March 28, 2023

OKBET CS GO | “I believe G2’s approach to things was a little impatient.” YNk on FaZe’s success, the return of Boombl4, and G2 changes

"I believe G2's approach to things was a little impatient." YNk on FaZe's success, the return of Boombl4, and G2 changes

"I believe G2's approach to things was a little impatient." YNk on FaZe's success, the return of Boombl4, and G2 changes


Janko “YNk” Paunovi spoke with Escorenews at IEM Cologne 2022. We talked about his time at FaZe Clan, NiKo’s IGLing abilities, and Boombl4’s potential career path. We previously posted a snippet of the interview related to NiKo and G2.

— What are your thoughts on FaZe? It’s incredible that they were the first team to win a Major with an international roster.

— They simply have a perfect roster in the sense that every player is perfectly suited to his or her role, and no one has to make a compromise. Everyone is doing exactly what they want, exactly how they want it. They’re all at a high point in their careers. Some of the guys have been with the group for a long time. Rain, Karrigan, and even Twistzz, who is still very young, have all been around for three or four years. Broky is at the point where he’s gained enough experience and improved enough over the last two years to be an equal contributor in that lineup.

I believe FaZe invested a little more in the support staff. They have analysts, you know. They have men following them around and assisting them. I also believe RobbaN has done an excellent job of developing good chemistry within the lineup, as evidenced by the fact that you can hear it all the time from them. They have fun playing with each other, and everyone is doing their best and working hard, which is why they are able to come back and win tough games and never give up.

You must include an element in which people are having fun and attempting to play with one another. So you’re not just waiting for a teammate to make a mistake so you can point the finger at them and have them fired sooner or later.

"I believe G2's approach to things was a little impatient." YNk on FaZe's success, the return of Boombl4, and G2 changes

— Let’s talk about G2 for a minute. Do they simply require more time, or have they deteriorated in general?

I believe G2 had a string of bad luck in some areas. They had a great start to the season. They were skilled at BLAST. They reached the Katowice finals, but were defeated in one of the closest 3-0 losses we’ve ever had. After that, Aleksib gets COVID and is absent from half of the groups. They don’t make the playoffs after he comes in.

And then they have like 40 days without any official games. So, you can’t practice for 30 days for a team that was riding high on momentum, which really sapped their energy and team

atmosphere. It doesn’t matter what you do or how you organize things as a coach or as a team. You need those officials to put your ideas to the test, and you need the players to be a little more motivated.

So I believe they lost some of their mojo when they arrived at the Major. And, of course, the changes they implemented. They were a team that had a history of losing finals. They were a top-three team last year and made those changes. Not to be worse than first place. They eventually regressed.

I believe they were a little impatient in their approach. Everyone is aware that “we’re in a win now mode.” We have a lot of talented players. We have everything written down. But wait, there’s more to it than that.

And, unfortunately, some of those small things began to add up, and the pressure began to mount and build for no apparent reason. And now, Alexi has announced that G2 is allowing him to pursue other opportunities. It seems a little early to me. But I also understand that the team’s relationships have probably deteriorated to the point where confidence is no longer present, making G2 unsalvageable.

You know NiKo from his IGLing days, when you both worked together. Now Aleksib is sitting on the bench. Whether or when NiKo will resume their role as IGL remains to be seen.

I believe he has the potential to be an outstanding IGL because he has strong game sense and instincts, places high stock in his gut, and exudes an air of authority and command. There is a hush when he speaks. Also, it’s crucial in IGL that you use a confident tone of voice and refrain from asking, “Should we do this, should we do that? You’re the boss; tell them what to do; they may offer suggestions and feedback; ultimately, though, the choice rests with you.


However, I believe it is too soon for him to act in that manner. We did it in FaZe because we had to. We were under a lot of pressure to carry it through. I think he’s too outstanding of a player for them to not find a way to replace him. Even though he was still performing very well on his own as an IGL, he proved that after he moved to G2 and could devote all of his time to playing, his statistics improved.

He has the potential to be a good one, even a great one, but that time may not come for a while, possibly not until he declines somewhat as an individual. However, I’m familiar with his work ethic and his attitude to the game. I don’t think that’ll happen any time soon.

— Is there a shortage of IGLs on the scene currently?

I believe it is always difficult to discover an IGL. You have certain household names, and you typically seek for an IGL and an AWPer, and if you find a good one, you’ll keep them because they’re priceless. So, G2 struggled to find an AWPer last year; they had Nexa, but no AWPer. Now they have discovered an AWPer, but have lost a game leader. I mean, they put in a replacement, but he doesn’t last long.

So it appears that there is a dearth of IGLs. Because most of the time, experience is also required to be an effective in-game leader. Those guys are already locked in, and if they aren’t, it’s typically because they started falling off, and they don’t have a strong relationship with the team or anything along those lines.

I believe they are difficult to find, and one must typically take risks, such as MOUZ. They recruited Dexter, an Australian athlete. Or you must take a gamble on a younger player, similar to what NiP did with Hampus, and then mold them. In addition, I believe that you must always seek a combination of an IGL and a coach in the modern era. This individual controls your game.

Therefore, you could observe what NAVI was able to accomplish with Boombl4, as they possess B1ad3. In FaZe, the situation is different; karrigan and RobbaN serve as coaches, which is just what they require in this regard. The coach must compensate for the weaknesses of certain IGLs, such as playing in a little different space to make things easier for them.

And in modern games, there is always a need for a second caller, or supplementary voice, due to the size of the maps. IGL cannot perceive everything. You must have a man who controls the folks on the opposite side of the map for you and all that. Thus, the situation is a bit more complicated. The team’s most valuable real estate consists of IGLs and AWPers.

When Boombl4 was expelled, you predicted that NAVI would never again place first.

I believe I stated that it was unfortunate that the alteration had nothing to do with their performance in the game. Consequently, I believe it’s sort of a bummer that they were all, in a sense, denied the opportunity to extend their reign due to events occurring outside of the game.

It is tough for those players to concentrate solely on the game. I’m impressed by how well they’ve performed throughout the entire year, especially recently with everything going on. I believe that was a wonderful move on their part. Finally, NAVI enjoyed a year of constant success. They won a Major Championship. During that LAN season, they virtually dominated. Consequently, it was regrettable that they were unable to adequately protect that heading into this year.

Do you believe Boombl4 has any opportunities to continue his career in light of recent events?

– I’m not sure. I believe it is somewhat difficult for him. I do not know how much he has ruined his reputation. I have not strictly followed that, such as rumors and what is true and false. Some of the information, such as what S1mple stated, was rather evident to everyone save him. But he will obtain it.

People will forever assert that it was all B1ad3, correct? However, we are not on the team, so our knowledge is limited to a handful of interviews. Unless he receives an invitation from Outsiders or a similar organization, I believe he must lead a group of younger players or something along those lines to a high level if he truly desires another opportunity. And thus demonstrate that he can succeed without S1mple on the squad or B1ad3 as a coach, etc.

Numerous clubs from Eastern Europe have relocated to Serbia. I believe it is safe to state that Serbia is emerging as a new esports hub in Europe. What are your thoughts on this?

Throughout history, we have occupied this singular position. We were in obscurity. We were simply there, neither on the left nor on the right nor anywhere else. We are not a member of the European Union, so the Schengen days do not apply to us. People can attend a two-week bootcamp without worrying about not having enough time to visit Cologne or attend a competition. That is very helpful.

There has been some investment in facilities such as bootcamps and the like. There are intentions to increase investment in this area and position Belgrade and Serbia as prospective centres. In addition, the cost is less than attending a bootcamp in Germany or other nations in Western Europe. And this is very significant, particularly for smaller clubs. Liquid has their own facilities in Utrecht, FaZe and Cloud9 may move their teams wherever they wish, etc. But some teams are searching for more cheap alternatives.

Do you believe it will be beneficial and healthy for the local scene?

I believe we ought to do something with the teams there, perhaps some exhibitions. Despite the fact that the local scene is blooming on its own, you may host a little event for them. It would be beneficial for everyone if they played any team that arrives during their two-week stay, perhaps in a mini-tournament.

Teams will receive some practice against kids who are attempting hard, as this will likely be the first time they face this type of opponent, as practice may sometimes be rather poor. The best teams compete against one another; you are hiding something. Players are far more at ease. Then, during a game, you encounter a situation that you have never encountered in practice. Such internal competitions would be both entertaining and advantageous for us.