Dennis "dennis" Edman is a Swedish Counter-Strike veteran and has recently become the in-game leader for Fnatic's new roster in the wake of Aug. 15's Swedish Shuffle that saw Fnatic trade Jesper "JW" Wecksell, Robin "flusha" Ronnquist and Lars "KRiMZ" Freddy Johansson to GODSENT in exchange for Simon "twist" Eliasson and Jonas "Lekr0" Olofsson.
Fnatic have had a slow start to the season, having only competed in ESL Pro League, where they stand with an above par 10-6 record. They will make their somewhat late LAN debut at ESL One New York, the fifth premier of the season so far.
With less than a week before ESL One New York, dennis took the time to talk to theScore esports about his new role and the potential of the roster.
I’d like to go back and talk a little about Fnatic's previous roster. Back in February, Fnatic interviewed Viktor "vuggo" Jendeby, and he said that the team was "a group of 6 friends." How did that relationship change within the team back then, to the JW, flusha and KRIMZ eventually splitting off?
I think it was quite natural that when results started to go against us, we started to look for errors and flaws in each other that maybe weren't even there. But still, emotions rose and things went the way it went.
In an interview with Fragbite’s André "rich" Åkerblom, vuggo also said that flusha wanting to leave the team was a shock. Was it the same reaction for you?
[flusha] was probably the one that was most positive to get a gaming house for the team and was overall one of those who talked the most about the future in a good way, so it definitely came as a shocker for me as well.
In the aforementioned Fragbite interview with vuggo, he mentioned that flusha, KRiMZ and JW were more focused on having fun rather than seeing a competitive CS:GO career as a job or work. What are your feeling on this? Is that “CS:GO as work” mentality the one the team has now?
I am very grateful and happy to be able to play CS for a living but I do see it as a job. I realize the work you have to put in to remain at the top and I do understand that it's not just about playing when you feel like, but also doing the boring parts as well.
You and Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson were previously teammates with twist as part of LGB eSports and TEAMGLOBAL, but what were the other factors in how you guys rebuilt the Fnatic roster? Why did you guys decide on John "wenton" Eriksson and Lekr0?
Lekr0 has proven himself as a rising star on GODSENT and with the shuffle going as it did, it was a natural choice. We played with wenton for a short period before when olof was injured and he is a very smart and calm player, who is easy to play with and has great potential to show himself among the very best as well.
What about Jimmy "Jumpy" Berndtsson?
Jumpy is somewhat of a legend in Swedish CS, known to be a great IGL from 1.6 and his addition adds new creative ideas and thoughts on how to approach the game.
Going back to the previously mentioned interview with Fragbite and vuggo, he mentioned that the team’s setup was olof as the primary AWPer — you and twist as options for the AWP as well — wenton as the in-game leader and you and twist playing more of an entry fragging role. Is this the setup you guys are using right now? If not, what is your current setup and what’s your comfort level with that setup?
We have adjusted it a bit. The three of us still play a lot of AWP but it differs from map, side and day depending on who's in form. That makes us unpredictable and we always have an AWPer that's in form, rather than forcing a player to play it just because it's needed, as many other teams do.
I am the one calling now, since two weeks back, and it works out really well. I've got a lot of help from Jumpy.
How have scrims and practices changed for the team, now that it’s three stars and two up-and-comers as opposed to five stars on the team?
We still have five stars, the world just doesn't know it yet. Scrims have been good. We improve every day and our team play is beginning to look really good.
In Drop the Bomb’s featurette on Lekr0, there’s a section in the beginning where Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund talked briefly about the Swedish scene, saying that there’s a lot of talent but they largely go unnoticed. Do you feel the same way as GTR about the Swedish scene?
Yeah, the Swedish scene since CS:GO came has always been kind of closed. It's hard for players to make themselves a name and to be recognized by the Tier 1 teams.
Fnatic now have an academy team. What are your thoughts on that? Do you or any of Fnatic’s primary player have any active roles in the Academy team, such as mentorship or anything like that?
I think it's good. They've been doing well in officials and that's great too. None of us players have been working with them yet. [I] don't know if we will in the future. vuggo however, has helped them a bit.
You guys were not in the running for the past few tournaments (SL i-League, DreamHack Bucharest, Gfinity Invitation). Was this a conscious decision made by the team?
We denied invites to SL i-League and DreamHack because we wanted a lot of time together before making our entrance to the big stage. With a new IGL and three new players, we can't just rush into things.
Going into ESL One New York, the tournament will use a Swiss-format for the group stage. What are your thoughts on that?
It's fun with variation, we haven't tried the Swiss format before so I'm excited.
You guys know that your opening matchup is against Virtus.pro, who recently won DreamHack Bucharest, but you won’t know which team you’re facing after. How does that affect preparation for the event?
As a new team, our biggest preparations are within the team, making sure that our own game is on point. Whoever we face, we make a small scouting on and make sure we are not surprised by anything they do. We will not try any hardcore anti-strats, but rather focus on our own game.
Though you guys have played an number of matches in ESL Pro League, standing with an 10-6 record, New York will be the LAN debut for the team. What are the major concerns going into that event?
I feel like we have nothing to lose. We are still a new team and even though we've made some good online results, we have no pressure to win and dominate already; that's for the future.
The current CS:GO “season” is already in full swing, but it feels like Fnatic will only have it’s start once New York starts, what are your hopes for the season?
If we make progress and evolve as a team for every week gone by, I'm satisfied. We can't expect to be in the very top from the start, but as long as we close in on the top day-by-day, which we know we can, we will be a force to be reckoned with within a few months.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev. You can follow him on Twitter.