JW: "[Brollan] has impressed all of us a lot"
As fnatic finished their match with Russia with a convincing win, picking up a 2-0 to move on to the quarter-finals, we got an opportunity to talk to Jesper "JW" Wecksell about their stand-in, putting in a lot of practice and their recent online results.
The Swedish side had a shaky start to the WESG EU & CIS Regional Finals, but secured a playoff spot in the end with wins over RESISTANCE and Fragsters. In the additional match that would earn them a top eight spot, fnatic was clinical, dealing with Russia without any issues.
Jesper "JW" Wecksell sat down with us at the WESG EU & CIS venue in Barcelona, Spain, and talked about their work ethic and the slow start here.
You qualified for both of the big LAN finals, actually winning the online phases of both ECS and ESL Pro League. What was the key to that?
I think the key to our results is that at the beginning we had not necessarily trust issues, but before, three of us have been playing together for a very, very long time, so when we play, we kind of expect things to happen without communicating. So we have worked a lot on that, the three of us communicating more and talking more about what we want from the others in different situations, how they should react and stuff.
I think that even though we had a tough start with this lineup, we kept grinding really, really hard and we've continued being motivated and kept improving. And even if it's tough some days to play those practices, we just do it because we know that in a long run it is worth it. I think we just kept our head high, kept on playing and playing, putting in the time and trying to improve. I think it's paying off, even though it's online, so far I would say that right now, it's all in our heads. We know what we can do we just need to go out there and do it.
You couldn't play with KRIMZ here and you decided to pick up Brollan as a stand-in. Why did you decide to pick him, are there any similarities between the two?
To be honest, firstly we wanted to go with an experienced player, for example, friberg or someone like that, but nobody could do it. When we were starting to look into the lower tier of the scene, I think Brollan was the first choice for us. He is 15-years-old, he is up and coming, this is his first LAN... ever, basically.
When we realized we couldn't get an experienced player, it was obvious we would go for Brollan. I wouldn't say that they are even close to each other, playstyle wise or anything, but Brollan has an insane amount of talent and we think that a tournament like this, 20 teams, 12 go through, it was a no-brainer for us to get a 15-year-old Swedish talent to come forward in the scene.
What are your first impressions of playing with him?
My first impressions are really, really good, he has impressed all of us I think, he is not nervous at all, he communicates well, he plays calmly and he makes good decisions. I would say that so far, he has impressed all of us a lot.
Starting the group stage was a bit shaky for you guys, you struggled to close it out against RESISTANCE and then you lost against Limitless. What were the issues early on in this tournament?
I think it's a combination of things. I'm not going to try to blame anything, blame away the losses - our opponents played better than us there. But losing those matches, we got a hint of what we did wrong, we had a good talk within the team and we realized what was the difference between these matches and the matches we play at home.
Basically, it was a good learning experience, it would've been the best if we would've done it with KRIMZ, because we need to figure out these things with him as well. But I think that going into a tournament with KRIMZ now is not going to be a problem since we already got the experience at this tournament, with a stand-in. We learned a lot and they just played better.
As you said, Brollan and KRIMZ are pretty different types of players, you are playing this tournament now, even if it's just one tournament there is a lot of matches, and you are trying to adapt as well. Do you think that is going to have any negative impact on you later when you have to go back to playing with KRIMZ?
I don't think so, I think we have at least one week home, of practice, before we travel for Odense for EPL so I think it's not going to be a problem, to be honest. We are trying to play pretty similarly, we just put Brollan in one of my positions, more aggressive and I take something closer to KRIMZ or stuff like that. I wouldn't say that we are changing up too much. I think it's not going to be a problem.
Let's touch on the last match you had here, against Russia. We saw these mix teams being pretty dangerous, Ukraine eliminated BIG earlier, but you had a very easy, it seemed, BO3 against Russia. What was the deal there?
I would say that the biggest difference is that these guys play the CS that we are used to playing. Not taking anything away from Limitless or anything, but they are not playing like the top teams we are playing on a daily basis.
But [Russia players] are top players and they are trying to play the top level CS which we are used to playing. That's what made it a lot easier for us, and as I said, after our talk yesterday we knew what we did wrong and we noticed immediately that all these problems from yesterday didn't show today, proving that yesterday was a really good learning experience.