FNS: "We just weren't as prepared as we thought we were"
Following Cloud9's elimination from IEM Sydney, we spoke to the team's in-game leader and their newest addition, Pujan "FNS" Mehta, who feels that his team needs more time to get the structure he wants.
To hear about the team's performance, his ideas of how the team should run and more, we spoke with Pujan "FNS" Mehta.
Just to start it off with this tournament, can I get your general feel of it and what you are taking away from this?
General feel: pretty disappointing, we prepared going in, but not as much as we wanted to because we had Marseille about a week before. I won't make any excuses other than the fact that we just as weren't prepared as we thought we were. We used a lot of the stuff we used at the last event at this event, there was no new material coming in, I haven't had too much time to sit down and actually practice with the guys so we weren't necessarily completely surprised with this result. I think we played way below what our level is, but the truth is, we just haven't had any time to practice.
So the general feel of it—we are disappointed with our placing, but we are still doing okay as far as we haven't completely fallen off a cliff.
Tying on to that, what are the positives, I guess there are some positives to take away?
The only positive I guess, I'd say that I'm personally getting more experience with the team, I'm starting to get more of a feeling of how to play versus some of these top teams which I've kind of been out of practice against for a little bit, as far as high-level CS goes. In that sense it's good experience for me, personally I'm learning a lot as the events go by. It's also very difficult to get to know all the players inside the game and how they play, so I'm trying to figure out how I can make RUSH or Skadoodle play well. I know how to make the other two play well, they are naturally really great players, everyone is, but it's more that I've never played with RUSH or Skadoodle in past teams, so it's very difficult for me to gauge that. In that sense it's really good to have more tournaments so I can get a better feel for how they want to play.
Coming into Cloud9, what did you want to do, how did you want to structure the squad?
I definitely wanted structure, structure on the T-side and the CT-side, to know that we've gone over everything that we're actually running in matches, have a lot of reps. The problem is, with me coming in so late, the seasons were already happening, because of the lack of practice I had little time to implement what I want to implement in my team and in my system. A lot of a time we make mistake we wouldn't normally have made if we had more reps, scrims and stuff like that, even a bootcamp maybe.
Our plan for the coming months is definitely to get a couple of bootcamps in so I have time to implement my system in, so that way we don't make so many mistakes along the way.
Will there be any time, considering the schedule coming up? There is practically an event every week.
We definitely have more events coming up, we have EPL, ECS and all that stuff, they are massive events but we're going to do our best. We have three days after we get back home, to practice for EPL, hopefully we are able to use that time productively, we definitely will [try]. And learn from some of the better teams right now, like Astralis and FaZe and see what they are doing right that we could maybe implement to our game.
You mentioned Skadoodle before, he was obviously in the limbo of going out of the team, came back in the end. Is there anything special you are doing with him, trying to focus on him, getting him to be a star AWPer...? How do you see him fitting in the team now?
I'm trying my best to make sure that he is comfortable, but at the same time, I'm trying to get him out of being too comfortable. I want him to try new things, I want him to go for picks and stuff like that, so I've been trying my best to make sure that he is as impactful as he can be. I feel like this event I failed with that. I don't think it's the end of the world, but it's a big learning experience for me because I feel there is a lot of things that he can do that he doesn't do right now for us. Things that if I implement and give him the confidence that I want him to do specific things, maybe it will add an extra element to his game and make him a better player than he is right now.
Obviously every single player on my team is really good, I learn a lot from them every day and it's a learning process for me too. But AWPers playing under me usually do a really good job. With Skadoodle it's the same thing, I'm trying to do the best I can with him and that mainly comes to me making strats around him so that he feels that he has value on the team, that I'm not just relying on my riflers—I want my AWPer to be the best player on my team.
A player that said himself that he relies on structure is RUSH, and he has been having an upswing in performance since you joined, so how has it been working with him in particular?
He is really good, he's been a lot more assertive in that he let's me know when he wants to go for a specific pick, he lets me know what he is comfortable with and what he is uncomfortable with. In general, though, he is a pretty quiet person, he doesn't like to do too much media stuff, he stick to himself, which I respect. That being said, inside the game, he is a monster. You've guys have all seen it, at the Major final he carried the team. It comes down to the fact that I want that performance to be more consistent. I want him to do that more, so I want to figure out and disect what it is to figure out what it is that I can do to make that happen.
You are working with valens now as a coach, he is not here now tough, he has that kind of a relationship with the team I guess, he is not at every event. In the past you worked with ImAPet, can you maybe compare the two coaches and what they do?
Me and valens work really well together just like me and ImAPet work really well together. I guess the only big difference is that valens isn't focused on other teams and anti-stratting that much, while ImAPet focuses a lot on watching a lot of demos, antistratting, adding new setups to the team, he's very dedicated in that way. Wheras valens is a different kind of coach, he builds a lot of confidence in players, he is very motivational. When you want to talk to him, he's achieved a lot in his life so he's somebody you easily look up to.
Those would be the big differences between the two. But that being said, I've worked really well with both of them and both are pretty good at what they do, they really help me a lot. I've learned a lot from ImAPet in the past and I've learned a lot from valens as well, less about in-game stuff and more about how to be a leader on the team. In that sense, he is really good to have and we definitely missed him at this event.