wenton: "twist was beasting around"
We spoke with fnatic player John 'wenton' Eriksson after the Swedish team took down OpTic 16-3 in their second game of the day.
Following a 6-16 loss in their opening match to Virtus.pro, fnatic rallied back in their second ESL One New York match with a 16-3 shutdown of OpTic in a game where Simon "twist" Eliasson and Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson went off.
HLTV.org interviewed John "wenton" Eriksson about a number of topics, including the reputation the team has to live up to under the fnatic name, the matches against Virtus.pro and OpTic, and even about just how confusing the new gun sounds are.
How important is it for you guys, as the most unpredictable team coming into this tournament, to make a strong impression?
The most important thing for us is that we prove ourselves to be a good team. Of course, it is easier to do this if you play well at your first event. Our goal is still just to get the most out of this event in the way of experience.
Did you set any benchmarks for how you want to place at ESL One New York?
We did not set a goal: although the main goal is always to get out of groups. And I think that we do feel confident that we can do this.
Was playing as a unit tough at first when this lineup formed? Do you guys feel more cohesive now?
In the beginning it wasn't that tough...it was more like a question if we were going to be able to exceed expectations of us as a team but when you play well against teams like Na`Vi, get a map off G2 [referencing EPL matches], that helped the team to bond and start playing better as a unit.
How were you guys feeling after your first New York game against Virtus.pro? Did you want to play Cobblestone?
I don't think that playing Cobblestone was a mistake, it just felt like one of those "classic games" where you come as a new team to an event and you play the first match and you lose the pistolround and the first weapon round and then you start to question yourself.
We didn't play like we used to. We had a plan but we were either too defensive or too offensive and I think the match would have turned out differently if we won the pistolround and got our game rolling, but they played super well and there was not much we could do in the end.
Speaking of getting your game rolling, on Train against OpTic you guys had Lekr0 going crazy running around and twist. Was it pretty easy to counter OpTic on that first half when you were defending?
I think it was so yeah, I think we read them pretty well during the CT rounds. Almost every round we knew exactly what to do, how to rotate against them. Of course when Lekr0 and twist are beasting around it becomes much easier.
On the 10th round, you got four kills, including a 4HP one versus two. Did you guys know that you had broken them after that round?
I don't know if it was their pause right before that...it might have been us...but when we got to that round it was great for me, because I had a poor start to the match individually so it was really nice to go out with a Five-Seven, pick up an AK, and clutch a one versus two.
And of course I also think it broke them. To lose a round like that, in that fashion, is a tough situation to come back from.
wenton thinks the new fnatic are still gaining experience
What do you think about the new "four, 30-second pause" rule?
I would rather have the coach being able to talk during freezetimes but it is what it is. I think that you don't have to use the pause in the way that you would before; you can now use it in the sense that, if the coach wants to take a timeout just to call something, it doesn't have to be a pause where you're about to break as a team.
I think that you need to use the pauses in a different way now and that is an actual good thing.
Speaking of changes to the game, how is it playing on this current patch, both sounds and jumping accuracy-wise?
I didn't really notice the difference for jumping accuracy because I never got jumpscouted *laughs* but the sounds are obviously noticeable...I was actually lost in the first match! I thought people were shooting UMPs! They sound quite similar but it's okay because it's the same for everybody.
This is your second time coming into fnatic [last time as a stand-in for olofmeister after PlesseN]. Does it feel different representing the organisation this time?
It's more fun now than it was then. They had some personal problems in the team and the feeling coming in then was like: I was pumped for it but the players weren't that pumped. It made it harder to play well.
Also now it's more fun to be able to choose more within roles in the team. You get to do what you want to do. Last time it was just me coming in to fill out a role that they didn't want to do.
Also, I know that now it's not just for like a month until olofmeister is back, it's more exciting.
twist is kind of notorious for being on-and-off. What's the best way to utilise him as a player to unlock his true skill?
I haven't played with twist that much personally, but still when he's beasting around he's one of the best players in the world for sure. When he gets his game rolling he is unstoppable and to have those kinds of players on your team is always good.
Any plan to prepare for your next match?
It always depends on the opponent. We always check some small stuff, for example if they have a crucial execute round we obviously are going to counter something like that, but we also don't do too much reading because we want to play our game and obviously adapting too much isn't good.
Do you think the overall state of the scene is pretty volatile right now?
Absolutely. I don't see any team that is a clear number one right now. I mean of course SK had some good results before but like many teams they have struggled in online matches recently, although that doesn't say much admittedly.
I think that any team can win this tournament actually. These are fun times!
The second round match-ups of ESL One New York are continuing so expect to see more interviews from the first day of the $250,000 event being released shortly.
stich writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter