flusha: "LG & NiP our biggest threats"
Our fourth pre-interview before MLG Columbus is with the biggest favourites of the $1,000,000 tournament, fnatic, whose Robin "flusha" Rönnquist shared his thoughts on numerous topics surrounding the team and the major.
We got in touch with Robin "flusha" Rönnquist to conduct a pre-interview with him about everything and anything connected to the first major in North America:
How have you been preparing for MLG Columbus? Was there or will there be a bootcamp prior to the major or have you only been practising online? Is there anything you focused on specifically?
We have prepared as we have always been preparing for a big event, by practicing online for about 5-6 hours 5 days a week, we have looked over our problems on all the maps and found both solutions and ways to play more safe and structured.
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?
We have never had a bootcamp with this lineup or even with pronax, as we feel more comfortable using the time we spend online very dedicated and then get to do whatever we need to do in our "real-life" lives.
fnatic have been a dominant force with flusha holding the reins
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 individual plays rather than tactics?
Of course with all the tournaments going on you will have a hard time finding time to create more elaborate tactics and setups, but even if you only have a few days to practise before the next event you need to be dedicated and actually try to fix the mistakes rather than take a few days off to "reset" your mind, that's what I think a lot of the teams don't do. I don't think CS:GO is more based on the individual plays rather than tactics, it's just that the teams that have been winning the most recently do not feel comfortable playing a more tactical game, it's all up to the teams to decide whether they want to play loose or strict, and in fnatic all 5 of us actually want to play loose.
Do you feel comfortable with the group that has been assigned to you? Can you go through each of the possible match-ups (FaZe, SPLYCE, Liquid) and tell us how you should fare in them?
This is one of the most comfortable groups we have ever had. FaZe play a really individual style which suits us well, because then we can play the way we are most known for, taking alot of duels and mainly focusing on teamplay, synergy and revenge fragging. We don't know a lot about how the NA teams play but we feel like we have the best map-pool right now and we can force them to play a map they wouldn't feel comfortable on.
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?
There are always pros and cons to every type of seeding. The majors want to stand by themselves in this regard and I guess it's fine.
What expectations and goals have you set for yourselves at this event? What placing would you be satisfied with and what would be unacceptable?
Anything else than a win would pretty much be devastating right now, with the form we are having and how we have been playing since we acquired dennis, anything other than reaching the finals would be 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?
Fnatic, LG, Na`Vi and Astralis (always semis right), I don't know if "underdog" is the correct term but NiP has been playing really well lately, so it's hard to tell how good they will be doing at the major, but I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up in the top 4 or even the finals.
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?
Both Splyce and Liquid might have a chance against FaZe depending on if they have a good or bad day. Cloud9 also has a small chance to advance if everything goes their way, but the biggest chance I would give to Liquid.
One of fnatic's big threats, according to flusha
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 would say Valve didn't achieve what they wanted, since now most teams are playing a rather slow playstyle with a lot of dead time in rounds, I can't say I can credit the timers for the new meta rather than coaches and in-game leaders seeing how teams like LG and Na`Vi were successful with that playstyle and would adopt that into how they "should" be playing.
You have been on a winning run since picking up dennis. Is there a significant difference in the team's play style from the team with pronax to the team now? Did you expect to be this successful so quickly?
There is definitely a significant difference in the teams' play style compared to before, but we are always evolving the way we play on all the maps, and we are still thinking about using certain things pronax was calling earlier. I did not expect us to be so successful already from the start but I always knew we would go to be a top team, just not as soon as we picked up dennis.
The team's winning run also coincided with olofmeister returning to his best form. How important is he to the success of the team?
He is very important to the success of the team, just as equal to everyone else in Fnatic.
Many believe that this is your title to lose. Looking at the teams who will be in Columbus, which do you think that will be your biggest threats?
Every of the last 2-3 tournaments it has been said that this is the tournament we won't win, but we will prove time and time again that we are the best team and we are going to stay that way. The biggest threats for us right now would be Luminosity and NiP I would say.
In Barcelona, EnVyUs were the only team that you lost to, but they have been going through a difficult moment. Looking at the team since picking up DEVIL, what is your opinion about them?
Since EnVy has not really succeeded in what they were trying to fix yet I have not formed an opinion about them yet, but I can say that I believe they chose to replace the wrong player.
Check below in case you missed some of our previous pre-interviews:
|Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad: "Getting to semis is our goal"|
|Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski: "Want to break the NA streak"|
|Cloud9: "Not content with summer 2015"|