European contenders fnatic have qualified to the BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023 following their win over Ukrainian squad B8. Prior to the scrappy matchup for a coveted Legends spot at the last CS:GO Major, BLIX sat down with Danish AWPer Nico "nicoodoz" Tamjidi to discuss his year with fnatic and the team's aspirations for the future.
Note that this interview was conduced following fnatic's 2-0 match against 1win.
Joining the international fnatic lineup
Hugo "TheSwedishJoker" Nilsson Meier, BLIX: You've been on the fnatic roster now for a little more than a year. How has it been so far from your perspective?
Nico “nicoodoz” Tamjidi: Great. Honestly, I can really feel the impact of joining a tier-one organization. Like the number of resources you have, when you say you need something, you instantly get it even if you live in another country. Two days, I will get a new keyboard, whatever, even simple stuff like that. It feels really amazing and it feels like people care about you and they want to take good care of you. So it feels amazing.
BLIX: Do you think that playing for mixed teams in the past as you have with Nikola "Lobanjica" Mijomanović when you were still playing in Danish teams helped you transition now into an English-speaking team?
nicoodoz: Honestly, I think so. Or maybe it's more the Danish education system because I've always been pretty good at English. So transitioning into an international team has never been too much of a worry for me. I actually expected this to happen at one point because back then we had device, we had cadiaN and we had Farlig who was good back then. So I didn't see myself joining a top Danish team.
I knew that the way forward would be to join an international team. And, obviously, we did well at Copenhagen Flames, so we wanted to stick together, and build a new insane Danish team. But the circumstances weren't good enough for us to stay together so I decided to join an international team.
Overcoming consistency issues
BLIX: Back in the day with Copenhagen Flames, you guys were underdogs, but still managed to make it. Now you're at fnatic. Do you still feel like an underdog in the RMR even now?
nicoodoz: Honestly, not really. We don't feel like underdogs anymore. I think we feel like a proper tier-one team now. Maybe towards the lower end, but we have some consistency issues we need to sort out. But I feel like on the right day we can beat any top team and we have done it in the past. So we are really confident as a team and we just know that we just need to get our heads together then we know we can beat any team.
BLIX: So talking a little bit about consistency and consistency issues, is that the main struggle that the team has right now?
nicoodoz: Yeah, I think we individually go through a rough period each in bad times because recently, the last week or two I haven't done well and obviously I have some personal issues which probably have affected me more than I expected. But that's not going to take anything away from my pretty poor performances and I think that hurt the team as well that the AWPer is not doing good.
I know how impactful my role is, so I think stuff like that has affected us as a team and right now we're just finding our way back and trying to find the stuff we can fall back on as a team.
BLIX: What is the main objective of this lineup and how far away are you guys from achieving it?
nicoodoz: Obviously, we have the resources to become the best team in the world. So I think obviously that's our long-term goal and I think that goal is still pretty far away. We still have a lot of stuff we need to figure out still, but definitely around the top three for the next year, maybe. I'm not sure, honestly, but we have what we need to do it. We just need to put the work in and believe in this project as a team.
Discussing CS2 and the Danish Major
BLIX: I want to talk a little bit about CS2. This Major is the last one for CS:GO, but have you been able to play it or played it at all so far
nicoodoz: Honestly, I haven't played too much. I haven't been too interested because we still have a lot of tournaments coming up until Summer when it probably gets released, so not really. I played a few games here and there, but I haven't put too much thought into it because I know I still have a job to do in CS:GO, right?
BLIX: Do you feel like the timing was right to release CS2?
nicoodoz: Honestly, I think it's a fine time. I think anytime a new game gets released in the same franchise, it's going to be shit, to say the least. There's no good time to release a new game, especially in CS:GO, so there's always going to be people complaining and stuff like that. So honestly, I think it's a good time.
BLIX: And my very last question is about the CS2 Major that they announced and will be here in Copenhagen, your home soil. Have you gotten to think about how much that means to you and does that maybe put a little bit more pressure on you to perform well here and be able to have an easier time at the qualifiers there?
nicoodoz: Honestly, not really. It's more like a dream come true. I would say. Having the chance to play in front of a home crowd is an amazing feeling and has been a long dream of mine, so I'll just make sure I put in the hard work to make it to that point. So it's still two Majors away, so it's going to be a long time and a lot of tournaments to play before that, but when the time comes, I'll be ready.
If you're looking for more interviews from our ongoing coverage for the BLAST.tv Paris Major 2023: European RMR A, check out our interview with Slovak Apeks player Martin "STYKO" Styk.