Fnatic came out of the gates swinging and dismantled North America's second seed 100 Thieves to start their World Championship. We talked to Fnatic's jungler Broxah about their inaugural match, facing up against Invictus Gaming and how he rates Europe's chances of making it out of the group stage
Renato (Shakarez): So first of all, congratulations on your win to start off the World Championsip. You were playing Olaf into Graves, which is a pretty tough matchup for Olaf all things considered. Can you walk me through a bit of that early game and how you think AnDa did?
Broxah: So I think both junglers, both me and AnDa pretty much played the way we had to do. He tried to put on a lot of early pressure, like he got both crabs, denied me the bottom crab, which obviously I wanted to go for. And I just played it out safe, like as Olaf versus Graves in the early game you can't really do much. Yeah, I just tried to chill in my jungle. He got a bit of an early lead, but then later on, I feel like we just played a bit better as a team, which then helped me crawl back into the game.
Moving forward at Baron, Ssumday used Spellbook and then almost stole Baron. Is that something you were expecting? How were the comms around that Baron?
Normally it's something we look out for, but I think because it was first game, we had some extra nerves, and no one actually realized that Ornn had Spellbook. So all of a sudden, when Ornn flashed into the pit and smited the Baron, I was really scared for a moment, because for once, we actually didn't even pay attention to it and didn't realize, and then all of a sudden the guy just jumps in and puts the Baron to 50hp, so I didn't even have time to react because I wasn't prepared. So that was a bit sloppy from our end, but we were just lucky that it worked out anyways.
So I wanted to ask a bit more about the group expectations. Obviously you have to play G-Rex, which you saw from play-ins, and also IG. What do you think about these two teams?
Well I'm especially excited to go up against IG, because there's been a lot of hype around them and how good they are at playing early game, and how good Rookie is. So I'm really excited to match up against them and see if we can play early game as well as they do, because I think for us, it's just going to be important to get through early game, because on paper we should be a better mid late game team while they might be a better early game team. So as long as we can match them early, I think we're going to be in a good spot.
And what about Ning, one of the upcoming junglers from China?
I think Ning is the type of jungler that you have to be really careful when playing against, because he does a lot of crazy things and goes with a lot of aggressive plays. He seems to be the type of "being in your face" type of jungler, so for me, I'm going to have to path a bit differently I think than I would against most junglers and have to play the game of safely, because otherwise the guy might just appear out of nowhere and kill me in my jungle. But at the same time, he also seems to play a little over-aggressive, so it might be something we can punish. I think the way he plays is both a good and a bad thing for IG, depending on the game.
G-Rex right now is actually using baybay in their first game, although they used Empt2y in play-ins. What do you think about having to prep against two junglers? Do you think it becomes a bit harder, or are picks kind of similar, so you don't think there's much of a change?
Well obviously, from my point of view, it would be easier if they played with one jungler, because it makes it easier to track pathing. Like they already played play-ins with the same guy, so if I could just exclusively look at those games, it would be easier to prep against and know what his mindset is and how he plays. But at the same time, I don't think it's going to make the biggest difference, because while it's important to prepare for the enemies, you also need to just do your own thing and prepare your own strats, right? I think you have to find some sort of middle ground. So I'm going to be more prepared against Empt2y because he has played more games, but at the same time, I don't think it's going to impact us negatively if they put it another guy.
We saw EU have a pretty good first day. Today, G2 dropped a game against Phong Vu. What did you think about that? Are you sharing strategies as all the EU teams? Do you talk to each other a lot, or do you still scrim each other, even though you're here in Korea?
Well I think EU teams help each other to an extent. There's obviously limits to how much you can share when it comes to scrims and all that, but sometimes—I think it's mainly the coaches sharing some strategies and talking about which champions they think are good and all that. I think most regions do that. But we still scrim against them once in a while. Not that much. Generally we know how both Vitality and G2 play because we've played against them so much during the past two years, so we try to scrim teams from other regions whenever we can. But yeah, we try to help each other a bit, not too much, but sharing some insight on different picks and stuff.
And finally, how do you rate your chances in this group, and also G2 and Vitality's chances?
For ourselves. I think we should have a really, really high chance of getting out of groups. To put a number, I would probably put it around 90-95 percent, because I think things would have to go really south for us to start dropping games to–well I guess G-Rex and 100Thieves specifically. Against IG, it's hard to say who's going to be the better team, right? But I think we're in a pretty good spot getting out of groups. When it comes to Vitality and G2, I feel like it's so hard to say, because yesterday G2 played really well against Afreeca and won the game, then today they lose to Buffalo. So it just seems like anything can happen really. I feel the same way about Vitality. They did beat Gen.G in a pretty strong fashion, they played really well, but at the same time I'm not really sure if they can actually manage to do it again. It's so hard to say. So I would probably put our chances at 90-95 percent, and for G2 and Vitality, maybe around 40 or so.
The interview above has been edited for clarity
Images via Lolesports Flickr