We interviewed the IEM Katowice MVP, Robin "flusha" Rönnquist, following fnatic's triumph over FaZe in the nail-biting grand final.
fnatic started off the final slowly, losing Cache 5-16, but an overtime win on Inferno kickstarted the Swedes into the match who soon grabbed a 2-1 lead in the series after a comfortable Overpass, despite having been dealt a huge blow in the form of a 1v5 clutch from Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács.
After FaZe clinched Mirage, it was time for Train as the deciding map, which once again went into overtime, and fnatic yet again prevailed on the back of incredible play from Robin "flusha" Rönnquist.
We talked to the Most Valuable Player of the tournament about the tight final and about fnatic winning a big event after almost exactly two years:
Let's talk about some of the key moments and details of the final, starting with the overtime on Inferno where it just went back and forth, how did you deal with the pressure there?
Just having Inferno as a second map was so big for us, because Inferno is the map where we always have a chance and we really needed a chance to get into the match. They just had full control of us and we didn't have the confidence and mentality that we had earlier at the event, so just being able to grind rounds and grind the win on Inferno was the key for us to beating FaZe.
Over to Overpass, a big round there was obviously the 1v5 from GuardiaN. In the grand scheme of things it didn't seem to affect things much, but how did it affect your morale at that moment and throughout the rest of the half?
We were trying to tell ourselves that it didn't and shouldn't affect us, but honestly some of us got more tilted than others. They got the momentum from there, maybe we could have gotten an even bigger score but we're happy as long as we win the map, we didn't expect much from us playing Overpass, so winning that was a big surprise to us and a big win, we really thought that there is no possible way for us to lose this now.
You had so many impact plays, particularly on Train, did this feel like a vintage performance when you were playing, that you could do anything?
I thought FaZe were playing a bit scared. Even though they're the top1 team in the world, they have the mentality against us, and they have more experience in total than our team, I just felt calm and confident. I knew that whatever I did I could still have a big chance of killing someone or winning the round. Honestly, I think the nerves got to them, they knew they were the better team and they were supposed to win this, but we just had a huge performance, they had big nerves and fell because of that.
Speaking about experience and nerves, Lekr0 and Golden have never been in a big final like this, how did they tackle the pressure of being in such a huge final and against a team like FaZe?
I don't think the grand final and the big stadium affected them much, I think what affected them was us playing against FaZe. Lekr0 and Golden get pretty nervous when they're playing against bigger teams, let's say FaZe and SK, they are the main teams we have problems against. We always go into those matches feeling like we're a big underdog, so just overcoming FaZe in the group stage was big for us and big for them as well, showing ourselves that we can do it. We didn't start the grand final by showing that, we were back to the same thing, being afraid of playing our game, playing aggressively, so that was why Inferno was so good for us.
Is winning a big event like this the kickstart you guys need to become an elite team again?
Definitely, it's a big kick for us, we've always felt like SK and FaZe have been the only two teams we actually don't feel comfortable playing against. All the other teams we feel confident against and we feel like we should beat these guys. But now, winning an event is good for us, we can get into a tournament knowing we can win this every time now, so this was a really good event for us in terms of both winning it and just getting the mentality and experience of winning it.