mezii: "keita and roeJ help me a lot with the calling aspect in-game"

After beating BIG in the Elisa Masters Espoo final, William "⁠mezii⁠" Merriman spoke about his progression as a leader.

fnatic have taken down BIG in dominant fashion to make themselves the champions of Elisa Masters Espoo 2022. The grand final did not last long as the European team dismembered the Germans 16-4 on Vertigo and 16-5 on Overpass. mezii led by example during the series, dropping 38 kills and a 1.61 rating while in-game leading for his team.

fnatic are the Elisa Masters Espoo champions

After raising the trophy and celebrating with the Finnish fans, mezii spoke to about how his team beat BIG, if winning Elisa Masters Espoo means anything to fnatic, and being a role model to British CS:GO players.

You have just won the event, can you talk me through the game and how you were able to shut down BIG?

I think it comes down to confidence. We've played them quite a few times. Even going into the past lineups, we played them to make the main stage at Katowice when we played them at the Play-In, we played them at the Major, we played them at Dreamhack November in the last lineup and beat them. I think we just have a really good understanding of how they like to play, and everyone is confident in how we play as a team. Obviously now it's a completely different lineup but even at the Major, we had kind of a similar result as well.

Everyone played well individually and we were the better team, but I think maybe we are one of those teams that they struggle to play against overall. Maybe they don't have the most confidence against us, I'm not sure what it is, but I think they just seem to struggle against us or maybe it's more for us that we just understand how they play and the overall macro for them.

What would you say is the biggest difference playing against this lineup versus the lineup with syrsoN?

I think, especially when you play on a map like Overpass and even Vertigo it's a bit different, but I think they missed the presence of a main AWPer. Even though they have a couple of stand-ins, a couple from the academy leagues who have shown they are really good players individually, you can tell when you don't have a main AWPer. Especially syrsoN, who is one of the top-ten, top-fifteen AWPers in the world, you are obviously going to miss that individual firepower.

Not only that, but you also have people in positions that are obviously uncomfortable, so it's always tough for them and they've done a really good job of getting to the final. They probably came here and didn't expect a lot, but got to the final and rode the wave, game by game. I think they've done a really good job, it's just obviously it can only take you so far and I think today we were just a better team.

You mentioned Vertigo, what was your reaction when they picked it for the first map?

Pretty surprised, but also at the same time they kind of had to do something a bit unorthodox because of their situation. They have no syrsoN, they have a couple of stand-ins, and they probably see themselves as a bit of an underdog against us and we are the favourites. We have a lot of backroom staff, we have Kevve, who is our analyst, he was ready for doing all that preparation anyways. That helps us a lot when they do a map pick that kind of catches us off right before the game, we still have videos and preparation there to watch.

It helps us a lot that we still have an understanding of how they are going to play. It definitely caught us off-guard a little bit but we are also really confident on the map anyway, especially our CT side, it was one of the best CT sides we've ever played on that map, even with KRIMZ in the lineup. So I think it gives us a big confidence boost going into our T side which we know we can definitely play well.

Were you expecting such a dominant result?

Not really. On Vertigo we always thought it was going to be tough, we had the preparation but it wasn't a lot of preparation. On top of that, they were probably a little more prepared for it and obviously knew they were going to pick it. We thought it was going to be close, but we were always confident we were going to win the map because we played SAW on it in the group stage. They are a really tough team to play on Vertigo and we came through there and made a comeback. We were definitely confident on the map, it was just about making sure we were ready from the start because if they got the pistol and got the first buy round, it could have been a completely different game.

Moving away from BIG and onto your team, who would you say has been the stand-out player throughout this tournament?

Honestly, I would say Peppzor (laughs). Just because it's never easy coming in as a stand-in, and I think the biggest thing for me was the difference from when we first played with him in the PGL RMR in the last lineup and Pro League. You could tell he had very low experience and maybe not the highest confidence back then.

Coming in now he's a completely different player, even for the group stage he and roeJ carried us through it because I was playing the worst CS I've played for I don't know how long. Peppzor was just unreal. He plays a lot of the spots that are really hard to play, anchoring on CT and playing the sides on the T side. He was finding entries all the time and good lurks, so I think he's been our stand-out player here, he's done a really good job and surprised us the most, to be honest.

When you play for an org like fnatic that is storied, that has been to so many Majors, and then you win an event like Elisa Masters Espoo, how much does it honestly mean to you? It will be considered a smaller event to others.

I think it still means just as much, especially for the confidence of the team because we did really well at the Major, making the playoffs was great. Obviously you want to win events, but sometimes it's unrealistic for us as a new team. Coming here, we didn't put the pressure or the expectations on it, but we knew we could do well even with a stand-in. It puts us in a good place confidence-wise and also in a place where we know we are doing the right thing, and also making improvements each day.

Peppe came in and did a really good job individually and for us as a team, but the four core players of the lineup also did a really good job. Just getting the experience on the stage is just great for us, just like any other win. It's our first LAN win as a team, even for fnatic after a few years even though it's a small event, so it just means the world for us as players. I'm sure it means a lot for the organization as well because it's just the first step of where we want to be at as well.

I was speaking to keita yesterday about the combination of him and Andreas Samuelsson as the coaching staff and how they have very different styles. From an IGL perspective, how important is it to have a coach who is very analytical and a coach who is more people-centric?

I think it's super important. keita helps a lot in-game-wise, keita and roeJ help me a lot with the calling aspect in-game, the smaller details and how I need to be calling or maybe the smaller things I need to do there. Then I have Sammy (Samuelson) who helps a lot outside the game for me as a person. Being an IGL is not just about in-game stuff, it's about being a leader outside the game and he's really working with me on that because even though in-game I can talk well and as the IGL I need to be pretty vocal, outside the game I'm usually more of the quiet guy. When I'm having a conversation I give my opinion, but it's more like I also need to be that leader outside the game.

Sammy helps a lot with that for me and he is really helping my development in terms of being a leader outside the games. When we have presentations or after-meeting talks, he makes sure I'm talking up, and setting the example and I think he's helping me a lot with that and making sure I can really develop into that outside the game.

You mentioned being a leader and setting an example, do you feel like you are a role model to your local scene?

That's a hard question (laughs). I would never say that I would personally be the role model, I would leave that up to other people to say. I came through the UK scene and I'm trying my best to put that on the map and make sure I highlight individuals where I can to give them the motivation boost to keep on working and get European teams to give another look at UK players.

I think it's definitely for other people to say if I'm a role model because I'd love to be a role model for UK players and for other CS players to look up to me. That's what I'm trying to promote myself as. I feel like I'm a nice guy, in and outside of the game, and I show that you can really make it if you work hard. I think it's up to other people to say if I'm a role model but it would mean a lot to me if people did see me as that.

United Kingdom William 'mezii' Merriman
William 'mezii' Merriman
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
young legend
2022-11-20 23:51
3 replies
just act like it's an achievement to beat a team with 2 academy players and 1 who was sick for the last 3 months. XD
2022-11-21 01:03
2 replies
2022-11-21 03:15
1 reply
s1mple | 
Congo, Democratic Republic of zne_
im fnatic fan but he is right
2022-11-21 19:19
goat mezii
2022-11-20 23:52
2 replies
England cs renaissance
2022-11-21 10:52
1 reply
2022-11-24 20:48
2022-11-20 23:54
Finland Eestu
Insanely well played (and called) at Elisa Masters Espoo!
2022-11-20 23:56
1 reply
Finland Cucumber))
So true!
2022-11-21 06:09
apEX | 
Sweden granv1k
I called mezzi trash while groupstage was ongoing, but lately since when playoffs started he become real leader brutally topping scoreboard through all series. Congratz to fnatic, deserved 🙂
2022-11-20 23:59
3 replies
United States cybonics
his inner star-player was showing
2022-11-21 00:13
United Kingdom tyrant1132
he's performed consistently decent since brollan was in the team.
2022-11-21 23:24
1 reply
I wouldnt say that about EM Espoo Groupstage. You can check it 😀
2022-11-21 23:49
kennyS | 
Czech Republic 4DC3
UKCS on top
2022-11-21 00:10
sometimes Roej call 🙂 sometimes Roej kill 🙂 hope fnatic win 🙂
2022-11-21 00:12
1 reply
Philippines stiwa5k
🙂eets fantic mens 🙂
2022-11-21 08:17
2022-11-21 00:26
2022-11-21 00:44
Seems like a top guy, congrats
2022-11-21 01:07
CIS imixiu
They are excited and horny cause they won tournament without real rivalry. Come on. Beatin Astralis with two stand ins? Team without good awper? Beatin BIG without Syrson? Free jokes xD Fnatic fans are super happy probably but u need to understand that in real t1 tournament, this trash team is forced to be trash.
2022-11-21 01:09
6 replies
what should they just win and not be happy? Sry but CIS mentality is not everywhere in the world
2022-11-21 03:34
1 reply
CIS imixiu
fake flag. im not from cis regionn
2022-11-21 07:35
Like that one time they were going to the major playoffs and faze, Vitality and most other teams weren‘t?
2022-11-21 03:39
i guess everyone should be walking around stone-faced and be sad after a fun tournament win + getting money and getting popularity + completely destroying a good team on finals i know life in CIS sucks, but comon, be more positive (yes, i know life in Latvia sucks aswell before you say something about that :D)
2022-11-21 08:12
2 replies
CIS imixiu
no, but mezi is excited in this interview like he would win something big. it was trash tournament with bunch of stand ins. Only fnatic and ence had real chances to win, no other team.
2022-11-21 08:33
1 reply
i mean look at the scene now, i think everyone has a chance to win a tournament. no one is really dominant :) fnatic have good pieces, but i see what you mean
2022-11-21 08:45
good on this guy for bringing UK !
2022-11-21 01:14
Real goat
2022-11-21 03:15
really good to see mezii doing a great job as IGL in fantic. And csgo scene needs exactly new IGLs for now and future
2022-11-21 03:17
Funny hw fnatic are happy to win low tier thing :), good for them.
2022-11-21 07:35
Uk cs trophy
2022-11-21 10:51
2022-11-21 11:22
Russia cyberneRy
overdrive in his results of the major said that fnatic is playing of tactics from 2014, like they are doing well with shooting, but tactics s*ck🙂
2022-11-22 08:12
UKCS lesgo
2022-11-24 20:49
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