KRIMZ: "Goal is always to win"

Our next interview ahead of ESL One Cologne is with Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson, who discusses fnatic's preparations for the major.

As Katowice champions and the only team to have won two major titles, fnatic are without a doubt the biggest favourites heading into the event in Cologne. Still, Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson reckons that the gap between the top teams is so small that anyone can lift the trophy on a good day.

The Swedish giants' first match in Cologne will see them take on Team eBettle - the surprise package of the offline qualifier. Read on to find out how fnatic have prepared for the tournament, what KRIMZ makes of de_train and why he thinks Luminosity can cause an upset or two in Germany.

How have you prepared for ESL One Cologne? Are you going to or did you bootcamp beforehand or have you only been preparing online? Have you focused on anything in particular? (e.g. teams, specific problems at recent events)

After DreamHack Valencia we had a small break, so we started to practice again in early August. We have been working really hard, and we feel it is starting to pay off. We have improved a lot of our old stuff and we have come up with new stuff, such as tactics. We have not bootcamped as we feel we train more efficiently from home. There has been no special focus on anything other than improving and remaining a top contender for every trophy.

Is there anyone who you think is underrated and could surprise in Cologne?

We have been practicing a lot against Luminosity, and they have been playing really well. Amongst the underdog teams, they can surely surprise and come a long way.

What are your team’s goals and expectations for the event? Where do you draw the line of what you’d be satisfied or happy with?

Our goal is always to win. I would lie if I said we would settle for less. 


KRIMZ says fnatic will show some new moves in Cologne 

The level of teams has been levelling out recently, a number different names have been in the grand final at events in the recent months (EnVyUs, TSM, fnatic, Na`Vi, Virtus.pro, Cloud9), who will be the favourites to make it to top four in your mind?

It is really hard to name a top four. Those six teams can definitely break into the top four, and it will all come down to the bracket draw.

What do you make of the change in the group stage format? Is it better to have a chance to play against more than three set teams before the playoffs? Is it going to be harder to prepare for such groups?

I guess some teams like the opportunity to play against the same team twice in the group stage, while others prefer playing against another team. But it feels hard for the less favoured teams, who might be happy by just advancing from the group stage. They now need to prepare to take on almost every team to advance from groups.

Train has been in the pool for quite some time, but ESL One Cologne will be the first major to feature it, how has it developed over the recent months? Was it figured out in terms of playstyle, strategy, etc.? Is the current map pool diverse enough?

Train is a great map that differs a lot from every other map on the pool. It is a lot faster and has a lot of more chaotic choke points. It brings something new to the tactical play and something new for viewers to see. We like every map on the pool and feel comfortable playing any team on any map.

What are your thoughts on your group? Can you go through each match-up and say how it is likely to play out?

Before the group draw we knew that there were no easy groups to get. As stated above, we feel comfortable playing against any team, but of course that Na`Vi will be the team to beat to win the group.

Yet again this major has not seen a prizepool change, even though the sticker money is likely to get bigger, would you like to see it get increased?

Of course that bigger prize pools are nice for the players and for the prestige of the tournament in question. Sticker money is somewhat hidden from the community, and it could be an improvement to include them in the prize pool and show the community how big the tournament actually is. This would bring more prestige to the event, also in comparison with other big tournaments in other games.

Lately the outrage against certain weapons has decreased (e.g. CZ-75 at the beginning of the year, Tec-9 during the second quarter of 2015), are you satisfied with the way Valve balanced them out? Are there any weapons you’d like to see nerfed or buffed?

I think the game is fine as it is. We are not the team that focus too much on negativity after every change. We simply try to adapt to whatever happens in the game and make the best out of every scenario.

Do you think the new anti-doping measures being taken by the ESL are going to change anything from past events, has this been blown out of proportion since Semphis’ statements, or is it necessary?

I did not see it as a big problem before, but obviously it is a bigger thing that anyone could have imagined, I guess. All competitions should be played on equal conditions, so I guess this is necessary.


Will fnatic win their third major title? 

With the proliferation of both online and offline events, and having had at least one big event every weekend or every other weekend for the past few months, and with many teams travelling around Europe and North America—or both—, how do you think it will affect teams’ performances?

We’ve made a decision as a team to try to limit our event attendance to a maximum of two tournaments per month to and play as few online tournaments as possible. This is simply because we need time off and time to practice. Too many matches is never good, also because it affects the performance of the team and brings little entertainment value to viewers.

In our pre-interview before the last major, ESL One Katowice, you mentioned you had something special in store for the viewers, is that the case for ESL One Cologne as well?

We constantly improve and change how we play, there will always be new stuff to show!

You are widely considered as the favourites to win the tournament, do you think that makes you the target for the other big teams? If so, is it going to affect your preparation?

I guess every team is considered a target for all the other teams. I do not see us as the red-hot favourites. It will all come down to form, that is how close all the tier one teams are to each other.

Almost all other top teams have changed their lineup at some point over the last twelve months, but your has team stuck together ever since the big change, do you feel like that’s what puts you at an advantage over the other top teams?

Both continuity and renewal can be good for a team. We still have a lot of fun together and like playing together, whilst other teams need to renew the lineup to keep motivation up. 

Being the only team to have won a major twice, are there going to be any psychological hurdles along the way? Do you think we’ll see old rivalries (with NiP and EnVyUs, especially) resurface in Cologne?

Of course that every match up will be tense and emotional. We do not feel any pressure going into this major after winning two titles. We will simply focus on one game at a time and take it from there.

Here's a list of all pre-interviews we have conducted so far prior to ESL One Cologne, check it out to see if you missed any:

Brazil Gabriel "FalleN" Toledo: "cold brought many changes"
Australia James "James" Quinn"Underdog status favors us"
Poland Piotr "peet" Ćwikliński "We don't feel any pressure"
Canada Pujan "FNS" Mehta"Having the same core helps us"
Slovakia Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács "Facing Titan will be hard"
Canada Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.90
Maps played:
852
KPR:
0.61
DPR:
0.68
APR:
0.14
Slovakia Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Ladislav 'GuardiaN' Kovács
Age:
28
Rating 1.0:
1.12
Maps played:
1450
KPR:
0.75
DPR:
0.62
APR:
0.11
Brazil Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Gabriel 'FalleN' Toledo
Age:
28
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1154
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.60
APR:
0.11
Sweden Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Freddy 'KRIMZ' Johansson
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
1377
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.63
APR:
0.15
Poland Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
Piotr 'peet' Ćwikliński
Age:
28
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
379
KPR:
0.68
DPR:
0.67
APR:
0.12
Australia James 'James' Quinn
James 'James' Quinn
Age:
25
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.94
Maps played:
331
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.71
APR:
0.13
n1
2015-08-17 18:10
NIP WIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2015-08-17 18:20
luminosity ez
2015-08-17 18:24
Ez Fnatic :P
2015-08-17 18:37
i thought you would cheer for kinguin , no national pride ?
2015-08-17 18:53
stfu fox fangay
2015-08-17 19:09
#127
 | 
Slovakia DLG Inspire 
Stfu you.. oh w8 your country is so bad doesnt even have a pro player,so u cant be a "fangay" of anyone
2015-08-18 16:55
i dont know if ur like actually retarded or just mentally ill.....why cant i fanboy a team from another country?
2015-09-01 17:48
boostmeister inbound.
2015-08-17 23:39
yes
2015-08-17 18:10
expected
2015-08-17 18:10
#23
 | 
United States mmotorcycle 
duh
2015-08-17 18:14
n1
2015-08-17 18:10
#7
United States boots 
NiP will win
2015-08-17 18:10
#8
 | 
Lithuania AvaIon 
n1
2015-08-17 18:10
#9
 | 
Korea saddummy 
best player in the world
2015-08-17 18:11
kk nip will win anyways kappa
2015-08-17 18:11
N1 BUT NIP WILL KNOCK U OUT IN GROUPS
2015-08-17 18:11
#40
 | 
Norway Quddi 
nt allu
2015-08-17 18:22
nt fnatic fanboy
2015-08-17 18:59
#88
 | 
Denmark Almoe 
nt vp fanboy
2015-08-17 19:09
#105
 | 
Norway Quddi 
nt tsm fanboy
2015-08-17 20:31
#121
 | 
Denmark Almoe 
tsm doesn't have hunden so why'd i be a fan?? nt epsilon fanboy
2015-08-18 06:15
#122
 | 
Norway Quddi 
no Hunden no party :(
2015-08-18 07:30
#126
 | 
Denmark Almoe 
+1
2015-08-18 13:28
NIP will be OUT in Group stage you mean
2015-08-17 18:41
No m8 can u read it says fnatic not nip. nt fnatic fanboy
2015-08-17 23:34
new boost inc
2015-08-17 18:11
#14
 | 
France level_lvl 
N1 BUT NIP WILL KNOCK U OUT IN GROUPS
2015-08-17 18:11
good one Keepo
2015-08-17 19:00
n3
2015-08-17 18:12
I hope cloud9/navi/mouz win!
2015-08-17 18:12
new moves? new boost?
2015-08-17 18:13
Haha there surely will be at least one new boost.
2015-08-17 22:36
#22
f0rest | 
Serbia dankooo 
you wont
2015-08-17 18:14
gogo krimz! <3
2015-08-17 18:15
New boost inc
2015-08-17 18:15
sry but you wont win this
2015-08-17 18:17
fettbra freddy
2015-08-17 18:18
"We have been practicing a lot against Luminosity, and they have been playing really well. Amongst the underdog teams, they can surely surprise and come a long way." Pasha also said that LG is playing well and can surprise, this is going to be an interesting major to watch.
2015-08-17 18:18
Have to agree. I also saw them playing against titan on two maps while in was behind titan team in bootcamp and these brazilians caused them a lot of trouble
2015-08-17 19:19
Guardian said that LG can surprise too :D
2015-08-17 19:44
I took note of that too. Watch out for lumi upsets in the future? When krimz say they have practiced "alot" against lumi, i think his measure of "alot" is the equivalent of a regular person's "shit ton".
2015-08-17 22:40
Mate I'm so hyped about this major, we have the new teams such as Envyus and Kinguin, TSM and Fnatic battling like always, NIP struggling to show some results, even the underdogs are playing very well. So many teams can actually win this title, dis gonna b gud. GL Luminosity
2015-08-17 23:32
you will win freddy!!! go fnatic <3
2015-08-17 18:18
#139
 | 
Australia Tails  
nt fnatic fanboy
2015-08-19 08:47
nt crocodile dundee
2015-08-19 10:30
#31
 | 
Finland Dragonpig 
Olofboost v2 plz
2015-08-17 18:19
#33
Pieter | 
Netherlands Grifte 
Reads like a football player interview. The answers are given, yet nothing is really 'said'. Bunch of clichés and oneliners (excluding a few answers)
2015-08-17 18:20
You expect him to spill the beans?
2015-08-17 22:41
Is there anyone who you think is underrated and could surprise in Cologne? We have been practicing a lot against Luminosity, and they have been playing really well. Amongst the underdog teams, they can surely surprise and come a long way. Just cuz devilwalk is playing there ^^
2015-08-17 18:20
#42
kNgV- | 
Brazil vicTHOR 
sure lol
2015-08-17 18:23
Since when is DW brazillian or did i miss smth ?!
2015-08-17 18:25
Luminosity is the ex-Keyd Stars
2015-08-17 18:28
#52
Xeno | 
Netherlands Xenoo 
Devilwalk doesn't play for LG what the fuck are you on about.
2015-08-17 18:28
idiot. nuff said
2015-08-17 18:36
#82
 | 
Ukraine FaZe_UW0TM8 
Damn just wow
2015-08-17 19:04
IE user?
2015-08-19 10:59
Late reaction man you use IE yourself ?
2015-08-19 12:26
Yep
2015-08-19 12:34
#35
Spain Ayrr 
The rock has talked. Hype.
2015-08-17 18:20
#36
Netherlands jwtt 
''All competitions should be played on equal conditions'' tell that to ur teammates:)
2015-08-17 18:20
NiP ftw!
2015-08-17 18:21
n1 goal
2015-08-17 18:22
there will always be new stuff to show! Boostmeister inc
2015-08-17 18:24
We like every map on the pool and feel comfortable playing any team on any map. rip everyone
2015-08-17 18:24
Hey MIRAAA nice interview there , but keep in mind that VP also has not changed their lineup for 18+ months , so one of the questions was not really correct :P. P.S.:Please continue delivering such nice pre-event coverage , always pleasure to read the inverviews ;).
2015-08-17 18:24
"All other top teams have changed their lineup" Kappa
2015-08-17 18:32
tell me 5 teams who won more titles than VP in this period ?
2015-08-17 18:35
You missed the Kappa.
2015-08-17 18:37
Sneaky beaky kappa*
2015-08-17 22:43
youtube.com/watch?v=GJexN_Shjts Krimz, Maikelele and Dennis. They all looked up to NiP to dream to achieve success. Now look at them.
2015-08-17 18:25
#54
Xeno | 
Netherlands Xenoo 
Looking down on those naabstaars.
2015-08-17 18:29
#49
Slovakia mshh 
R.i.P fnatic 2k15
2015-08-17 18:28
"some new moves" BOOSTMEISTER ESL COLOGNE INCOMING
2015-08-17 18:28
Nah. This time WallzMeister.
2015-08-17 18:31
NiP top 2 :)
2015-08-17 18:29
Sorry but allu will rekt him Wait
2015-08-17 18:32
GOGO, BOYS!
2015-08-17 18:32
Gogo fnc
2015-08-17 18:34
#60
 | 
World navlefnuller 
KRIMZ: "Goal is always to win" .......groundbreaking mind!
2015-08-17 18:34
"Train has been in the pool for quite some time, but ESL One Cologne will be the first major to feature it, how has it developed over the recent months? Was it figured out in terms of playstyle, strategy, etc.? Is the current map pool diverse enough? Train is a great map that differs a lot from every other map on the pool. It is a lot faster and has a lot of more chaotic choke points. It brings something new to the tactical play and something new for viewers to see. We like every map on the pool and feel comfortable playing any team on any map." thats why fnatic is the all time best team in the world. play any map against anyone, yet always remain in the driving seat. noone else was ever in a position to do that.
2015-08-17 18:35
nice hltv brain
2015-08-17 20:00
i thought his goal was to always lose, insightful interview
2015-08-17 18:36
#64
Germany vT 
krimz beard is weird
2015-08-17 18:36
johnny krimz
2015-08-17 18:37
#71
 | 
Lithuania rokku 
n1
2015-08-17 18:44
ur allways nailing the hottest girls and u still wanna win csgo tournaments whats wrong with u big ego much ?
2015-08-17 18:44
final envy vs nip
2015-08-17 18:48
#75
byali | 
Poland vezz. 
EZ for fnatic. Already betted 100£ for them to win. Please give me 600£, Freddy
2015-08-17 18:51
KRIMZ says fnatic will show some new boosts in Cologne ftfy
2015-08-17 18:53
Navi ez
2015-08-17 19:05
ty krimZ
2015-08-17 19:17
cant wait to see fnatic again ( hopefully the old fnatic ) ..
2015-08-17 19:37
krimzz <3 lets gooo fnc
2015-08-17 19:52
their goal is to win? no shit
2015-08-17 20:01
New moves means new boost.... Kappa
2015-08-17 20:10
Just cheat or exploit ezpz
2015-08-17 20:12
smack em
2015-08-17 20:20
nice lets go fnatic!
2015-08-17 22:47
'goal is always to win' inb4 out in groups
2015-08-17 23:18
I guess envy or fnatic going to own this major
2015-08-18 17:05
#131
 | 
Australia Tails  
" after winning two titles " krimz did not win 2 titles <.<
2015-08-18 17:10
fnatic the only ones not complaining about broken weapons. Wouldn't want to lose their ace.
2015-08-18 23:34
ez Fnatic
2015-08-19 08:42
go nip
2015-08-19 11:18
fnatic fnatic !! go win <3
2015-08-19 12:37
fuck off fnatic ugly gypsies
2015-08-19 12:59
naw, obviously its to loose, throw for skins pffff
2015-08-19 15:46
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