roeJ: "Whatever happens now, we can be nothing but proud of what we have accomplished"

After Copenhagen Flames made it to the Legends stage undefeated, we spoke to Fredrik "⁠roeJ⁠" Jørgensen about the Danish team's fairytale-like run.

This time last month, you would have been hard-pressed to find anyone believing that Copenhagen Flames would be making an appearance in the PGL Major's Legends Stage, but such has been the incredible story of the Danish squad who have taken the world by surprise.

With a flawless run in the IEM Fall group stage, featuring wins over names such as G2 and BIG, the team found themselves just one step away from a place in the Challengers stage and went on to lock in their spot with a narrow victory over Fiend, clinching seventh place in the RMR event and enough points to qualify for the Major.

roeJ has been a consistent and powerful presence for the Flames over the past month

The Cinderella story continued when the team around Rasmus "⁠HooXi⁠" Nielsen and roeJ reached the Challengers stage, where they had Astralis, BIG, and Heroic in their path and beat them all, joining FaZe and the eight Legends in the next stage.

Throughout the run, roeJ has been a key performer for Copenhagen Flames as their highest rated player at the IEM Fall RMR event (1.14 rating) and a terrifying presence during the PGL Major Stockholm Challengers Stage (1.36 rating). We have had the chance to catch up with the 27-year-old to hear from him about the team's fairytale run and his impressive transition from a middle-of-the-pack player in MAD Lions to Copenhagen Flames' biggest star.

Let's first go back to IEM Fall. From your answers in one of the press conferences, it was obvious that you didn't have the biggest expectations going into the event, not thinking too much about making it to the Major. Tell me about how you have managed to amass this huge momentum up to this point. What has been behind that?

It's a really good question. We didn't have any expectations at all. Of course, we felt like we had something nice and we had really good chemistry within the team and the roles fit well. Me and HooXi, we knew that it was a step down for us, or I at least felt that for sure, playing with three young guys who have barely any experience, but I was up for it. After North went out and MAD Lions went international as well, there wasn't really any room. Either it was Flames or you needed to go into Heroic or Astralis, and there wasn't any room there at all. I hadn't really performed the best at MAD Lions in the end, either, so it was a step down, just taking it easy, and seeing where it goes. And I just love being in the Flames organization, so I was actually totally fine with it, and I took it as a challenge to work my way up again.

But I didn't expect this at all (laughs). The three young guys have impressed me so much. I just feel like the roles in the team and the chemistry is just so good, and we fit really well. We're so good at different things and it all just fits really, really well. After I've thought about it a bit, some of it has to do with that they are so inexperienced that they don't really have a way they want to play. Me and HooXi have played with each other for a while now and we have a really good idea of how we want to play CS and how we want to approach things. It was kind of easy to — not shape them, but they were really open to the idea of how we wanted to play, and slowly we just started to fit and everything started to connect on the server. We play the same CS, every one of us, and I think that's a huge thing for us right now. If everything connects and all the things you're doing connect on the server, you are really hard to read, and I think that's really important in top-tier CS. I just think it's mix of all those things and we're just riding a wave. No matter what happens, we can't be disappointed, and somehow the pressure is a little bit off now compared to IEM Fall.

When was it that you realized that this is actually a team that really works?

I think it came sometime during IEM Fall. We did pretty well online, it wasn't anything special, we were doing fine, and then I felt like in practice we did well against good teams, but I've had that feeling before where you play good in practice but you can't really connect to the real games. I think it was after the group stage at IEM Fall, we just played some of the guys' first LAN ever and we go 5-0 and beat G2 and BIG, G2 was a tight game, but BIG in a huge fashion. I think after that I was like 'okay, holy shit, we might actually have something really good here.' I didn't really expect us to keep going, but somehow we just... (laughs) I don't know, there's just something about this studio here maybe, that we cannot lose when we sit in our practice room (laughs).

You opened this tournament with big statement victories against Astralis and BIG. Did you ever expect it to go so smoothly here, too?

I think we came into it really happy and with confidence, but it wasn't like we were overconfident. We weren't expecting to do the same as at IEM Fall. Getting Astralis in the first match, I think everyone actually wanted that, that was the match we wanted the most because Astralis is in a pretty weird spot right now and those Danish derbies, at least from my experience when I've been the favorite against an underdog... I hate that so much. So I was just loving that we had to go into that match. They were in a pretty weak spot, we were in a good spot, and this Danish derby thing just does something to your head, I think. We were really, really confident about winning that map, actually, and I think that also showed because we just smashed them.

Was it the same feeling against Heroic?

For me at least, it was a way different feeling. I have a lot of respect for the Heroic guys, they're playing really good CS, and I've played together with refrezh and sjuush and TeSeS back in the day, and I think they're really good players. They are definitely the number one team in Denmark right now and they have shown that the way they play CS is how we also approach CS. When we played with refrezh, me and HooXi, he was also on our side of playing and how we want to play, and we were in agreement on those kinds of things. We play towards some of the same things.

I have a lot more respect for Heroic than Astralis right now, but it's just different things, as we hadn't really faced Astralis before, they've been in a slump, and it feels like they're not hitting their best level individually. That is definitely also something that plays to our strength, because right now we have a lot of confidence, we're hitting shots, and we are taking duels without paying any respect in-game. I think Astralis got caught off-guard a little bit by that. But it's not the same against Heroic, they've been on point lately and they have some really good individuals, and I thought this would be a harder match. Also, it was a best-of-three. We showed our worth in best-of-ones and everyone was talking about that it's gone as soon as we're getting into best-of-threes, but I'm just really happy that we showed we can take down a giant in a BO3.

I imagine you weren't that confident when you were down 0-8 on the deciding Overpass. How did you pull off that comeback?

When we started losing on Nuke, the mood was getting down a little bit. They were playing really well and stavn was destroying us outside in yard, and we didn't really know what to do. But HooXi was really, really good after we lost Nuke and on Overpass. Before the last map, and after we were behind 7-0 or something, HooXi was just like 'we cannot fucking drop down like we did on Nuke.'

He could feel a little bit that we were down, we were whining and tilting a little bit, and he was just really passionate, saying this cannot happen, that no matter what happens we'll do whatever we can to win this fucking game. He's a really passionate guy, he's really good at those kinds of things, a really good leader, and I think for sure that if he didn't come with that speech, pull us up and all that, it would have looked way different. We really listened and we kept our calm. We got five rounds on the T side, and compared to the start it was quite nice, it was fine, we just needed to win the pistol and get a little bit of momentum, and our CT side on Overpass is really good. I don't know, we just stepped up. The B guys just destroyed them every time they went B and nicoodoz was a beast on A as well. HooXi just played a big role in that one.

You spoke a little bit about MAD Lions and your form there. From that team, we've known you to be a bit of a streaky player, but now you've been tearing it up individually, top fragging every single map here and being the team's highest rated player at IEM Fall. What's the difference between the MAD Lions roeJ and the one we're seeing now?

It's hard to say. People think I had different roles back then, but I actually have played almost the same things my whole career. I have a lot of star positions on CT and I have a lot of roles that are really important on the CT side, and I think that's what I'm best at for sure. But on the T side, compared to other star players who have a lot of good roles, I'm kind of an entry fragger, I like to go first and be really aggressive and make space.

On MAD Lions I had a lot of issues with my wrist and I couldn't really play as much as I wanted to. That definitely hurt me because I'm just a guy who needs to have a lot of hours and put a lot of work into DM and stuff to play my game. I'm a really aggressive player, so if I don't have my aim with me, I kinda get punished against good teams. But that definitely hurt me a lot on MAD Lions because I couldn't do my usual schedule like I used to, and when I can't do that I had to shift into another way of playing, which doesn't really fit me. I've played this way my whole career. After I joined Flames, my wrist got better and I got some good news about it, and I could start working again. I just worked hard like I used to before, and I just feel like that's the biggest difference right now. Together with that, I have also learned a lot, the meta has changed a bit and the way you want to play, and I think that fits me really well. Me and HooXi have been working really hard and talking a lot, and the way he wants to play, I just feel like the way we play CS right now is the right way, and it's really efficient.

On MAD Lions I was kind of the entry fragger on T and I wasn't really getting seen on CT because I wasn't really performing. sjuush was just a beast, acoR was a beast, and people thought I was some support player, but actually I wasn't. I talk a lot and I take charge a lot, I'm almost calling on the CT side and taking charge there, I'm at the front and taking fights and opening up the rounds. I think that's what's definitely the biggest difference right now. I just really thrive in the way I play right now, and I need my aim, and if I can't play my DM, it really hurts me. I'm 27 years old, so maybe it's something (laughs), I'm not like Zyphon who's 18 and who can just outpeek an AWP or something. I just work hard and I just do what I feel works for me, and I'm just really happy when I can do that and I don't have to worry about my wrist and my injuries. That's what I need to perform.

What is the feeling like ahead of the Legends stage inside the team? How far do you think you can take this now?

Of course, the dream would definitely be to make it to the top eight and get our first autograph stickers, play on the stage... I mean, I don't know, I haven't even thought about that, coming here (laughs). I have shifted my thoughts a little bit towards it and it just feels too unreal to even think about, I'm just like 'there's no way...'

We are pretty good with just taking it one step at a time, and pita together with vorborg are really good at shifting the focus away, making sure it's one step at a time, one match at a time, that what we did before doesn't matter and now we need to focus on winning this game and do all we have to do to perform. I think the environment we're in right now with pita and vorborg, it's really, really good, especially for the young guys. Sometimes you can get a bit ahead of yourself, and we especially had a lot of issues with winning a really important match that was really hype and then playing again the same day.

Like for example against Astralis, I think we had an issue with that because it was really hard to reset and calm down, and they [pita and vorborg] have been really good at making that environment for us and being able to do those kinds of things. I was really happy after the second win against BIG for sure, because that's something we hadn't done and we had had issues with in online matches. I was just really proud of the team, it was really nice. Right now, we'll just take it one step at a time, one map at a time, and hopefully it takes us where we want to go, but whatever happens now, we can be nothing but proud of what we have accomplished. This can only be a really happy ending for us, playing here.

Now that you've mentioned pita, how does it work with him logistically, considering he can't be here with you? What is his contribution during the tournament like?

We can work with him before the matches, and when we change SSD for the tournament SSDs we can't communicate with him anymore. So we kinda use the time before that for antistrat and to talk with him about the game plan and all those things, and he's preparing the maps for us. I think he's a really, really nice coach, he fits really well. Sometimes me and HooXi can be a bit difficult to work with for a coach, we have really strong opinions of how we want to play, and if a coach comes in and isn't the same way... we're not the kind of people who will just back down and let other people take charge. We have strong opinions and we're not afraid to speak our mind. It can easily turn into disagreements in terms of how we want to play, but I think pita fits really well because he's just like 'I want to do what you guys do.'

For me, it feels like pita is finding the things that he thinks would benefit us the most, which is antistrat and the small things, working with the young guys, the mentality, the mindset, his experience from coaching NIP on the big stage, and small tips here and there. That's just exactly what we need in this team. He's had a really, really big contribution. I don't think it's only to our credit that right after pita joined it's just been going *imitates takeoff*. It's really sad that he can't be at the event, but after the game we come in TeamSpeak, he's really really happy and passionate, and I'm really happy to have him as a coach, he's doing an insane job.

Hopefully, sometime in the future we will meet (laugh). We haven't met him yet! He actually lives in Stockholm and we're not allowed to see him at the Major or at IEM Fall, so that's really sad. I mean, it is what it is, he is taking his punishment and has accepted that, but I can't wait to meet him in real life. We have shared some really great memories together already even though it has been a really short time.

(Editor's note: After Copenhagen Flames qualified for the Legends stage, they met up with pita after they were allowed to have contact with him outside of the venue)

Denmark Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Rasmus 'HooXi' Nielsen
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Fredrik 'roeJ' Jørgensen
Fredrik 'roeJ' Jørgensen
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
congrats to them
2021-10-27 20:02
1 reply
ez for supermans from falmes
2021-10-27 21:00
Germany Pellinskii
Roej Future goat
2021-10-27 20:02
OK | 
United States maidz4
2021-10-27 20:02
Big respect
2021-10-27 20:03
North America Zorxs
No Change against RoeJ
2021-10-27 20:03
CHF gonna pull an Ence and make it to the final lmao.
2021-10-27 20:03
Weak mindset ))
2021-10-27 20:03
4 replies
hunden fans know it all about the mindsets
2021-10-28 01:12
3 replies
Asia s1kekick
2021-10-28 05:55
LMAO thats gold
2021-10-28 09:21
lmao, destroyed
2021-10-28 12:27
wp guys hard work works
2021-10-27 20:03
fat | 
Germany drop_awp
copenhagen flames vs na'vi final 2-1 roej major mvp
2021-10-27 20:04
roye became pro nice
2021-10-27 20:04
2021-10-27 20:04
Next Gambit Pog
2021-10-27 20:04
2021-10-27 20:05
2021-10-27 20:06
6 replies
Made it to the legends stage
2021-10-27 20:15
Bait, right?
2021-10-27 20:17
What did you accomplished? Fucking hater.
2021-10-27 20:38
3 replies
nothing just toxicity on the forums
2021-10-27 20:47
Your mother :D
2021-10-27 21:09
1 reply
gla1ve | 
Denmark JKTP
Comeback of the century Truly a god of comedy
2021-10-28 10:13
2021-10-27 20:06
These guys are hardworkers and it paid off, good luck at Legends <3
2021-10-27 20:06
They played against Heroic like Heroic
2021-10-27 20:07
2 replies
they have similar playstyles because they have played together a lot, 100% of the pre-TMB Mad Lions roster is playing in this major, just remember that, acoR is the lone dane in mouz. :P
2021-10-27 21:34
1 reply
Bubzki :()
2021-10-27 21:55
Sweden piCt
Very deserved. Such a likable org with likable players. I have followed all ther games, and i am cheering them on this tournament. Lets hope they dont get sold immediately after this.
2021-10-27 20:08
2021-10-27 20:08
whats that green keyboard in the picture , help please
2021-10-27 20:09
Zyphon already qualified through challenger stage... where is Astralis now...
2021-10-27 20:10
7 replies
Ye, wasnt he playing for astralis talent? 😅
2021-10-27 20:18
6 replies
Im glad he left... imagine you have the capability to play at Major but stuck in an academy roster
2021-10-27 20:19
1 reply
astralis isn't exactly good with talent, that's pretty much the rest of the danish cs scene lmao. such a step up for zyphon. :)
2021-10-27 21:31
Poland Adamix
Yes,he played for Astra Talents.
2021-10-27 20:20
+ 1 it's hilarious to think about. Get removed from a team's academy squad to destroy the team's main squad in the future
2021-10-28 03:35
2 replies
Lol +1
2021-10-28 12:01
Indeed, and by ”future” = literally MONTHS haha
2021-10-28 12:05
Finland AliSabid
2021-10-27 20:15
true!good job guys!
2021-10-27 20:16
Good luck!
2021-10-27 20:16
2021-10-27 20:16
Congrats and good luck!
2021-10-27 20:17
Hard work paying off, ggwp boys
2021-10-27 20:23
Turkey TheKaiser
Respect, GL on Legends stage!
2021-10-27 20:27
2021-10-27 20:32
novel | 
North America minte
the boys worked hard, respect
2021-10-27 20:48
Miracle run inoming! I have called Flames online before but they proved themselves to me now, hopefully they do the ENCE run now. Every major needs an underdog story
2021-10-27 20:50
they ashould be main astralis roster
2021-10-27 20:53
Hungary Shiron212
Doing great so far!
2021-10-27 21:05
2021-10-27 21:30
roeJ marry me?!
2021-10-28 00:31
Great interview and editor's note Good luck CPH, you guys have done amazing things and I wish to see more of you guys!
2021-10-28 01:00
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
roeJ is absolutely right - Any result for them now is already a win, so the very best of luck to CPH Flames! ^^
2021-10-28 01:15
Good job, nothing but respect for their grind
2021-10-28 01:36
I became a huge fan of you guys since the minor/RMR few weeks back. You are amazing to watch. I hope you keep it like that and if you do i assure you youll be in top10 in no time. Crisp aim, great synergy and teamwork. My favorite team by far this Major and i rarely say this for any team.
2021-10-28 03:04
3 replies
Asia M@GNU5
been a fan since they got nodios and mankz back then
2021-10-28 03:20
2 replies
I didnt even know about them back then
2021-10-28 10:11
1 reply
Asia M@GNU5
i heard about these guys in 2020 when they almost beat g2 2-0, but choke d2 but when they got nodios and mankz, with acillion, jabbi and nicoodoz I was excited bout the flames. they beat gambit after gambit won iem katowice 2021
2021-10-28 10:15
I haven't really played for 4 years or so, but I did randomly join a retake a few months ago and roeJ was ripping me apart. At least the experience confirmed why I quit. Some of the talent these days are insane, would need to play 24/7 to come somewhat close in standard. Keep it up!
2021-10-28 09:56
3 replies
Asia M@GNU5
did he just keep on destroejing you?
2021-10-29 06:26
2 replies
he sure did :P and everyone else... server was full of tryhards and he was like 60-10.
2021-10-29 15:50
1 reply
Asia M@GNU5
damn, 60-10 meanwhile ordinary people sitting with 30-15
2021-10-29 15:58
I wouldn't bet on them on IEM Fall. I was suprised how good they actually are but after that, They were insta pick for my pickem. Gl.
2021-10-28 12:05
They should be really proud. So deserved. Good luck further on!
2021-10-28 12:41
Just saying, i used to go to boarding school with this mens. Makes it pretty awesome to follow his journey. His perfomance is awesome, and i'll be rooting for the flames all the way, let's goooooo
2021-10-28 14:20
3 replies
Asia M@GNU5
sheesh, what was he like?
2021-10-29 07:08
2 replies
We were not in the same circle of friends, so i didn't hang with him. But i remember him as a funny guy who seemed pretty down-to-earth and a genuine good guy. So he deserves all the praise and good fortune imo.
2021-10-29 22:49
1 reply
Asia M@GNU5
ohh interesting
2021-10-30 02:04
ggwp these guys ruined a ton of pickems
2021-10-29 10:03
god roej like chrisj
2021-10-30 10:00
Login or register to add your comment to the discussion.