[BladeCast - Interview] Habrak - Poland 1 Captain

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Tardet

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With the recent announcement of Bannerlord Early Access set to March 2020, excitement has been growing inside the community for what could possibly be one of the very last tournaments on Mount & Blade Warband. Obviously, with Bannerlord itself having been announced a while back, the rumours of tournaments being hosted for the very last time go back far in time, so much so that it ended up becoming a well-established joke within the competitive community. For that reason, erring on the side of caution remains the safest approach as it still is to be seen how the game will be received once its access is spread to a larger public.

Nevertheless, there is no arguing that March of next year will be a month awaited by many players of the community, competitive or not, and for that reason, the upcoming tournaments set for the end of this year ( Nations Cup 2019 ) and the beginning of the next one ( Warband Native League 8 ) might be looked back at some of the very last competitions ever played on the game. In the case of the 10th edition of the Nations Cup, the competition started early October and we are now heading to the semi-finals of this competition.

To accompany you in this competition, BladeCast_TV will be publishing a series of contents which we hope will help you to enjoy this tournament to its full extent. Below, you can find a list of some of our upcoming articles, as well as those already published.






Before Poland attempts at reaching their third grand final, we sat down with Habrak who accepted to talk us through Poland's change in leadership, their confidence going into the knockout stage and their preparation for this particular match-up against North America.
 

Tardet

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BladeCast Interview - Habrak | Poland 1 Captain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It's a bit of a traditional question but what was the process of building a team for Poland this year, especially considering the large pool of players you guys had access to?

The pool of players in Poland is in fact pretty big, but it is not a secret that our local community always had some issues with liking each other, therefore we just picked from the guys that are in our 'group'. And this happens to be the best in the country too, players that before played in PE-SRC. Most of us were also in the previous editions of the Nations Cup. In addition to that, we also decided to focus on a smaller amount of players in order to develop better as a team.

This is also the first year that Harman doesn't lead nor play for the 'main' Poland team. How did this affect your leadership and organisation?

Last year the team was pretty much the same with the exception of a couple of players including Harman. No one truly knows why it happened this way, but both of the groups forming never really reached out to eachother. We knew that pretty early on and me and Angry decided to do all the things outside of the game, and the choice of the captain was quite obvious as Carpe was leading many times in the past. His departure from the team was rather unexpected tho, and the first match we played poorly also because of the chaos going on since Woj was not commanding fully just yet. As time went on we adapted, the organisation was already on point. The leading was perfect by the very difficult match against France and we are now doing very well with the help of our skill, experience and flawless leading by Woj.

Last year you guys had a really good tournament, only losing in the semi-finals against Spain by a very small margin. In this 10th edition, many had Poland as one of the heavy favourites, so seeing you losing against Germany in your opening match was quite the surprise. What happened there?

Yes, the last year was quite unfortunate, we could have gone to the finals, but we lost both of our matches against Spain. I don't know if I remember well but we played on Sandi which is a terribly random map in my opinion, but I wouldn't use that as an excuse. During the trainings we really disrespected Spain as they were performing poorly before the tournament started. That I think lead to us feeling cocky in the official match. Some of the guys also blame the tactics that Harman and Blackitt made up. But if we were better that day we would've won no matter the setup.

This year's start was pretty good for us in general, I can't really remember us losing a scrim from 2 to 3 weeks before the tourney began, so losing to Germany in that fashion was a bit of a worry for all of us I think. We knew that it was the matter of the attitude on TS, so we all focused a little bit more and decided to pay more respect in general, that also may have lead to Blade getting unbanned I imagine, but let's not bring that up as things are all sorted out at this point. And as I already mentioned, we were going through some changes during that time. But now, as far as I know, we are the favourites again.


Habrak about Poland's mindset going in the knockout stage said:
"[...] so we had to grab ourselves by the balls even harder for the rest of the NC, and it seems to be the working solution so far."

The rest of the group stage seemed like business as usual indeed, defeating both the UK and France and finishing on a high-note by decimating Turkey in the last week. Did it act as a huge morale boost for the team to get this 1st seed of Group A or were you aware that would the knockout stage start, everything would pretty much reset?

We had a fantastic run in the group stage, we managed to win against almost all the best teams in the tournament. However, after the calculations we knew that we were very likely to meet Germany in the quarter-finals, so as we had a terrible match versus them the last time, we simply wanted to show that it was just an accident and that we are the better ones in the end. So I guess it did act as a morale boost, but indirectly. And of course, we knew that the knockouts are a new stage, losing now would mean that we only performed well in the group stage, so we had to grab ourselves by the balls even harder for the rest of the NC, and it seems to be the working solution so far.

It seems such a mindset has been working for you guys so far as you took your revenge on Germany in the quite the fashion and are now moving onto your next challenge, North America. Looking at this particular match-up where pings are likely to play a huge role, how did you prepare for this semi-final?

The mindset before this match has to be a little bit different, we definitely won't win all the rounds on the American servers, but looking at our performances on EU against teams with regular pings, we are pretty confident to take it 6-0 on home soil. Our ability to prepare was a little bit affected because of us not being able to schedule quickly with Germany. We only played two scrims at max, however, we already played the maps that got picked so we are quite confident. The plan is also to use the players that have better pings on NA, but other than that it's nothing special, I personally am planning to warm up on both NA and EU.

If you are to project yourselves a bit further in the grand-final, do you have any preferences between the United Kingdom and France or is it the same for you guys?

I wouldn't wanna judge too early, but France has a better chance of going through to the finals as far as my knowledge goes. And we don't mind playing any of those teams if we get through ourselves. We won against both of the teams, and being able to play any of them in the following week would be a pleasure, but I am quite confident about us winning if we continue playing at the level we showed this month, but that is also the matter of factions, maps and many more things that are unpredictable. You never know what happens or who doesn't show up in terms of skill, but we had no struggle with that lately, so I am definitely looking on the bright side of life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


[size=6pt]ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY @BLADECAST_TV, CUSTOM GRAPHICS BY @ROSSLINGTON  INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY @TARDET
 

Tardet

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Another quality interview with really interesting answers, courtesy of Habrak. Thanks a lot for taking the time, best of luck tonight!
 

Habrak

Squire
WB
Was a pleasure to give a little insight and show how I view things, don't know whether there are any more interviews coming, but either way I am looking forward to reading some more of that.
 

Tardet

French Toast
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NW
Habrak said:
Was a pleasure to give a little insight and show how I view things, don't know whether there are many more interviews coming, but either way I am looking forward to reading some more of that.

Hopefully, we'll get one from France and UK before tonight's match!
 
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