It’s a journey back to form for the Copenhagen Flames players as they look to prove critics wrong.
Copenhagen Flames was one of the most promising teams going into the last CSGO Major. They had a strong performance at IEM Fall and all eyes were on this new upcoming Danish roster at the Major. And they did not disappoint. Going 3-0 in the New Challengers Stage, it was a new achievement for many of the players. Led by Hooxie, the team was one of the most promising squads in Europe.
But things have gone downhill for the squad ever since. As we head into yet another LAN event, the team's first since Sweden, we spoke to the Copenhagen Flames players about their recent results and coaching changes.
Hooxie: "We got a little bit burnt out after the Major. Maybe the games we played after didn't feel as important"
Jabbi and nibcoodoz of Copenhagen Flames. Image Credit: CPHF.
You have recently faced some unfortunate losses on LAN to various teams. How has been the team's confidence going into such a big arena event such as IEM Katowice?
Roej: Our confidence is a bit lower than it used to be, back at the Major at least. I still think it's a completely different environment and we can feel the LAN vibes a little bit again. I think it will be a bit easier than I thought, to get away from the bad tendency we had before. We didn't have the best performance before.
We just want to reset and do our best and hopefully we can continue with what we did back at the Major and play our best on LAN.
You guys have not had very good result since after the Major. What was the reason do you think for the downfall you guys faced after the Major?
Hooxi: I think it's a mix of a lot of things, both small and big. The first thing was we were not experienced in going to such big events where it ran for so many days.
So we kind of forgot to take a break when we got home. We got a little bit burnt out and maybe the games we played after didn't feel as important. We didn't handle that in the best way we could.
From there on out, I feel it was a snowball effect since we lost a few games that maybe we shouldn't. Our confidence fell a little bit. There was a lot of snowball effect in stuff like this, both good and bad.
Q: Katowice is another big event for you. The Major also started with BO1 games and you guys had quite a few upsets. Do you feel this tournament is another chance for you to show up and remind everyone that you are a good team.
Roej: Definitely. I think we are all really excited to play this event close to the level of the Major. It's going to be great to play on LAN again and we definitely expect to make a few upsets.
Copenhagen Flames looking to add more coaching staff
Hooxie and nicoodoz during IEM Katowice 2022 Media Day. Image Credit: Copenhagen Flames Twitter.
You guys have finally completed your coaching stuff with Daniel "vorborg" Vorborg and Magnus "Frøslev" Frøslev stepping in as the coaches. Do you think that helps you out in your preparation quite a bit or is it a similar structure to what it was before?
Hooxi: First of all, it's not completed yet. We are still looking to get even more coaching staff around the team. But yes, it definitely helps the more help we get.
Pita is no longer the head coach and Vorborg has taken over that role. How has his relationship with you guys been? Is he more of a mental head coach or is he involved in the actual strategy?
Roej: I think he is trying to shift his role into a more strategy-based one and he is trying to learn. He is trying to get good at some of the things that a head coach has to do. I think it's a process of course.
Vorborg really doesn't have the in-game experience or Counter-Strike experience that Pita has so we are missing something there. But he is still helping with anti-strat and all these kinds of things.
He has helped a lot in terms of mental aspects when we are playing and practicing. He also helps in terms of the schedule. I think he is slowly trying to learn how to become more impactful in terms of in-game stuff and Counter-Strike stuff. He feels that he has a bigger responsibility now that he is the head coach. But I think it's a process. Of course we are missing some things that Pita has, which was all this LAN experience and experience of being at the top level. But we are working around it.
"At some point, we had to talk about the acquisition rumors and it took away the team's focus"
After two months of negotiating with several parties, the players decided to stick together for 2022. Vorborg stepped up as the team's head coach. Source: Copenhagen Flames twitter
Some critics will call your unprecedented run in October/November at the Major and IEM Fall a fluke. How would you and the team prove them wrong this year?
Hooxi: I think the only way we can prove them wrong is by doing the same thing we did at the Major, on the server. I think we have tried to go into this tournament in a different way when it comes to practice. At the Major we had a few maps where we felt we were really confident on. And now we tried to have more maps so that we do better in a best of three, because in this tournament it's more about BO3s.
Do you feel it has affected the team and your result playing under these transfer and acquisition rumors following the Major?
Hooxi: Without saying too much, the answer is yes. Especially right after the Major, and as you can see in the documentary, I was against discussing things like that during the tournament, even though we did discuss a little bit.
The main reasoning for that is that I feel it takes away focus. Obviously, at some point we had to talk about it and at that point it took away focus. I definitely feel it had an influence.
Speaking of the documentary, Jabbi said he did not want to move if he were to go to a different organization. Is that still the case, or is it a case of waiting for the right offer?
Jabbi: None of us really wanted to move for another organization. It's a big move and Copenhagen Flames is also a very good organization, so I wouldn't move to another country, just to earn more money.
Hooxie: "We should never lose to a top 20 team. I feel like we are smarter than that"
Q: If you look at yourself as a team in this CSGO spectrum. Where would you put yourself? Is it fair that you are ranked in the top 20 or do you see yourself in the top 10?
Hooxie: I think we see ourselves as a top 10 team. I think we see ourselves as a team that should never lose to a top 20 team. I feel like we are smarter than that. It just feels like we have lost the 2% that wins us the rounds. If we need to be able to keep going and stay a top 10 team, we need to get that 2% back and play as we normally do.
Q: The last time you were at Katowice was in 2020 right before the whole world went online. You had a few tough losses there. Is this event a chance for redemption there?
Roej: It was a bit different then. we were in the main event right away, and now we are starting in the play-ins. But it feels good to be back and it would be awesome to win some games this time around.
Last time wasn't a good experience, the level really very high and we didn't perform at at all. I really hope I can perform well this time around as I definitely remember this LAN as being a really bad event for me personally. So I hope I can redeem myself a little bit.
Your first match in the play-ins is against Fnatic. What are your thoughts going into that match?
Jabbi: I think it's a pretty good matchup for us. We are around the same level on LAN, I would say. They had a good period last season. I don't think they played too much on LAN with the team they had. It's a good first match for us.
Copenhagen Flames kick off their IEM Katowice campaign with a BO1 match against Fnatic at 11 am CET. IEM Katowice playoffs will take place on LAN with a live audience, bringing the energy and passion of thousands of fans back to the Spodek Arena.