Interview with Fnatic CyanideFI: "Don't be afraid to break out of the old meta, I think anything can be the new OP right now"
Sat 22nd Dec 2012 - 7:40pm: League of Legends
Fnatic has been making quite a stir in the League world, dominating, or coming very close to, in almost every recent tournament they have taken a part in. I decided to catch up with Lauri 'CyanideFI' Happonen and get his imput on season three, the upcoming meta, what plans Fnatic had to stay supreme, and how others, cassual or pro, could learn to play at a level on par with this amazing team.
How did you make your way into the pro scene? And into team captain for Fnatic?
Cyanide: I was rank 1 in soloQ early season 1 and got recruited, by WetDreaM, to his team. We were called TopElo at the time, but then became MyR and after, Fnatic. I, actually, am not team captain for fnatic. Don't know where you picked that up. Maybe I was at some point. I can't even remember been in the team for so long. :D
Not saying it’s not an accomplishment, because it is, but back when you were busy becoming the season one champions, the League scene, or even the e-sports scene, hadn’t really busted out yet. Does the atmosphere feel different now? Do you feel that you’re getting the reconciliation that you deserve now? Or was it always there?
Cyanide: I feel that we were really casual back in the day, as the entire league scene was. I think the Asians descending upon the pro scene has really changed the entire system and the casual kind of play doesn't work anymore. Everything has become more professional. Lamia and Mellisan, for example, decided they didn't want to go completely into League which is the reason they left. As for me and xPeke, we stayed and now we have team members that are fully dedicated to the "sport".
What type of practice does your team conduct? Do you have coaches? Do you scrim a lot? Do you practice specific team comps, such as that Kat/Kah reset we saw in Vegas?
Cyanide: We just scrim and practice in smaller tourneys. Before tournaments we practice a lot, but for example, at the moment during Christmas time, barely at all. We sometimes practice combos, but usually we just aim to play the heroes that we are comfortable with and just make sure they fit well together as we pick.
It seems Fnatic has been on quite an impressive streak, keeping up with you since IPL, where you 4/0ed the season two power house, TPA, second in Cologne, dominated DreamHack previously. Some even say you’re the top EU team. Do you feel this is true? Has something sparked? Have you been practicing more? What’s going on here?
Cyanide: We practiced more than others and everyone improved significantly. For example, Peke was really good before but at the moment I think he is probably the best midplayer, at least in Europe. I feel that we are the strongest team in Europe right now, or at least at the time of Dreamhack and IPL5, but the strength of teams change incredibly fast and now after we had some break from playing maybe there are some teams out there that can defeat us. Guess we will have to find out the hard way.
I feel the majority of the NA League of Legends pro scene fans don’t really keep up with the teams across seas, par CLG EU and some M5. Have you felt a change in your fan base since storming IPL5 in Vegas? Increase? Variety? I know you won me over.
Cyanide: I think we gained quite a lot of fans and when I streamed lately I had more viewers than usual. At least now I know for a fact that we have 1 US fan. :D
Coming into season three now, we both know there are a numerous amounts of changes. How is this going to affect the meta, and how is it going to affect your job as Jungler? Any tips for other junglers out there trying to cozy into their new home?
Cyanide: I don't really know what to think about the new jungle yet. What I've found, so far, is that more DPS related junglers are viable now (along with the tanks) as clearing quickly has become that more important. At the moment, all kinds of junglers are being played but the meta might stabilize over the course of the next couple of months, although, I hope not. I really enjoy the variety.
As tips I'd say; don't be afraid to break out of the old meta. I think anything can be the new OP right now.
With Rekkles, sadly, being the beast that he is, not meeting the age requirement for season three, what are your plans for ADC? Will he stay a sub till he’s old enough to take starter? How is Fnatic handling the situation?
Cyanide: We haven't finally resolved the issue yet.
After the season two playoffs, it seemed the Korean and Asian teams were just going to walk through League like they did every other game and nobody was going to stop them. Then, suddenly, this young, kind of hidden, EU team steps up and mops up TPA in Vegas. Think we are looking at a repeat of season one? Will you be our season three champions? Who is in the running for the biggest road block?
Cyanide: It’s impossible to say anything about the season 3 finals yet. What I've learned from this game is that a team that is dominating one week can disband the next. I hope we will be able to take the crown, but you never know. Europe will get more professional with S3 as well, so I believe either a European team or an Asian team will take season 3. That’s the best answer I can give you.
Are there any junglers that inspire you?
Cyanide: I think, overall, the Korean junglers are the best and most of them inspire me.
Who is, currently, your favorite champion?
What is League of Legends to you?
Cyanide: A big part of my life. An even bigger part once I finish school during season 3.
Cyanide: To all our fans, the new and the old. Also, a shout out to our sponsors Raidcall, Steelseries, Eizo and msi.
Thank you, Cyanide, for being my first victim on my road to Team Dignitas editor/interviewer. I wish you luck, and just know, your definite one US fan is always cheering for you.
Cyanide: Thank you as well! :D