HUNDEN: "The goal is to try to beat either MIBR or NiP"
We caught up with Nicolai "HUNDEN" Petersen on day one of the V4 Future Sports Festival to talk to him about Tricked's recent changes, the Danes' comeback against Virtus.pro on Mirage, and their goals at the Hungarian event.
In our first interview from Hungary, HUNDEN spoke about losing Johannes "b0RUP" Borup during the player break and what Tricked saw in 25-year-old Fredrik "roeJ" Jørgensen, who came to the team from Copenhagen Flames, before discussing the pitfalls of playing in the sub-top scene in Denmark.
The veteran in-game leader also commented on his squad's opening win against Virtus.pro at the V4 Future Sports Festival and their massive comeback on Mirage, fired back at Jacob "Pimp" Winneche following the analyst's comments on the tournament's official stream, and discussed the possibility of becoming a coach in the future.
First of all, I wanted to ask about the whole process of losing b0RUP to Heroic and adding roeJ, can you talk me through finding a new player to fit in?
I actually think the fit for b0RUP was pretty much perfect, I think we could go one-for-one for b0RUP. It was during our vacation, so it sucked to hear that b0RUP was about to leave us and join Heroic, but overall, I think the transition is going really, really well. roeJ is pretty much fitting b0RUP one-for-one, it's a good fit, so we're really happy to have roeJ on our team now.
I suppose it's not normal practice to add a player who is 25 years old to enter his first top-20 team, what did you see in him that made you pick him up?
We actually looked at him a long, long time ago. When I came back to Denmark I actually wanted roeJ on our team, but it wasn't possible at that moment because he was playing for Copenhagen Flames. The firepower of roeJ is so crazy, when we're playing in Danish Pro League and stuff like that he's owning everyone, so I just wanted to play with him, have that firepower, the motivation. It's so crazy to have him on the team because he is working so hard and he's trying to fix his mistakes all the time. He is a bit older than all the young guns and I think it's good for me to have a guy like him on the team. I think you could compare him to JaCkz from G2, an older guy who is coming to the top and doing really good work. I'm looking forward to seeing what roeJ can do in the future.
You've always been in this constant struggle of whenever there is a spot in a better team you will always lose one of your best players, do you see that as frustrating or do you take it as just another part of your job at this point?
I think it's just a part of being in Denmark, to be honest. We have Astralis, if they lose a player they will pick one from North for sure, and then everything starts. It's hard, we have a few tiers in Denmark, I guess. We have Astralis as No.1, everyone would join Astralis if they got asked — if you don't do that then you're stupid —, then we have the second tier with North alone, if someone from North is asking you to join you will just say yes, instantly. And then we have us, Heroic, and OpTic, I think we're on the same level. Actually, some of our players also said no to Heroic this time. So it's pretty crazy to play in Denmark right now because I think we have three teams who are pretty much on the same level and the competition between us is really nice at the moment.
You added your coach, Winspai, from the Academy team back in May, but there isn't really much background on him. Can you tell me a bit about him, where he came from?
I think he's similar to mithR from North. He's also a teacher and he's still working at school, so he's only on our team for a part-time job. He's antistratting a lot, he's preparing us for the opponents all the time, and that's pretty much his job right now. He's trying to show us some executes and stuff like that, as well, but he's not so much a part of the practice, he's more preparing us for the enemies all the time.
Moving over to V4, you played Virtus.pro a couple of months ago on the exact same maps and beat them in a close series, this time you came back from 5-13 on Mirage on the T side, how did you manage that?
That was a hard one. I think we had perfect reads on the CT side, as well, we didn't prepare that well against them, I guess. We knew what executes they had, but we didn't execute our own plan against them, so we were a bit off on the CT side, but when we got to the T side we had done it before in online games, doing the comebacks and just grinding rounds all the time on the T sides. Mirage is a hard map, but we also saw that they only play the CT side in one way and it was easy to counter. I was prepared for it, last night before I went to bed I told my coach "I will call 12 rounds as T against them this time, so just be ready and we will win Mirage today." And I did that and I'm really happy for that win, to be honest.
I'm just going to bring up something Pimp said on the stream, where he called you a garbage individual player, do you have anything to say to that?
I have one thing to say: Remember when Pimp came home from Liquid, he asked North, he asked OpTic, he asked Heroic, all of them said no to him, so maybe he is the garbage one and he's not that good anymore. He's just an analyst and who the f*ck cares about them?
People often call for you to become a coach, would you ever consider moving to that role?
Right now, I don't think so, but if a top-five team in the world came to me and asked "do you want to be our coach now?" I think I would consider saying yes to it. I think my next position is as a coach, for sure, so if one of the best teams in the world asked me I would definitely really think about it and maybe say yes to them.
Back to V4, Tricked are somewhere in the middle of this rather wide variety of teams, what are your goals here?
The goal is to try to beat either MIBR or NiP. I think we're going to match up against them pretty well when we play against them. I think we were a bit off today and we should have closed out Mirage way before if we could play on the CT side. Our goal is to beat either NiP or MIBR and I think it's possible to do right now.