mertz: "I definitely think blameF is the leader type; you follow in his footsteps by default"

We spoke to Daniel "⁠mertz⁠" Mertz during the media hour at IEM Sydney, following Heroic's early exit from the tournament, and heard about their leadership, communication, and more.

The majorly-Danish squad arrived in Australia in good form, after breaking into the top 20 of our world rankings and outplacing and NiP in the ESL Pro League group stage. Heroic had a disappointing IEM Sydney, though, finishing 13-16th after losses to fnatic and Grayhound.

mertz was full of praise for the rookie-IGL blameF

Following Heroic's elimination, we managed to sit down with mertz who explained to us the team dynamics, talked about Benjamin "⁠blameF⁠" Bremer's leadership, how Luis "⁠peacemaker⁠" Tadeu fits into the puzzle, and what they need to do to stabilize within the top 20.

When you picked blameF it wasn't the initial plan for him to be calling, but he ended up taking that role. How did he, as a new player on this level, manage to pick that up and handle it pretty well it seems?

I definitely think blameF is the leader-type of a guy. He is a motivator, he is a really disciplined person as well, he puts in a lot of work. It is nice to have a leader which allows you to follow in his footsteps. He has grown a lot in the role by just playing in this tournament and also in Leicester when we went there.

It wasn't supposed to be him [in-game leading] at the start but it made sense now that we couldn't get a caller into our team for multiple reasons. He called in Epsilon as well, he has been calling before, definitely not at this level, but he is stepping up to the plate and he is getting a lot of help from Luis as well, which is going to make sense in the end I feel like.

You said he makes everyone follow in his footsteps in a way, he is inspiring, so is he forcing you to go the gym and do all of that stuff as well, is that his way of influencing the team

(laughs) He doesn't force us to go to the gym, he doesn't force us to do anything really, but when you have a person that is leading you and is also a motivator, really inspiring, then you follow in his footsteps by default.

So how is the relationship with peacemaker now, where does he come in as the coach? What is his main task now with blameF being the in-game leader?

We are still trying to figure out the best possible way for us to make use of Luis' (Luis "⁠peacemaker⁠" Tadeu) coaching and his experience. Right now, Benjamin (Benjamin "⁠blameF⁠" Bremer) and Luis are really working together on figuring out how we should play the game, what we can do to utilize our star players.

It has been kind of rough because Luis is obviously Brazilian and we talk Danish when we play, so he actually can't follow most of our communication unless we tell him afterward what we said and what we didn't say. So we try, most of the time in freezetime, to call in English so he understands the call, and then when we start playing the round, it is just Danish communication. But it has been rough to get Luis the information he wants to be able to coach the team and for us to still feel like we don't need to talk English all the time because that is kind of a burden when we have four Danish guys and a Swede that can talk Danish as well.

friberg's "broken Danish" is good enough for Heroic's communication

How is friberg fitting in there, from what I heard he is calling in English, but he understands Danish? That is dynamic in terms of communication?

He speaks broken Danish, but Swedish and Danish are so close that you can actually understand all of it, almost. So after a while, now that he has played in Heroic for longer than I have, even, he has been getting to know Danish words a lot more and he knows how to pronounce things differently. it was definitely a little bit of a hard time at the start but he has been getting really good at Danish, I can understand everything he says. I know stavn had a little bit of an issue at the start when he joined the team, communicating and understanding everything that friberg said when it is going a little bit faster, but it is getting along pretty well.

With this lineup, you've been having some decent results online, made top 20 on HLTV, then you had the EPL tournament where you advanced into the second group stage. The hype for you was rising, and then IEM Sydney happened. Was there anything that happened in the meantime that foreshadowed that you wouldn't be playing so well here?

Compared to our online performance and when we practiced up to this event, it is a big shame that we didn't do better than we did. I think it comes down to some of us being nervous and I think it comes down to inexperience as well. And we just didn't play up to our standards at this event, obviously. But yeah, it is hard to say what really went wrong, we need to get back home and watch all the games and we need to see what we did, the mistakes that we did and why we did them. Then we will just have to come back and see what we can do next time.

Was there a part of you that underestimated Grayhound in that game? Especially because you had big leads on two maps and then... they came back.

I think that we definitely didn't see them as an opponent we should lose to, but we never underestimated them. I mean, maybe when you look at the game and you see that we were in front so much on both of the halves of the games we actually lost, it could have something to do with that, but it didn't feel like it when we were playing the game. We were all really focused and I guess that we just crumbled a little bit.

The point where you are now, top 20, a lot of teams get to that point, but it is hard to push forward or even consistently stay in the top 15-20 area. What do you think your team need to do that?

I think it is hard to be in that part because you don't get invitations to events, definitely not the big events and sometimes we don't even get the invitations for the closed qualifiers. So you need to be on point every time you play an official game to actually stay in the top 20. I think that is what we need to do, I think that every team needs to do to stay in the top 20. It will only get easier if we make it easier on ourselves.

After this you have ESL Pro League, the second group stage, are there any other plans? And is peacemaker going to make it for this one, is the visa going to be cleared?

I hope that the visa will be cleared, now that we applied for it the first time it could maybe be easier the second time, I don't actually if the first one got approved yet. So that is going to be a tough one to swallow, if we can't bring him again. But we definitely got the best out of it despite not having him. It is a tough group that we've gotten, but we will see what happens.

And I forgot what the other part of the question was...

Any other tournament or plans in the upcoming period?

Tournaments? We are kind of looking for invites. (laughs)

Denmark Daniel 'mertz' Mertz
Daniel 'mertz' Mertz
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil Luis 'peacemaker' Tadeu
Luis 'peacemaker' Tadeu
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
India Women
He is a big beast. Of course you follow him.
2019-05-07 23:26
Myanmar xdcc
trailing in his shadow
2019-05-07 23:31
Throw wrong smoke or rotate early and blamef crushes your skull
2019-05-07 23:45
ahahaha true
2019-05-08 01:10
2019-05-08 10:07
Absolute beast.
2019-05-08 11:20
2019-05-08 20:55
2019-05-08 09:45
ropz | 
Czech Republic y0fl0w
2019-05-07 23:27
God Mertz ! Great interview, Good luck guys. Having a foreign coach isn't ideal if you ask me!
2019-05-08 09:45
that good luck was for a short time (laughs)
2019-05-09 14:16
That's straight out of crazy town omfg
2019-05-09 15:11
Crazy town?
2019-05-09 20:57
Gonna be the zeus 2.0. Guy who understand the game as a god and can shoot
2019-05-07 23:27
I mean... Would you dare to oppose an absolute unit like him?
2019-05-07 23:29
Finland Smoonah
2019-05-07 23:35
2019-05-08 03:45
France cedd
blameF the gigachad, the hero we need
2019-05-07 23:36
CIS Fr33quency
BlameF is not only a big fragger , but also an IGL ? Big Respect for danish loba
2019-05-07 23:37
Denmark BrezzyOG
Not a big fragger? tf do you mean
2019-05-08 00:40
learn to read pls.
2019-05-08 01:17
TenZ | 
Germany miinus
1iq astralis fan
2019-05-08 09:50
Tf do you mean?
2019-05-08 10:32
u just as dumb as Astralis . Cant u read a simple english before talking trash.
2019-05-08 11:57
Liverpool 4-0 Uefalona
2019-05-07 23:37
France CriiZiX
Ez for PSG! Oh wait...
2019-05-08 11:31
His biceps is bigger than your leg, Maybe that’s why
2019-05-07 23:38
Denmark dR_JaCkPoT
2019-05-08 13:39
Sweden plikz
alpha af
2019-05-07 23:40
United States hoobit
So swedish and danish are similar languagse but norwegian is not ? Just wondering
2019-05-08 00:22
Norwegian is also close. Denmark ruled both countries during different periods of history, most recently Norway. Although pretty close, especially in writing, its three languages of their own though.
2019-05-08 06:46
device | 
Sweden Cixx
Norwegian and Swedish are more similar than Danish and Swedish from a Swede's perspective as we have an easier time both reading and understanding Norwegian than we have Danish. Then again there are of course some people that has an easier time understanding Danish than Norwegian but still.
2019-05-08 10:41
Norwegian is like the neutral language because Swedes understand Norwegian better than Danish, and Danes understand Norwegian better than Swedish.
2019-05-08 13:36
Denmark Notallama
Bokmaal is directly derived from the enforced usage of the Danish dictionary.. while much more similar to Danish, the pronunciation is more similar to Swedish. Nynorsk is a different subject.
2019-05-08 13:47
Denmark Notallama
Denmark never ruled all of Sweden, unless you somehow count the Kalmar Union. The fact that our languages are similar has different reasons.
2019-05-08 13:41
I assumed it was a piece of information that could help illustrate the shared history, and maybe some of the language similarities. I don't know why you replied.
2019-05-10 15:07
Denmark Notallama
Because you included misinformation?
2019-05-10 16:27
No, thats not why you replied
2019-05-10 20:43
Denmark Notallama
No? I was sure it was... what was the reason then?
2019-05-10 20:56
Who’s The One?
2019-05-08 00:50
that's probably what blamef told mertz to say
2019-05-08 00:57
that's what a peanut brain would say
2019-05-08 09:47
name checks out
2019-05-08 18:38
that's what a peanut brain would say
2019-05-08 18:56
name checks out
2019-05-08 19:16
+FeTiSh as coach... oh wait
2019-05-08 01:37
2019-05-08 01:46
mertz beta confirmed blameF super alpha
2019-05-08 02:49
XD +1
2019-05-08 02:53
2019-05-08 06:22
Is it just me or blameF looks like Thanos? Esp when you visit his profile and see his most recent picture.
2019-05-08 02:53
Doesn't change fact hes braindead 😂
2019-05-08 04:06
it's called an alpha
2019-05-08 04:30
Cuz he's hunk af
2019-05-08 06:17
Doesnt really sound like pacemaker is the right man to coach them.
2019-05-08 07:16
Peacemaker is about to destroy another team, he will never left by himself bcuz of money and will wait for kick as always BlameF is next gla1ve
2019-05-08 07:38
blameF on north instead of aizy or kjaerbye, damn
2019-05-09 13:05
Peacemaker destroyed tyloo, liquid, nrg and heroic in the past And they picked him again lul
2019-05-08 10:46
They are looking for invites? Oh well good luck with that :DDD
2019-05-08 08:04
2019-05-08 10:14
misleading title, those weren't even his words.
2019-05-08 11:14
question 1 is the first bit of the title, question 2 is the second bit. ez reading.
2019-05-08 18:41
China teguP
they played in the event? O.O
2019-05-08 13:00
Zombie leads zombies in a dead game.
2019-05-08 13:18
2019-05-09 13:25
hHahaha mertz kicked now
2019-05-09 13:28
get bench
2019-05-09 13:54
2019-05-09 14:18
Poland bakusiell
2019-05-09 14:57
2019-05-09 15:00
This didn’t age well
2019-05-09 15:04
2019-05-09 15:14
2019-05-09 16:47
2019-05-09 17:16
Sweden Drydhan
Wow, nice Interview, and then he gets freaking benched, maybe Mertz to Optic incoming ?
2019-05-09 21:40
Denmark Alphamon
-Snappi +mertz mertz to take on the primary awper role and let MSL focus on IGL:ing.
2019-05-09 22:02
Sweden Drydhan
Yes, that's exactly what I thought, I hate MSL but he is still a better player/ igl then snappy
2019-05-11 21:49
fat RIP, GOD mertz held back by 4 toaster strudels
2019-05-09 22:01
Finland Vkims
This aged well
2019-05-09 22:15
Switzerland TyRRRR
2019-05-10 20:58
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