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Elmapuddy on FNATIC's resurgence in form: "We're going into this trying to win every single time"

Elmapuddy on FNATIC's resurgence in form: "We're going into this trying to win every single time"

21 May
Foo Zen-Wen

Fnatic Head Coach Chris "Elmapuddy" Tebbit sits down with Strafe Esports following their victory against FUT Esports.

Fnatic had found themselves a map down before coming back into the series with 3 straight map wins.

[Interviewer] Thank you for taking the time to take this interview with me. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your win today. I also wanted to start out by getting your initial thoughts on how the team performed in this series.

I mean, I can’t complain, right? We won 3-1. I think the boys had some great individual moments. We had some great communication. It just seems very…I guess I always want to perfect things, right? It seems very up and down, up and down. Right now, like we start so slow, or we start really strong, like yesterday against Heretics on Lotus and it falls off.

So, I think for me, I'm just looking. I'm just trying to find out how we can be more consistent because the team's obviously incredible, but it's just about that consistency. As you can see, we can just turn on and smash teams for a half. But overall, I’m happy we’re making steps in the right direction.

I think if you look at us at the beginning of the year compared to how we are now, where we’re moving in the right direction. So, I’m really happy about that.

[Interviewer] I think one of the discussions that’s been going around the last couple of weeks is on the topic of style and how teams match up individually between each other and how obviously that plays into consistency as well. So, how do you think that fares into Fnatic’s personal style? As you said, you want to be more consistent in how you start out, but then you’re also facing different types of teams as well.

I think for me, it’s less about the way that the players themselves match up against each other. I think it’s more often about the map pool. The map pool seems really important right now.

Obviously, we’ve got our Sunset ban going. So, when we play a team that’s good at Sunset, like Heretics or KC or one of those teams and we can ban away that Sunset, it gives us a big advantage and then we can go into maps that we’re good at. And if that lines up after that, then it’s looking pretty good. Or if we come across a team that there’s no playing maps we don’t really like, it becomes quite difficult.

So, for me, I think it’s the veto that makes the biggest thing rather than like my duelist against your duelist, if that makes sense. I think everyone’s going to be fighting against each other. So, I think it’s more about the map pool for me.

[Interviewer] Considering the format where since two matches ago, you already know you’ve qualified for Shanghai. How much of this period do you use for experimentation in terms of during match-time and how much of it do you just want to sort of establish yourselves and get as good of a seeding as possible within the rest of this Playoffs bracket?

Well, I think that we want to establish ourselves. I think if we'd started the year just smashing everyone like we did last year, like the team did last year, and you can maybe be like, 'Oh, let's play around a little bit.'

But I think right now what we need is to show to get, like, turn up to matches and play properly, get some stuff that we can review and improve on as a team and get a bit of confidence going. So, it's not really a time for us to be experimenting.

We're playing on the old patch anyway, not the new patch that we'll be playing at Shanghai. So, I think, it's just more about momentum and learning and confidence. So, we're going into this trying to win every single time.

[Interviewer] As you talked about, Shanghai is on a completely different patch. Viper’s out, which means a lot of your compositions will have to change as well. How are you looking in terms of your preparations for Shanghai? Where do you currently see yourselves at?

I mean, it’s going to be rushed. I'm not really happy, to be honest. The fact that the Pacific competition gets to play the new patch this weekend while we're playing the old patch, it seems like a bit of a competitive advantage for them. So, I'm not really sure why Riot did that, but obviously we're going to be low on time.

We finish here tomorrow, it's the last day. We fly out on Thursday to Shanghai, so we got to go, we got some media days, we got a couple of rest days in there. Like, I can't. We can't just go into practice on Monday after playing five official days in a row. So, for us it's going to be like low reps, to be honest, going into Shanghai, we won't have many days of practice, so we'll be looking to obviously move away where it makes sense from the agents that got nerfed. So maybe Viper.

I think her not being able to pick up her orb is actually a really, really big deal and obviously one less spit. But honestly, we've been so focused on these finals, and we only qualified two days ago and it's crazy playing back-to-back days because we, as we finish the match, we go home. Me and Mini are like, we have to watch another like 10 VODs. We got home at like 2 o'clock in the morning.

It's like with the preparation for the matches, we don't even have time to think about, like what the nerfs, like, we obviously think about it, like, but not properly sit down and talk about it. So that'll be conversations that will happen, happen after tomorrow.

[Interviewer] I've been following you since CS:GO. I mean, when you started with your YouTube channel and then you transitioned through Order and Cloud9 and such. Would it be uncharitable to say that in a sense, this is the first time you've had access to players of this caliber in terms of the roster talent that you have available compared to your previous rosters? And also, does your approach differ compared to now, where you have access to a team that has won silverware last year to this degree?

Yeah, I'd say in Valorant, of course. But in Counter-Strike, I was very lucky to coach some really great players, such as, like autimatic... I got to work with the Cloud9 roster that was the super, the super expensive one that was pretty famous. They had some great people. And like ALEX, as In-Game Leader, I really liked him. Obviously, I had daps. So, I think I've worked with some really, really high-level thinkers and players in Counter-Strike.

But I think this is the first time in Valorant where I've been like, these guys are great. And to answer your question about the approach, it definitely changes. Because it's quite... like your job is easier when you're teaching players that aren't as experienced or aren't as good because it's just kind of like, it's more basic stuff, like you got to focus on this, you got to focus on that.

But imagine you have to coach Leo. Leo- Leo is maybe teaching me more than I'm teaching him some of the times. He's really, really switched on. He's really...Leo is incredibly impressive with how he processes information and thinks about all the different outcomes. But obviously it depends on the player. Right. I think Alfa's still young. He plays quite an aggressive playstyle. So, it's about like, obviously when do you play aggressive, when do you play for the team?

So, there's a lot of things still to teach these players. It's just more of at a higher level and it's a lot about helping them also realise it themselves because obviously shoving information down their throat is not the best. But if you can sit down with them, help their processes, help their way of thinking, it's soft and about almost creating a better human being at learning than always: 'Do this here, do that there', if that makes sense.

[Interviewer] As you mentioned earlier, yesterday you faced against Heretics and that probably wasn’t the best showing from you guys. Tomorrow you’ll get another chance to rematch against them. Obviously, there isn’t a lot of turnaround time. What are the quick patches that you think you would like to approach this series with?

I mean, we don't have much control. They get the double veto; they get to pick the map pool. But I mean, for me it's just about turning up, like closing out the simple rounds because I think what happened yesterday was, our Lotus, we absolutely smashed them as far as the team versus team approach. But then obviously you got to play a post plant and if you're losing 5v2, 4v2, throwing these rounds like so, there's a few adjustments to make.

I'm obviously, I don't want to tell all of them right now, but for me it's about the simple things. Closing out the rounds we should be closing out and then obviously we play... Yeah. Focusing on the, on the fundamentals because like, there's no time right now for me to sit down. Like we're going to macro change like this. Like it's just about you just got to play and make the simple things the focus for the team.

Fnatic proceeded to face Team Heretics in the Grand Finals. Read all about that here in this Grand Finals cover. Fnatic along with Team Heretics and FUT have qualified for Masters Shanghai. They will begin play in a week's time.

For all the latest updates on VCT EMEA, follow the official VCT EMEA Twitter/X here. You can also follow along with the action on the Strafe Android and iOS apps, as well as the Strafe site.

Credit: Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

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