draken: "I feel like this is not my last shot, but it is a big test"
draken went full circle in under a year: moving from NiP to fnatic, then to Red Reserve, and finally an international project Uruguay, before returning to the Ninjas as a stand-in for Dennis "dennis" Edman. We spoke to the AWPer about leaving Hampus "hampus" Poser behind, his time in fnatic, and how he sees this opportunity.
The 23-year-old did reveal that he is a player that committed himself to NiP, signing a contract for the whole year. draken will still likely to step down if or when dennis returns, but until then, he is set on making the most out of the stand-in opportunity.
I want to talk about the Uruguay roster that you left to join NiP on a stand-in basis now. That was planned as a long-term thing, looking see what you can do with something like that, but then the NiP offer came in. Was it hard to make the decision to leave the Uruguay project and join NiP?
It was a clear answer for me, sure it was hard because I planned this [Uruguay], me, chrille the coach, Joel the manager, and hampus, we've been talking for a long time, even in December, that we wanted to do something international. So it was hard, but it was an offer I couldn't refuse. I played with NiP and from the day I left I always wanted to go back, I feel like I've learned a lot since then. So it was a hard decision but I knew from the start that NiP is sort of my home so I should go for it.
You mentioned that you learned a lot since the last time you were in NiP, what do you think is going to be different now?
I've grown a lot as a person, as a player as well, how to play, mostly decision making and stuff like that. So I think I'm just going to take everything that I learned, everything that I've been through and put that into focus, really work hard. Even though it is a stand-in spot for me I'm still going to see it as: "I do my best and let's see how it works out". I'm just going to focus on me and not so much on Twitter and stuff.
So no more banter?
We will see, probably in the future, but for now, I'm going to focus on myself.
Is there a sense that, after you've been in NiP and then moved to fnatic, then left fnatic, that you really have to deliver in this opportunity at the top of the Swedish scene?
Yeah, I feel like this is not my last shot, but it is a big test for me, and I'm really hyped for it. We will see what we can do.
How long can we expect to see you in NiP? Obviously when you made the deal that you are going to come in you talked about it a bit, but the whole announcement was pretty uncertain, not a lot of details in it. So how long are you certainly going to be in NiP?
For certain, until 2020, but we will see. If dennis comes back I'll probably have to step down. So I would say until 2020, but you never know what happens, right?
So did you sign a deal already on that, until 2020?
Yeah, I'm signed for this year.
That is different than I expected since nothing was announced. Do you feel that at the same time, the fact that dennis can come back in, adds additional pressure that you need to prove yourself?
I don't know, not really. I think that if he comes back, let's say after the summer, I'm not going to do the same stupid mistake again, take the best offer I get at the time, which I did with fnatic. I felt that I just wanted to play and prove everyone wrong, I've learned a lot from that. If that happens I'm just going to let time speak for itself and see what happens because you never know in these situations. For me, I'm just focused on this tournament and then the next one, that's my mindset for now, one tournament at a time.
So you think that the move to fnatic was a mistake? How come?
I don't think it was a mistake for them, necessarily, picking me up, but I think it was a mistake for me because I really joined at a bad time. We were never really a team, a unit, like we've been in NiP. In fnatic I joined at a bad time, flusha was a bit down, as everyone knows now, the Major fu**ed us at that bit, and then we had ScreaM after that as a stand-in... It was weird to play. Sometimes I adjusted too much, got out of my comfort zone and that is something I've learned as well, how to always keep me in the comfort zone so I don't have these shit matches. I think I learned how to counter that. fnatic is a good team, no doubt, they have nice players, but it was just wrong for me at the time, and probably their time as well.
NiP has some history of winning with stand-ins and players coming in, they won their first event with Maikelele as a stand-in, won with pyth when he got back from the injury... Is there a hope that something similar can happen here?
We have a really good mood and I think we are just going go to go in and play CS. We will play five different maps so we get to feel it out and see how it affects us. We don't play Inferno and Cache I think, the rest we will play. I don't really have that high hopes for this tournament, but I'm really excited and I'm eager to play. If we do bad, it is not a big deal, but if we do good, I'm really excited. As you said, I think we can do good.
Anything to add to finish it off?
Shoutout to my former teammate hampus for being a star player and an in-game leader at the same time. He has a bright future.