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torben: "We perform better under the pressure on LANs unlike in online games"

One of the dark horses at StarSeries i-League Season 6, the Danish team Fragsters has made it to the Playoffs in Kiev Cybersport Arena, which will kick off on 12 October.

torben CS:GO

torben's Fragsters has made it out of the group stage

A few moments after their victory over North on Nuke, we talked to their ingame leader Nicolai "torben" Amorim Kristensen. He shared his thoughts on their group stage performance, pros and cons of having a team that consists of young players, and why he prefers Bo1 over Bo3 for now.

Congratulations, you just made it to the Playoffs. From all the games that you’ve played here, which one was the hardest. Which opponent was the hardest one to beat?

Obviously, NRG was tearing us apart. They were the hardest opponent, without a doubt. And with BIG, we had the hardest game against them. I think they were up 15-11, and then we came back and won in the overtime.

Which things about BIG were hardest to deal with during that match?

They play really structure. They are good at utility usage, but I don’t think they have so much firepower, though. And I think, we have it in our team. We out-aimed them, I guess.

You have a problem. You usually perform good in group stages but when it comes to Playoffs, you lose in the first possible match. Is it some kind of mental problem?

I wouldn’t say that’s a mental problem. I think the events you are talking about, Masters, two DreamHacks and one in Poland. We just “fluked”, we just played bad [at Games Clash Masters]. But the other times, I think we just met better and more experienced teams, I’d say. I think we actually played well at the times, so it was not like we “choke”. That’s why we lost. We were just played out and lost because of inexperience, missing the last few details. I wouldn’t say it’s a mental problem.

So you don’t feel any kind of pressure when you are playing on a big stage?

No, we love to play on a stage. We perform better under the pressure on LANs unlike in online games.

Obviously, StarSeries i-League is your first premier event. Do you consider every game here as important experience, or it just goes as usual?

With every game we get more and more experience, I’d say. We still like a young and inexperienced team, so we take all that we can get. It’s about getting the last few details every time. We play, we learn, and then we eventually stack up, so we are going to win later.

In the previous seasons of StarSeries, we had Swiss Bo3. Now, it came back to Swiss Bo1. If you had a choice, would you choose to play in Swiss Bo3 at this tournament?

I think, on paper, some of the teams we have beaten, should beat us in a Best of 3. Bo1 always favors the underdog, so I don’t mind being in Swiss Bo1 for now.

Fragsters CS:GO

The leader of Fragsters prefers Swiss Bo1 for the time being

Yes, we have a decent map-pool, and it’s not like I’m afraid to play in Bo3. Just like on paper it should favor us, but we don’t know. Maybe we would have won 2-0 all the games we played. We don’t know for sure.

You are a lineup that consists of really, really young players. Have you thought about bringing in a guy who is very experienced? It’s not necessarily an IGL.

No, not at all. We’ve played together for very long time, and we always, at least me, stavn, and dragonfly, we’ve played to together as long as I play Counter-Strike. We’ve always known that we can be the best, so we just need to get the experience for ourselves. It will just take time and more events.

Is it even better for you that you are playing with this group of people?

Yeah, exactly. And then, eventually, we are going to get that experience.

I’m not sure, but do you have a coach? If you do, when did you bring him in and what does he bring to the team?

We have a coach. It’s actually the third brother. We have two brothers in the team, stavn and dragoNfly, and the older brother, Lifedance, is our coach right now. [We got him for] one or two months ago, I’d say. It’s a short period of time, so two months maximum, I think.

Beside personal stuff, I think a coach can be sort of the guy who makes sure everyone is happy, how a team is feeling, and how to solve problems in a good way. And he’s very good at that. Teamchemistry and just usual coach stuff with watching demos, coming up with new stuff.

You are the IGL of this team. And every captain has some kind of background story about how they became one. Why did you become a captain?

I wouldn’t say it forced but we needed one. We tried to play with various Danish IGLs, but they were not like on our level at the time. And we just didn’t really feel that we want to play in their style. It was one of the two: other IGLs had bad calling abilities or bad firepower. And we wanted both of it. And I think I can provide that. Also, we get to play, as I said, our own style which we really like.

Leading the team obviously hits your level of performance. If you weren’t a captain, would you perform better in terms of statistics?

Yeah, without every call [I make] I would perform better, if I don’t use energy on my calling.

Another question is about making mid-round decisions. Refrezh said in other interview that you are good at it. Where does it come from, as you are a really young team without much of LAN experience?

Most of all, it’s because we know each other very well. That just helps a lot in mid-round, when you know what you can expect and what your teammates want to do, like tendencies and stuff like that. That makes it a lot easier because calling is different from player to player. Some players like to go fast, slow, or lurk, whatever. I know what suits them well.

Fragsters CS:GO

From what torben's told us, every player in his team has opportunity to make a call

Also, every member of the team has opportunity to make a call. And we can just adjust to that. I think, if you listen to our teamspeak, there is a lot of noise. Sometimes it’s like five persons talking at the same time. And then I just listen to that all and make a compound out of it. It can be very hectic and stressful, and sometimes we lose rounds because of it, but I also think it’s one of our strengths.

Are there any specific teams at demos of which you usually look to learn something new?

Obviously, it’s Astralis. They are by far the best team in the world by no comparison, I think. They are the team to copy if you can say that.

The interview was given to StarLadder's @EllanarkJesus