flusha: "I felt like our expiration date [on fnatic] had passed"
Following the FACEIT Major, flusha left the fnatic organisation and the players that he has spent most of his career with in order to open a new chapter - which will begin later on Friday as Cloud9 take on MIBR in their first match at BLAST Pro Series Istanbul.
Prior to the event's kickoff, we caught up with the 25-year-old Swedish player to get his thoughts on what went wrong in fnatic, reuniting with Maikil "Golden" Selim, moving to a different continent, and his new team's prospects in Istanbul.
After spending most of your career with fnatic, you left the organization behind, also parting ways with JW and KRIMZ. Why did this change come now?
We had a couple of bad years in which we did not really win anything and it did not feel like we were getting any better, either. I felt like our expiration date had passed. I don't know if any of the other fnatic guys felt like this, but we just needed a change in our lives. I felt like I needed a new direction, both in my personal life and in my career. I just wanted to try something new because I had basically always played with fnatic throughout my career and always with the same group of players. I felt like I needed something new.
You are also moving from your home country, Sweden, to the USA. How do you feel about this change on a personal level? How is it going to work out?
Of course it's going to be hard leaving Sweden and my family. Right now we will see if this works out for me or not. I will have maybe a six month period to see if I can live there or not. I'm a bit nervous and excited about moving there.
Touching up on your personal performance at the Major, you have always been a player who has shown your quality in big moments, this included the Majors. However, the FACEIT Major was an exception. What went wrong?
I think it's because I wasn't really having fun playing the game. I didn't feel like we were going to win every game as a team, like we didn't have any confidence. It was a hard tournament overall because nothing felt right within the team. I contributed to that; I wasn't having fun and I was a bit negative. I think those factors made me play poorly.
Talking about that negativity, you said in a TwitLonger post that you were a little bit toxic to your teammates towards the end of your tenure. Was this caused by in-game relations or were there issues outside of the game, too?
It was just in-game. A small mistake and I would get angry at them. Some mistakes affected me and I would sometimes get killed because of that, which made me a little bit toxic.
Why did you choose Cloud9? Was it because of their swift show of interest or did Golden play a hand in your recruitment? You played with Golden for a while in fnatic, and he was to be kicked out prior to WESG Finals, which you actually won, and this may have caused some hard feelings. Is that behind you and Golden now; have you two talked about this at all?
We didn't really talk about it because we had talked back when he had left fnatic. I don't think there were ever any bad feelings between us. I didn't think he did anything wrong when he was in fnatic. Back then we just wanted Xizt more than Golden. I liked playing with Golden so I'm excited to be on the same team as him again. It's also exciting to play with all of the other guys in the squad. We have had a few days to practice and I have seen a lot of good things about them.
Another aspect of your transfer is that you will now play in North American FPL. You jokingly tweeted that you already dread your decision because of this. Pugging has improved a lot in North America, compared to, say, three years ago. However, do you think there are still changes that can be made in terms of attitude and approach to these games?
Of course there could be improvements. This is also true for European FPL. I'll try to go there and maybe help fix a few things, discuss some things with people. We'll see if I can make it a better place.
BLAST Pro Series Istanbul is going to be a good practice for you because you will play all five teams with your new lineup. What is the main goal for Cloud9 here?
Mainly, winning as many matches as possible is the goal. Of course Astralis are one level above everybody else here, but, other than that, I think we can beat the other teams. We would have to have a very good day to beat Astralis, though. Our goal is probably finishing in the top three and beating some of the teams here.
After this event you will mostly play in ESL Pro League and ECS, which will be good for you to get to know each other. After that, you will take part in another BLAST tournament, this time in Copenhagen in November. Do you believe you will be able to do more damage there once you fit in with the team?
Yes, sure. Our map pool at the moment is really basic. We have three or four maps that we can play at a decent level. We just need a lot more practice and more tactics. I don't even fully know some of the positions yet so there is a lot to go through and to learn to get on the same page as a team. We are probably going to show a better level in Copenhagen, unless we win in Istanbul somehow.