After a gruelling 8-hour day, having played more matches than any other team in Group B, Fnatic is through to the quarterfinals.
While Longzhu Gaming sailed out of groups without dropping a single match, the remaining teams Fnatic, Immortals and Gigabyte Marines took a game off each other, ending up in a three-way tie with a 2-4 record.
Fnatic went on to win both tie-breakers to prove that they deserve a spot going into Guangzhou.
CLICKON eSports spoke to the Fnatic’s jungler Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen shortly after their emotional win to discover the strategy coming into week 2 of groups, his experience before turning pro and curiously, the Chinese name on his jersey.
TM: Fnatic had some team issues last week and it affected your performance. What did the team do to regain confidence?
“We had a few team talks to try to get back on track. Each one of us took a bit more time for ourselves.
“I went to the gym every morning to get breathing room, to get some time to think, while others did their own thing so that we can give it our all when we practice.”
TM: What did Fnatic do differently today compared to last week that resulted in victories?
“We took a different approach. We had such a bad start so we just knew we would have to change things to have a chance to get out.
“For example, I played aggressive early-game junglers today, that was one of our ideas. It worked out pretty well. Overall we played really well as a team. We played to win, rather than last week where we just kinda played not to lose.”
TM: Out of all the Rek’Sai games here in the Group Stage, you make up half of them. Why did Fnatic decide to play around Rek’sai in these team compositions?
“Rek’sai is a ‘high risk, high reward’ champion. It’s the type of champion where it’s really bad if you fall behind. If you do play well in the early game and it goes really well then the enemy team can’t do much to stop you.
“We thought that having an early game jungler today and getting us a lead in the early game would be really good. We know we’re out if we lose the game, so it’s best just to get ahead and have the game in our hands rather than playing from behind because then we’re really scared we might make mistakes.
“If we do get a lead, then it’s easier to control and stay focused. We banked a lot more on our early game today than we did last week.”
TM: What makes a great Rek’Sai player?
“I think Rek’Sai is a lot about being at the right place at the right time; knowing when you can farm your camps and when you can gank. Because Rek’Sai is a lot about ganking, you need to pressure a lot, you need to help your lanes out.
“At the same time you do camps really fast, and you can get a lead on the enemy jungler. that’s what makes her so strong. If you can find the right balance, you can have more pressure than the enemy jungler while still being up on CS because you do your camps so fast.”
TM: You jumped around teams a lot in 2016 before finding a home with the Fnatic family. What was your mindset like at that time?
“My mindset was quite different than most players actually, due to me wanting to finish high school before I do anything pro-related.
“Even before joining Fnatic, one or two years before that I actually had the chance to go pro but I just didn’t want to take it because for me, finishing school was most important, that’s why I played semi-pro at first with some Danish friends in some Danish LANs and Nordic tournaments.
“When I graduated last summer, I decided to take a year off and actually try to go pro. I played in the UK scene for a bit and moved on to Fnatic.
“In Denmark it’s pretty common, when you finish high school you just take one or two years off to work. Some people just work and then start studying, some work and then travel; really different.”
TM: Can I ask about the Chinese characters at the back of your jerseys?
“Well it’s pretty funny because the letters can have different meanings or something?
“So I’ve got different answers actually. What it’s supposed to mean is ‘Big Friendly Giant’, but I’ve heard Chinese people telling me it’s, sweet and handsome, those kind of stuff too which obviously I’m not complaining about.” (smiles)
TM: Did you choose it?
“Nah, Fnatic just found some funny names for all of us. It’s pretty cool, it’s pretty fun.”