Losing a match as important as the EU LCS grand final is tough, which is why we're thankful to G2 Esports AD Carry Petter "Hjarnan" Freyschuss for sitting down with us following his team's 0:3 loss to Fnatic this Sunday. Hjarnan talks about dealing with Twitter trolls and why he didn't look that rad to the layman's eyes at the start of the split.
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Sadly, this [final] wasn't the best of circumstances for G2, and you said you had some mixed feeling regarding the whole thing. Can you elaborate?
It's fun and all to play in front of this amazing crowd. It was a really amazing experience. But also, in at least two of the three games we played, we had a really good early game which we could actually snowball a bit more with and pretty much take home two games. I feel we could've won the first and third games for sure. We just made some misplays and didn't play to our standards.
So that was bad, but it was still a great experience to play in Copenhagen.
Despite not necessarily winning, to me at least you seem to have made a huge step up during the playoffs.
It's more about how before we played a style where we were heavily playing around mid and top and we tried to mix it up, be more versatile, play a little bit more around bot as well. Of course, when you do that, it's a lot easier for me to play the game as well. That's why, I think, in the regular season it looked like I was playing really bad — which I was to some degree in some of the games — but we got better and as a team gets better, it gets a lot easier to play the ADC role as a whole.
I feel we could've won the first and third games for sure.
People on Twitter were not necessarily rating you highly, even though the context was there, like, "Hey, these guys are playing around top and mid." Even then, you'd see people throw the weirdest comments and I noticed that you and Wadid would just press "Like" on that. What can you tell me about that?
There's not a lot to say about it. Some people obviously wanted G2 to fail, because they have a great legacy, always winning, and they wanted someone else to win. So when they see someone doing poorly, even though they maybe don't know the context of why that's happening, they're still out to destroy you.
For me, personally, it's fine when I see these comments. Sometimes, I just "Like" them because some are really fun and even give me a laugh sometimes because they have no clue what they are talking about. But mainly, it's hard to argue with someone who doesn't know the whole situation. I can't just go into a Twitter argument with someone. It's just weird.
So you're not using that as extra motivation? Just having fun with it?
For me, if someone would say I'm doing something wrong on Twitter, [chuckles] I'd most likely look at it and see if he has a point. But if it's complete bullshit, of course I wouldn't listen to it. Now, if my teammates would repeat the same thing, I'd consider looking into it and improving. You would listen to a teammate rather than a random person on Twitter, even if they are saying the same thing, right? It's the same for me. I wouldn't listen to someone who's not on my team and doesn't know the communication.
Has that even happened before, when someone actually gave you good feedback, even when they were not on the team?
The only time it happened was from a caster who pointed out something. But it's not often that they are correct, they're often wrong as well. If you listen to what they are saying, sometimes they are really far off in what they're saying and they're talking bullshit a lot of the times. But I get it — you're live and you have to say something. They have to make something entertaining, even if what they're saying doesn't make sense.
If I was a fan who wanted someone to lose or do poorly, I wouldn't look deep into it. I'd go, "Hey, you suck at this game." That's just how it works on social media. You can say anything you want to anyone you want how you want it.
You stepped up to a second place finish in your first season with G2. Sure, it wasn't a victory, but if you had to take away some positives from it, what would they be?
The whole split was a bit of a roller-coaster. We had a really hard time early in the season to actually come together as a team. We did manage to come together right now, but we're still not at the same level as Fnatic are, obviously. Today, we were a lot worse. We had some chances in the early game where we could snowball the games, but when it came down to it, we were a little bit stressed. But yeah, I think we grew as a team, and if we keep improving, we can surely beat Fnatic.
I am not sure what the main thing is right now, but I feel we came together more as a team this season.
As a team gets better, it gets a lot easier to play the ADC role as a whole.
As far as today's series, I felt that maybe the wrench that Fnatic threw into the draft was the Ardent Censer Karma and all of a sudden you guys had to deny it. And that threw your own plans into turmoil. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but can you elaborate on that?
We've faced her in scrims and have played her off stream so we were not unprepared. It was more about us going for both hyper carries. We went Jinx and Tahm Kench in the first game and they went for Tristana and Braum, which means the one who has an extra buffer in the game — say Karma mid or if they had a Janna — their auto-attacks late game would be stronger and easier with more shields, more speed... In the first game, we got a little bit thrown off, but I still think that if we snowballed that game hard enough, had a Nashor and played it normally — I was up a whole item on Rekkles between minutes 20 and 30, I think — that would be the game that we surely could've won.
So I don't think the Karma was super good or anything, we just played wrong into her. We just gave them too good of a draft. I don't know, actually, we just played bad. We could've won against the Karma. We could've played it ourselves, but we had a strat prepared if they picked her.
One thing that happened this split, and it's kind of bittersweet, is that you had to eliminate your former bot lane duo.
You mean Splyce? Yeah, that series was interesting. We practiced a lot of Jhin that week, like 20 out of 25 games, so we were very confident playing Jhin and Tahm Kench. We knew that week that if we got them, we'd win for sure and we just kept on getting them every game. It was our comfort pick, so the whole team knew how to play with this combo, how to play the lanes, what we should do as a team. It's a really strong combo in general when they don't play a lot of tanks.
But I didn't think better about the win, it was just another win. I am friends with the org but it was a normal win for me.
Business as usual.
Yes, you can say that.
I mean, it has been "business as usual" for you for a while actually.
Yeah, I never was one to have a lot of beef with players or having a drama with them. I prefer to focus on myself and if I do well, I'd be happy. Today, for example, I don't think I did that bad, so I'm not super down and sad. I want to improve and get better so I can also help my teammates.
More EU LCS playoffs interviews
— Quickshot: "The EU LCS has found a voice this year that's definitely more unique."
— Ocelote: "Just winning will not get you a consistent brand that people love to love or love to hate."
— YoungBuck: "There's a lot of uncertainty on whether sOAZ can be ready [for MSI]."
— Broxah: "[It’s important] to have good values, so that I don't feel bad about someone looking up to me."
— YoungBuck: "I wanted to teach the team how to win games without having to fight."
— Kobbe: "This will be the best iteration of Splyce."
— Mac: "I really think G2 are beatable if we play up to our full potential."
— Jiizuke: "All I've dreamed about is being at the center of a big stadium."