jkaem: "Getting to semis is our goal"
Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad answered questions of a pre-interview prior to MLG Columbus on behalf of FaZe, who are going to the major with a semi-finals finish at the previous one under their belt.
As is now customary prior to a major, we are conducting pre-interviews with the teams going to MLG Columbus to see what their thoughts are on various subjects surrounding the next major.
The first to answer our questions was Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad, whose FaZe were placed in a group with fnatic, Liquid and Splyce. Read below to see what he had to say on his team's preparation, expectations and goals, and more:
How will you prepare for MLG Columbus? Will there be a bootcamp prior to the major or have you only been practising online? Is there anything you focused on specifically?
We feel prepared for the major, a lot of online practice lately. We will have a bootcamp that starts on the 23rd in New York. Our main focus in practice now is communication and teamplay.
Recently teams have stopped bootcamping prior to big events or only do it for short periods of time, mostly for less than a week, why do you think that is? Is it as important nowadays as it used to be? What are the pros and cons for your team?
I know that alot of teams are bootcamping before this major, and I think it's good for every team to do it. I know some teams never bootcamp, maybe they feel they don't need to.
jkaem's FaZe are heading to a bootcamp in New York
There are many tournaments going on nowadays, usually at least two significant ones per month, does that make it hard for teams to be able to adapt and improve their gameplay significantly? Could it be part of the reason why CS:GO has become more based on individuals rather than tactics?
Yeah, I guess that is a good reason why it's more based on individual plays than tactics. I also think that teams have been saving tactics, boosts etc. for this major. And it's hard to adapt your playstyle against every team, because every top team are playing a lot of official matches all the time, so it's almost impossible to find out how everyone is playing.
Do you feel comfortable with the group that has been assigned to you? Can you go through each of the possible match-ups (fnatic, SPLYCE, Liquid) and tell us how you should fare in them?
I feel ok with the group, fnatic are clear favorites in our group simply because they are the best team in the world. SPLYCE I don't know much about, but Liquid we know more about. A lot of individually good players, I feel they are a bit like us, so it can be a good match!
Current format practically ignores all competitions taking place in between the majors, which is five months' worth of events in this case. Could there be a better system of seeding other than based on the last major and the qualifier?
I have never thought about it like that before, but I like it as it is now. I don't have much to say about it to be honest.
What expectations and goals have you set for yourselves at this event? What placing would you be satisfied with and what would be unacceptable?
As always is getting out of group our first goal, but I will say getting at least to the semi-final again is our main goal. Going out in the group stage is unacceptable.
With how different teams have stepped up lately (LG and Na`Vi especially) and others are stagnating or even dropping off, who do you have as favourites to make the top four? And, on the other hand, is there an underdog who could surpass fans' expectations?
I think fnatic, FaZe, Na`Vi and Astralis will make it to top 4. It's hard, because I also think LG can be there. Teams I would look out for are mousesports and G2. Both have been playing really well lately.
Can anyone stop this seemingly unbeatable fnatic lineup (barring group stage losses), which has won the last six tournaments they attended? If so, who? How do you see your own chances against what has become one of the greatest teams of all time should you meet them?
Right now they look too strong, but of course there is a chance to win against them. LG has been close to beat them a couple of times. If we face them in the group, it's most likely a BO1, and for us that is better than a BO3 vs fnatic. So with a good start and hitting our shots, then I can see us upset them!
FaZe are learning from their mistakes at IEM Katowice
There will be four American teams in attendance (SPLYCE, CLG, Liquid and Cloud9), more than ever, is this the time to shine for North America? Which of them have the biggest chance to advance to playoffs and possibly upset one of the big names?
Yeah, it's good for the NA scene that there are more teams from NA than ever in a major. Im sorry to say, but I don't think anyone will advance to the playoffs this time.
Valve implemented the new timers shortly after the previous major - now that we have seen almost three months of competition with them, how do you think they affect each of the sides and the overall balance? Do you believe Valve achieved what they wanted to with the change?
I don't know tbh, it was 1:45 roundtime and 35 seconds for like 15 years? A bit strange to change it, but I think everyone have adapted to it and now we don't think that much about it anymore. The one thing that has changed is that a lot of teams are playing much slower.
At IEM Katowice, RobbaN mentioned you are still adjusting to each other and trying to figure out what works best. Has the event itself helped with that? How much have you progressed since then?
Yeah, after we got RobbaN in we are playing more structured and together, and we changed a lot of positions. I think it took some time to adjust to everything we changed, and I think also IEM was good for us, even if it didn't go that well. We saw what worked and what didn't work, so now we have tried to fix everything that didn't work. I hope that our progress from when he joined to now will be shown at the major.
What area did he have the most effect on? How much has changed since he started calling for the team?
I think the tactics are a big part, now we play with a plan instead of everyone trying to do solo stuff. So tactics, teamplay and communication is what I feel we have had most effect on.
With similar pre-interviews we will be kicking off our coverage of the next major, the first in North America and the first to hand out $1,000,000 in prizemoney. You can expect interviews with most of the teams going to MLG Columbus 2016, as well as previews for each group prior to the major.