The Defense Grand Final preview: H4nn1

posted by Tezzeret,
Rounding out our presentation of eu Fnatic.EU for todays The Defense 3 Grand Final (Saturday, March 30th, 20:00 CET (pre-game show begins at 19:00 CET), full BO5), we have conducted an interview with de Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbueckers, Fnatic's solo mid player. This interview is mainly focused on their experience and performance at The Defense 3 so far, but also touches upon the player himself and the mentality of his team. Enjoy!

In round one of the winner's bracket, Fnatic fell 2:1 to Evil Geniuses. How did the team feel having lost the first game of the playoffs?

Evil Geniuses has always been a struggle for us since Dreamhack Winter. We knew it would be a tough match for us and overall we were of course disappointed at the loss. But we knew we still have a good shot dispite the fact that we got dropped into the losers bracket after the first round.

After that, Fnatic had one of the most impressive tournament runs ever. Defeating all your opponents in the loser's bracket to make it to the grand finals. How does it feel to pull off something so impessive?

During that time we managed to get a lot of practice in all kinds of leagues. We had a fully packed schedule every week, so that everyone felt confident against any opponent we faced. Another factor was that not everyone was peaking as much as we did during the time and I also feel that we were one of the few that knew how to draft in a very simple but effective way.

It was only a short window of like two weeks but that helped us immensely in these victories. I don't want to take anything away from our performance overall though. We are doing great right now, dispite the tough schedule of Fly, who is currently in Italy working on his future plans.

Did you think you guys could have gone this far at all?

As I went into this in the previous question, I think whenever we get to practice as much as we did we have all the confidence we need to play against any opponent there is and sure as hell thought we can go that far. We are playing Dota2 to get on top or else you are having the wrong mindset. You always have to think big if you want to achieve something and the same goes for anything you do, be it at sport or a job you are having your heart in.

Who do you think gave you the hardest time throughout the tournament thus far?

I believe the toughest games we in the Defense were against Team Liquid.

Is there a reason you find Team Liquid your hardest opponent despite going 2-0 against them and 2-1 against Na'Vi?

Well, at this point, any team can really beat each other. It's like rock, paper, scissors where some play styles are tougher to beat than others depending on the teams. Team Liquid forces a lot of 5v5 aggression from early on with the smoke ganks being successful the majority of the time - makes them a really though opponent.

You really should know better than to post these things on the interney, Kai :)

Fnatic is a little different in that you swap roles based on hero picks. Do you think this can disadvantage the team sometimes?

It sometimes has a slight disadvantage towards the midlane I think. I've always had the mindset that if you know how to play the game there is no role that you can't play. That being said, why I think mid lane is a little different from that is because you have a 1v1 setup that is a lot about last-hitting and rune control that the other lanes don't have. You also struggle with potential gangs way more than the other two lanes.

Either way my point is that I sometimes lose focus as weird as it sounds switching around the mid role where I should be the most confident onto a sidelane role and back because of the fact that I'd forget to push out the wave to check the runes to maybe playing more aggressive or most important to have the concentration for the lasthitting.

Having faced Virtus.Pro on multiple occasions, what do you think would be the hardest when facing them in the grand finals? Things like draft or playstyle.

We are very confident comming into this final dispite coming from the losers bracket. NS made the mistake to call us out for no apparent reason but it is a boost to my will of winning this game. It doesn't make it any less hard but it's another factor you don't want to bring into someones head. As you mentioned in the questions we've faced this team a dozen times and therfore neither draft or playstyle is what we are or should be affraid of. Hopefully we'll catch a good day.

Eventhough Virtus.Pro won the winner's bracket final, they will not have a one game advantage, instead a straight best of five will be played. Do you think this will be advantageous to you?

Good to know that they don't have a 1-0 lead on us. *laughs* For my part i didn't care for them having a 1-0 lead before, now that they don't have a lead it doesn't bother me much either, as we would in both scenarios have at least 2 games to lose so there is no pressure on the first game and we could learn from a first game loss.

Fnatic started becoming a strong contender in the EU DotA since their win at the Thor Open last December. What do you attribute your success to?

We started to understand the game, the way to draft succesfully and what to value the most in the game. It's a matter of getting used to a certain pattern that appears every game. That was our problem for a longer period as HoN has a very different early game than DotA does.

After that what makes a good team a great team is that no matter how good your early game is going, is to adapt to the game. If something is going wrong you need to change something; usually its 1 specific hero that has to move bring your team back into the game and that is something we were always good at. Not every game but most of the time!

Thanks for your time and good luck in The Defense finals. Any final words?

Shoutout to all my Sponsors MSI, Steelseries, Eizo and for the great support without your great gaming gear I wouldn't be able to play at my current performance. Shoutout to all my teammates without you I'd just be a lousy player. And last but not least shoutout to my girlfriend Jessica, I love you!