Golden: "Coming back I felt like I knew more about what I wanted to do, I was more assertive"
Picking up a trophy at DreamHack Masters Malmö and finishing second to Evil Geniuses at StarSeries i-League Season 8 were great results for a team that just shook up their roster, with fnatic looking to continue their good form at the ECS Season 8 Finals after picking up an opening victory over MIBR.
fnatic's in-game leader talked about the lacking practice due to Freddy "KRIMZ" Johansson's illness, but claims that the expectations didn't get lowered because of it. He also revealed that the period in Cloud9 was a great learning experience, which helped him become more assertive in the current team.
The MIBR game turned out to be a pretty comfortable victory for your team, was it what you were expecting considering your form in the last couple of months?
We've been somewhat shaky from KRIMZ's illness, we only had approximately 12 practice matches in total since he came back, we were just trying to find our comfort zone with KRIMZ again. I think we managed to do that on some level but I think we need to play more officials to get to where we were in Malmö and Turkey.
So expectations for this event are not where they would be if KRIMZ was fit during the last two weeks?
No, the expectations are still there, we still want to be finishing off the year very strongly. As I said, we will do our best and whatever happens, we will take the result afterwards.
With this roster coming together there were a lot of speculations about how it will turn up and you ended up finding success pretty early. How did you think that happened, what was the key to finding success early on?
One of the main things is that we were all apart and we grew in different ways. Coming back I felt like I knew more about what I wanted to do, I was more assertive about things that I wanted to do in the team, I knew how to build structure better, how to be a leader basically. In Cloud9 I learned a lot about leadership, for me that was a big step for my performance, learning how to help everyone else how to be better. The guys have also matured so much more than before, after we were apart it didn't go well for anyone, so it was nice to come back and still have that synergy we have in game. It felt like the synergy was even better this time than before.
The period you spent with Cloud9 didn't go that well, but you mention it being an important learning step. Do you think that made the experience in Cloud9 worth it for you as a player?
I regret nothing about Cloud9. What happened happened, and while I was sick they still wanted me to come back and play for them, which is very nice. I still didn't waste any time to develop myself, I knew I had to become a better leader, and I had a lot of help in that.
Being more assertive and coming into this fnatic lineup, how did it work out for you considering fnatic other options before you, and also you being on a trial/loan from Cloud?
I found myself nowhere in that break when Cloud9 wanted to make a roster without me. I didn't know where I was going to end up, I tried to make my own roster for a few days...
Going into the team on a trial basis, I still knew I had to do my best. And I've been in worse places, I would say, so this wasn't a big thing.
fnatic are in a good place right now, what do you think will be key for you guys to keep up having good results, contesting for titles, winning titles, staying in the top level of teams?
We are working with our sports psychologist a lot and he's been helping out with structure outside of the game and how to prepare ourselves mentally, how to be there for eachother and be more positive in the worst kinds of situations. I would say having Jens (sports psychologist) is a big deal for us, and in-game stuff, we are always trying to reinvent ourselves or change stuff we know isn't working. We're always trying to get better, all the time. I think it is not much more difficult than that, just try to be better than what we were yesterday.
There is no fear that after the "honeymoon period" ends, that things are going to go downhill?
Honeymoon or not, I think we will still be there. It is just about how we progress when it goes bad. We haven't had our dip yet so we need to be prepared for it when it comes.