GeT_RiGhT discussed a variety of topics in our interview with him at the end of the Europe Minor, where NiP came out victorious after defeating ENCE in the consolidation final, securing their place in the New Challengers Stage, before besting OpTic in the grand final.
The Swedish veteran shared it all when it comes to what it means for him, personally, to get over that hurdle for the first time since NiP failed to make it past the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier at the end of 2016.
The 28-year-old also discussed Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson's new role as an in-game leader and his impact on their result at the Europe Minor before closing out with some final thoughts on how NiP are going to spend the break ahead of DreamHack Masters Stockholm and, naturally, the FACEIT Major.
After you qualified, we could see that you were getting a little emotional, so tell me about that moment, how much this means to you, personally, and the team.
I think it means more to me than everyone else in the team, mostly because of all the comments about me. I've seen them, I've read them, I haven't commented so much on them because I tried to block myself out of it. I don't really use my social media anymore mostly because of it, because every time I go into it, there is a lot of hate. It can go to the point when it's fine, people can complain about me, about my game and everything, but I can't hold on and keep doing it, be more social, when there are a lot of death threats against me and my family and friends. That's the boiling point.
I've been playing a long time, I've had this issue before, as well, when I was very successful, but eventually, a guy like me or someone is going to crack. And that crack can become even bigger. Like I said, I'm fine getting a lot of hate for my play, but I don't ever get into the hate when they actually want to me to die, or something like that, that's over the top.
After the game, I felt very emotional, there was a big weight on my shoulders that just disappeared. I've been grinding so hard for this tournament, I've been staying up late, putting in the hours, I've been dragging myself every day, I even slept worse because I needed to play more. I've been just thinking about CS, I've just been watching demos, playing deathmatch, bots, I've been doing everything that every professional should be doing, but I've been putting in even more, I've been sitting here wanting to play more and more and more and more and more.
And it felt like that weight I had before, because I've done it a couple of times in the last two years and it hasn't given any success back, and this was the first time in maybe one and a half years that it actually gave back to me, and I was so happy about it. It really meant the world to me knowing that I could still put up a big game and I can still do everything for my team, because, at the end of the day, I don't really give a f... about having bad stats or anything like that, I just want to feel that I did something for my team and feel that I'm there. So it felt really good to just know that I can pull a little bit more weight than usual. So I was just happy about that as well.
Speaking a bit about the in-game part of it, you had faced ENCE at ESL One Cologne and it had gone badly, so were you perhaps a little surprised by how one-sided that match ended up being here?
I don't know. I think that we were in a very weird situation during Cologne. My health was very bad, I lost a lot of weight, I couldn't eat, I couldn't drink, I couldn't focus, really. I gave everything for the Minor, I gave everything for the online part, I gave everything for the tournaments we were playing. And I wasn't really there. I tried to give everything for the team and I had to take care of my health, and that showed in Cologne. I was barely there, people were asking me 'how are you doing?' and I felt very bad. But I pulled through because I wanted to do it for my team and I wanted to do it for myself, but I couldn't deliver and that disappointed me the most.
Of all the disappointments I've had in my career, that was the one that broke me a lot because I did a lot of hours before the tournament, as well, I put up great numbers in the online qualifier and everything, but I wasn't there in Cologne at all. No one was there, so it wasn't just me, but everyone wasn't there. I'm pretty sure that everyone was affected by it because they knew that my health wasn't there and I wasn't really there, either, as a person.
But we came through, I went to the hospital and got myself fixed, or at least in a way, I'm not fully done, but now I have a vacation and I can take care of myself, so that's a good sign that I can just relax for a while after winning here. But we had a different mindset, we fixed a lot of issues, we were very mad about the issues that we had and we were very open and vocal about it, as well, and I think a lot of weight was also removed from a lot of players because of different issues they had in-game and outside of the game.
But that helped us and made us even stronger, we had a lot of help from our mental coach, the people around us that no one probably even knows who they are, but they helped us a lot and we pulled through here. Winning over ENCE was a big weight that was released from everyone's shoulders, especially mine and f0rest's.
There's always this discussion about the Minor grand finals and how much meaning they have considering both teams have already qualified and that there's pretty much just pocket change at stake. How much did winning the final mean to you guys as a team that hasn't won a tournament in a while?
It means more than you think. And it means more to everyone else in the team because we haven't won anything in a long time. IEM Oakland was the last one - typical, apparently, we're really good there every time (laughs). But getting another first place on your resumé is something that I always strive for.
I don't really care about the money or anything about that, I just want to add another trophy to my cabinet. And that's the only thing that matters for me and that everyone is playing well. And now we've got one for this year, now we can just prepare for the next season, so I'm very happy about that.
The other big storyline regarding your team was Lekr0 becoming the in-game leader right after Cologne. How do you see his progression over the last couple of weeks and especially here, where you had to overcome quite a lot?
I think he did a super good job. He has a lot of qualities that people may not see, I think he has a lot of leadership qualities that don't really shine through now because of the short time we had and the preparation. He's very calm, he's very happy, he's always making jokes, and he's always a guy that can turn it around for someone who gets a little bit tilted or anything like that. That's good to have in a guy like him, as a leader, because it cools everything down.
I think that changed a lot for us, that was an issue for us before that we could get very tilted very quickly and get stuck there. But he was the guy who changed that completely for us, online, when we bootcamped, and at this tournament, he shined through the most, if you ask me.
We just need to work even harder now, I don't think we're going to relax at all. I hope we can just continue what we've done here because now we're qualified and now we have even bigger battles coming up and we can't be too happy about this. We're happy for now, but now we just have to grind even harder and keep going, give back to our fans who have been waiting for a long time.
Speaking of relaxing, and you already touched on this a little when you talked about getting yourself back together, how much time are you going to spend away from the game in this break that is coming up and how much time will you spend on preparations for the Major?
Right now my feelings are that I just want to go back and grind because I'm in that mood right now. But I think that I should keep it down and quiet a little bit and just focus on my health, firstly, just relax, and I'm going away on a 10-day holiday with my girlfriend. I think around the 12th-13th - I don't know exactly, we haven't really discussed it specifically -, somewhere around there we're going to start again, redo everything, and just work hard again.
So it's at least going to be a few weeks that you'll have...
I think it's around three weeks what we talked about regarding the break, but I think it's going to be less, it depends, you'll always want to grind a little bit more. Eventually, when you're on vacation, you get bored easily because people are working, your friends, etc., so you're like 'hmm, maybe I should play a little bit' and then you start playing earlier anyway. Maybe we're not going to really practice as a team, but we're probably going to start earlier.