Faenex: "Don`t go around blaming your teammates"

News / 2 August 2018 — 09:59

Post-Paladins Summer Finals interview

eu NAVI.GG.BET Paladins have recently secured their ! We caught up with nl Kai "Faenex" van Duppen to talk about the team's preparation for the Paladins Summer Finals, the competition among the regions, the current meta and a lot more. 

— First, let's talk about the game against eu Fnatic in PPL Finals. What went wrong?

Playing against Fnatic is always hard since we scrim them a lot. They know us very well which makes it harder to surprise them with any of our picks. Also, the first day of LAN takes time get used to and sometimes it takes longer for us to get comfortable on stage.

— You were bootcamping for quite a while before the tournament, did you have any kind of a practice regimen? What was your schedule like?

— We practiced hard at bootcamp to perfect our communication and drafting. We came up with strategies and practiced those in order to perform these strategies on a high level. Certain strategies required more practice then others but we set up our schedule so we could practice each one very well.

— Besides practicing, what other activities did it feature? Do you spend your free time together?

— Just chilling together whether it’s playing table tennis or going out to the lake. Maybe even play some other games together to relax, it’s just nice to be together and have fun with each other.

Did you get to see Kyiv?

— In one of our previous bootcamps, we got to see a bit of Kyiv and it is a really nice city to walk through. We of course didn’t get to see a lot but what we did get to see was beautiful to see.

— In many other esports titles, players are used to playing scrims. Do Paladins players do that?

— Yes, in Paladins scrims are your main form of practice. The “casuals” and “ranked” queues aren’t always filled with the best players so in order to get your best practice you have to play a lot of scrims. This is what we do. Playing together against other teams helps you build up your teamwork fast and come up with new strategies.

— Which teams do you usually face in practice matches? Do you get to play only professional lineups or amateur players, too?

— Recently we've been playing a lot of scrims against eu Fnatic, they’re the best competition in the region for now and they give us the best practice. We try to find a balance between professional teams and amateur teams and scrim both of them. Sometimes amateur teams give you another look on certain situations or even a new strategy.

— Do you practice against the teams from other regions? Is it important to practice against the teams you don't play face during the regular season?

— We don’t scrim teams from other regions because a lot of the champions in Paladins are very reliant on your ping. Going to another server far away would be hard to perform at our best and therefore make it hard to know whether our composition was good or not. Sometimes you have to practice against teams you face in the regular season and what you can do is try to hide certain strategies or just practice your hardest against them and try to outperform them when it’s a tournament day.

— How often do you have team practices? Do you prefer honing your individual skills or practicing with teammates? Why?

— Team practices vary between 6-9 hours a day. Sometimes even more. I prefer honing our teamwork so our team practice is more important for me, but individual skills are very important as well so outside of our scrims I still play a lot of games just to improve my individual skill. 

— , which was very successful for you guys, has come to an end. Did the organizers do a good job?

— The tournament felt really smooth and it’s always good to go to LAN. Hi-rez and Skillshot took good care of us and there weren’t many complaints. It’s always a pleasure to be there in Alpharetta.

— It was our first time playing on LAN with a new lineup. Do you think dk Laizy has brought something new to the team, its approach to practice and official matches?

dk Laizy coming into the team gave us another vocal perspective on the team. Through him, we get another opinion and another voice which helps us work out how to adjust things midgame to beat our opponent. It’s good to have someone like Laizy as your Tank. It's a very important role.

— Who was most uncomfortable to play against? Did you expect it to be so?

— Every opponent is hard, those are the best teams of every region and every team plays differently. It’s hard to adjust on the spot to all the different playstyles. Every team was hard to play against for different reasons. eu Fnatic because we play them a lot and they know us very well, us Envy because of their raw skill and their drafts, ar Burrito because of their phenomenal teamwork. They all have something that makes it hard to play against, but we ended up beating them all to combine our own strengths and beat them with our own skill and teamwork.

— Many people viewed Fnatic as clear favorites, but they suffered an upset loss against Burrito. Do you think Fnatic underestimated their opponents?

— I’m not sure whether Fnatic underestimated their opponents, it looked like a close match-up but it seemed like Fnatic was running into issues on how to adapt to the playstyle of Burrito. I think it came down to Fnatic not being able to adjust their own gameplay midgame that caused them to struggle against Burrito.

— Esports history has seen many one-tournament teams, do you think Burrito are one of those, or they do have potential?

— Burrito did well at the last World Championship under the name of Nocturns Gaming and i’m sure they will continue to improve. Burrito is a real contender and have a lot of potential to keep growing and become stronger.

— In many disciplines, there's competition not only among the teams but also among the regions. Is there something like this in Paladins?

— There’s always the pride of your own region, in Paladins especially there is a competition between NA and EU. These are the 2 most dominant regions in Paladins. EU has been dominating the Paladins scene for a long time until last summer where NA finally won their first LAN event. After that, it was Vegas where a NA team won last, every other international event in the history in Paladins went to EU. That’s why there is a lot of competition between NA and EU.

— The competitive scene of Paladins doesn't get a lot of tournaments. What should Hi-Rez Studios do to increase the interest in the game?

— I think Paladins should have more LAN tournaments and even have them on different places for example a tournament in Europe. It’s hard for European fans to come to any of the events since they’re almost all in North America. Promoting the game with a lot of tournaments will build a lot of interest for other players because they will want to be competing on that stage themselves.

— Hi-Rez have recently introduced their new Battle Royale game Realm Royale. Have you tried it? Do you think it has a competitive future? Would you consider playing it professionally?

— Yes, I’ve tried Realm Royale and it’s a fun game. I haven’t been playing it as much recently since I’ve been focusing on Paladins. I personally think the game has a competitive future if they keep going in the right direction. I can recommend it to all the Battle Royale fans out there. Most likely, I wouldn't consider playing it professionally (laughs). I prefer to stay with eu NAVI as a Paladins player. If anything goes wrong, I’m not sure what I would do, maybe there could be a chance I’ll become a Realm Royale player.

— Tell us a little about the current meta, what heroes are considered the strongest picks?

— Meta is always hard to explain because it keeps changing with every patch and with every strategy a team makes. For the champions that are strong in the current meta you want to be looking at Khan or Makoa for the Tanks. Drogoz, Cassie, Lian, Willo as your main Damages. Koga who has been released recently is a lot of fun to play as a Flank and has a lot of potential. Furia is still a very strong support as seen in the Paladins Summer Finals.

— Are there any OP heroes that need to be nerfed or the game balance is good?

— Considering the number of champions I think the game is very well balanced, but some champions could still need a nerf. Champions like Khan, Drogoz, Willo, Cassie. I can see those champions being nerfed in order to balance the game a little bit better.

— Please name three champions you think are the strongest for pubs. Why do you think so?

Cassie, because of her raw burst damage, mobility and poke. She has almost everything you need in a Damage Carry and she is really good to carry a game with.
Khan/Makoa, being good at either of these Tanks will allow you to almost carry a game yourself as a Tank.
Koga, this new champion that has been released recently has a really high skill cap and practicing this champion a lot will help you carry pubs on your own.

— Last, but not least: what's your advice to young players who want to succeed in Paladins?

— Always look at your own performance. Don’t go around blaming your teammates, look at what you can do better and try to improve it. You have to be willing to put in the time if you want to succeed! When something rough happens during your path to pro don’t give up but overcome it, everyone hits something rough but the ones that fight through will make it to the top. Always learn from mistakes and don’t be afraid to accept that you make mistakes, but improve on them so they won’t happen again.

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