This interview was conducted before Red Bull Home Ground.
Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk is excited about 2023. His two years with 100 Thieves have had many ups and downs, but the trajectory his career has taken over the last few months has been incredibly exciting. In addition to his success as a streamer and YouTuber, 100 Thieves looks supercharged.
Most fans and analysts considered the addition of Matthew "Cryocells" Panganiban to be a strong addition, the team has been grinding away to be as prepared as possible heading into the new year, and the team had a strong performance at Red Bull Home Ground #3. Inven Global spoke Asuna to discuss the new team, his experience practicing, and his thoughts on the competitive landscape.
Thanks so much for speaking, Asuna! It’s been a few months since we’ve seen you in any sort of competition — how have things been since we last saw you at Champions?
We have a new player now with Cryo, so we're trying to catch him up to speed on what we like: the team philosophy, overall fundamental stuff, etc. We've been working on that all of November, even more. But it has been a grind, as always — our team is not new to the process of making a team. We know what makes a good team. We started back in March making one, and now we're back at it again. Overall, this tournament is good practice.
What was the biggest thing you wanted to focus on? What did you feel you needed to improve on after that event?
Individually: working on Fade. Obviously, the stuff we worked on last patch won't matter as much for this upcoming patch, so it's a little bit different because things are being reworked, and I might go to a different role or agent on a lot of the maps. That's just how my role works, really, it's a lot more fluid than playing one or two agents. I'm a lot more all over the place. And right now, for this patch, it was Fade. But next patch, I don't know what it will be or what the goal is.
What about regarding improvements for the team as a whole?
For the team, we are all just getting comfortable with playing and using the OP. We've never really had an OPer for the whole time that we were here as a team. We had Will, but we were not really trying to use the OP. I wanted to stick with what we thought we could work with and what we thought was best. That's the path that we went down.
Besides what you mentioned, how has it generally been working with Cryocells?
It's been good! It's everything you would expect from a player of his caliber, in terms of what he brings. And obviously, we didn't know exactly how his comms are — they're really good. His mentality we kind of knew, but it's really good as well. Overall, it's been a really good experience, there's been nothing very alarming.
The other big change we've seen with 100 Thieves was the changes to the team's coaching staff. What have been your impressions of the coaching staff since Sean Gares left?
It's been good. It feels like the same environment — same kind of mentality. Obviously, a lot of Gares' values are still in the team. It's not like he disappeared and everything he taught us is gone. We understand how he thought about the game and stuff like that, so it's easy for us to be on the same page even if he's gone. He's still there in spirit, in a way. But Mike also is a really good coach, and he's been working with us since the start as well. And even at times, he put in more hours than Gares and stuff like that. He was a lot more of the grunt worker, so he deserves a lot of credit. And that's why we're all happy to have him as our head coach, and we're really excited in a way.
There is certainly a lot to be excited about going into 2023! What teams stand out to you the most that will be competing in the Americas competition?
Cloud9, just because they've been practicing since as early as us. Us and Cloud9 probably — both of us have been practicing since November, and no other team is doing that. Every other team is taking a break. And I think that's pretty silly, but yeah.
Give me your overall impressions of the bootcamp you guys have been doing.
It's been very tiring, but it's all worth it in the end. Or, at least, I hope it will be. Even if, let's say, our team does badly — knowing that we put in as much effort as we could is the most important thing. And we're all doing that. We're all trying our best.
How different does the team feel since you first began the bootcamp?
I mean, we have the same core four, and then we just slapped in Matt (Cryocells), so there's only so much we can improve and change. But we're just trying to get up to speed and understand how we're all thinking. Obviously, we are better. But I wouldn't say it's night and day. If you put in Matt on our team the first day, it'll still be a top-three NA team or whatever — it's not like that would change.
We just need to iron out all the small mistakes and details to get pushed even higher. That's the hard part about pushing the ceiling: it's easier to get to the top one percent, but then once you get past that, it's harder to keep going. And it's the same thing with teams. Once you get to where you're top five in NA, it's harder to keep going to top four, top three, or top two. Obviously, it might not seem a lot to the visible eye, but it's a lot of that small stuff that, as players, you'd notice.
You recently re-signed with 100 Thieves, and have been with the organization for more than two years. What makes it that you appreciate 100 Thieves so much as an organization?
I would say their commitment to the game. It's pretty easy for when we had a bad team and were struggling and stuff to just leave, but they've always given a good fair shot at every single roster we've made. And I think that's all I can really ask for from an org.
Thanks again for the interview, Asuna! Is there anything you'd like to say to your fans?
Thanks for supporting us, especially if you stuck through the early 2022 season. Apologies for that. Besides that, I hope that the two years and two months were good. I'll try to make them even better later.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.