Qualifying to the FACEIT Global Summit by just one point, Joona “NOOKIE” Närvänen’s Winstrike will be looking to show on the international scale that their fourth-place finish in PUBG Europe League was well deserved.
The Finish Saunabois joined Winstrike right before PEL and against all odds managed to fight their way to the very top in the most stacked league to date. Featuring some of the best teams in the world, Winstrike were expected to finish somewhere in the second half. But they surprised many.
Finishing fourth earned Winstrike an invite to FACEIT Global Summit 2019, a $400,000 dollar event taking place in London, 16th through 21st of April. 24 of the world’s best teams gathered here to represent their region in this battle for supremacy.
Right before the event, Winstrike talked about their preparation for the event, adapting to the new point system, facing teams from far regions and more.
Congratulations on your 4th place in the first phase of PEL and a trip to the FACEIT Global Summit! You were competing with G2 for that final spot until the last moment, and you got one point more than they did. How do you feel?
Before the last week, we knew that the fight for slot 4 would be very tense. We were right! We concentrated on our usual style of game and tried to get the maximum points on each map. When the last one ended, even the players did not know whether they had passed until they showed the final table.
Tell us more about your team. How did you end up joining Winstrike?
Our lineup consists entirely of Finnish players who have been playing for a long time on the PUBG European professional stage. It all started with a stack of Saunabois, which was one of the first in Europe to be signed by a professional esports organization, HAVU.
The composition changed, but we were always completely Finnish. We left HAVU before the PEL qualifications and after our success on them received an offer from the Russian organization Winstrike.
What roles do you play in the team?
Teme is our captain and game leader, Tiikzu and NOOKIE are aggressive players, and Jorzki plays more in support. In fact, we do not assign roles, and each player does what is needed depending on the situation.
Previously, you did not take part in major tournaments. This is your first event in the international arena. Does it motivate or stress you?
We definitely feel the pressure in any major tournament. But since very few people expect any results from us, it doesn’t bother us much. After our success at PEL, we are very motivated to develop further and show the world and other teams that we deserve a place in the top division.
What do you think is the main difference between the new PEL League rules? Did the changes affect your team?
The new system of rules encourages aggressive play, because the points for the killings are a significant part of the overall result. Our team can play in positions and rotations, but now we need to become more aggressive and take every frag that we can. We have become accustomed to this style at PEL, so that should continue to be only better.
Did you change something before the Global Summit?
We did not want to make significant changes before FGS, especially considering that we had only a few days of practice before going to the tournament. Instead, we studied a lot of opponents and looked for ways to score more points with our style of play.
PEL ended later than other regions, and therefore you have less time to prepare. Do you think this is an issue?
To some extent, yes, because the time during which we can evaluate opponents and understand how to play against them is limited. Nevertheless, we didn’t have a chance to get dull after PEL, so we are still ready for battle!
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