During the day off, we caught up with Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey during ELEAGUE's media day to talk about FaZe's early run in the tournament, what it meant for him to beat EnVyUs, and what lies ahead.
Sitting in one of the lobbies at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Fabien "kioShiMa" Fiey took a few minutes to answer some of our questions ahead of FaZe's quarterfinal match against SK, which will take place on Saturday ahead of the two semifinal matches.
In the interview, kioShiMa also talked about how his team feels confident ahead of the playoffs, and what the team will need to bring to the table in order to make a deep run in the tournament.
You guys started winning agaisnt FlipSid3 and then lost to SK in a tight match. How did the early stage of the tournament feel?
We were feeling pretty confident because we all came here having prepared well. We started with f3 and it wasn’t too, too tough. After that we played SK… Yeah, were winning 15-9 and we ended up losing, and then we played Liquid and we had to make a comeback.
Every match has been back and forth. It’s okay in a Swiss round because you can start losing but you can’t afford to do that in the best-of-threes coming up, so it was better that we lost during the group stage.
How about the match against EnVyUs? That wasn’t too crazy.
I mean coming into the match against EnVyUs we already knew how they play. Then the map was going to be Mirage or Nuke, two maps we feel confident in. Mirage would have been a really good map for us, and Nuke was more 50/50 in their head, I guess.
We always felt like we had the advantage, since we know how they play on T side. Finn and me talked about it since I played with them before and I kind of know what they like to do. We did struggle a bit, but we won force buy with the score being 12-11 and broke them. They didn’t win another round after that.
Since you mentioned having played with these guys, what was on the line going into the match against them?
Well the thing is matches against nV for me are personal because I was playing for them and they kicked me. I have only had one chance to play against them and that was in Malmö one day after I joined the team, so I have been waiting for this match for a long time and it finally happened.
You know, going into a match like this you just really want to win. You want to prove that it wasn’t your fault, that you didn’t do anything wrong, and that you can beat them with another team. It was a great feeling to play against them and win.
I personally had you going through as a top 8 team, but it was definitely a struggle up until now. At some point, you could have even gone home, but you eventually made it. What do you think about going into the quarters, playing a best-of-three against SK?
Going into the quarterfinal we’re kind of happy to face SK, because when we played against them we lost, but we lost with a 15-9 advantage. We had that match in our hands and threw it.
We made some mistakes that shouldn’t happen but I think if we just have a good mindset and know that yes, we did lose, but that it was just because of a few mistakes, we can just correct those mistakes in the quarterfinal.
Also, in a best-of-three you can afford losing a map. We’re thought of as a team that can’t win best-of-threes, but now is the time to prove everybody wrong. We actually feel more confident going into a best-of-three than a best-of-one right now.
Do you think you guys can go all the way?
I think so, yeah. If everyone’s on point and playing their A game we’re going to be one of the contenders of the tournament.
And what do you think is needed for everyone to bring their A game?
For us to reach our A game right now we have to communicate well. We need to really focus on having good comms so we can use our players the way we want to and get the most out of them.
Since we’re all speaking in English but none of us are native English speakers, sometimes it’s hard to react fast or say exactly what we want to say really fast. We had to innovate and find some keywords with specific meanings in-game so we can communicate faster. If we can use these well and we all communicate properly that’s going to allow us to bring our A game.
How about the format? You’re one of the two teams that may have to play two games in a day. How do you feel about that?
It can be good or bad. Sometimes it’s good to play two matches during the same day, with the exception of having to play the first and last match and having something like six hours in between. When that happens you don’t know if you should stay at the venue or go to the hotel or sleep or what. You don’t really know how to feel or what to do. On the other hand, if it’s just two hours, I don’t mind.
How do you feel about the veto system? When the draws were happening, it seemed a lot of teams wanted those three vetoes.
Yeah, I mean when you have the three vetoes you can ban the other team’s strongest maps which obviously gives you an advantage and that’s why everyone wanted to have the three vetoes. For example,e when we played against nV we had the three vetoes so we knew what we could ban and we just banned their three strongest maps so we had a really good map pool to play against them.
I even prefer when it’s four bans and then just random. At least then everyone just has to be really ready on everything, and it comes down to having to take a bit of a gamble. Maybe Cobble comes out and you feel like it’s 50/50 or Nuke comes out and you’re really happy, etc.