After dropping the first match to Invictus Gaming in the first round robin, Fnatic turned it around by beating the chinese second seed to force a tie breaker and beat them a second time. We talked to Fnatic's Coach Dylan Falco about the matches against iG, the quarterfinals draw and also Cloud9 and G2's chances
Renato (Shakarez): First off congratulations on first seed, IG three games, three very bloody games. Talk to me about facing them.
Dylan Falco: We knew going in that IG was a very uncontrolled team, with a few really really good players. I think individually they have some of the best players in the tournament, but they don't know how to play as a team too well. So we focused a lot of our preparation on neutralizing early game and in our early pathing and how to play the first three to four minutes, at least for the second week. I think you can see both games, like first five minutes, we do not lose a game in five minutes, and we feel that if we don't lose in five minutes, we will win.
Do you think that was the issue in the first match first week - that you lost control of the game very fast?
I think by minute 4 we were double killed bot, mid wasted TP, top wasted TP, they got first blood and...Oh and they got two scuttles and three of our buffs, all in four minutes. So yeah... we just didn't want it to happen again.
Talk to me a bit about the decision to play Bwipo today, did you think he matched up better to what iG would throw at you?
I think that choosing who to play today was a really difficult decision. Both of our top laners are playing and performing extremely well. I think we just felt that stylistically versus iG, Bwipo is the better fit. We figured that we weren't going to win through bot pressure, so we wanted just a more aggressive approach to the top side of the map.
Second game you had red side, the expectation for a lot of analysts was "Okay, this is it. This is when Fnatic wins and gets the tiebreaker because they get to have caps on the counterpick" but that didn't happen you guys picked your solo lanes pretty early.
Urgot, Aatrox yeah.
Exactly. Talk to me about that decision, because it seemed like you had two losing solo lanes so it more about weathering the storm. Was that worrying knowing what happened in the first match?
We just feel that there are certain champions in the game, like five or six of them, that are just too OP. And if we can make a trade where we get two of them like this it's worth it even if it sacrifices our early game. So again that's why our plan is just to pick OP champions and get through the early game with good pathing and good early decision making. We just think Urgot + Aatrox is too strong so we just pick it. It's really binary thinking.
I wanted to ask you about the decision to put Rekkles on Ezreal, not a champ he plays a lot. But I sense that it has to do a lot with playing through the top lane.
Yeah. It's just we're playing against a team that plays a million assassins and diving champions like Irelia and LeBlanc. Look at this last game, he's playing against Irelia, LeBlanc, AP Gragas. We don't need a hyper carry for this game. We know they're going to go and try to kill him. We just need a safe pick and they don't have tanks so they're not building armor. So Ezreal's weaknesses don't apply in this scenario, that's why we went with it.
Now moving on from the game to this draw, give me your thoughts on the draw: Dodging KT and RNG until finals if you make it that far. What are your thoughts on that?
This is the dream draw for us and the dream draw for the West in general this is probably the absolute best situation that could have happened for us. I think there is a realistic chance of an EU vs NA semifinals, which is ridiculous. I can't believe it.
You talked about a possible EU vs NA semi final. How do you rate Cloud9's chances against Afreeca.
I think C9 is absolutely capable of beating Afreeca in Best of 5 but I think there are probably slight underdogs.
You're going up against EDG. What do you think about them overall as a second seed, do you think you possibly got the hardest second seed and in turn you have a better path if you get through them. What do you think about facing them?
I think EDG's bot lane is really good and that will definitely be a strength for them but I think both individually and as a team, we are stronger. I don't think they have any particular edge over us or anything, so I just think we're favorites. I haven't looked into them too much right because I just found out 20 minutes ago so...
Lastly any words for G2. They got a bit of the short end of the stick if you will.
I'm sorry G2, but this is our year, this is our tournament. But maybe, if they stick to their guns I actually think it's stylistically a good matchup. In my opinion, RNG is probably the best matchup for G2 of the top 2 teams in the world, because they can play to their mid-top strengths. Their big strength is their solo laners on these these split pushing, 1-3-1 champions and that's actually not RNG's playstyle you know? The want to play for bot lane and they want tanks top and tanks mid. So I think stylistically it's a good match up but it is a bit of an unlucky draw.
The interview above has been edited for clarity
Images via Lolesports Flickr