k0nfig: "Stuff is gonna be f*cked for some time and we just have to accept it"
In our latest interview from Katowice, Kristian "k0nfig" Wienecke talks about his chaotic 2023 and his new role in the Ninjas in Pyjamas roster.
Ninjas in Pyjamas came into Katowice with new signing k0nfig in place of Hampus "hampus" Poser, who is set to sit out the rest of the spring season due to health reasons. The move was another in a long series of roster moves in the Swedish organization, with several different academy members getting a taste of tier-one action before the team went international.
Ninjas in Pyjamas struggled in their first match of the tournament against MIBR, but just about edged out a 16-13 victory on Nuke with k0nfig finishing at the bottom of the scoreboard. Their opening win set them up for a match against Spirit, which they comfortably closed out with a 2-0 scoreline to secure a group-stage berth.
After his start with Ninjas in Pyjamas, k0nfig shed some light on his last few months that included a substitute appearance for Heroic as well as the drama-filled FaZe situation at BLAST Spring Groups, while also admitting he does not feel comfortable in his new team just yet.
It's been a pretty busy few weeks for you. First the Heroic stint, then the almost FaZe stint, and now having a contract with NIP. Walk me through that period, that last month and a half.
One word for everything would be hectic and — honestly, let's do two — uncomfortable as well. Not knowing where you're supposed to be at, who you're supposed to play with, and then almost playing with FaZe. I really wanted to play with them to figure out their team dynamics. I really wanna learn and just become a better player myself, and I feel like I've developed myself into a better player after playing on Heroic because they're such a strong, individual team, and also they're just enjoying each other so much that they built confidence within each other.
How many of their secrets did they let off while you were there?
I think I got a little bit, but not a lot. They of course gave me the basics, but I think they have more secrets internally when they're with stavn. They gave me some really good information and insight, so I'm using that for NIP as well.
And FaZe, how much did you get to practice with them, first of all, and second of all, can you walk me through the whole situation?
We didn't practice at all. We only went through some stuff. The whole situation was that I of course played Abu Dhabi with Heroic and then they didn't submit a new stand-in, or they submitted a new substitute too late, and then when we got a green light from BLAST they apparently changed it back for some reason. I came to the boys, sitting there and talking with them for like 24 hours and then in the morning they were like 'you have to go home.' I'm like, 'what, why? I don't wanna go home, I wanna play with you guys.' But they said that BLAST took it back, and of course rules are rules, you gotta respect it, so it's just a really unlucky situation.
How disappointed were you that you didn't get to play?
I was kinda pissed, to be honest, because I was really excited to play. Playing for FaZe, I think everyone wants to do that, as a stand-in and as a permanent of course. It was just really sad because I felt like it could have been a really good tournament for me to play individually and also getting karrigan as an in-game leader would have been amazing to try, to figure out what kind of in-game leader he is. It feels like I can become an in-game leader soon because I've played with so many in-game leaders. But yeah, I was sad, yeah.
The bad news didn't last very long. The NIP situation must have come in really soon after that, right?
Yes, it came like the day after or something, or two days after. We had to talk contract and all that stuff and I went to talk to Troels [Robl, NIP's Performance Director] and Daniel [djL]. It was a little bit hectic to get into this team because we have had like four practices in total coming into this tournament. I have half a stratbook, they have shown me some stuff, I have no clue what the fuck's going on, I don't know callouts, I don't know anything. We are playing a little bit basic CS, but I'm trying to make the boys comfortable.
How has it been slotting in? hampus was used in a bit of a different way than you have been in your previous teams. Has that been a big discussion of where you actually fit in?
Yeah, we've talked about roles, we need to make set roles when there's time. There hasn't been time now, they played with maxster at BLAST and they practiced with him, and then they practiced like two days with me, Brollan was sick for a day, and then I practiced like a half day with them and maxster, so it's been really hectic. I have no clue what's up and down, I'm just here right now, playing with the boys and listening to the communication as much as I can and turning down the in-game volume.
How comfortable do you expect to be? Is it going to be what you're used to in the future, are there going to be some changes?
I think we need to have more discussions about it because someone has to pick up the anchor and lurk positions and someone has to take some star roles. It's just important that we figure out where people fit best. I feel like NIP is a brand new team right now because they have headtr1ck and they just got Brollan and Aleksi as well, and then they have me, and REZ is the only last standing NIP player. We are treating it as a brand new team, but of course they still have tactics from when Aleksi joined the first time.
Heading into Katowice, you had a bit of a slow start against MIBR, it got a little dangerous. Can you tell me about the struggles there and how you improved for the second game against Spirit, where you were so dominant?
Yeah, we had a shaky start because people are nervous, I'm nervous myself, and I'm playing positions that I've played before, but I played them like three years ago, so it's like a brand new meta for me. I have so much information in my head that I need to think about when I'm playing, so I'm a little bit uncomfortable in the situations I'm in, and also in the beginning of the round I need to talk a lot. But yeah, after the MIBR game I think we had a really good chat at the lunch table and we talked about, to make each other more comfortable we need to say what we're doing in the beginning round and all that stuff, talking, ping-ponging to each other, and talking to each other as friends instead of teammates, not tilting because of bad rounds. I think we had like four, five hours of practice time in total, so of course we're gonna lose some stupid rounds, and there's no set things that are really set that I know about, and I don't know any callouts or anything. Stuff is gonna be fucked for some time and we just have to accept it.
Has it been very loose from your or even the entire team's perspective?
I think we have to play loose, but we also have structure, we have some set things that we talked about before we got here today. But yeah, we have to play loose and we also have to play respectable CS, helping each other out and talking to each other, and peaking at the same time. Just doing the basics and then trying to adapt mid-game and just do basic CS, honestly. It feels a little bit like we're playing a FACEIT game sometimes.
Can you tell me about your new teammates now and how you're meshing with them? It's a big ragtag of people now that they have a Ukrainian AWPer in headtr1ck, a couple of Swedish guys, it feels like a team that you couldn't have been a part of before.
Yeah. I feel like the team's personality is just that we all wanna talk to each other as much as possible and build a bond. Headtr1ck is of course from Ukraine, so he needs to smoothen up a little bit with the English. I don't feel like there's any introvert people here. Of course, when a brand new guy comes in, you're a little bit held back, you don't wanna go full force with everything, so...
But not you.
No, no, no, I'm going full force, and I'm talking a lot to the guys, trying to be a part of the team as much as possible to make the process quicker with being an actual team. I feel like when you get in a brand new team, you always have to watch your step a little bit, but the boys have been really open and talk to me a lot. It feels like we have a good team vibe and the personalities fit really good together.