karrigan: "The feeling in this team is something special, something unique"
We spoke to Finn "karrigan" Andersen ahead of FaZe's debut with two new players at DreamHack Masters, the $250,000 event set to kick off in just two days.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen and co. will be one of the most exciting teams to keep an eye on this week in Sweden after FaZe acquired the services of longtime Na`Vi and fnatic players Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, respectively.
In Malmö—where DreamHack Masters will take place for the second time starting just two days from now and running through until Sunday—the European team will showcase itself on LAN for the first time after garnering a 6-2 record in ESL Pro League.
In this interview, karrigan talks about the beginning of the season, how the changes in the team have gone, and what to expect from this renewed powerhouse after the inclusion of two exciting new players.
How has the beginning of the season gone? How are you guys practicing and preparing for the first tournament?
I think 6-2 in Pro League so far is decent, could have been better or worse. I'm pretty satisfied with our results so far and from the losses we had, we spoke directly about our mistakes and tried to fix them. It feels like we are improving fast every day and every practice. Instead of focusing on a few maps, we choose to focus on all 7 maps, since we have no idea what are our strongest and weakest maps. We have 3 tournaments coming up, so it is very important we have as big of a map pool as possible.
What has changed from the old lineup to the new? How about from the perspective of leading the teams, what are your challenges now?
I think a lot has changed, I feel like we have more firepower now and players with higher peak performance. The chemistry in the team is very good, so it feels like we are really starting from scratch—and having a lot of fun, which is very important. I even think the challenges were harder with the old lineup, in this lineup there is a lot of respect for everyone within the team. Our practice in the old lineup weren’t effective at all. We tried to talk a lot about it, but never really found a solution. I don't see any challenges right now with our lineup, but as we all know they will come at some point so we just have to figure them out as a team.
Is it harder or easier to lead this team?
It’s no secret that when you look at our lineup you see a lot of “playmakers”, players who like to go for some duels and make their own plays. I think the players come with a lot of input which is great, and for the time being it is easier for me to lead this team. We are still in the beginning and we are yet to play our first LAN matches, so let's see in few weeks if it's still easier.
How has the adaptation of olofmeister and GuardiaN to the team gone? What are the first feelings with this lineup?
I feel the two new players fit perfectly into the team, not just personalitywise, but also their in-game playstyle. So I would say I'm very pleased how far we have come with so few days practice, especially when I look at our practice + official games on so many different maps. I would say the feeling in this team is something special, something unique, which I can’t explain yet. Hopefully it stays that way, that we all feel good within the team.
What have been the biggest changes from the old lineup to the new one?
The biggest change has been the mood within in team in practice, even if it's still a “honeymoon” period as we call it in CS:GO. When it comes to the biggest change within our playstyle/players, I would say olofmeister is the biggest change. He replaces kioShiMa, who had some positions I will take over instead, so we can give more room for olofmeister in the team as well. We are testing a lot here in the beginning, to see what kind of “role” the player should have. We have so many all around players, who can do everything on a high level, be it lurking, entrying, making calls mid round, etc. GuardiaN also brings a lot to our CT side which we lacked in the past, he is everywhere on the map. I now understand why people remember a GuardiaN flick, they are insane.
What are the team’s goals for DreamHack Masters Malmö? How confident are you of reaching those goals going into the tournament?
We haven't talked about the goal for Malmö, but I think everyone knows the goal is to win, else we wouldn't have bought these players this summer. We did the change because we didn't feel we could be the number 1 team in the world. Now, we are a new team, so even if we lose some matches I just want to see some improvement down the line. I am very confident in the team reaching our goals—if not this tournament, then I'm sure we will reach the goal at another one.