In this interview, conducted ahead of the title decider, fer opens up about the team's disappointing run in Cologne, his own struggles inside the game this year after being named the third best player of 2017, the recent in-game leadership changes, and more.
With you guys joining MIBR, FalleN and coldzera have done a lot of interviews talking about how it feels to represent the brand. How has it been for you personally? What is your relationship with MIBR?
When I started playing I didn't know what MIBR meant, I was just playing for fun. Then, when I started getting interested in the professional scene, someone told me that we had a team competing abroad, MIBR, that they were representing Brazil. That's when I understood that there was a professional scene, that there were tournaments, big tournaments, and that we had a Brazilian team there. So that's cool. For me, to play under this tag is amazing, it's like a dream for us. We were playing for SK, and SK is a legendary tag as well, but now we are defending a Brazilian international tag. We are defending our organization and our country behind it. For me, it is an amazing feeling.
Playing your first tournament under them, did you feel like you had to have a really good tournament, a really good showing in Cologne?
We expected to win because we had won the last two ESL One Colognes, we were super excited and motivated to play the tournament, it was the first time we were representing MIBR. But we were doing a lot of mistakes in the games, and I think that in the scene nowadays, the top 15 or 20 teams can beat each other, so if you want to win you have to make fewer mistakes than your opponents. Everyone is going to make mistakes so you have to play with it.
How prepared are you with this team right now, how close to the maximum of what you can be?
We are not even close to the top, to be honest, we are doing a lot of mistakes and we keep doing a lot of mistakes. If we want to improve, we have to cut out the mistakes. We are doing the same mistakes every time. We are going to change some things, let's see if it becomes better.
The mistakes, are they on an individual basis or is it more as a team?
I think it's both. In practice, we are playing really well, but I don't think that we replicate in matches what we do in practice. So we are just practising and we are not doing those things in matches. That's bad. And individually, we are doing a lot of mistakes as well, we are making some dumb decisions, that's bad for us and we are struggling because of that.
Last year you finished as the third best player in our rankings, so, obviously, it was a pretty good year for you. How has it been this year, do you feel that other teams are catching up and making it hard for your style to be successful?
Last year, coldzera was top1, I was top 3, I think FalleN was top 5 or 6, something like that, which was because we had a lot of success. We were winning a lot of tournaments, and when you are winning you have the confidence, we were really confident last year. This year we are struggling, and the top 20... I will not make it, you know? I'm not sad about that, I just want to improve, as I said we are doing a lot of mistakes and we have to work on them. If we want to win again and have top 20 players or whatever, we have to work on our mistakes.
How has the English communication been for you?
I don't have problems with communicating in English, the only problem I see in our team is when we have two seconds to adjust to a clutch situation, in a 3v3 or a 2v2, and you have two segments, you have to picture it in your mind and you have to express yourself to your teammates in English in two seconds, and sometimes it is hard for us. You have the information, you have to be one step ahead, and you can't say everything in two seconds. If you try to say it sometimes it just comes out as a mess. I think the English communication is not a problem, but in messy situations it's hard for us.
At the end of the SK time coldzera started calling, you switched around a lot of things, you went to a lot of events. Did it feel like that the last few months were an experimental phase in a way? You tried different things just to see how they would work, and then be fresh for the new organization and the rest of the year?
About the in-game leader part, I think FalleN had too much on himself, on his shoulders. I was like, "FalleN, maybe we should try someone else calling, just for you to have some new ideas". If coldzera starts calling, or stewie starts calling, or me, or whatever, we can have more ideas and you could add it to your style, your mind, your way of in-game leading. We tried coldzera as a caller but, at the end of the day, it wasn't good because FalleN was our leader and when you give space to others to lead, sometimes it is bad because you lose confidence. I think we started losing confidence in our strats and in our way of playing, but, at the end of the day, for me, our way to play, our style, is good, because you could see that in the past we were winning a lot, we just need to adjust our team individually and cut out our mistakes as a team, and we don't have to change our in-game leader. That's why we came back to FalleN IGLing full time and I think it's better for us.
Just a fun question, since you mentioned it: in the future, one day, do you ever see yourself being an in-game leader? Is that something you think you could do?
No, I don't want to be an in-game leader, I think it's too much. I think that when you have a team that trusts in you, it's easy to do. If you say, "Guys, let's eat sh#t now", they are going to eat sh#t. But when they don't trust you and you have a good picture in mind, sometimes it is risky... I take risks sometimes because it's my style, and coldzera is the opposite, he doesn't like to take risks. And if I say, "Guys, let's rush B now", he is going to be "no no no, it's going to be bad", so we would start losing confidence. So I don't want to in-game lead, I would never want to do it.
You missed out on the playoffs after losing to BIG, a disappointment at the time, but now, seeing them in the grand final, does it make it a little bit less disappointing in the end?
No, I don't think so. I don't care if they win the tournament, my heart will not ache less. I don't think they are really good and I don't see BIG winning this tournament. I think Na`Vi is going to crush them. I don't know why, but we can't beat BIG. I think it's the third time in a row that we have lost against them. But to be honest, I don't think they are really good, I don't think they can beat us, but they are beating us... so something is wrong, right?