FPX spoke with the media after qualifying for the playoffs. FPX spoke on reinserting Suygetsu into the line-up and their overall strength.
FunPlus Phoenix has weathered the storm in VCT Masters Copenhagen groups. FPX qualifies for the playoff stage with a 2-0 win over Japan’s NORTHEPTION, allowing for Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin to rejoin the team after dealing with VISA related issues.
FPX on Suygetsu returning for playoffs
The goal for FPX wasn’t to show their best form in the group stages but to simply survive without a key element of their roster. Mathias “SEIDER” Seider as a stand-in did his part in the Suygetsu role and the talented and deep FPX roster managed to make it into the playoffs despite the crutch.
Regardless, FPX head coach Erik “d00mbr0s” Sandgrenstill stated there’s still no guarantee Sugetsu will arrive for their first playoff series against Fnatic. Due to the nature of VISA issues, Seider will remain ready to step in if he’s unable to play.
“It’s still very uncertain. I can’t really answer on details,” said FPX d00mbr0s. “All I can say is we’re trying to get him here as fast as we can and obviously we would like to play with him as fast as we can.
“Even though Seider is a great player, nothing against him, I think Suygetsu deserves to play as much as possible as well on the stage and get to enjoy what we get to enjoy. We’re just working hard on getting him here and we hope it can be in time.”
FPX ardiis on the individual and team strength
As for the games, FPX played three unfamiliar regions in their run to the playoffs. The win over Singapore’s XERXIA was a strong showing but opened up FPX’s eyes to regions they were underestimating.
“I think we can win easily,” said FPX ardiis. “I think individually we’re the best team, especially with Suygetsu in. Everyone on our team is in the top five. In Europe, maybe the top three in each position. Shao is one of the best Initiators. ANGE1 is one of the best IGLs. I’m up there with one of the best Op’ers.
“You’ve got Zyppan one of the best Raze’s and everyone in position by position by position is the best in their role and I think we individually are a lot better than a lot of teams here. So yeah, I think we can win it.”
Moreover, FPX showed individual and team strength during the groups. The gruff-spoken Welsh Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks is proving to the world that he can perform on LAN and that they’re not afraid one anyone. Even against NORTHEPTION, who constantly pushed aggressive angles, the team was composed enough to deal with the barrage of anti-strats.
Masters Copenhagen as a learning experience
For a team sitting in the playoffs of a Masters event, they view these games as all upside moving closer to Champions. Remember, FPX missed out on a swath of experience by being unable to travel to Masters Rejyavik. For IGL Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow, the pressure is off and this is an opportunity to improve.
“We are capable of winning it all. It all depends on who we play, how our styles match up, who we play, etc. It’s not do-or-die for us at this tournament. It’s like we’re winning or not. We’re just here to get the experience and a lot of players didn’t experience the big LANs before so every match we play is like a present for us.”FPX ANGE1
ANGE1 sounds grateful for this opportunity regardless of the result. After experiencing first-hand what’s it like to watch a Masters event they qualified for from the side lines, he is relishing this moment.
Heading into playoffs, FPX is starting with a strong frame of mind. The confidence is oozing off them after sending a majority of the APAC region home.
FPX ANGE1 on facing Fnatic for the fourth time in two months
The last step is overcoming a number of EMEA region teams who they’ve had varying success against in the past. The first massive hurdle starts with one of the overwhelming tournament favorites in Fnatic. FPX finished 0-3 against Fnatic in Challengers Stage 2 (7-2 in map total).
“To be honest, I’d like to play someone else because like you told, we’re playing Fnatic basically weekly. We’ve played them three times. It is what it is. We’ll see how it’s going to change on LAN. What is LAN going to change? Because no one knows,” said FPX ANGE1.
“Fnatic didn’t play on stage like we did before, but we basically played different styles than we played with Suygetsu and we’ll also have to adapt with Suygetsu coming back. Every day we’re doing some job to adapt to the circumstances we have so we’ll see I’m looking forward to it.”
FPX will face Fnatic in the first round of the playoffs starting at 11amPST on Thursday July 14th.