Team Finland becomes the second team to make it to the quarterfinals of Overwatch World Cup. After their match against Chinese Taipei, they shared their thoughts about the group stages in Incheon, Korean fans, and their thirst for vengeance against South Korea.
How do you feel about getting 2nd place and making it to the quarterfinals?
Timo “Taimou” Kettunen: We obviously feel very good for qualifying [for] Blizzcon and I am just really proud of my team. Thank you.
Joona “Fragi” Laine: We’ll try our best and get our revenge against South Korea in Blizzcon as well. Maybe finals or something.
Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin: Uh… I am very happy that we made it to Blizzcon. Last year was very disappointing for me, and I really [wanted] to make it Blizzcon and it makes me happy to go there again.
Benjamin “BigGoose” Isohanni: 3 Words. Work’s not done.
Throughout the 3 days of the tournament, which was the most memorable for you? Enjoyable? Hardest?
Fragi: Obviously South Korea, we almost got it. I felt like we got it towards the end of Nepal but we didn’t quite win it out. And the game against Russia was nice as well.
Taimou: For me, the most memorable thing is the disappointment against South Korea, I definitely don’t want to feel it again and I want to crush South Korea in Blizzcon.
You said you wanted to beat in South Korea in Blizzcon. We just had the Korean press conference, they said, “although Finland played well, it’s not because they played well, we weren’t playing our 100%” What do you think about this comment?
LiNkzr: In the series against South Korea, we adapted very late even though we knew what to do, so… they got kind of lucky in a way. We’re the ones that started off things slow, you know? Towards the end of series, we started playing better and better and the maps we lost barely, like Nepal and Lijiang, I think if we made those maps, I think it could have had the match very easily.
Taimou: If the South Korean team said that they weren’t trying their best, I didn’t try at all.
Translator: it’s not that they weren’t trying their best, but they said they weren’t fully ready.
Taimou: Well… either way, if they were playing 50%, I was playing only 10%.
Fragi: I think we weren’t quite prepared for Hammond strategies, so… I think we will play better against that and even though Carpe’s Widow is quite scary, I think we will beat them.
Do you have any players that stand out from the Korean team?
Taimou: I thought Libero and Fate were the best players in their team, on that day when we matched them.
Jonas “Shaz” Suovaara: For me, Carpe was the scariest.
LiNkzr: I think uh… Fate surprised us the most because of how well he played Hammond, we practiced in Europe and there was only one good Hammond player that we practiced against and Fate was way better than him. It was a big surprise how well he played.
BigGoose: Uh… I think Fate and Libero. I think Fate brought us a lot of trouble with the Hammond and also Libero had a good grasp of windows when playing with Pharah, he managed to find windows where we were very vulnerable.
Fragi, you are on the same team as How did it feel facing him?
Fragi: Obviously, it’s a good feeling being on the opposite team as Carpe. He is a really good player and we will have to practice very hard to beat them in Blizzcon.
Finland is a relatively small country of 5 million people. What’s the secret behind Finland’s success with esports and sports?
Shaz: Um… when it’s cold we don’t like to go outside, so we just play games. We will eventually get a couple of good players now and then.
LiNkzr: I think in Finland, sports are very competitive even from a young age. The Finnish esports and sports teams always have tournaments and something to fight for, so everyone one of us is very competitive.
Adding on to that, how does the overall Finnish population feel about esports?
Joonas “zappis” Alakurtti: It’s still growing. Esports is still a new thing in Finland but it is really being perceived well at the moment. Even our sports minister said that they want Finland to become an esports country. It’s really like growing in Finland and everyone is feeling it and really happy that Finnish players are succeeding in all esports.
Taimou: I think this and last year have been the biggest spurt of growth of esports in Finland. But even now, most of the population thinks it is not a real job or it’s stupid that we just play games and get money from it. But, I think it’s getting a lot better, in 5 to 10 years we are going to see a massive difference to what it is now.
Even though, by playing in Incheon, you were the away team; but, the Korean fans have been cheering for you regardless. So, how does that make you feel?
Fragi: Obviously, we are super happy when Korean fans are cheering for us. So, it’s a really good feeling when we play on stage. Thanks for all your support.
Taimou: I think it’s a very funny fact that we have way more fans in Korea than Finland.
What are your goals going into Blizzcon?
LiNkzr: I think our goal is to be a bit more unpredictable in Blizzcon, strategy wise. I think both our maps picks and hero picks were fairly predictable. Even Russia took advantage of it in the series that we played. South Korea took advantage of it, and I think the biggest steps for us is to be like scary when it comes to strategy. We are all mechanically good players, we just need to expand our horizon.
Taimou: I just wanted to improve and show good games in there.
Fragi: Of course, we are going to win it all. Take a couple of weeks off now and practice hard for Blizzcon.