Team Falcons’ Cr1t- talks about adapting to a new team, performing at ESL One Kuala Lumpur and hopes for 2024.

Team Falcons is one of the up-and-coming Dota 2 rosters that has the chance to shake-up the competition in 2024. Already at ESL One Kuala Lumpur, Team Falcons set themselves as the team to beat.

Unfortunately, their road came to an unexpectedly short end despite having an outstanding first day. However, it does not take away from the prowess of this brand new team - that have only been playing together for three weeks. We had the opportunity to speak with Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen to talk about his experience on moving to a Team Falcons after seven long years being on the same team.

This interview took place on Dec. 16, 2023 after Team Falcon's elimination from ESL One Kuala Lumpur.

Cr1t- on adapting to a wholly new squad

You are now starting a new chapter with a completely new squad, Team Falcons. How do you feel about the team so far?

Cr1t-: "It feels good. It's nice to be in a different environment. It's something that I've wanted to try for a while. I think it's just nice to experience something else because I've been on the same team for so long. Getting into something that's completely different, with new players that come from a very distinct background is just fun. It's very challenging in some ways because I have to adapt as well myself and that's something I wanted to do. I wanted to challenge myself and try to be on the best team possible. And I think this is the time for us to prove ourselves."

You've been part of the Evil Geniuses and Shopify Rebellion squad for so long. And as you said, it can be challenging to adapt to a new environment. How has the transition been?

Cr1t-: "I think it's like a constant thing. I don't think it's ever going to stop. Even on Shopify or EG, we also had to adapt to new patches and new players. We still have some ways to go to become a team. I think we're getting there. This tournament was very good for us in terms of learning. And I think that's the biggest thing for us now. It's just making sure that we get the fundamentals right and then we can build from there. We've only played together for like three or four weeks, which is not much."

Cr1t talks about behind-the-scenes on the formulation of Team Falcons

We've seen ESL's meme documentary on how you guys formed Team Falcons during TI12. But how did it actually go down, really?

Cr1t-: "Well, it was pretty much just me and skiter talking about working together after TI at first. At the time, it was only me and Sneyking talking in person at TI. He knew he wanted Skitter and I knew I wanted to play with both. So, that was pretty easy to figure out. Then, they mentioned playing with the Malr1ne before and liked playing with him. They thought he was very talented and a good teammate. I didn't know much about him, so I kind of trusted them on that."

"And then Ammar was very sought after as a player. There's multiple teams that wanted him. So we talked to him for a while, made sure that he was comfortable with our team and then he ended up deciding to go with us. He also played with Malr1ne. So it just worked out as there's a lot of connections in this team."

Team Falcons started off super strong in the first day of ESL One Kuala Lumpur, but struggled later and were eventually eliminated. Do you think the sudden patch 7.35 drop had any effect?

Team Falcons results at ESL One Kuala Lumpur group stages (Image via <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">Liquipedia</a>)
Team Falcons results at ESL One Kuala Lumpur group stages (Image via Liquipedia)

Cr1t-: "No, I don't think you can ever really blame a patch. I mean they [Team Liquid] were in the same boat as us. We had our chances to win both game two and three. But when you play against a team of that caliber, and you don't take your chances, you're just going to lose, you know? So, I think it's a good lesson for us to understand that we can't give an inch to these teams because they will take it and it'll snowball against us. Yesterday just didn't go our way, and that's sometimes how it is. That's just life."

How do you envision your path to success in the upcoming year of 2024?

Cr1t-: "Well, it will depends a lot on the schedule. We only really know about the ESL tournaments. We don't know if there's gonna be other stuff outside of that. There probably will be others to some extent. Obviously, we want to qualify to Riyadh Masters and TI. We want to get further than we did here and have more games on stage. I think that's the goal for now. We will go to the next couple of events and try to get better results and just keep working toward making a better team."

Talking about the new Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

Team Falcons qualified for this tournament from the newly formed MENA region. Do you think this region will have traction to become a prominent Dota region?

Cr1t-: "I think it already is. We got top six in this tournament, which is pretty good for a new region. There won't be that many teams there just because it's new, so it's going to take some time. But there's us and then there's Quest as well. There will be a lot of battling between us and Quest and then we'll see if there's going to be a third contender."

And where are you guys going to be bootcamping from?

Cr1t-: "We will probably be bootcamping from Jordan. That's where we bootcamped last time."

Cr1t-'s advise for support players and words to his fans

Cr1t- top tier pos 4 supports of all time: Earth Spirit, Earth Shaker and Rubick
Cr1t- top tier pos 4 supports of all time: Earth Spirit, Earth Shaker and Rubick

As one of the best position four players, what is your advice to become a better support player?

Cr1t-: "Oh, I'd say just watch a lot of replays. Look at people that are doing better than you. Even myself, I watch other players that do better than me. I see if there's stuff they do that I don't know about, and that's the best thing you can do. And it's the same for every rank you are. Watch people who are better than you and try to study."

Please give us your top three hero recommendations for position four.

Cr1t-: "In general, I would say Earth Spirit, Earth Shaker and Rubick."

Finally, is there anything you'd like to say to all your fans out there?

Cr1t-: "Thanks to all the fans. We really appreciate the support always. And we feel it every time, especially here in the arena. It's really nice to see that we have a lot of support already, even though it's our first tournament."

Thank you for your time!

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