juanflatroo: "The way we went through to the Major makes it an even more beautiful story"

We close out our interviews from the RMR with Flatron "⁠juanflatroo⁠" Halimi, whose Bad News Eagles clinched a spot at the Major on the final day of play in Romania.

Bad News Eagles were, along with Astralis and Spirit, one of the three teams to come out of the 2-2 decider series on the last day of the PGL Major Antwerp Europe RMR B alive, qualifying for the event in Brussels that will take place on May 9-22.

BNE will take some time to recover from an emotional ride in Bucharest before the Major

After effusive celebration, juanflatroo sat down with HLTV to talk about Bad News Eagles' run at the RMR and what it meant to be the first Kosovar team to reach such heights. The 25-year-old also chatted about his team's style and evolution, and what's to come as they head back to Pristina to play BLAST Premier Spring Showdown, which they kick off against NIP on April 28.

You're the first Kosovar-Albanian team to reach a Major. What does that mean for you guys?

It's a dream that we've been following for many years and the way we went through to the Major makes it an even more beautiful a story. Even back in Kosovo, the newspapers, the televisions, they're talking about us, so you can tell how important that is for us.

We're a new country and we're the ones that should make it more visible in the eyes of the international community and the whole world because we have a lot of potential. We need a lot more experience and showing ourselves, so it's something really big for us. It's a huge milestone for us to reach the Major and we're really happy about it.

Read more
From LAN cafés to the RMR, Bad News Eagles have a chance to make history

As individuals, you're puggers getting together to create a team. How has that journey been?

Each one of us was a pugger. We played PUGs and stacks all day long. We really have good individuals, but what we were lacking is experience getting to play tier A, tier B tournaments, which was something that was never done before. So we had to do it, we had to break the ice and get into the scene. We used to dominate FPL and FACEIT, we were just clicking heads and everyone was scared of us. Coming up as a team we knew that we have to change some things because it's a team game, you can't do anything individually and we had to work a lot on the team play style. We had to learn some nades, something extra, and we created rounds.

Playing individually, it just wasn't working anymore. It works in PUGs, but in official games it's not going to work. So we realized that and did a couple of bootcamps, which helped us a lot. We were playing a lot of qualifiers, so when we lost we looked at our mistakes, what went wrong, what we should have done better. That helped us a lot. We also watched other teams to see how they play, getting new ideas and everything to switch the PUG style into a more structured game. It took a bit of time, but we're getting better at it.

Even now, you still rely a lot on repeeks, outaiming opponents, stuff like that. The matches you struggled against were G2 and NIP, who have incredible shooters but also more structure. How do you improve now to compete against them?

A lof of work. Persistence, getting together and having a few more bootcamps, realizing our mistakes, watching demos, watching the tier one teams. We want to transform into a tier one team, definitely, we know what we need but we need to work really hard on it. Nades, map awareness, all of these external factors that play a huge role in the game.

When we have good days individually, we're never scared to peek, repeek, ask for a flash. When we feel it, we're always hyping each other up, like 'peek them, peek them, you're better than them.' We have a lot of heart, we have a lion's heart, we're not afraid of anything. We just want to fucking win, we have a lot of passion for the game.

Do you think you need to find a bit more balance? When you win you're mega hyped, but then when you're down it's very dramatic so there's all of these ups and downs.

This is a topic we tackle a lot, not daily, but we talk about it a lot. Especially on LAN because we always go crazy. We've played a couple of LANs and we lost a final against forZe when we were leading like 13-5. There was all of that hype and that pressure and everything, but in the end we choked because we were like out of energy. It was like, 'What's going on? My hands are shaking, I can't shoot.' After that game we realized that something was wrong, but it wasn't our aim, we were just spent. So we realized that we need to keep a balance, we're human beings, not robots, just leave the hype until the end of the game.

So we came here with a more clear head, we knew what we had to do. We still hyped, but during the mid-rounds, even if we hyped a bit, we tried to keep it more balanced. We were always telling each other to chill and everything because we need to save our energy — we can go crazy when we win the game. That's what we did today.

When we tackle these topics as a team and realize the mistakes we're making, and actually reflect on these mistakes, that makes us a lot better. That's what actually won us the game today, we kept it calm, we were chilling, trying to play the game slow, not hyping too much, not going down, and just keeping a balance. I really think that's what won us the game.

You had an early game, too, 10AM. Being puggers and used playing a lot at night, did that affect you?

I believe that was the main problem, the early schedule that we played on. It's Orthodox Easter and there were guys chanting [outside the hotel] until like 3 or 4 AM so we had pretty much three or four hours of sleep. None of us slept well, we knew it was going to be rough. So we had to wake up, the first map was like warming our hands. Then we went into Nuke and you saw what happened.

We knew that they were getting the good timings and so on, they didn't win because they're better, they won because we were worse, a lot worse than we can usually be. So we really have to work on this, it was a really good lesson to learn from in the future — to be more prepared for early games whenever they come. It's just experience that we really have to get.

You turned it around, won, and poor stikle- almost got knocked out. Are you going back to Pristina now, to Pablo's mansion?

Yeah, yeah, Pablo's mansion is waiting for us. [laughs]

You have the BLAST Showdown now, will you stay and bootcamp there until the Major?

Yep, yep.

What's the plan?

We'll play BLAST and relax a bit. Not too much, we'll still practice and everything, but we're full of emotions right now. We really need to clear our minds, have a few days with our families, relax a bit, get back to practice, reflect on this tournament, realize what went wrong, what we can fix, and fix it for the Major.

Kosovo Flatron 'juanflatroo' Halimi
Flatron 'juanflatroo' Halimi
Age:
25
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
529
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.73
#2
Snax | 
Poland m9xddxd
love this team
2022-04-25 14:32
#3
 | 
Russia WiHuu
EZ4BNE
2022-04-25 14:32
major champions soon
2022-04-25 14:34
Nice
2022-04-25 14:35
#7
 | 
Romania ali_nah
FLATRON HALIMI POG
2022-04-25 14:38
1 reply
#116
 | 
Albania Albanboss
Nah ali 😅
2022-04-25 19:46
#9
 | 
Ukraine d3adLY
3-0 at major
2022-04-25 14:39
0-3 incoming
2022-04-25 14:40
9 replies
IHC, Renegades & MIBR > BNE?
2022-04-25 14:41
4 replies
Yes?
2022-04-25 14:46
1 reply
Yes
2022-04-25 16:34
#102
 | 
United Kingdom ggmibr
IHC and MIBR yes, Renegades maybe not
2022-04-25 17:54
1 reply
Mibr is bad
2022-04-25 21:09
1-3 or maybe even 2-3 is a lot more possible
2022-04-25 17:11
1 reply
#135
 | 
Kosovo nor1tt
They said this 0-3 and for the RMRs but they vent out so I guess I'ts gonna be 3-1 or something :)
2022-04-25 22:59
ef 0-4 :P
2022-04-25 17:25
1 reply
Ef 1-3
2022-04-26 01:37
"A lof of work" indeed
2022-04-25 14:41
the guy is named after a line of monitors made by LG
2022-04-25 14:45
2 replies
what
2022-04-25 16:31
#133
 | 
Albania noajdi
His name is Flaton , short FLATRO and added JUAN to it cuz he has roots in Mexico (jokin about this) but yea Juanflatro has nothing to do with the LG EZ FOR JUAN TAPS FLATRO
2022-04-25 22:24
#20
 | 
Austria XH4N
gg's and gl for blast
2022-04-25 14:52
Ok but don't go 0-3 in the Challengers Stage
2022-04-25 14:52
EF will beat you beautifully, don’t worry.
2022-04-25 14:58
7 replies
+1 xd
2022-04-25 15:43
#44
 | 
Poland BAN_ANIME
press x to doubt
2022-04-25 15:51
why the hate? lel
2022-04-25 15:58
1 reply
Just friendly rivalry, no hate
2022-04-25 23:16
#106
 | 
Lithuania CSLeaks
Tier9999 turkish bots can beat only kebab nothing more
2022-04-25 18:08
in the end, you will cry like u cried when bluejays beat EF.
2022-04-25 21:28
#137
 | 
Kosovo nor1tt
You guys think you can beat BNE out of dust2 ? lol
2022-04-25 23:01
Gz and good luck on majors!
2022-04-25 14:58
#26
REZ | 
Belgium w4lt3r
Well deserved but they won't make it far into the major itself I'm afraid. They deserve to play there though
2022-04-25 15:00
10 replies
#91
 | 
Kuwait seca34958
honestly not deserved have you seen the teams they won against? they only won against Entropiq, ASG and Sinners, lost against G2 and NIP
2022-04-25 17:21
9 replies
So how excatly it isnt deserved?
2022-04-25 17:37
8 replies
#97
 | 
Kuwait seca34958
they only won against the 3rd, 5th and 6th worst teams in the whole qualifier and lost against the 7th worst. additionally, none of the teams they won against qualified
2022-04-25 17:45
7 replies
So who deserved it more in this group then?
2022-04-25 17:48
6 replies
#104
 | 
Kuwait seca34958
Anonymo won against G2 and Entropiq, lost against VP, Ence and Spirit (all teams that made it through)
2022-04-25 18:06
5 replies
lost to spirit so no
2022-04-25 18:33
1 reply
#114
 | 
Kosovo PimozZ
+1
2022-04-25 19:19
Dude i really dont understand the logic here. OFC if you beat a team they wont qualify especially if it is 2-2. wtf are you high on right now? Use logic please and not talk with biased opinions. Anonymo were good OFC but they didnt step up when it mattered. The only team i feel bad for is HEET cause they had almost 0 chance in their last game vs Astralis top 10 team
2022-04-25 20:53
2 replies
#128
 | 
Kuwait seca34958
heet had an easier run than anonymo lol
2022-04-25 21:01
1 reply
Yes they did, but anonymo had the deciding game vs Spirit. So truly i do not feel bad at all. They didnt step up
2022-04-25 21:05
That's good news
2022-04-25 15:05
dont admire yourself
2022-04-25 15:06
#31
 | 
Russia illius12
love this guy
2022-04-25 15:08
#34
 | 
Kosovo rillone97
juanflatrooo <333
2022-04-25 15:14
BNEZ
2022-04-25 15:16
ggwp
2022-04-25 15:21
Bots
2022-04-25 15:45
Good guys, respect
2022-04-25 15:50
3-0 challengers stage for bNe... let's go
2022-04-25 15:53
#61
 | 
Kazakhstan nugop
Good luck BNE Let’s go Kosovo 🔥
2022-04-25 16:09
#75
 | 
Kosovo pIMpMyAiM
Let's go juanflatroooooo. Let's go BNE! Let's go Republic Of Kosovo <3
2022-04-25 16:24
Flatro prepare your dick im coming to suck it <3
2022-04-25 16:30
3 replies
#94
 | 
Australia thisba!tes
Idk why but I am scared reading this.m
2022-04-25 17:30
wtf lmao
2022-04-25 17:52
go get em tiger
2022-04-26 00:53
rigoNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
2022-04-25 16:37
#88
rain | 
Netherlands fooky
Even bNE gets eliminated in challengers stage, this is a huge experience for them. So, they can keep continue qualifying in high tier events and be a tier 2-1 team with hardworking until end of the 2022.
2022-04-25 17:01
major champions soon
2022-04-25 17:38
" Even back in Kosovo, the newspapers, the televisions, they're talking about us" Damn must be huge
2022-04-25 17:52
3 replies
The President and Prime Minister of Kosovo congratulated them. Everyone was talking about them yesterday. It was amazing.
2022-04-25 19:13
1 reply
#150
jabbi | 
Poland czan
Could you link some material/video? Maybe some translated summary? It must be an amazing feeling for them.
2022-04-26 07:35
+1 it really is
2022-04-25 23:38
big flatroo <3
2022-04-25 18:01
#105
 | 
Lithuania CSLeaks
Im really whant that team like this win this major not a orgs who buy best players becouse have money.
2022-04-25 18:07
#107
 | 
Kosovo pazzmedia
Let's go
2022-04-25 18:11
#109
 | 
Kosovo pIMpMyAiM
Let's go Bad News Eagles, lets go flatroo <3
2022-04-25 18:38
Definitely my favourite underdog to watch on major, they can do even better than Flames last year
2022-04-25 18:48
1 reply
+1
2022-04-26 02:02
flatr0k1n6
2022-04-25 18:50
Step by step. Make Loba your coach btw
2022-04-25 19:18
#118
 | 
United States Doug1498
Is BNE a org or is just a team name for them?
2022-04-25 19:57
3 replies
It is just a team name, borrowed from Bad news Bears. Both of the teams are actively looking for orgs. Hopefully bNE will find a good home rn with their performance
2022-04-25 20:56
2 replies
#127
 | 
United States Doug1498
Damn they are gonna get so much sticker money since that usually all goes to the orgs
2022-04-25 21:00
1 reply
That is the plus side. With those money they will get set for 1-2 years. Considering the salaries in Alb/Kos that money can settle you even for a bit longer.
2022-04-25 21:07
Kosova on Fire , Let's fucking goooooo !!!
2022-04-25 20:07
#120
 | 
Slovakia sniks
They have beaten only shit teams, not deserved.
2022-04-25 20:13
3 replies
Pretty sure if Apeks won those games, or even mouz you would be all for it. Just a bit salty cause Slovakia is out right?
2022-04-25 20:57
2 replies
#161
 | 
Slovakia sniks
If mouz was in group B they would advance, the whole group was a joke. These Kosovans were lucky and will go 0-3 in main event.
2022-04-27 01:16
1 reply
Well they werent. Tough luck there. Let em watch major from home
2022-04-27 23:58
Lets Go
2022-04-25 20:36
Our country is proud to have a player like Juanflatroo <3
2022-04-25 20:46
the year of kosovo lets go boisss i can't wait for the inevitable bad news eagles vs bad news bears
2022-04-25 22:29
#136
 | 
Latvia sonofdog
They will play Blast without pressure knowing they have the major to focus. We'll see how they will perform. Let's go guys
2022-04-25 23:00
1 reply
#158
 | 
Kosovo PimozZ
+1 <3
2022-04-26 22:20
#138
 | 
Kosovo nor1tt
juanflatroo the funniest, the hardworker, the streamer, the aimer, the performer and the closer just amazing guy, you have to love him <3
2022-04-25 23:05
#140
 | 
Kosovo dOpaminez
lets go bne
2022-04-25 23:20
just stfu already you guys beat bots team lol cant win vs g2 and nip
2022-04-26 00:06
3 replies
#143
 | 
Kosovo XrigGa
bro tf of course they cant beat tier 1 teams right away they put up a great fight tho they are still getting exp and just getting started
2022-04-26 00:09
2 replies
i know but still not impresive for me only beat shits team to get to major
2022-04-26 14:02
1 reply
they have no salaries and no org and they qualified . meanwhile eg with 20k per month a player cant qualify even trought na rmr
2022-04-26 14:08
#144
 | 
Albania Albanboss
omg guys just started they jurney and people asking to beat g2 and nip tier 1 calm the f down wait i believe 100% they can make to play offs mark my words BNE do it or die !!
2022-04-26 00:33
They played really good against top teams in a bo1 against NIP (16-11) and G2 (16-10), they can really enjoy and surprise in Major. Super entertaining team to watch <3 BNE
2022-04-26 02:08
wait, Kosovo is a new country?
2022-04-26 04:22
1 reply
#152
 | 
Switzerland Ohjeez
Anschinend haha
2022-04-26 13:30
#151
 | 
Australia sasukeee
Sk gaming should enter the scene with BNE team.
2022-04-26 09:10
1 reply
#156
 | 
Kosovo rillone97
+1
2022-04-26 18:48
These guys were praised from the Prime Minister as well as the President of Kosovo. While to other countries might seem nothing, to us it really counts. We're in transition and any small movement to get recognized abroad will always be welcomed from the political scene here in Kosovo. Props up to you boys, I look forward to your games in the PGL Challenger. Hopefully with a bit of luck we can move onwards.
2022-04-26 15:22
3 replies
wow nice, congrats boys! full support from Turkey!
2022-04-26 18:54
2 replies
<3 so much love for turkish brothers , turkish players always supported us
2022-04-26 23:11
1 reply
<3
2022-04-26 23:11
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