We had the privilege to sit down with Team Freedom carry Vincent “Lutano” Alonso after their 3-1 series win against Leftovers on Day 2 of the HGC’s Western Clash Phase 2. We talked about how they were able to maintain a cool and calm mindset during this run of success at the tournament, whether the pressure was starting to get to them, and how they felt about their upcoming series against European powerhouse, Dignitas.
Lutano: It’s chilly in here!
Yeah it’s really cold! It’s the coldest room in the building.
Oh my gosh!
Okay so, I’m Taha Zaidi with Daily Esports and I’m here with Vincent Alonso, aka Lutano.
In the video package they showed before your matches, you said that your first goal was to just “win a series.” Once you beat Team Liquid how did you guys feel? Was it like, “Now that we’ve beaten this well-regarded team from Europe, we actually have a chance to take it all the way?”
Our next goal was “win a series.”
Like, that’s gonna be our goal from here on out. Win a series, win a series, win a series. Our eyes are always on the current and the present.
Being the third seed in North America you guys came in, obviously, with less hype than a team like HeroesHearth. Does that allow you to kinda fly under the radar and take advantage of an opportunity where maybe there wasn’t that much external pressure on you?
Yeah, 100%. When we came for the last Western Clash we had a lot of pressure on us because all the teams were talking us up. And now we were the underdogs. No one expected us to do anything really. And we’re winning, so that’s cool!
So how do you keep that mindset of being the underdogs once you start beating, like, you beat Team Liquid and now you beat the team that knocked down HeroesHearth. How do you kinda stay in that mindset of, “We’re still the underdogs,” even though you might feel like, “Okay, well North America is kinda on our shoulders now as we’re still the team in the main bracket.”
Well, it’s easy to be the underdog when your opponent in the next round is Dignitas. Dignitas are the best in the world, in my opinion. So it’s easy to keep a level head when that’s your opposition.
Everybody thinks being up 2-0 in a best of five series is the most comfortable position in the world but, do we kind of underrate the pressure that’s on you in a 2-0 position, where it’s like, “Wow, we’re at this position and now it would really suck to screw up?” Once you’re in that 2-0 position how do you stay in that mindset of just trying to close it out, as opposed to getting overconfident?
I think for us, in the 2-0 position, our thought process is, “We can lose. It doesn’t matter. Whatever.” We got our next second pick map. We know what we’re gonna do on that map and we know how to close it out.
In today’s series, once you got that 2-0 lead and then Leftovers took a map off of you, how did you decompress from that and how did you go into the next map?
Well, we knew that they had a really good draft, and we knew that Volskaya was their best map as a team and it was their most picked map in this phase. So we were like, “Okay, if we’re gonna lose a map, it’s gonna be this one.” And we were totally fine with that.
Once HeroesHearth was knocked down into the loser’s bracket, did you guys feel any of that extra pressure or even just internal expectations like, “If they can’t do it, we have to do this for North America?”
I don’t think so. Our motto has been “win a series,” we don’t care about any external pressure, any external expectations. We kinda joked, “Oh guys, we’re the last hope of NA!” but we didn’t actually care. We were just like, “We’re gonna play our game, we’re gonna win a series. That is our first step and we’re gonna go from there.”
After their game, we spoke to Snitch and we spoke to Wubby. I asked Snitch in particular what opponent they were expecting in the next match and obviously he said he was expecting Leftovers because of how they dismantled HeroesHearth. And both him and Wubby also said that they’re still really confident in the idea that Europe is gonna have three seeds at Blizzcon. How do you kind of take it, where you’re the team that they have to face when they weren’t expecting you, and what are your expectations for North America for Blizzcon and whether NA might have that third seed?
We had a lot of scrim practice with Dignitas and they beat us up a lot. But I think our biggest problem against Dignitas was our drafts were weak. And now that we’ve kind of fixed that, I think we have a shot at taking a game off of them and maybe even win the series.
Good luck to Team Freedom on their big upcoming Day 3! Keep up with all of the action on the official Heroes of the Storm esports site. If you would like to check out our interview with Snitch, you can find it here.
For all other Heroes of the Storm, HGC, and Western Clash coverage, keep track here!