First of all, congratulations on the win! A clean 3-0 as well, how do you feel?
I feel really, really good right now. It was amazing to play in the arena. To hear the crowd chant my name, chant “Fnatic” and cheered for us whenever we made a good play was so awesome.
It was the first time you attended such a big venue, right?
Yes. Before, I played in front of one-hundred, maybe two-hundred people. So you could say there was a bit of a difference (laughs).
Did you maybe feel a bit pressured as well?
I guess I felt a bit more pressured than usual, but I think I got pretty good at forgetting about these things and just getting into my own bubble. Doing my own thing, playing like usual.
You guys seemed really focused, even during the opening ceremony: The only Fnatic player that was smiling and goofing around was Caps, the rest of you looked dead serious when walking on stage.
Yeah (laughs) I mean we came to win, so we have to take it serious, right?
Let’s talk a bit about the Ivern pick which worked really well in the first two games, except for the early game when KaKAO successfully invaded you. What happened there?
It’s a bit hard to tell since we’ve only been playing Ivern for a few days now. It was just a random idea that popped up randomly, we tried it out and it’s been working out really well for us. Misfits simply are a lot better at punishing us than the teams we scrimmed in the past days, so that was probably why.
Overall though, we played really well and I’m happy with our performance and the pick itself.
Yeah, KaKAO then also had to take a very sustain-heavy route which lost him time on his own clears.
I think they expected me to play safe after succesfully invading my jungle, but that obviously wasn’t the case (laughs).
Was the Ivern-Kennen-Combo something specific that you guys have been practising?
No, during the past weeks we basically trained at perfecting our comfort picks and Kennen is very much a favourite of Martin (Rekkles)
Which champions would you describe as your own comfort picks?
Lee Sin would be the first one that comes to mind, but I’m pretty much comfortable playing every Jungler at this point.
This is your first LCS Split. In the middle of the split, you upgraded from being on the Challenger Team to being the Jungler of the main Fnatic squad. Now you just managed to 3-0 Misfits and get third place in the 2017 EU LCS Spring Split. That’s quite an impressive journey!
Yeah, it’s really crazy. In December I was still playing on the Challenger Team and we almost didn’t make it through the Open Qualifier. It was very close, so I was a bit lucky there as well. Since then, things have been developing super fast and I’m very excited about the next Split. In this esports world, you never know what is going to happen next!
Are you guys attempting to go for first place next split?
Definitely. That has been Fnatic’s goal ever since G2 took over. But even if we don’t win the Summer Split, going to Worlds would be an amazing experience for me. It almost feels weird to say that, given that I couldn’t even dream of saying that three months ago, but playing at Worlds would be really cool. That’s our goal for now.
There were lots of ups and downs for Fnatic in this split: In the middle of the split, Fnatic was looking rather weak, you guys almost lost your playoffs spot to Roccat but then managed to 3-0 both H2k and Misfits. If you were to reflect on your very first LCS experience, what would be the most important things you learned over the past months?
I learned lots of different things this split. At one point we were struggling so much that it was affecting the team atmosphere. We were a bit annoyed of each other a lot and if affected our play as well. Playing in such a difficult situation gave me a lot of knowledge on how to handle these situations manage them in the future.
On top of that, I’ve been pretty good at controlling my nerves. So those two things are the most important things that I learned this split.
Was that a problem before?
In the past, I would always get nervous and shaky in the big games, but I managed to overcome this issue luckily.
About these issues at Fnatic, how did you overcome them?
We’ve had a lot of meetings, discussions and talks about our issues. We just learned to accept each other’s opinions, even though we might not agree with them. Even though we went through a lot of tough times, we managed to stick together as a team.
As a rookie who has achieved so many things in such a short amount of time, what would you recommend to any rookie coming into the LCS?
I think the most important thing is to not be scared of playing on stage or changing your playstyle because you’re playing in front of an audience all of a sudden. If you’re playing aggressive in scrims, you should go all-in on stage as well. A lot of pros don’t expect you to play aggressive, they get so surprised when a rookie plays as confident as a veteran. I think playing confident is the most important advice I can give to any rookie.
Even though the regular split was tough, you 3-0ed H2k and Misfits, and even the loss against G2 was rather close. What made Fnatic play so well during playoffs?
I guess we finally realised what style we wanted to play. We were all confident playing rather aggressively, in terms of overall style, we had a lot of success with the split-push style we’ve been practising over the past weeks. We went all-in on that style and just hoped our opponents wouldn’t be able to handle it, due to us playing so aggressive and dominant. In that sense, we got a lot of inspiration from the Unicorns of Love and copied their style a bit. It’s been working out I guess (laughs).
Anything you’d like to say to the fans?
I’d like to say thanks for the support. We’ve gotten a lot of support even during the tough periods of the split. After the semi-final loss against G2, the fans accepted it and still cheered on us for our third place match, so that was really inspiring. The fans have been really nice.
Thank you very much for your time!