flusha: "[There was a possibility] of creating my own team and hand-picking players I really want to play with, but no other teams"
We interviewed Robin "flusha" Rönnquist to catch up with him and ask him about what his life looked like while he was away from the game during the first half of the year and talk about his return to fnatic.
The 26-year-old was out of the scene for over six months, having left Cloud9 in March to step away from the game after suffering a loss in the family, before returning in September in the organization he had represented for nearly five years in 2013-2018, fnatic.
While the new team, who also welcomed back Maikil "Golden" Selim as part of a wider restructuring, are debuting at DreamHack Masters Malmö, we got the chance to speak to flusha about his life since his departure from the North American organization, the options he had, and his comeback in fnatic, where he reunited with three of his former teammates from the same organization.
Seven months out of the competition, what have you been up to and when did you touch CS again after quitting Cloud9 back in February?
Out of the game, I've just experienced the "real life," if you'd say that, just hanging out with my girlfriend, experiencing summer in Sweden, which I haven't done in like eight years or so, mostly that. I tried playing for a week about a month after I left Cloud9, but I felt like it wasn't that fun, still, so I just set my goal to play after the StarLadder Major and I basically started playing somewhere mid-August. I just tried to not play so I could prevent myself from getting bored of it too quickly.
I hope you don't mind me saying, I notice you've also lost weight, have you been working out in that time?
Yeah, just working out, dieting, taking long walks, stuff like that. Nothing special, really.
What made you think that this was the right time to come back and in fnatic again?
I've been talking to JW a lot, and they've been having some improvements with the new mental coach, Jens, so I really like that aspect of the team. We can work on stuff that was a problem before with the mental aspect, so stuff like that really intrigues me, and that's pretty much why I came back, also it's some of my best friends and a Swedish team, as well.
While you were away people theorycrafted teams that you could have been a part of, obviously namely the two big Swedish teams, fnatic and NiP, but FaZe were a name that was also thrown around a lot. Was there a possibility that you could have joined someone else?
Of course, there was. I wouldn't say any other team in Sweden, I think the Swedish player pool is pretty shallow, so there's nothing much to find there. Other than that, it was mainly creating my own team and hand-picking players I really want to play with, but there was no other team that was giving me offers that I would want to play with.
A very similar version to this fnatic has already existed before with Lekr0 instead of Brollan from early 2018, does this feel familiar?
Yeah, it's pretty similar. The only thing is that Brollan is a lot more aggressive than Lekr0 was back in the team, so I think that was kind of what we were missing back then with Lekr0. It's a better fit for the team, the whole five right now. Other than that, we all know each other from before, so it was coming back to what we had done before, just some new plans out of Golden, he has really improved as a leader.
Is that why you think it's going to work this time? There was a lot of criticism towards the Swedish scene recycling the same players, what is going to make the difference this time?
I think just the mental aspect is going to be so much better, not going into every tournament feeling or thinking we're going to win, being top four and stuff like that. Mainly we're going in with a healthy approach, practicing both inside of the game, we're dealing with mental things, if we have a problem with attitude, things like that. Things like that will make this team a lot better.
What kind of form did you expect yourself to come back with after half a year, during which, as you said, you barely touched CS?
I expected myself to come back and do the same. I feel like I don't have a playstyle that depends on how skilled I am at the moment, so even if I was aiming badly or something like that, I'm still going to be able to do my part, I'm going to be able to get kills, participate in the team, make them better. It's been no problem in practice or in FPL, I've pretty much been back to normal.
What about from the team side? fnatic have been shaky here so far with a convincing loss to ENCE and a close series with TYLOO, did that come as a surprise or were you expecting a slower start before you found your groove?
No, it was pretty surprising that we did so badly against ENCE and the first map against TYLOO. We had a really good bootcamp before this, we played some of the best matches that I've ever played with these players, so it was kind of surprising, but it was mainly confidence and our mental approach, we were a bit scared, a bit nervous. As soon as we got into the best-of-three, we lost the first map against TYLOO, we just had a talk, everyone talked about what felt wrong and what we could do better, and we really showed it during the second map.