blameF: "Need to find out how I can have more impact in rounds"
In the opening match of ICE Challenge, Heroic were able to beat Natus Vincere by a 2-1 scoreline, upsetting the tournament favourites in their first LAN match of the year. The Danish team secured a spot in the upper bracket final, in which they will face fellow Danes North for a spot in the grand final.
Following their triumph, we spoke to the 21-year-old to discuss the significance of the roster securing an opening victory on their LAN debut, the effect of successful clutches on his confidence and takeaways from past teams that made him a solid fit for Heroic's roster.
How does it feel to come out with a victory in your first LAN match with Heroic?
This is my first international event against really big teams, in my opinion, so of course it's a really great experience being here. I'm really honoured to have received this opportunity that Heroic has given me.
To have played Na'Vi in the first match was hard - seeing that you're going up against such strong opponents. In the end we managed to get out fine, so I'm happy with the result.
Na'Vi are currently ranked third in the world - does this add any significance to your victory against them?
We know that we are a really strong team. We have already struggled in some officials, so we know we have a lot to work on. We are still trying to find our own way of playing and the way we would like to approach the game. The team is really open-minded, they are not closed in on the way they used to play. Our map pool is not that strong, so that makes me even happier about the result. I also feel like we won a lot of crucial rounds and that we had some really good starts on both maps, which allowed us to land a victory.
Obviously Na'Vi are a good team, and if we meet them later in the tournament we will still have to be extra-prepared. They are a really good team and I have a lot of respect for them.
After your match loss against Furia in the WePlay! Lock and Load online event you posted a tweet in which you self-reflected and admitted that the performance had not been up to par. Earlier today, we saw you land some crucial clutches for your teams, contributing to the subsequent win. Do you feel these clutches boosted your confidence?
My personal opinion about my performance today is that I had many good rounds but I also had a lot of rounds where I didn't even show up. Of course, the pistol rounds in which I killed three guys, even on Nuke, my worst map, gave a huge confidence boost, but, in general, I didn't play well enough today. I need to go home, watch my demos and find out how I can have more impact in rounds. Luckily for me, I have a team that supports me, so hopefully I'll be able to do that.
Let's talk about your past - you were previously part of Great Danes, then you transferred to Epsilon, and subsequently joined Heroic. What did you take away from your previous teams that allowed you to settle in with Heroic?
I feel like I'm a player who is good at taking initiative, a player who knows what he likes to do. I'm not a leader, I don't like to be calling the shots, but I have a lot of ideas and I know how to give my teammates good input mid-game. I feel like that's something Heroic needed, and that's the reason I feel I'm a good match.
Obviously I'm known from my past teams for my fragging and my ratings, so I'm sure that has something to do with me getting on Heroic. I think it's a great match because they have such great and experienced players but maybe lacked a little bit of firepower. Hopefully, when I find myself and my confidence in this team, I will be able to give them that.
You mentioned the team had players with a lot of experience. Do you feel like you've learned a lot from your teammates since joining?
I always put in a lot of hours into the game myself. I've been an in-game leader on most of my teams in my career, so I feel like I have a good understanding of the game myself.
One thing that I learned and greatly contributed to my knowledge was the team's ability to react mid-round. I have never played with teammates who take so much initiative and who react to everything that happens, and that is what I have learned the most in the time we've spent together. It makes it so much easier when everyone on the map is taking initiative - pushing in when we are at disadvantages, etc. That is the biggest thing that I feel I've learned so far.
When you arrived in Heroic, you replaced MODDII in the starting lineup. Do you feel like you've been assigned the role that he used to fulfil, or did the roster have to work around in order to allow you to play a role you're comfortable with?
The team has been awesome in giving me the best chances to perform. I've been given almost every spot I wanted on all maps, even though we have not been through all of the maps yet. Patrick (es3tag), in particular, as he was the one playing my positions - he has been giving me all of the positions, which I am thankful for. It has definitely helped me feel more comfortable.
I still need to feel more comfortable in the team, and I still need to improve. I'm not playing well enough right now, but the team has given me every opportunity to play as I usually do. It should be just a matter of time - when we will have played enough together, I should be back in form.