On the final day of the ESL Pro League finals in London last weekend, Fragbite's Linda Herman got together with fnatic's coach Viktor "vuggo" Jendeby for an exclusive Facebook Q&A. We collected questions from both Facebook and Fragbite — and we've compiled the best answers for you here.
Any news regarding olof's injury?
— No. He's still undergoing a lot of evaluations and is still going through rehab, doing everything the doctors ask him to do. But at the moment, there's no immediate improvement and they're still unclear of what they're actually dealing with. And since they don't know what's wrong with him, they can't speculate on how long time it'll take before he's better. I do know that he did a MRI earlier in the week, so I'm assuming that's what Jeppe (JW) meant by us receiving news soon. Right now we're just awaiting answers, really, but we're prepared of the possibility of him not returning in the short-term.
In case Olof ends up being permanently injured, would you continue playing with Wenton?
—It’s hard to imagine that his injuries are permanent, like we’d never compete with him again, but given our current circumstances that’s pretty much how we need to be treating the situation. Right now we have to accept the fact that Olof is gone, and we need to do everything we can in order to be the best and fight for top spots. We still think we’re able to accomplish that and we love playing with wenton. I think this is the first real team he’s played with in CS:GO, and we all think he’s incredible in terms of communication and understanding of the game. We’re convinced that the more he plays with us, the more his individual level will increase, and as long as we keep on encouraging him he’ll have that drive to improve. But in all honesty, his contributions to the team have already exceeded our expectations. We’re extremely pleased with wenton and odds are that we will continue encouraging him until Olof returns.
" I mean if we had carte blanche and could pick any player in the world as a stand-in we’d probably use someone from NiP" In case you won’t continue with wenton, do you have any other player in mind?
— Sure, but nowadays teams have very well-written contracts and obviously we’d like to get a top player to the team. I mean if we had carte blanche and could pick any player in the world as a stand-in we’d probably use someone from NiP, or rain from FaZe. But like I said these players are all stars and play on incredibly established teams, so there’s no chance whatsoever to really sign one of them. It’s not economically viable for us to buy a player of that calibre out of his contract for what would probably only be a temporary thing, since he’d be replaced as soon as Olof comes back. So out of all the options we’ve had, I’d say wenton is the best choice out of any available player.
Was PlesseN too young and why did you choose to play with wenton instead of him?
— He didn’t have any experience of playing with an established team. He’s incredible individually but what we really need at this time is someone who’s got more of a feel for playing as a unit, and who’s confident in making decisions. It all came down to his lack of experience and functioning with a team. I’m certain that PlesseN’s got a bright future ahead of him, and since he’s only 17 I’m certain that we’ll see him reach the top in a few years.
When will Olof return? Who do you consider the smartest Swedish player?
—Flusha. I’ve never… I consider myself an old-timer in the Swedish scene, even in terms of 1.6 and I’ve played with so many players that have gone on to become some of the best in CS:GO. But I’ve never encountered anyone who has such a feel for the game and it’s physics. How to utilize positioning. If you just look at how he plays, all of his frags look so simple just because of how well he positions himself. I also think he’s the best grenadier in the game as well, both in terms of damaging the opponent and also his use of smokes and flashes. Say that he’s in T-spawn and calls out that he’ll smoke library, he’ll throw the smoke from a completely new angle and it lands perfectly. I’ve never seen a player with the knowledge Flusha possesses, and I’m so impressed by it that I’d almost consider myself a fanboy, haha!
But he’s often accused of cheating?
— If you were to discuss CS with Flusha in a calm environment, and hear how he evaluates each situation, you really get a grasp of how fucking well he understands the game, you’d get why some of his plays look a bit strange but at the same time realize that someone with his talent doesn’t need to cheat. He’s smart and humble enough to realize that he wouldn’t be gaining anything from cheating, so I think it’s bullshit to throw accusations against him.
Vuggo thinks it's bullshit to throw accusations on flusha When NiP were looking for a new AWPer after allu there were rumors about them looking to recruit JW. Is this true, and if so what were your feelings about it?
— Yes. There was talk about it, but after a lot of discussion JW decided to stay with us, and I don’t think he regrets that decision.
— Why not?
— Because we're the best team in the world, we're winning everything and make tons of moneeeey. Nah, but we're really having a great time together, feel comfortable and showing great results.
Do you as a coach determine what the team does at the beginning of each round?
— Once the game starts Robban (flusha) calls the shots, but during practice I get a lot of room to air my opinions on how to approach certain teams as well as a rundown of our expectations going into the games and how to best achieve them. I have a lot of influence in these particular instances. But like I said, the players have the most say once we actually start playing. If I feel everything is going to hell I’ll of course provide my own input, but Robban has a very good grasp on all in-game related situations. So I don’t interfere all too much during matches, preparation is the area I participate in the most.
What’s your role when you stand behind the players during tournaments or when you play online?
— During LAN games I give them the good old pat on the back, and make sure they always keep talking. Sometimes our communication crumbles during retakes, so in those situations I tend to always add some input from where I'm standing. Just anything to get the boys talking again and making sure that the mood is where it should be.
Communication seems to be the key for vuggo During a regular day of games, what does your schedule look like?
— I’ve always been an early riser. I’m a morning person that’s always preferred getting stuff done early in the day. So I tend to get up before the other guys and check through our own demos and our opponents demos, just to see if they’ve got any surprises or unexpected tactics lined up for us. We’re not the type of team to look through demos and go “oh wow look at this tactic”, and then proceed to develop a super anti-strat. Rather, we look for things that may catch us specifically off-guard. Do they like to play agressive as CT? In case they do, how do they do it? Do they have specific T-round strats that none of the other elite teams utilize? Many tactics are very similar, a B-split will always look the same whether it’s Na`Vi or NiP who are playing. The question is if they tend to play that strategy more often than other teams and such. So we look for these patterns in the hopes that we never get caught off-guard. So that’s my routine whenever I’m at a tournament.
How much time do you devote to practice each week?
— We practice five days a week, Sunday to Thursday. The days consists of one hours devoted to breaking down what we’ll be working on, and then 4-5 hours worth of practice. So in terms of raw hours, we play roughly 30 hours a week as a team, whilst flusha and I put a few extra hours into check demos, develop new tactics and observe our opponents. But then the rest of the team plays a ton on their own just to stay in shape. I think Dennis has put in around 100 hours in the two weeks before this event (ESL Pro League), that’s a ton of CS and even if he’s just playing FPL for fun it’s his job to stay in shape and perform up to a certain standard.
"I won’t say that I never feel any doubt towards myself, but at the end of the day we’re a team and if we lose a match it’s the fault of everyone involved" Do you ever take the blame for any of fnatic’s losses? Do you think you should ever feel guilty for losses?
— No one takes any blame. We view ourselves as a unit, so if we lose WE lose. I won’t say that I never feel any doubt towards myself, but at the end of the day we’re a team and if we lose a match it’s the fault of everyone involved and we all must find a solution to the issue. I think it’s dangerous to blame yourself or other individuals for your own failures.
Which member of the team do you feel the closest to?
— Naturally you feel closer to certain people than others. This is also an easy question to answer, since flusha and I share a room at every event I guess it’s him. We just click very well socially.
Who’s the best player in the world in your opinion?
— Flusha, without a doubt.
Fnatic vs. NiP - is there any kind of rivalry? I realize that you all get along on the server, but can you say the same outside of it?
— We’re definitely rivals. But we’d never call ourselves enemies in real life. There aren’t a whole lot of teams out there we’d ever consider enemies.
So which teams don’t you get along with?
Astralis. I think they’ve acted strangely in a lot of situations, like the pause at 15-2 at the last major. All because they thought that we were cocky during an interview, which I think is very strange. Us being confident in an interview isn’t the same as taking an unnecessary pause when you’re up 15-2, it’s just not cool. We’ve also had other, minor, instances with them as well in the past.
Astralis doesn't seem to be fnatics favourite team... Is there any other coach you lookw up to or admire?
I don’t look up to anyone specifically as all teams have different needs when it comes to coaching, so all coaches contribute in different ways to their teams. Take Na`Vi, for instance, who have starix, or THREAT in NiP, who are super tactical. I’m not as tactical even though I help the team on that front as well. I think all of the coaches currently working for top teams are doing a great job, more or less.
— So no one in specific?
— Nah. A coach's job is to make sure that the players are comfortable with how they play. Do they need to be motivated? Do they need tactical input or someone to shine their shoes, you know? No matter what the coach does, I think that if he manages to enable his players he’s doing a good job. In this case I’d probably look to Luminosity’s coach and say that he’s the best coach in the world right now, since he’s both extremely passionate and tactically skilled. But like I said I think all the coaches involved in top-level teams are doing a good job right now.
“He just told me: “No god damn it, don’t touch my shoes!” I was ready to do it, but it turns out that he’s a merciful god” "@vuggo - @guardiancsgo ill kiss your shoes if you place higher than us" — How did his shoes taste?
— GuardiaN and I know each other pretty well, and I asked him afterwards if he wanted me to kiss his shoes when I’d be swinging by his room to get some supplements for Olof’s arm. He just told me: “No god damn it, don’t touch my shoes!” I was ready to do it, but it turns out that he’s a merciful god.
Do you think the iBUYPOWER players deserve to be unbanned?
— So the iBUYPOWER guys got banned for fixing a game. Of course they were aware of facing repercussions if they were caught, but back then there was no way of knowing was said repercussions actually could end up looking like. So with all this said, I think that it’d be fair that anyone banned for match fixing before Valve’s regulations should be banned for one more year, setting the precedent for anyone thinking of doing this in the future. Like I said, since there were no rules back then everyone lived in some sort of uncertainty about what was ok and what wasn't, and with that in mind I think that a lifetime ban is extremely harsh.
Could you talk a bit about WESA? What’s your opinion on it?
— Our view on WESA is very easy-going. A lot of people have already jumped on the bandwagon and believe that this will become some sort of exclusive club where we all sit in a circle laughing at smaller organizations and tournaments whilst blowing cigar smoke in their faces. The truth is that we will always play the tournaments we want to play, and we will be prioritizing the same things we always have: A solid prize pool and not an ungodly amount of travel. If all of these things are there, then we’ll be there. This isn't even something that’s unique to us, as we've talked with a lot of other teams who all say the same thing: There are simply too many games and tournaments right now, so WESA or not, we’d probably still be seeing teams travel to fewer LANs and choose to play fewer online leagues.
I think casters, since they are the ones who are making the most noise on Twitter right now, are really upset about this as they are the people who gain the most out of there being a lot of games being played each night, and I get that they’re losing out on the short-term. But on the flipside, all the teams playing in all these tournaments are losing out as we get less time to practice properly. Each game loses its value, tournaments blend into each other and confrontations between top teams end up being bland. I’d rather see people go crazy over big games, and if they aren't featured in games every day I think we’ll notice it in the long run. They will be better prepared and show a higher level of play overall. So WESA or not, I think we’d see this happen either way.
Translation: Sam "Wndwrt" Nordmark