Fnatic has started off the 2020 season of the League of Legends European Championship showcasing the unity and success of its new roster with a 3-1 over the past couple of weeks. Top laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau followed up with Lara Lunardi’s previous conversation regarding team changes, playing Rengar and Sett on stage, and opened up about “Bwipodad”.
Last time we got to catch up we were both at All-Stars, where you made your way to being the 1v1 champion! How have you been since then, Bwipo?
Pretty good so far. I have been really satisfied with the team and all the changes. We have had a pretty successful start… aside from day one, which was a bit of a disaster… but we don’t talk about that! *laughs*
Let’s follow up with a question I had asked you back in Vegas about the changes to Fnatic’s roster. You mentioned that Selfmade and Nemesis would add more potential to the team. Are they up to your expectations?
So far, so good. I think I am pretty satisfied with what I am seeing from the jungle. The thing is, I feel like they have even more to give, which is a positive thing considering they have been already performing pretty well. All and all, they have more to improve and they are doing well. What else can I ask for?
What about the team synergy? You mentioned back then that Fnatic was working with strongly opinionated players.
The thing that surprised me is that in general, I feel like Selfmade is meshing best with our bot lane actually, which is kind of surprising and Hylie and Selfmade are on the same page in terms of like, everything. That said, mid and jungle are really good friends with each other so even though right now I feel like they have different views on some things, they get past them with jokes and whatnot. We’re getting along, it’s just a matter of getting everyone on the same page I feel like that’s when we can really unlock our mid-jungle because right now I think we have some differences in opinions.
How are you guys dealing with your differences?
Yeah, we just talk it out, talk about what picks we think are good and what picks we think are bad, when someone disagrees, you know, for example, I get to hear about Swain quite a bit. *laughs* I’ve head Swain’s name drop in negative connotation a couple of times in the past few weeks so…
Right, you picked Rengar Top today though...
It’s one of my things I guess, I don’t think anybody else plays Rengar top lane in the sense of… they spend enough time playing him. It was just like “oh, sh*t, don’t know what to pick so I guess I’ll pick Rengar” *laughs*
What about Sett? What are your thoughts on playing him on stage?
I think he’s awesome. I love this champion, he’s so… like, he’s cool, love his moves, love his gameplay, I feel like he is very rewarding to play because I feel like you have to sync up your moves properly, which I think it is something really unique from that champion, like, you’re in control of the fight, but you have to play it out properly, and I think that’s a very fun way to play a champion. Him and Aatrox have this same idea, if you play properly, there’s still counterplay, people can react to you, but, if you do it properly, you’re one step ahead and you’re winning out, and I think that’s what makes League of Legends a fun game, I don’t like to play champions where I’m just like, rolling over people and you don’t really get to play the game there. I like to experience more action when I am playing, it’s more fun that way.
Back to team synergy, how is Mithy doing as a coach?
Mithy has been great, honestly. I had some good fun playing with him. We can make jokes about his career and we can just be good friends in that sense. I think it’s really important that as a coach, he feels more like a friend/teammate. He doesn’t feel like he is a step outside of the team, he feels very much integrated as a teammate even though he is the coach. It’s much easier to open up about yourself, talk about what you’re struggling with, what you are worried about because you don’t feel like his expectations are really high of you or really low. They are just like another teammate’s expectation.
For example, if I talk to Hilye, I’ll ask “what do you feel about this, or this champion, Rengar for example?”, your teammate will be like “look, if you feel it then you feel it”, as when sometimes the coach can just be like “I don’t think so, we should just play the meta, bla bla bla”, whereas with Mithy it feels super like a teammate/coach, he’s part of the team.
Before we wrap up, I want to ask you about your dad. So, I found out about Bwipodad yesterday.
Yeah! I was on twitter and “Bwipodad” randomly popped up, I was like “what is that?!”.
It’s my dad. * laughs *
"[He] is just a good father and he takes care of me and makes sure that I am on the right path."
Well, obviously. He’s a sports physiologist…?
Yes. He tests FIFA players. He has a license to do that, but he started out as… I don’t know what the word is. The person that like… when you break your arm, they do the rehab for you.
Exactly! He is a physiotherapist and he leveled up and became a sports physiotherapist, something like that! I broke both my wrists and my father helped me.
Yeah, both, ice skating.
Okay, can you imagine if you broke playing League of Legends...what kind of plays you’d have to be doing *laughs*
*laughs* Anyway, yeah, my dad helped me with that and in general I think my dad has been very supportive and he is a very intelligent man, and I’m very happy he is there. He does his own thing, and likes to be goofy sometimes. It’s very funny.
Since he works with sports, does that mean that you grew in a sports friendly environment?
He put me in football and I quit it a couple of months later, I was very much a video games guy. My dad wanted me to do well in studies, but other than that, growing up he would always play the same video games as me and my brother. We were 10 years old, playing on the PS3, playing Call of Duty and my dad would join us and play. PC gaming was a big step for him, like League of Legends, because it’s completely different from console gaming.
I saw him tweeting and analyzing a game today. I literally follow him on twitter now, and I was like “HE UNDERSTANDS THE GAME THAT’S AMAZING!!” *laughs*
He actually plays a lot of League of Legends. He is higher elo than me in my main account, he plays a lot of League of Legends. It’s great he got so invested in the game, because he saw my success and he decided to give it a shot and took that step to go try PC gaming and now he’s a fully fledged summoner like everybody else here.
And does he ever help you with any exercising or make sure your wrists and hands are taken care of?
Not really, not really, he just reminds me of taking care of myself and you know, I’m a little bit chubby right now, so he’s like “hey, you should probably go on a diet”, the usual dad stuff, he’s not shoving down his health knowledge down my throat and being like “you have to eat salmon every day or whatever”, it’s just a good father and he takes care of me and makes sure that I am on the right path. That path is still mine and it’s a blessing I have received from both of my parents that they make sure they are setting the road in the right direction but they don’t force me on any specific direction, making sure if I am going somewhere, I’m not getting off my path.
Good measure to not crash and burn. What can we expect from your team in 2020, lastly?
Good League of Legends, I think we are doing pretty well and life is pretty good. I’m in a pretty good spot.