If Kenny “kennyS” Schrub and Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut didn’t exist, Aurelien “afro” Drapier would have probably got his first real shot at tier one a long time ago. The best AWPer in France outside of ZywOo, he now joins fnatic off the back of a strong year with both HEET and LDLC.
An underrated signing amid bigger moves this rostermania, we sat down with afro to discuss what playing with a legend like Freddy “KRIMZ” Johansson will be like, as well as his optimism towards transitioning to tier one.
Sam "AN1MO" McKenzie, BLIX: You’ve just signed for fnatic, how are you feeling?
Aurelien “afro” Drapier: I’m so happy to be part of such a team and such a big organization. I wanted to be part of a tier-one team for so long now, it’s my teenage dream becoming a reality.
BLIX: This is your first real opportunity at consistent tier one CS, how do you think it will differ from tier two?
afro: I know that tier one is slightly different from tier two, but I already have the right mindset and the capacity to be impactful in tier one. The only big change is that I will have to travel more but I’m also really happy with that.
BLIX: You’ve been in great form this year, do you think it will easily translate to tier one?
afro: Yes, it was a great year individually, but with LDLC we didn’t win anything so in my mind it’s still a failure. However, the good point is that I’m transitioning to tier one with huge confidence so that should help a lot!
BLIX: You’ve played with legends before on Double Poney and HEET, you will now do so again with KRIMZ, what does their experience bring to teams?
This type of player is my favorite. When you watch a legend like KRIMZ, most of the time, he is doing things that look easy but you don’t know how it’s working better than for you. Having KRIMZ in the team is a game changer and even more so when we reach the playoffs of events because we can trust him not to shake.
BLIX: A lot of AWPers struggle when they step up to tier one, what makes you different?
afro: I think that even though I haven't played in a real tier-one team, I already have a bit of experience at this level. With HEET, we were trying to play tier-one CS most of the time and we did play some really good events where I was able to get used to playing against big teams.
BLIX: What are your hopes and expectations for this fnatic team by the end of the year?
My hope for this year is that we can become a real playoff contender and also make a good transition to CS2, that will be really important.
Feature Image Credit: PGL/Stefan Petrescu