FNS on qualifying for FLASHPOINT: "This was our one and only chance to make it"

We caught up with Pujan "FNS" Mehta after his Orgless roster secured qualification for FLASHPOINT 1 to find out what earning a spot in the league means, how beneficial the monthly stipend of $25,000 will be, and the kind of struggles he has faced in recent times.

Orgless took down Chaos in the semi-finals of the FLASHPOINT Global Qualifier to earn a spot in the first edition of the league, which will kick off on March 13. In Los Angeles, the Canadian team will be joined by fellow qualified side BIG and the tournament's ten franchise partners.

FNS discussed his thoughts on the removal of in-game leaders from lineups

Ahead of the closed qualifier for the Americas Minor, the Canadian in-game leader spoke to us about the team's reaction to qualifying for the event with minimal practice, Matthew "WARDELL" Yu's individual abilities, why teams have a tendency to remove in-game leaders after stagnating, and the prospect of going up against Vito "kNgV-" Giuseppe in FLASHPOINT 1.

What's the mood in the team like after qualifying for FLASHPOINT? What are your thoughts on reaching the league?

We are extremely happy to be able to make it into this league seeing as this is the only “league” we had a chance to get into. We weren’t able to obtain an MDL spot so this was our one and only chance to make it. We were also very surprised with how well we played considering how little practice we came in with. Due to WARDELL’s surgery, we had literally 2 days of dry runs and scrims coming into this event. Prior to that, we had had a good five days of practice when we had first started playing. This is definitely not a bad result with seven days of practice total.

This team only officially formed at the start of February. What led to picking out the players you have now and how long did it take to assemble the roster?

This lineup took around two weeks to form completely from scratch. As soon as I left Riot Squad, I contacted Subroza to see if he was interested. He and WARDELL were a package deal, so that was very enticing for me as well since I think they are heavily underrated as players. I lucked out by being able to get these guys.

Once we had our core, we looked at our options and considered players like FugLy, ANDROID, and SicK before ultimately choosing yay and Infinite. I knew yay from my short tenure with Complexity and I knew exactly what he was capable of when he had a positive environment around him. I also had a high stock on Infinite since I had qualified for the previous Minor with him on Lazarus. I was really impressed with how much he knew about the game, given how inexperienced he was.

WARDELL was without a team for over eight months after his time on Ghost. Can you speak about integrating him into your system after his break and how he fits into your overall style?

It honestly wasn’t that hard to get started with Matt since he has a very versatile AWPing style. It was pretty easy to throw him into a default and let him play his game. I didn’t try to micromanage him too much since I figured it would be smarter to see what he was capable of without being told what to do, specifically on CT side.

It turned out that he was incredibly good at moving around and making his own plays without needing direction. Then it was just up to his site mates to play around with what he did. He’s probably one of the most confident AWPers I’ve ever played with when it comes to his own ability to perform, which helps me out a lot with calling gamble stacks and just leaving him on his own island at times.

Before heading up this team, you were the captain of Riot Squad for almost six months. You told Dust2.us that you “lost faith” in that lineup and wanted to make a handful of changes. What happened towards the end of your time on that team?

Honestly, without giving away too much dirty laundry, that team wasn’t a good personality fit for me. I didn’t really have a natural bond with anyone. We didn’t really share much in common as people and, normally, that wouldn’t matter if the team is winning and the vibes are really good — which is how it was early on. Not fitting in that team became more clear when things didn’t go our way and I saw how people reacted to losing. We lost our Pro League spot to INTZ, we failed to win the MDL Global Challenge grand finals, and we didn’t qualify for a couple of DreamHack events.

That hurt me a lot and when I rewatched our games, I saw the same mistakes over and over again that I thought we had fixed during our time together. All in all, I wasn’t a good fit for that team and that became very clear after we failed to qualify for these events and I chose to make a decision to remove three players or leave the team. Ultimately, the organisation chose the latter. Ironically, that same organisation dropped their team the following week and came to us — Orgless — with an offer. We chose not to sign due to contractual reasons, but I have nothing but love for that organization and everything they provided for us during my time there.

After he left Riot Squad, FNS says that the organisation approached his new roster

You were part of one of the teams that were majorly affected by the EPL changes and didn’t get the opportunity to play in Relegation. Now that some time has passed, what are your thoughts on how that whole situation was handled and the way it was communicated to your team, specifically?

I think we can agree that it was ridiculous for EPL to take as long as they did to let the teams know whether they were in the league or not. Regardless of their circumstances, it’s inexcusable for an organization to completely black out their communications with teams until the last second. That being said, I appreciate their willingness to accept that and come up with a compromise that helped the teams that got shafted by giving them another chance through MDL. Whether it’s fair or not isn’t for me to determine.

Now that you have qualified for FLASHPOINT, you’re eligible for the $25,000 monthly stipend that the organiser is offering uncontracted teams. With the team being entitled to that stipend, does that change your expectations in terms of what you seek from an organisation? Does it give you more time to find the right offer?

It definitely helps. Being able to have this stipend allows us to comb through each offer thoroughly and decide based on all factors instead of rushing into signing just to get a paycheck. Realistically, we haven’t even had so much as a day to talk to organizations due to our packed schedule. I hope that with us showing that we were able to earn this spot, it entices organizations to reach out to us. Until then, we’ll just keep doing our best to prove ourselves.

Something that has been common in North American teams without an organisation is that they eventually fall apart once players begin to get approached by bigger teams with a solid financial backing. Are you afraid that this might happen to your team, or do you believe that everyone is here for the long haul? Does the stipend help to resolve that issue?

I’m not worried about that, to be honest. On all of my teams, I’ve always been very honest with my players. If they get an offer they can’t refuse, they should do what they think is right. On this team, I think everyone has a lot of faith in each other and everyone gets along really well. Another big thing that comes with this roster is that everybody listens to each other and takes feedback really well. That helps so much when it comes to progressing quickly through the ranks. We fix mistakes really fast and all my players are able to take criticism really well. That quality, in my opinion, is insanely underrated. Players who can take constructive criticism and actually take feedback from teammates improve a lot faster. Time isn’t wasted during practice and we get a lot done, even with a short timetable. I believe everybody has enough faith in this lineup to not leave just yet. If we continue to perform and qualify for events, I doubt anybody will choose to leave, even for a better offer, financially or otherwise.

FNS praised his teammates' ability to take criticism and improve quickly

The swapping of in-game leaders after a team finds success continues to be a hot button topic, and a situation which seems to keep occurring - in FLASHPOINT alone, MAD Lions have already benched HUNDEN, and daps has had his fair share of struggles on past teams. For you personally, what do you think leads teams to making these changes, and how has it affected your own career?

I think for myself, daps, HUNDEN, Zeus, and so on, a big part of why players choose to remove IGLs who aren’t consistently putting up numbers is due to the team hitting a plateau. Whether that plateau is top 30 or top 10, all players involved, especially the stars, will start to feel resentment towards players who aren’t playing as well. It’s human nature and it’s their competitive mindset to get rid of anything that holds them back from winning, regardless of cost. These decisions can sometimes prove to be fatal because when you’re in the heat of the moment and see someone as a total liability, you start to forget what made you play with that person in the first place.

In my career, I feel like I’ve run into that a lot and once players build up resentment, due to my performance in-game or even my calling ability, it’s basically game over. You can never really move past that with most people until either they’re out, or I am. By no means am I making excuses for playing poorly. If I’m not putting up numbers and we are consistently losing close games because of my mistakes, then I should be removed. It’s simple. However, I don’t feel like that’s been the case in a lot of the times I’ve been removed from a team.

You left your last three teams (Cloud9, eUnited and Riot Squad) rather abruptly. What did you take away from those experiences? Given the fact that in-game leaders are always in such high demand, why is it that you have found it hard to build a stable project lately?

I was definitely bitter after my stint on C9 and how things ended there, but on eUnited and Riot Squad, I feel like it was more my decision to leave than anything else. Playing with some of the players on these teams made me realize one very important thing: I need to play with people who I get along with inside and outside of the game. People who think of the game in a similar way as me. I realized that the composition of the team should be prioritized before just picking up the best players. It's important to have players who will bring the best out of each other.

I went into creating this roster with that exact mindset. Creating a team that gets along inside and outside of the game and sees the game similarly to one another. Subroza, Infinite and I are probably the most vocal to each other about how we should be playing. The fact that we’re able to consistently come to an agreement instead of looping arguments that never end is refreshing.

MIBR will also be competing in FLASHPOINT with kNgV-. You two share a piece of notable history, so what is that situation there looking like heading into the first season? Is it all water under the bridge at this point?

The only history we share is that Tweet. That has been water under the bridge for a long time and the fact that people bring it up still is hilarious. We’ve spoken and apologized for how we acted. There’s no bad blood between us but i’m sure that won’t stop the freaks on Reddit from continuing the meme. I wish MIBR the best since I’m a big fan of what they’ve accomplished in the game and I look up to a lot of their players. FalleN is a legend.

Canada Matthew 'WARDELL' Yu
Matthew 'WARDELL' Yu
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Canada Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
Pujan 'FNS' Mehta
No team
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Brazil Vito 'kNgV-' Giuseppe
Vito 'kNgV-' Giuseppe
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Turkey Berhava! 
lol orgs still won't want you
2020-03-07 20:34
It literally says they got an offer from riot squad already lmao
2020-03-07 21:02
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
+1 and I hear TSM is interested, other orgs too. The only reason Orgless hasn't signed is because they need to find what is best. No point to rush into a cheap contract, and then they become the 2nd best NA team and are underpaid. They won't be able to get C9 size contracts even if they are a better team, but they should be able to get a decent contract IMO. If they are smart, they find an org like TSM and make an arrangement where they get less salary but a chance for inventives to make bigger salary + bonus if they make certain marks. Everyone wants to talk trash on FNS but Orgless can be a top 3 NA team
2020-03-07 22:07
f0rest | 
Mexico bfish8 
spit out my water laughing when i read 2nd best NA team. they can be a top 3 NA team? lmao
2020-03-08 04:09
fox | 
Europe xlD4NKlx 
lmao far better than any mexican team, but anyways back to the point, liquid are hot garbage and over rated, EG are on a slump, And they could potentially beat GenG because I think their firepower stacks up infinite - good, wardell - awp god, subroza - aim god, fns - good igl and pretty good aimer, yay - good rookie who could potentially also be the secondary awper. Cloud 9 are pretty meh rn but I think they definetly could be number 1
2020-03-11 07:05
Brazil SecondKS 
just infinite and wardell play very well in orgless. This team never bigger than GenG, EG and Liquid
2020-03-08 05:21
They might be the 4th or 5th best in NA after Liquid EG Gen.G and they're about on par with C9 once they practice some more. I think they will do well in the t2 scene but never quite break into t1 successfully
2020-03-08 07:35
200 iq
2020-03-07 20:32
prove it or...
2020-03-07 20:32
Spain Silber_ 
2020-03-07 20:33
clips.twitch.tv/CrackyTenuousKimchiRitzM.. still remember watching this live
2020-03-07 20:57
2020-03-07 20:33
2020-03-07 21:18
nuke hard map, very t sided. Very many enemy players coming, very unfair!
2020-03-07 21:54
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
LOLOL what are you trying to prove? The 1st pic he dies with a pistol vs a rifle? who cares no big deal. If you wonder why he didn't shoot faster, maybe he was hoping they wouldnt check and walk by and he could shoot 2-3 like a nuke version of shroud boost play. It is unlikely to happen but worth a shot, I don't see how that 1st pic is supposed to prove much. FNS is IGLing a top 3 NA team but people just wanna hate cause dummies just look at frags
2020-03-07 22:04
good try making excuses FNs alt
2020-03-07 22:50
fox | 
Europe xlD4NKlx 
xDDDD??? Randomly accussing some guy of that, and they beat avez with avez i believe beating BIG or giving them a run of their money. IDK why the Laos guy is talking because there is no csgo scene there xD. Also to the frenchmen who made that weak point, vitality are slumping hard and G2 are doing pretty well but only because they headed to an international roster
2020-03-11 07:10
tarik | 
Norway MD! 
Ez for 4d chess master Finesse
2020-03-07 20:44
Germany Trax_ 
2020-03-07 22:49
Too bad you are not in complexity ! Then you would say something like " this is our fourth and only chance to make it "
2020-03-07 20:44
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
LOL so true, and if they don't make it they'd just get an invite
2020-03-07 22:02
I guess he he'll have to prove it or...
2020-03-07 20:45
United States me_0_major 
flashpoint player 25k/month
2020-03-07 20:47
flashpoint winner gets Thorins lunch money
2020-03-07 21:51
Prove it or I’ll sex you!!
2020-03-07 20:52
United States stotte 
But FNS, you dont understand Red number bad
2020-03-07 20:52
United States stotte 
Now that I've actually read the interview, I got some thoughts 1) Very good that kNg's apology was real. I dont really care for the motivation of the apology anymore but at least he actually apologized. That's a step up 2) I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts Jonji was the one arguing with FNS. Jonji has a history of being a cunt, and he's not even that good to be such an asshole. 2nd candidate is ptr. ptr and FNS have history and are friends but ptr, having ingame led for some MDL teams, probably has his own ideas that clash with FNS's.
2020-03-07 21:34
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
ptr is a junk IGL IMO. I didn't know jonji was like that, but it doesn't shock me. So many players are better than all the average plebs, so when they hit MDL they think their shit doesn't stink. And they might be better than 99% of the world at this point but that attitude won't let them become better than the top 1% but so many players are assholes with attitudes. Work ethic and attitude is the only thing that separates top players and talented players that fail IMO. It doesn't matter if FNS is in the red often, he gets his teams working together and playing harder, every team he has been on does much better with him than before so him being in the red some games is fine with me
2020-03-07 22:02
United States stotte 
He is a junk IGL. Also, FINALLY, SOMEONE SEES THE LIGHT. Too many idiots only see kill death ratio and not the results before and after
2020-03-07 22:04
United States Gonginator 
Jonji argued with vSa back in their Rise Nation days. Well, I guess everybody talked trash about each other, but the highlight was the twitter rants between those 2 guys.
2020-03-08 06:17
i remember somewhere that ptr and jonji were the players he wanted to remove
2020-03-07 22:01
I heard he only wanted to keep himself and crashies
2020-03-08 07:41
Logical, all the rest were trash.
2020-03-08 20:17
huNter- | 
Korea Jew2K 
lol ptr keeps sucking stewies dick on stream that i didnt know he'd have the balls to speak up
2020-03-08 02:57
Nice interview, hopefully Orgless gets picked up by a good org, or goes on a cinderella story and actually gets a high placing while being orgless.
2020-03-07 21:21
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
would be a wild story. I can't imagine that some org doesnt pick them up now
2020-03-07 21:56
Myanmar Guzhas 
don't forget that fns was "worth" 200k in 2018
2020-03-07 21:22
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
Sounds accurate. FNS made CLG from completely crap and irrelevant, to a top 3 NA team that could challenge top international teams. And people act like FNS washed out cause CLG disbanded, and other orgs didn't pick him up, but that isn't his fault. FNS was a great IGL for CLG. FNS is a great IGL now for Orgless. Maybe he still IS a valuable player to have and orgs are just dumb like Fnatic was with Golden
2020-03-07 21:57
United States stotte 
Btw, also, FNS leaves Riot Squad, then Riot Squad drops the team. But red number bad PwnNewb, dont you get it?
2020-03-07 22:08
Fns got rekt because they beat them but chaos still got invited check thorins twitter lol
2020-03-07 21:33
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
ya of course, because they need teams to fill the spots, and when other teams are having VISA problems a team like Chaos that lives in NA can attend easily. Still better to have qualified with a higher seed than to be a bottom team, if Orgless got invited they might not get an org, but since the qualfied and looked so strong an org is going to sign them soon. Orgless is probably better than Cloud9 right now, they just have to get better than Evil Geniuses and they could become 2nd best NA team behind Liquid
2020-03-07 21:59
They need to be better than Gen.G as well though...
2020-03-08 12:46
subroza and wardell cheaters
2020-03-07 21:43
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
LOL why do you think WARDELL is a cheater, because he always beats BR teams easy?
2020-03-07 21:55
i want to see him against kngv
2020-03-07 21:45
vilga | 
Canada PwnNewb 
Well deserved! FNS was a top 3 NA IGL with CLG, yet got screwed when CLG disbanded. People talk about Orgless like "they are just some mix" but that is BS. Mix teams just PUG it out and don't have good strats and IGLs. Orgless has FNS who is a great IGL, Wardell is a very solid AWPer, this team has great players for their roles and could become the 2nd-3rd best team in NA over time.
2020-03-07 21:54
Are you sober
2020-03-08 18:40
his name should explain everything
2020-03-09 03:19
2020-03-07 22:11
imb4 gets kicked again from his team lmao
2020-03-07 22:38
indeed it was
2020-03-07 23:05
Daddy | 
Other aland 
2020-03-08 04:23
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