By Taras Bortnik
Special to VPEsports
Following Ninjas in Pyjamas elimination from ESL One Cologne, we sat down with Counter-Strike veteran Patrik “f0rest” Lindberg.
The legend opened up about the event, GeT-RiGhT’s future and how the media has presented it, young talent, and more.
VPEsports: The first question is about summarizing your results at this tournament. No one seemed to expect you to get to the top 6 at this event, but when I was talking to apEX, he said that NiP with a new roster always shows good results. Did you expect such a result from yourself?
f0rest: Yes. I think that making it to the playoffs was at least the goal we set for our team. I think that making it out of the groups was like the only thing we could think of. I knew we had the potential. I think we showed that during the games against Astralis as we pushed them to overtime.
We played some good Counter-Strike against Na’Vi, but we were a bit unfortunate with throwing smokes at the CT spawn on Inferno (laughs). Minor mistakes were made in the Na’Vi game, but I think overall we showed some great CS, considering the amount of time we had coming in. I would say it was not surprising that we made it to the Top 6.
VPEsports: But you had a hard time on your own map-pick, which was Mirage. What went wrong?
f0rest: I think we were in a good spot on the T side of Mirage. We were starting to make a good T side, but then it kind of slipped out of our hands. I think the calls we made were good, and Na’Vi stacked B against us twice with five people, which is something only Na’Vi do. I have never encountered a team that stacks B the same way they do.
On the CT side, they got the pistol and a few rounds, and once we got the weapons, we started to climb back into the game. We knew how they would set up the plays. There were a lot of just straight-forward tactics where they would just pick A and try to take duels. We made one mistake and it cost us the game. If we maybe had taken the pistol round as the CTs, I think we would have seen a different Mirage. But Na’Vi are a great team and with them you cannot take anything for granted. Yesterday, they were better. Not at every aspect, I would say, but individually, they were stronger and they were hitting their shots.
VPEsports: It’s the end of an era. You and GeT_RiGhT have spent a lot of time together. You still haven’t said farewell, but you will do that soon. How does it feel?
f0rest: I think it is a miscommunication with the media. If he is going to improve at these two tournaments, we will see what is the future for him. If everybody feels happy with how he plays, we will continue [playing together].
VPEsports: Do you feel that this big moment for GeT_RiGhT was a bit spoiled? It’s not like GeT_RiGhT is ending his career. It’s not even his last tournament with NiP. Yesterday’s moment was great, it was a great showing of respect and love of community, but it seems a bit too early for that. What are your thoughts?
f0rest: I think it’s too early. I even think that GeT_RiGhT feels the same.
VPEsports: Now, he is forced to feel this way.
f0rest: Yeah. He hasn’t said goodbye. As he said in his interviews as well, he doesn’t want to stop playing. He is not going to give up anytime soon. I don’t know what is happening, I think that the media has blown it up a bit out of proportion. As we stated before, he is going to play at the Major with NiP, and after that, we will see how it goes. I think everybody just feels very emotional with a thought of him leaving, and it’s got out of control.
VPEsports: You will soon step on the Major road with Golden in the roster. What do you think in general about this roster and about your future lineup? How do you expect the positions of players within the team to be changed?
f0rest: When Golden plays the Major with us, I think he is going to help us a bit with in-game leading. Maybe help Lekr0 out a bit, so they could lead and work together. I really don’t know what type of a player he is, but I heard that he is very helpful as a teammate, so I think he can set up a lot of plays for his teammates, and I think he will help everybody. I think it’s going to work out great. I don’t think we have to change that much as a team when he comes in.
VPEsports: Was he your only option or did you have others in mind?
f0rest: No, he was not the only option, but he was highly regarded.
VPEsports: Speaking about you playing with the new lineup – your new young player, plopski. How does it feel? Does his youth bring fresh emotions to the old guard?
f0rest: Of course. I think it helps to see a younger generation finally coming in. It helps me! It motivates me in some sense. I learn a lot from these young guys. I learn a lot from REZ, I know I am going to learn a lot from plopski. I think it’s just good to see a new generation coming into play here.
VPEsports: But plopski doesn’t even represent the generation that is next to you. It’s like a one step further. Don’t you feel like a dad to him?
f0rest: It feels weird. I won my first tournament when he was 2 years old. (laughs). It sometimes feels weird to talk about some memories when I was playing and he was like 2 years old. I was winning tournaments and he was not even walking! It’s weird, but I also think it’s very fun because you need to let a new generation come out. You need to help them out as well, so we can have some good Swedish players rise again.
VPEsports: Sometimes young players feel too shy in front of such legends as you. He grew up as a player with your example. Do you feel responsible for him?
f0rest: I think it might be a bit restricted when he joined the team, which is not weird that he does feel that way. I think it’s nice of him to show respect. Of course, I feel responsible as well because I feel that I can teach him. He is playing on a stage for the first time, and he is playing in front of the crowd here in Cologne, so it’s got to be a lot of pressure for 17-year-old as it’s his first big tournament. I’ve tried to help him out as much as I could. I’ve tried to say “when I was playing, I made this mistake. I’ve done this and that, don’t worry about it.”. It’s his first tournament! All we can do here is help him out as much as we can in every aspect of the game.
VPEsports: So are you satisfied with your current progress?
f0rest: I’m satisfied.
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