mezii: "We can definitely beat any team, we showed that at the Major"

The British in-game leader spoke to HLTV after fnatic beat MIBR to advance to the IEM Katowice group stage.

fnatic kicked off their IEM Katowice Play-In campaign in strong form, beating Evil Geniuses 16-8 on Inferno. Their first attempt to qualify for the top-16 stage of the tournament fell flat, however, a rather one-sided 1-2 loss to OG casting William "⁠mezii⁠" Merriman and his men down to the lower bracket.

mezii says fnatic are working to be less inconsistent on Mirage

There, they bounced back with a 2-0 win over MIBR to advance to the main stage, a match where the whole team rose to the occasion to ensure their team would advance. After the match, HLTV spoke to mezii to get his thoughts on fnatic's performance in Poland so far, how their map pool is shaping up, and on what their focus has been on since returning from the tournament break.

It was a fairly straightforward run apart from that OG loss. Tell me about that first, it seemed like after Overpass things didn't work out for you.

To be honest, when you play against OG it's all about individuals and they play a style that's super direct. Maybe not the most elaborate set rounds, but they do a lot direct and their individuals showed up, and ours didn't.

Like you said, on Overpass it went really well and then Mirage, we put ourselves in really good positions, our communication was good, but we just didn't hit the shots on the day. We were like four A when they were going A and we just didn't kill them. On Inferno, I think we had a strong T side, like 8-7 or 7-8, and on the CT side we just kind of let them run over us, give them the entry kills way too much and not having the set protocols.

Like I said, I think Mirage was definitely somewhere we could have done better, because we were set up well but just didn't hit our shots and maybe the confidence wasn't there as much.

I wanted to ask you about your map pool. Mirage has been very up and down, quite literally going back and forth win, lose, win, lose. Have you been focusing on that and figuring on what your weaknesses have been on the map?

Yeah, I definitely think it's really inconsistent, and we're still trying to find our way. Sometimes we play in practice or play in officials and our CT side, for example, it feels like we're the best in the world, and then the next time we don't know what's happening. We just need to gain our confidence and gain our system on the map.

Sometimes, if a team plays a certain way, then we can 100% destroy them, but if teams have a plan A, B, and C, and it's bit new for us... It's definitely something we're working on and putting the time into it and finding our way of playing it, because I think we have our style, we are quite an aggressive team, especially on CT sides playing with roeJ and FASHR, who like to be aggressive, and especially Nico.

We're just trying to find our way and making it consistent in that way, because I think sometimes we can run over teams, and when our plan A of being aggressive isn't working, then what can we do next? It's something we're putting time in now.

You had basically two months off since Espoo, and even there you played with Peppzor. Things have been very hectic for you guys leading up to the end of the year - KRIMZ couldn't even practice for the Major. How confident are you with your playbook with that in mind, considering how it went for you in late 2022 and what time you had since then?

We're definitely confident as a team and in the style we play. We don't rely too heavily on set rounds and strats that we have and building this huge playbook. We're definitely a team that, as everyone sees, we're kind of a default-based team and we like to play a lot on the feeling in the game and adapting within the game and not having too many set rounds.

The only thing it kind of hurt, not playing with KRIMZ, was just the time spent on the team chemistry and overall in-game. We can always add set rounds and build our playbook pretty fast, I think we did that even after the Christmas break, and now it's just catching up on that time. We built the confidence winning Espoo even though it was with a stand-in, but also bringing KRIMZ, I mean, it's KRIMZ, he's got the most experience within the scene, so I think it's just about missing out on the team chemistry and making sure we have certain protocols in the game. It's more about the chemistry and making sure we get the experience of playing with each other that we missed out on when he wasn't playing.

Since then, what have you been focusing on leading into the new year?

Definitely our map pool has been a big thing. We were in a good place ending the year, and I think we were in a good place with Dust2, because that was our permaban, and now we can explore Anubis and see if we had a weaker map before, maybe we could get rid of that. It's still something we're looking into and try to build on.

Overpass and Vertigo, and even Inferno to a certain extent, is pretty strong for us, Mirage is inconsistent, and Ancient can be inconsistent and we haven't played too much officially at the moment. We're still young as a team, obviously picking up FASHR isn't too long ago, five or six months or whatever it is, and it's just about building a map pool.

Against these bigger teams and coming into the group stage now, they can all play six maps pretty well, and for us it's not being able to throw a map away in a best-of-three. We wanna be competitive on all maps, and I don't think that we can't be, it's just about being confident on the day and making sure we gain experience from these games as well.

I don't know if you looked at how the groups have panned out, but certain people feel like it's fairly lopsided. What are your thoughts and where you would like to end up?

I think the names in the top half [Group A], it's obviously top-heavy, but at the end of the day most of the teams at the moment, it doesn't feel like there's a clear favorite or clear number one team. Obviously, G2 are performing really well and even in practice they're playing super well, and NAVI and FaZe are always going to be there, but at the moment in CS anyone can beat anyone. It's not like before when it was NAVI, there was obviously the Astralis era and so on, I think now it's very much even and who can turn up on the day.

I don't really mind which side we get put into and who we play, because any team is gonna be hard, for us it's just about getting the experience. Like I said, we can definitely beat any team, I think we kinda showed that at the Major that we can get a good run, and hopefully we can do it here.

United Kingdom William 'mezii' Merriman
William 'mezii' Merriman
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
United Kingdom Jonty04l32
Fnatic look really good thus far. :)
2023-02-03 20:31
1 reply
beat OG first lmao
2023-02-03 23:20
2023-02-03 20:31
Clueless we can beat good teams Clueless
2023-02-03 20:33
Denmark Not_Dane
2023-02-03 20:33
Brazil flytw4tp
sure jan
2023-02-03 20:34
Europe idan)
2023-02-03 20:36
Europe kuu1
Best Argentinian player from Katowice!
2023-02-03 20:36
And whom did fnatic beat on major? BIG? Ence?
2023-02-03 20:37
3 replies
minet | 
Ukraine NyC1R
2023-02-03 20:39
2023-02-03 20:43
1 reply
Lmfaooo in OT... all the other match were against bad teams...
2023-02-03 22:34
cant eveb beat og bots so fuck off
2023-02-03 20:39
You lost to og so no
2023-02-03 20:39
they literally lost to og
2023-02-03 20:40
When beating the teams who has always been at the bottom to qualify to tournaments you think you will beat everybody. Where do everybody got their sick confidence from
2023-02-03 20:41
beat OG pleas even HAVU can beat Fnatic
2023-02-03 20:44
2023-02-03 20:43
Bosnia and Herzegovina DakileX
Fnatic is one of my favorite teams but rio major was a fluke everyone knows that.
2023-02-03 20:43
Hungary kushh_
yeah maybe if they can play atleast low-mediocre ct side :DDDDDD their T is top 5 their ct is top5 from bottom atm
2023-02-03 20:44
Serbia KS4
2023-02-03 20:44
Not outsiders
2023-02-03 20:44
Not yet mezii but good mindset
2023-02-03 20:54
delusional confirmed
2023-02-03 21:01
funny guy
2023-02-03 21:02
every team says they can beat any team, when does these kids get some personality?
2023-02-03 21:09
you can beat any team 3 months ago, congratz Mexii back to ITB and Fashr back to Flight simulator soon
2023-02-03 21:25
2 replies
Fnatic would still smash BIG Johnny boy
2023-02-03 23:23
1 reply
i do not doubt it
2023-02-03 23:29
best team in the world, gg!
2023-02-03 21:27
almost forgot about fnatic because they blow
2023-02-03 21:30
Europe justsavage
2023-02-03 21:40
Sweden KennyKEX
nice cap
2023-02-03 21:45
ankara mezii
2023-02-03 22:12
Wouldn't say any team, but they are defenitely underrated
2023-02-03 22:14
El Salvador Bredalow
Ofcourse any team CAN beat any team but likelyhood is Fnatic will only beat tier 2-3 teams and that not even consistent enough to reach all big events
2023-02-03 22:24
Fnatic vs IHC final would be my crazy pipe dream final It's such an absurd matchup that basically every game along the way would have to be an absolute brawl, and those are the best kinds of games I'll be over here dreaming :))
2023-02-03 22:26
Sweden hayliN
I like mezii, seems like a wholesome lad with a positive aura :-P
2023-02-03 22:34
mezii best uk player
2023-02-03 23:26
2023-02-07 18:38
2023-02-07 18:39
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