most of the matches, averaging a 1.03 rating. Of the teams that he faced in the tournament, Virtus.pro was the one that gave him the most trouble as he was caught off-guard by their playing style.
“I think I performed well against FaZe and NIP, but I struggled against Virtus.pro, because their playing style was so weird and I had never faced them before,” junior revealed. “YEKINDAR and Jame were owning everybody, and it was very difficult to play against them.
“For the next tournaments, I have to know my spot and how we play on every map. I’m not going to lie, I was quite a bit confused about what we were doing in our matches on Overpass. I think these next weeks before ESL Pro League are definitely going to be good for us.”
The ESL Pro League Season 13 is slated to start on March 8. According to VINI, it’s unlikely that Lucas “honda” Cano, the team’s backup player, will see any action in the tournament as he is still getting experience and learning the ropes.
“This is up to guerri and arT, but I don’t think we are going to use honda in ESL Pro League right now,” VINI said. “It’s something we are still working on, he’s watching us in practice and learning every spot. I mean, if he’s ready one day before ESL Pro League starts, then sure, he can play.”