by Darius Matuschak / @DariusExMachina
Photograph by: Michal Konkol / Riot Games
After the win against Fnatic, we talked to H2Ks Midlaner Febiven about how he feels about his former team, the learning experience of playing for Fnatic last season and what would happen if FORG1VEN would still play for H2K.
Hi Febiven, thank you very much for your time. How do you feel after the win against Fnatic?
It feels really good to win against Fnatic, especially since it’s my old team. I left Fnatic to play for H2k, so this win confirms for me that I have made the right choice.
On the other hand, the games were pretty disappointing. We just played the Flash Wolves which were a really challenging team, whereas these games against Fnatic were pretty much won during the draft. There was no way that Fnatic were going to win. It was pretty one-sided.
Is it a bit disappointing to see your former team not being able to challenge your current team?
Yeah it’s definitely disappointing to see that my old team can’t perform. I mean they’re 4-4 right now, middle of the pack and given that they have a completely new team and already had a roster swap, I suppose it’s understandable. It’s not bad to be 4-4, they can still make playoffs and fix their issues until then. I still don’t think they will be one of the best teams in Europe, but maybe with more time they’ll be able to reach their potential.
What do you think of Caps, especially after getting to play against him yourself?
He plays really good off-stage, in scrims and in SoloQ that is. He plays his matchups really smart and has pretty good movement too. It’s hard to hit him with skillshots due to his mechanics.
None of this translated to his play on stage today however, I had no trouble playing against him. Maybe it was because of the specific matchups, maybe it’s because he’s nervous when he’s on stage but in general he’s a good Midlaner. He’s just not a top-tier player, he’s a middle of the pack-tier Midlaner with good mechanics and that’s it. If he gets more time he could become a lot better, but right now he’s not translating his play onto the big stage, he’s not confident enough and I’m just so far ahead of him at the moment.
In comparison to the other Midlaners in the League, how strong would you rate yourself at the moment?
I don’t like to rate myself in all honesty. People can look at statistics, look at someone’s gameplay or the way a Midlaner works with his team and go “Ah, this one is clearly the best” even though there are many factors a viewer might not know about. I think highly of myself but not as the number one Midlaner in EU, I don’t care about that title. I know that I can improve so much more still, so I just try to focus only on myself.
If I did have to give myself a rating, I’d say I’m Top 2 for sure, but it doesn’t mean anything really. I still can’t be complacent or stop practicing because I think I’m the best in the league. I’ve had this before, this idea that “I’m the best and I don’t need to practice” but then it hit me that I need to be realistic about myself and my performance.
You’re refering to your time at Fnatic, when Fnatic was considered the best team in the Western regions and you were considered the best Western Midlaner in the world. The following season Fnatic fell on their noses and didn’t manage to qualify for Worlds. Was this an experience that taught you to think this way?
Yeah, definitely. If you go to the Worlds semi-finals in 2015 and then don’t even manage to qualify for Worlds in 2016, that does hit you really hard emotionally. I remember sitting at home, watching other people play at Worlds, knowing that I could be there if we would’ve been a better team or I would’ve been a better player & teammate. That was really tough. So I knew a change was needed in my way of thinking, I needed to stop being this cocky guy and start to look at ways to improve in every way imaginable.
Many people say that Worlds 2015 Febiven was the best Febiven we’ve ever seen. But now you’re proving yourself once again, would you argue that right now you’re an even better Midlaner than in 2015?
I’m a much better player now than I was back then. At the time, Faker was just so much better than me. It would’ve been so hard if we would’ve reached the finals because SKT was just miles above us. Other than Faker though, I feel like I matched pretty well against most of the Midlaners, especially given that it was my first Worlds tournament. After the last season with Fnatic and all the small improvements I’ve made since, I’ve become a much better Midlaner in comparison to back then.
I’m in a really good spot right now: I have a really big champion pool, I can play most playstyles pretty good and I’ve grown to be a real carry for my team now. The team is playing around me and I’m playing around them and I feel like it’s working out really well.
Let’s talk about your performance at IEM, are you disappointed at the result?
We honestly should’ve won the series against Flash Wolves. We should’ve closed the first game a lot earlier than we did and the second game we should’ve won as well, but we didn’t obviously. It doesn’t matter too much though, I’m actually glad we made these mistakes at IEM rather than some other time. In order to improve, you have to make mistakes first. But what if they happen in a playoffs game and you lose because of that? We just used this IEM as a learning experience for ourselves.
Of course it would’ve been nice to go to the finals, get a better prize pool, get a trophy even. But if we have to fail, then we have to fail at the right moments. I prefer failing at IEM and learning from it over failing during EU LCS playoffs or Worlds.
So what is the final goal for H2K right now? Do you guys have a specific goal in mind like winning playoffs, or do you simply strive to improve as a team and be the best iteration of yourselves?
I think everyone just wants to win everything. It really is that simple. It’s obvious that we have really high goals, I myself have won so many things before, so it’s only natural for me to set my goals so high. We’ll try to win everything there’s to win in Europe, go to Worlds and then win it. That’s the ultimate goal.
With Nuclear and Chei we have two Korean Rookies coming in. A lot of people are surprised at their strength, both invidiually and how they work with the team. What do you think of their performances so far?
Overall they’re really good players and people as well. They’re learning to speak English so fast, it’s pretty easy to communicate with them already. We just mix well together. Also I feel like due to our high individual skill, we’re already ahead of a lot of teams, so the moment we perfectly synergize will be the moment we can win anything.
You’re known for having a strong personality, a former H2K player who goes by the name of FORG1VEN is also known for having a strong personality. Could you imagine having to play with him?
No, I absolutely couldn’t. I’d see no chance of that happening. If FORG1VEN would still play for H2K, there’d be no way I’d play for them as well.
Do you think the two of you would clash?
I’d be fine playing with him, but he probably wouldn’t be fine playing with… The whole team really. This guy requires so much from his team, he requires a playstyle that his good for himself, good for his farming, good for his kda. I don’t think he’s a good fit for any team. He’s been on what, ten teams at this point? That’s not a good sign and it wouldn’t be a good decision for a team to pick him up. That’s why he’s not playing anymore as well, because his reputation is just so bad.
You have an upcoming game against Misfits, who do you think is favoured in this match?
I’m pretty confident we can beat any team in Europe right now in a Best of 3. Misfits certainly are a good team, they have a really good Support and Jungler, the Toplaner is very strong too. Their carries are also good, but I think that we have better carries and will be able to outclass them individually. It will be tough because they are really strong in the early game like us and usually have a strong draft as well, it’s going to be a fun series for sure. They’re good, we’re good, but I feel like we can come out on top.
Are you confident in the Midlane matchup against PowerOfEvil?
I never really thought that PoE was a top-tier Midlaner but he’s performing pretty good at the moment, I’ll give him that. He’s been playing more champions, he’s not the three champs only kind of player anymore. I’ll be fine though, I won’t have any problems against him individually.
Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
I want to thank everyone for cheering on us. I’m pretty confident we’ll have a good run this year so there’s no reason to not stick with us.
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