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Credit: Fnatic | Eric Khor

Raven on Fnatic at TI10 qualifiers: “We played badly in official matches, and I think we were choking a little”


Marc Polo Luis "Raven" Fausto sat down with Jaxon for a quick chat where he talks about Fnatic's winning performance at the TI10 SEA qualifiers, roster changes shortly prior to TI10 qualifiers, change in team dynamics post Deth's joining, and much more.

 

Phoenix

Hi Raven, thanks for taking the time out to do an interview and congratulations on qualifying to TI10. How are you feeling?

Raven

I feel so happy to be able to compete in TI again. It has been a long time since I have been able to compete at TI. The last time I competed at TI was 2018!

Phoenix

Fnatic clearly struggled in DPC Season 2 placing 4th and narrowly missing out on qualifying to the AniMajor. Do you attribute this unexpected performance to the underlying pressure of expectations, lack of chemistry, etc.?

Raven

It was weird because we were actually expecting ourselves to do a lot better in DPC season 2. All our scrims went quite well and we were feeling strong but ultimately, we played badly in the official matches and I think we were choking a little.

Phoenix

Needless to say, Fnatic was knocked down to the pits of the dreaded TI10 SEA qualifiers where even one mistake could cost you a slot at TI. What kind of emotions were flowing through your mind when it dawned that you had one foot out of the door and you might have missed out on a career changing event?

Raven

I’m not gonna lie, I did not think for a second that we were going to lose, even when we were down 0-2. In the final games, I just kept assessing if I have done anything wrong and if there is anything I could do to improve it.

Phoenix

Following up on the same, how did your team take the news of having to go through the qualifiers? Was the mindset along the lines of, ‘okay boys, we need to reset and start all over again’?

Raven

There was an initial sadness that we couldn’t compete in the majors but at the end of the day, we have to accept that there is nothing we can really do and we just have to reset, and try our best again.

It was a collective decision by all the members in the team that we needed a fresh change in the team.
Raven

Source: Fnatic

Phoenix

How did the underlying team dynamics change after Chyuan and Deth joined the roster?

Raven

I think it is much better because everybody is playing their natural role. Since ChyuaN used to play offlane for our team, Deth and him communicated a little bit more on laning related topics, making it easier for Deth to transition into our team. Overall, the atmosphere is much better now and Jabz has stepped up to assume the captain role.

Phoenix

Was changing the roster at the last minute the need of the hour?

Raven

It was a collective decision by all the members in the team that we needed a fresh change in the team. Several names were mentioned but ultimately, we decided that we should move Chyuan to mid and have Deth play offlane for us. That way, everybody will be playing their natural roles and that would lower the learning curve. And I am really glad that it worked out as well as it did.

Phoenix

Fnatic steamrolled through the upper bracket of the qualifiers until the grand finals with relative ease. What fundamental changes did you notice in the team throughout this journey in regards to gameplay, team cohesion, etc.?

Raven

I think that when we are competing, especially in high pressure moments, the fundamentals will shine and we just need to do the basics well. We do not need any special things and reduce the number of deaths when we are behind. Just plain simple Dota, and I think that is why we played well in the qualifier.

Phoenix

Continuing on the same, Fnatic gave us all a scare in the grand finals, against TNC, trailing with a score of 0:2 in a best-of-five series. You were on the brink of elimination and yet you persevered. What went wrong in the first two games, especially since you had bested TNC in the upper bracket finals a day earlier?

Raven

In game 1, I think we simply got outdrafted. We had MK and LC while they had Ursa and TA. The game was just really hard to play and it did not feel like there was much we could’ve done that game.

For the second game, I think there were multiple instances where we could have won, despite being on the backfoot for a large part of the game. When we finally took the lead, we were anxious and we recklessly tried to end the game which resulted in us getting wiped and losing us the game.

Our coach made us realize it after the game and we were told to calm ourselves down in these moments moving forward.

Source: Fnatic | Eric Khor

Phoenix

Then comes the reverse sweep, and frankly speaking it seemed like Fnatic changed gears all of a sudden. How would you break down the comeback?

Raven

I do not think we were nervous after being down two games honestly speaking. DJ and Jabz said that we are a much better team and we just need to play normal Dota. That was very calming because everybody knows it is true.

Phoenix

What kind of a play-style can we expect from Fnatic heading into TI10 especially since we can expect a new patch release?

Raven

I really can’t say since we are on an extended break and there will likely be a new patch. We will have to see a few weeks into the patch.

Phoenix

How would you rate SEA’s chances at TI against other regions considering the fact that there’s only 2 representatives from SEA, i.e., Fnatic and T1?

Raven

TI is a very different beast in comparison to all other tournaments. A lot of teams will thrive or break in this event and it is always hard to tell who is going to win. I think that T1 is strong but it is hard to tell whether they will still be then. Hopefully we can both do well.

Phoenix

Over the years, how have you developed as a player? What changes do you see in yourself in regards to your playstyle, maturity, decision making, etc.?

Raven

Back in TNC, I feel that I do not have any confidence at all. I do not make any in-game calls and I just play my own game. I have since started to make various calls whenever I could.

Phoenix

Alright mate, that’s a wrap. Anything you’d like to say before signing off?

Raven

I just wanna say thanks to Fnatic and all the fans who kept on supporting us throughout all the good times and bad times. Continue supporting us for this upcoming TI.