Skiter talks about why and how Team Falcons are using all chat to affect opponents.

Team Falcons won their third major title this year at the ESL One Birmingham. This team is not only known for their excellent skills, but also for trolling their opponents during matches.

After defeating BetBoom Team in the Grand Final with a score of 3-0, carry player Oliver "skiter" Lepko talked with esports.gg about the team's run in the lower bracket, the mental strategy involved with all chat, the most impressive moment for him, and future plans.

Falcons won ESL One Birmingham (Image via ESL FACEIT Group and Luc Bouchon)
Falcons won ESL One Birmingham (Image via ESL FACEIT Group and Luc Bouchon)

Team Falcons' lower bracket run

Esports.gg: Hi, skiter. Congratulations! How do you feel beating BetBoom 3-0 again in the Grand Final?

Skiter: It feels really good because it was a lower bracket run. Usually, in the tournaments I've won or my teams have won — we've just swept through the upper bracket. It wasn't really that difficult. But for this tournament, we were originally supposed to play with SumaiL because Malr1ne had difficulty getting his visa.

And then after the first day of this event, we were told that he finally got his visa so he was coming, so we switched our midlaner after the tournament had already started. We had zero practice with him. We lost the first round of the upper bracket, so we had to struggle our way through the lower bracket. There are too many games and variables so you don't really expect to win, but we managed to go through all the way and win it.

You mentioned in a podcast before that it might make it hard for you to sleep. So how did you feel when you went into the lower bracket?

Skiter: I'm not really scared to lose or stressed out before the actual games. If I have bave sleep, it's usually after I lose. Throughout the tournament, we tried to tell ourselves that given the circumstances of all the practices, we should have no expectations because our midlaner came in at the last minute. It would be fine for any results.

So you made it through the whole lower bracket and went 3-0 in the finals. How is the progress going?

Skiter: You could say that the lower bracket games were our scrims, which helped us improve and adapt to the teams we played. I'd like to point out that I'm very proud of my team that we managed to adapt to each opponent and beat them.

Which team do you think is the most difficult?

Skiter: Probably Team Liquid. But there are a bunch of teams that we didn't get a chance to play because they were eliminated.

Of course it is our mental strategy to all chat. I'm all chatting and it doesn't matter what you're all chatting about because I don't even know about it. It doesn't affect me.

Skiter talks about how he thinks about all chatting

Falcons' mental strategy to all chat

In the finals, there was a time when TORONTOTOKYO asked if he was muted.

Skiter: I have this tradition before official games or scrims that I mute my opponents. I have no idea what he actually wrote. What I wrote is like a meme about their carry that his signature move is to BKB TP out.

TORONTOTOKYO replied that you typed something, but muted everyone, so brave. He knows that.

Skiter: Yeah, he's basically yelling at the wall.

ATF, skiter, and TORONTOTOKYO all chatted in the Birmingham finals (Image via Twitch)
ATF, skiter, and TORONTOTOKYO all chatted in the Birmingham finals (Image via Twitch)

Is it your mental strategy to all chat?

Skiter: Of course it is our mental strategy to all chat. I'm all chatting and it doesn't matter what you're all chatting about because I don't even know about it. It doesn't affect me.

Did you see any of your teammates' chat?

Skiter: I'm so used to it now that I just filter it out. Usually, the stuff they all chat doesn't mean anything. They just type a smiling face or XD.

After matches, will you check chat histories when people are talking about it?

Skiter: Maybe. I think it's very fun. This year, I'm trying something new because I was mostly focusing on the gameplay and didn't really give much focus on all chat. But in this team, I am kind of inspired by [ATF] or Malr1ne because they're known for it. So I thought I might dip my toes into it and give it a try. It has given me mixed results so far. Sometimes, after the all chat, I ask myself, "Why did I do that?" I didn't have to make it that bad. But at the same time, I know the viewers enjoy the show.

When do you think it's not a good idea to all chat?

Skiter: When our opponents write "GG," which means the game is over. I feel that there is a boundary that should not be crossed at that point. Sometimes my teammates do it. I always tell them they should not do this. Because when you are all chatting, you are trying to get into your opponent's head, trying to make them lose, or make them lose focus a little bit. But when the game is over, there is no point in doing that. Only malicious intent is left. It doesn't make sense to me. It just makes other people feel bad.

About the tournament schedule for this year

What are your plans after this tournament?

Skiter: We are going to relax for a few days. Then, we have to fly to Romania for the PGL tournament. But we will probably play with a stand-in because Malr1ne has visa problems again. We have not even found our replacement yet. It will all be done at the last minute.

The tournament schedule is packed this year. How do you deal with that?

Skiter: I think it's fine because I love playing tournaments, especially when there's a big prize pool. I'm enjoying it, we're winning it all. What should I say? "Oh, I'm so tired of it. (Laughs)."

What do you think is the best thing about this tournament?

Skiter: The crowd here is so good. This is my first time playing in front of the British — the Birmingham crowd. It is also the very first time that the crowd is really cheering for me and my team. I really enjoy the falcon imitations because it's usually "Let's go Liquid! "Let's go OG!" So when people started doing the "kak kak" thing in the finals, that time I felt, "Holy! They were actually supporting us."

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