The Second Division has been a flurry of drama - to merely say it was close would be an understatement and you can check that for yourself on the Liquipedia : http://wiki.teamliquid.net/starcraft2/SC2Improve_Team_League_S2/Group2B
The difference between First Place and Second Place came down to map score - a battle which Team Mistral bested NoN-eSports in by a margin of three maps. THREE MAPS! Over nine matches the separation between these teams was absolutely minimal yet unfortunately for NoN-eSports it means they will not receive a direct seed into the First Division in Season 3 and will instead have to play in the invite only qualifier scheduled for July.
Mistral were a team brimming with confidence as they headed into the season and it has paid off for them with this victory. Their manager Feron 'Wistiti' Kevin was more than happy to talk to us and to tell us a bit more about Team Mistral and their feelings over the season.
Wardí : How has your experience of the SC2ITL been?
Wistiti : It was our first time in SC2ITL, the thing we all liked is probably the format of the matches, we knew that this format were used in some competitions but we never did competitions with this system, so it was the first time and it was really cool i must say. The fact that u can schedule your match when ever u want is also a great point. I mean all was done to be a great experience for us and it has been the case!
Wardí : You were always very confident about being able to qualify for the First Division - is it a relief to have made it so quickly?
Wistiti : After the qualifier for the first division that we played at the start of the season, we saw that we had the level to be in the first division. We lost in the last round vs aAa (this is the second best French team after Millenium) and we are in the top 5 of the French teams i guess. We saw that nB was also in division 1, we play a lot vs them in another league, and we are behind them in term of skill but not far behind so we knew we could reach the division 1 as well. The goal was then clear for everyone in the team, finish first and be in the first division next season, we had some troubles but we made it at the end.
Wardí : All of the Second Division groups have been very close at the top and Group B was no different - you snagged first place because of a difference of 3 maps. Were you ever worried you wouldn't make it through in first?
Wistiti : Honestly after the loss vs CrossFire Gaming, i thought that we would have finished second or even third of our group. We had to do a really good thing vs NoN esport to let us a chance to comeback and get the first and thank to Clyde we managed to win vs NoN esport 4-0 which gave us a lot of confidence for the end of the season and to reach the first place!
Wardí : You took a close loss (3-4) against Crossfire Gaming, but stomped through the rest of the top teams, what was your mentality going into the important matches?
Wistiti : After the loss, I told to all the players that I was really sad and frustrated by this loss and that they will need to do way better if they wanted to avoid the playoffs (which it was necessary to avoid since all the players are in exams now). So the mentality changed a lot, they took matches way seriously and managed to win all of them.
Wardí : What does it mean for you and the team to be able to compete with the best in the First Division next Season?
Wistiti : It means a lot, we can progress better and faster. And we will have some interesting matches to do, to watch,etc.. That's a lot of good things.
Wardí : This season we saw a few of the First Division teams pretty much just get smacked around and left far behind at the bottom of the groups - do you feel you will be able to hold your ground in the First Division? What are your goals?
Wistiti : Well it's obviously our main goal in our first season in division 1, strengthen ourselves, stay in division 1 and show a lot of good things with a good attitude, and obviously have a lot of fun.
Wardí : We haven't been able to bring much content from the Second Division so a lot of people will probably not know very much about your team - would you like to tell us a bit about yourselves and the players?
Wistiti : Well My name is Feron "Wistiti" Kevin, i am the manager SC2 of Team Mistral.This team exists since 1999 and had a really good past with alot of talented players, but things made that the administrators decided to close their SC2 section. But after some discussions with me, they decided to comeback into it with me and my members (Armax, Clyde, sTk, Stounay, Lind, Dizdemon, ZBelin). Mistral changed their aims and we have decided to access more the team on the French scene to make it (maybe) international in the future but we are more concentrate on the French scene for the moment it's also why all our players are French or Belgian.
Wardí : In the past you have had many players who have become very talented and moved onto great things (Pink, hOpe, pal and Bly for example). From your current team who should we be looking out for the most next season?
Wistiti : Probably Clyde or Armax it's our 2 best players for the moment but all the players are promising in their way for me. :)
Wardí : Thanks for your time and again congratulations on your achievement - any final words?
Wistiti : Well thanks alot for this interview, and thanks for this season, see you soon!! ;)
One of the most exciting parts of the team league for me personally is getting to know all of these teams and their players and seeing them compete in an atmosphere where every single match matters because they want to prove themselves to their team and to take their teams to the next level. I really look forward to seeing more of Team Mistral in Season 3 of the SC2Improve Team League and hope they can hold their ground against the tough competition that they will face there.
We still await final results in the other Second Division Groups to see how they are going to turn out and to see who else will advance directly into the First Division.