Throughout the regular LEC season, Fnatic was smooth sailing more often than not. The veterans ended the Summer Split with a silver medal, and entered the World Championship 2019 as Europe's second seed. But so far, it's not looking good for Fnatic. Drafted into what many consider to be the "Group of Death", Fnatic lost their first matches against SKT T1 and RNG. They did pick up a win against Clutch Gaming, but a 1-2 score isn't something to write home about.
They have a chance to turn this around still, however. Fnatic will face their opponents again and could still make it out of the Group Stage, if they pick up wins this time around. After the loss against RNG, we sat down with Fnatic's jungler Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen. He told us what went wrong so far in the Group Stage, and told us what he's going to do better in the second half of the Group Stage.
Welcome Broxah. That was a bitter pill to swallow, I assume.
Yeah, it was a disappointment.
Can you talk a bit about the draft? The casters were saying that it was all focused on Nemesis—do you agree?
Well obviously the draft is something we've had in mind. We didn't randomly lock in Morgana AD Carry and Blitzcrank Support on stage. We've prepared that coming into today. I guess it can be argued whether it was the right decision or not. I wouldn't blame this game on our draft, however. We had a really good early game, finally. In our third game we came out ahead in the early game. We had a lot of chances to snowball the game, but we played too afraid and we were too slow. They had three carries and we only had one, so it was hard to come out on top in team fights.
You mention that you finally got the early game rolling. What did you pick up from your matches against SKT and Clutch Gaming to finally make the early game work?
Well against both SKT and Clutch the main weakness was our early game. In general, I think we played too afraid and there was too much hesitation in our first two games. We made sure that our early game wasn't going to be an issue again. It allowed us to have a chance to play the game, you know?
Coming into this day we didn't want to play afraid. I think we succeeded in the early game, but unfortunately the hesitation started showing again later on. I think it's definitely something we're going to have to work on coming into the next days. These are some really good teams, but I definitely think we have the potential to beat them.
Fnatic has this tendency to do better in the second half of the stage. Why is that?
I think that's something we've had in general, even with different lineups during my years on Fnatic. We've always been good at playing with our backs against the wall. Hopefully that's something we'll get to prove once again. If not every game, we really need to win against SKT and RNG, right? It's incredibly important that we'll have a good day. I think now, being under pressure, we're going to make it count.
Was there not enough pressure now? Not enough of a "do or die" scenario?
Well, obviously we should've won today against RNG. I think we could've won the SKT game as well. As I said, we were just way too slow and there were small hiccups here and there. Eventually all the small mistakes add up and we end up throwing the early game or don't use our lead well and eventually get outscaled. So far we haven't proven that we deserve to make it out of the group, but the potential to make it out is still there.
You said you have to win against SKT and RNG when you face them again, to have a chance of making it out of groups. Which match felt closer to you?
I think both the match against RNG and SKT felt very close, but for different reasons. We were ahead the entire game against RNG, and we should've been able to close it out. But even against SKT: we fell so far behind and still managed to stall the game for incredibly long. With both of those games in mind, I think we've already proven that we are a good team. But we've certainly made some mistakes, and these world class teams were abusing us. They clearly can play a very good defending game, so when we have the lead we have to use it better.
For example: in this game I don't think we ever broke the tier 1 mid turret, even though we were ahead the entire game. That just cannot happen.
How do look back on your personal performance so far?
I feel a bit... mixed about my personal performance. I think I've played ok, but compared to last year's Worlds there is some improvement to be found. I think especially against RNG, there are things I could've done differently to use my own lead and snowball further. SKT was really tricky for me, I think, because they tracked me really well. From level 1 they tracked me and it was hard for me to find openings. Against Clutch, I probably could've done more. Across the board our team just needs to focus more.
Compared to your other Worlds appearances, how does this iteration feel to you?
The biggest difference is that we actually have two incredibly good teams in our group. There is no room for mistakes this time around. Now, we've already made mistakes losing two games, but at the same time we can still make it out. It's not like in 2017, where we went 0-4 and wouldn't be able to make it out again. Still if we get another loss, the chance of us making it out is very low.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.