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With five consecutive wins now under our belt, the team is setting up for their sixth as they prepare for IEM Katowice 2016, starting on the 2nd of March. This year’s IEM Katowice is somewhat different from its predecessors, with ESL not having the support of Valve for this event. The tournament will still support a hefty $250,000 prize, plus they will turn to crowdfunding which hopefully will shine over it not being a Major but still retaining its prestige. Today we discuss the benefits and disadvantage of the format used at ESL Barcelona Invitational 2016 with Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer, as well as the idea of having alliances, the new prizepool for Majors, being placed as #1 in the global ranking, IEM Katowice, and more!

Congratulations on your win at ESL Barcelona Invitational 2016! Looking back at the event, did it turn out the way you expected it to?

I have to say that things didn't feel that great after the opening match we lost. But we raised our level of play by each map that went by and in the end we played really well, making us victorious once again.

Since the format is ideal for upsets from underdogs, did any particular team surprise you or stand out?

No, not really. We know that both G2 and dignitas are in great form and they played well throughout the event.

Speaking of the format, how do you personally feel about playing tournaments of this structure again in the future?

Having to spend the whole day at the event like you have to, not knowing when to play and against which opponent is really frustrating. I don't see this format as something to strive for in the future.

Like IEM gamescom, there were alliances made at both tournaments that included this format, what do you think about the idea of alliances being used at tournaments? Does it stir a new type of strategic planning?

We entered the tournament with no intention to make alliances with anyone, but the Danes made a clear statement already from the second match that they would give themselves "easy" matchups and put us and EnVyUs against each other till one team went out. We simply had no other choice than to fight fire with fire.

A lot of people know about the drama from the betrayal of G2’s part in the alliance, but not about how G2 and EnVy entered the alliance to begin with. Could you tell us what led to the decision behind becoming allies with EnVy and G2, as well as what was your master plan in the alliance for the tournament before the surprise back stab?

As stated, we and EnVyUs were put in the spotlight from the beginning so we felt like sticking together for that reason. As the main plan was to get the Danes out as soon as possible we wanted as many teams as possible on board and so G2 joined in on a corner, and Vexed as well briefly.

You played very well at the event, winning moments that were just what the team needed, what motivated you to keep your performance going in order to help your team come back from a dire situation?

Me and my team’s motivation is always to win, we never settle for less.

As this is our first interview since 2015, I’d like to congratulate you on becoming the best player in the world on HLTV’s official ranking! How did it feel to hear about it for the first time? Will you strive for the same achievement in 2016?

It feels amazing, really. This is a feat of strength you've been longing for since the day you first started playing. Of course I will give my all to remain number one for as long as I can. I don’t feel in any way that I can chill down and rest now that I’ve claimed the title, I can still get better and evolve individually...and I will.

Moving on to Fnatic’s next big event, IEM Katowice 2016. You’ve won 5 consecutive events in a row since the arrival of Dennis, nothing seems to be stopping you as of this moment. Do you feel like there’s a gap between Fnatic and other teams currently?

I think we are the best team in the world but I wouldn't say that there's a big gap at all. There are still a lot of teams that can beat us if we don't show up 110% and everything does not click. We have to bring our A-game to Katowice, as well as have some luck, to pull a sixth event off in a row.

IEM Katowice is expected to have a large showing in terms of prizepool, top teams, and viewership regardless of not being a Valve Major. The name still holds a level of prestige the past few years, how’s your preparation coming into this event and does the event still hold a similar level of importance to you even though it’s not a Major this time around?

Our preparation has been as it always has been. Practice as much as we possibly can and play a lot individually.

There was a recent update that brought up a new refurbished Nuke, have you gotten a chance to try it yet and what do you think of the map now in comparison to the old one?

We have been looking at it very briefly. We always like new maps, but can't really say yet how good competitively the map is. But we are very positive for it and are looking forward to start practicing it as soon as tournaments announce its official return to top level play.

Valve just announced upping the prizepool to all Valve Majors, to $1,000,000! What was your initial reaction to the announcement? Do you believe it’s a major improvement or do you believe that there should have been more? Possibly crowdfunding?

When talking about a raise in prize pool for the majors we thought that maybe it's time to double it. We had no idea at all that it would be raised this much and it's great. Putting the Majors as the most prestigious once again for sure.

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