JW: "I hope GeT_RiGhT will keep playing and try on another team when the time comes"
fnatic had a rough week at the ESL Pro League Season 9 Finals. They started off with a loss to NRG, who went on to win their group and clinch a semi-final spot. They won the first round of the lower bracket against Grayhound, but were then unexpectedly taken out by Heroic in a three-map series.
During our conversation, JW talked about some of the problems plaguing the team, which he mainly puts on not enough individual preparation after some time on the road. The Swede also talked about the Swedish scene, particularly about Nicolas "Plopski" Gonzalez Zamora and his signing by NiP, and gave us some thoughts on what he hopes for Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund's future.
Let's go back to the beginning of the season, you started out very strong with two second-place runs at StarSeries i-League Season 7 and IEM Sydney, but now you've been knocked out of the group stage two times in a row. You were showing a lot of promise, but then weren't able to fulfill that potential. What happened?
I think the biggest issue has been our individual form, not our team form. We've been traveling a lot, which is expected because we planned the whole thing, so it's not like we're blaming it on anyone, but it's hard to get those individual hours in and I think that's our biggest issue. We're lacking a lot of individual confidence in a lot of situations, but we're also tending to overcomplicate stuff.
CS is very simple, and we tend to make it way harder than it actually is. We're losing mostly against ourselves, obviously the teams we're playing against are playing at a really high caliber, but we expect to beat most of them. We kind of know what to work on and hopefully we'll have enough time to do it before Cologne and the Minor.
I think the loss to Heroic here was quite unexpected, especially because they were quite dominant on the two maps they won. What was it that didn't work, what were you struggling with>
Pretty much nothing was working. Everything we did, we messed something up, it didn't matter what we tried, even if we just tried to take a simple mid control on Mirage or something. We'd mess up a smoke, or something, it's hard to pinpoint and describe why it happened, but something was just very, very off this tournament.
How does this affect you moving forward? You have Cologne and the Minor coming up, how can you reset and get back in shape?
The good thing about this all is that we know that it's not about not being skilled enough, or not knowing if we have what it takes, it's nothing like that, it's just that we tend to mess things up and overcomplicate things. We just need to play like the opponents, if we play a lower team in the rankings we tend to crumble a bit because we're the favorites and I think we have some issues handling that, so I think we can just go home and try and find the passion and love for the game and get the hours up because the tactics are working, the teamplay... it's there, we know how to play, we just need to get our confidence and the feeling and love for CS back up again.
Have you talked about what the goals are for the next tournaments? Obviously, for the Minor, it's to qualify for the Major, but what about Cologne?
Every tournament we go into, we always have the goal to reach the playoffs because we want to play for the fans, get into the arenas, so that's the first small goal in every tournament. You always go into it wanting to win, but you have to go one match at a time and have small goals, but playoffs, especially in Cologne, that's the biggest thing. The bigger goal is to get back into the Major cycle.
What about goals that are not so much about placements and so on, but rather what would you like to see work or click on the team?
I would love to get us confident in group stages again, it's just the group stages. There we don't play to win, we play not to lose because it's in the back of our minds that we don't want to disappoint ourselves or our fans by going out in the groups. Once we get out of the groups all of that pressure is off of our shoulders and we tend to play such good CS, which is what we saw both at StarSeries and in Sydney. We just need to get through the group stages to get the pressure off, to learn how to handle that pressure, because that's what's haunting us right now. It's hard to work on it, we just need to find our groove and find ourselves.
Something to close it off, as one of the two biggest teams in Sweden, we just saw NiP make a change and bring on a youngster, similar to how you brought on brollan. Any thoughts on the Plopski signing?
I think it's good, it's the right thing to do. However, I don't really like how it's being done because they have to play with stand-ins... Players like brollan and Plopski, they need to have a good structure, especially taking this huge step into the top professional scene, they need to have more structure around them to help them develop faster and feel safe. I hope it won't affect him too much because it could haunt him for his whole career if it goes badly.
Other than that I hope GeT_RiGhT will keep playing and try on another team when the time comes because I still feel like he has a lot more to give. He played in NiP for his whole CS:GO career, and if he quits now I don't see it as him quitting on top, so why not try on another team? I'm sure he could give a lot more and make a new team way better. What's happening now in the Swedish scene is exciting, but sadly we have to wait until after the Major because of all of these roster locks and so on.