JW: "We haven't been a team, we've just been individuals on a team"
fnatic went out in last place playing with Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom as a stand-in after losses to finalists mousesports and Natus Vincere. Now, the team will have to go back home and decide what it does with the last slot on the roster which was left open when flusha took a leap over the Atlantic to land in Cloud9.
In the interview JW gave, he talked about flusha's move from fnatic, bringing ScreaM to New York with the team, the possibility of creating an international roster, the problems in the Swedish scene, and what fnatic needs to become a top contender once again.
We have to kick off this interview with the flusha move, which was heartbreaking for a lot of people, even you sent out some tweets about missing him and so on. Can you walk me through that a little bit?
Yeah, we've obviously been having some issues within the team, and we've tried to fix the puzzle with player changes, but the problem was within the main core. flusha wasn't happy with how he played, and how we played, so he just needed a change in life, I think. It's pretty hard and complicated to explain, and I don't really want to go too deep into it because we have so much more than just the game between each other.
I respect him and all we have done together no matter what, even if he maybe had some hiccups here and there or messed up lately, I can see past that because we go back so far. It was a bit expected, but also a bit unexpected, and I'd say it was pretty mutual. He wanted to leave and we weren't really happy with how things were. In the end, we agreed that the best solution would be that he steps down.
The last loss at the Major against HellRaisers was rough, can you tell me a bit about the atmosphere on the team before coming here without flusha?
I think the feeling coming here was better than going into the Major. We were pretty broken as a team, then. We were a team, but not really a team. We broke apart bit by bit even more during the Major. Here, even with a stand-in, we felt more like a team than we did going into the Major. Sadly, we threw the game against mousesports at like 14-6, and I think it was really hard for us to recover after that. Then we drew Na`Vi, which is a pretty good counter against us, so...
Bringing ScreaM on, where did that come from? What was the idea behind that?
ScreaM was our first choice because he hadn't played any of the qualifiers and was eligible to play here. He was also teamless in case we want to lock him down for the future. Even though he's just a stand-in for one event it could also work as some sort of trial, we could say, and he was really down for it.
I'm really impressed by him. He's a great player, a great team player, one of the friendliest guys... I don't know how he doesn't have a team in the French scene because he could add some really good assets to any team.
So you're saying it could be a trial kind of thing. Did you actually have the conversation of maybe becoming an international team now?
Yeah, of course, we've been thinking about going international. We even thought it before, the core of KRIMZ, flusha, and me. We were open at some point to go international, mostly because the Swedish scene isn't developing the way it should be. We don't have people to pick up anymore. There's no clear-cut insane talent in the scene, which is why we've had to discuss going international.
Why do you think that is? Why do you think there's such a big fall off between the top Swedish talent and the rest?
I'd say the thing within the Swedish scene is that most players, most talented players, they are very spoiled. They don't develop because they want one of the biggest salaries in Sweden before even playing their first LAN. They expect everything to be handed to them from the beginning, they're not willing to work for it.
Back in the 1.6 days you had guys like Jumpy bringing his PC to local events, and that's how you had to do it. Same for us at the beginning, luckily we didn't have to bring our own computers at the beginning of CS:GO, but you had to fight in the local scene and break through and start somewhere. Now, people want to get the big salary and instantly start playing against the elite teams, but it doesn't work like that. You need to have the learning curve.
You and KRIMZ have been in CS:GO since the beginning, you've won a lot together, do you think now it's up to you to teach that to the youngsters?
Yeah, definitely. We tried to do that when we took in Lekr0 and Golden, for example, but at one point I believe we lost ourselves a bit. We had no big problem with teaching people, but we also have to remember who we are as well, and I think that's the biggest problem with trying to teach people. We're definitely open to it, and I guess we'll see what happens after New York.
That was going to be the next question. What's going to happen after New York? Are you going to bring someone in, keep playing with ScreaM, try some people?
We haven't really discussed much yet, I think we'll break things down after the event, but I don't really see us testing players. I would see the team building a lineup more than trying around because you don't know if it's going to work or not, and you end up wasting time. So we'll just have to see who we'll build the lineup with.
Moving forward, what do you think the most important thing to get back in shape is?
The goal, obviously, is to bring fnatic back to the top where it belongs. We don't know how, yet, but I think the biggest thing that will get us there will be to have really good individuals, but also a really good chemistry and team spirit. We haven't had that for a long time now, and you can't just shove your issues under the rug and try to hide them or blame problems on someone else. We need to become a team together because that's what we have been lacking the most for the past couple of years. We haven't been a team, we've just been individuals on a team.