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Caps on Fnatic's Finals Victory: "I feel like we were unstoppable."

Your MVP of the Summer Split, Rasmus "Caps" Winther has earned his accolades this year and payed back the investments Fnatic have made in him this Split in spades.

It's been a long, winding road for Fnatic. From the phase of funnel compositions to Rekkles's absense from the main lineup, Fnatic have learned how to rely on each member individually but none more than Caps. Caps has shown his prowess on a multitude of champions throughout the Split, showing he could be the focus of a funnel comp or hold his own while the team's AD Carry farmed away. Fnatic are now known for their 2v2 mid strategy, but it would have never peaked without the consistency of Caps.

Whether he's biding time for Rekkles to come online or carrying the game on his own shoulders, Caps has performed. As the Finals drew to a close with a 3-1 victory over FC Schalke 04 to secure first in the Summer Split as well as first seed for EU at Worlds, Caps spoke about his experience in Madrid, what he thinks will happen during the Regional Qualifier, and what it will take for Fnatic to go far at Worlds 2018.

Congratulations on the MVP! Rekkles has won it twice in a row, but now it's your turn. How does that feel?

caps_1
When it came to the crowds it was crazy and, I mean, even when I went up for the MVP award there were so many fans. I was shaking in the beginning. It was really great. It's something that I've always wanted to win and it feels good now that I've won it, but at the same time I was happier when we actually won the Finals. At the end of the day, it's a team game so as long as we have success on the team front, the individual aspects are just a bonus I think. But I'm happy to have won both!
 
 

Do you think Fnatic's teamplay has contributed to you becoming MVP or do you think people judge you more on your solo play?

It's a mix of both because we had a lot of success in the past giving a lot of resources to Rekkles and it allowed us to win the games, right? And now we're doing the same thing with me since we'd stopped playing with Rekkles. Like Rekkles, I was able to use the leads to win the game. So it's a mix because others might have taken over the game alone, but usually carries get ahead because of their team so it's not a solo effort.

You played quite a few matches without Rekkles this Split. Do you think that not having him by your side attributed to people finally starting to notice you?

Perhaps. I think when Bwipo played bot he needed less resources and, a lot of the time, Hylissang was just laning with me because Bwipo was laning alone. In that sense, I had more opportunities to show what I could do. We learned how to play for mid and now that we can play for mid, it's very good. Now that we have Rekkles back we can play through everywhere basically, and that's a good thing.

When the stadium started chanting MVP, did you realize what they were chanting?

I heard it and I was obviously happy, usually it's always the sOAZ and Rekkles chants. There was the one time we were in Denmark, there were some cheers for Broxah and me. It feels good to have something for me again, especially with this crowd. It was really loud and they just kept going and kept going.
 
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You went with a similar roster to Worlds 2017, but now you'll have Hylissang instead of Jesiz and the addition of Bwipo. How do you think your new roster is going to affect this year's experience at Worlds?

It's hard to predict exactly how Worlds will go just because there's so many random things such as patches and groups. But I feel like now that we have one month to practice compared to a week last year, it will be better to prepare for Groups. We also have much better team chemistry this year so we can focus a lot more on improving. Especially when faced up against really good teams, instead of becoming worse by losing to them we can learn something from it. That's probably the biggest thing.

In the post-game interview, you mentioned that things are a lot better behind the scenes now. Could you give us a bit more insight into that?

It just makes people less selfish because a lot of the time, when you play it's very easy to blame others and it's very easy to focus on what's best for yourself

Rasmus "Caps" Winther
I think Joey has done a lot with us. He's added instances of playing board games and stuff like that with us and just made additions on doing other things together. It brings people closer and makes people realize that... It just makes people less selfish because a lot of the time, when you play it's very easy to blame others and it's very easy to focus on what's best for yourself if you don't think about the people around you. Doing things with everyone else on the team will make you realize that you're playing with a bunch of other players.

 Do you think the additions of Bwipo and Hylissang on the team has helped change the mental energy?

Yes, of course. I think that Hylissang is obviously a very different player than Jesiz so that has worked out for us and we've found a lot of success with Hylissang. At the same time, Bwipo has helped because he can fit not only the top lane but also the bottom lane so he's put a lot of new ideas into the pot and shown a lot of different things to us, such as learning how to play for mid. There's a lot of different things we have learned with Bwipo.
 
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Thinking back to where you were last year, do you think that skill-wise you've become a better player?

I think what I've learned since then is how to make better use of my teammates because I don't necessarily think that I was that much worse–I just did not know how to optimize the usage of my teammates. I wouldn't know how to play with them around me so I wouldn't call for them, but we've learned a lot of different things and new tricks we can use so, in that sense, yes I've improved a lot.

When we interviewed you earlier this year, you said your top three midlaners were Perkz, Nukeduck and Sencux. What was it like coming into a Finals this year knowing that your lane opponent wasn't Perkz?

Last Split I was really confident, but this time around it felt like we had to prove ourselves. I felt like, even though we were kind of the favourites in last Split's Playoffs and I felt really confident, it felt like people were still doubting us and thinking G2 might win. Right now, it's very clear that everyone expected us to stomp again so it felt like a lot of pressure. Just the fact that we're so favoured was a lot of pressure, which is obviously not ideal.

How do you think Nukeduck played today?

I think he played well today, I think Schalke in general tended to draft heavily toward having good lanes and having a really good early game, while we were confident that Schalke would not be able to close out games so we tried to draft for the late game and draw out team fights. Basically every game we made it to the team fight phase, they couldn't do much against us. The one game they were able to snowball early, we just lost. So I feel like he performed well in lane and they were able to snowball hard so that was impressive, but other than that I feel like we were unstoppable.

I feel like we were unstoppable.

Rasmus "Caps" Winther

Sencux was your final player in your top three. How do you think he performed yesterday?

I didn't really watch the games completely, but I think he's been under-performing a lot lately. It's kind of weird because he was maybe over-performing in the beginning of the Split and it feels like he didn't perform that well last Split. I would probably put him lower than I did back then. For the All-Star pro team I had Nisqy at number one actually, and then Perkz and Nukeduck, so I think that Nisqy has kind of taken Sencux's place.
 
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Speaking of Nisqy, during the post-game interview Rekkles mentioned that he thinks Splyce is going to take the Regional Qualifier, whereas you're voting for Schalke. What do you think about that prediction?

I think Splyce are probably the better team than Schalke, but winning three Best of 5's I think is harder than just winning one. We had a bit of a different view on it because he thought that they would have enough momentum, but I just know Schalke will see a lot of drafts from Splyce and they'll be very prepared, hopefully, for them. So I think Schalke will take it even though I think Splyce is a really strong team.

With your current roster, do you think you can make it to the Semifinals at Worlds this year?

It depends a lot on finding the right picks, so we're going to try our hardest to find out what is what and just stay strong mentally.

Rasmus "Caps" Winther
Yeah, I mean it all depends on what groups we draw and how the meta will be, but we're going to try our hardest to adapt to the meta. It's not as easy as just finding out what the meta is because a lot of the time, the meta will evolve during Worlds. It depends a lot on finding the right picks, so we're going to try our hardest to find out what is what and just stay strong mentally so we don't have any problems there. If we do that, I'm confident in our performance.

What team do you think you're most looking forward to playing against at Worlds?

It kind of has to be RNG. I mean there's a lot of teams that are going to be hard to play against but I think RNG is a team we've lost to twice now at Worlds and MSI, so it would be really nice to beat them. At the same time, there's also Invictus Gaming with Rookie or SKT with Faker if they somehow manage to qualify, but it doesn't look likely so I would probably go with RNG for now.

Your win today meant that Vitality also qualified for Worlds. What do you think about them as the European second seed?

So they are pretty crazy. It's going to be fun watching them compete internationally. I don't know... It's hard to say how far they will go but they definitely know how to make something work, like you saw with the Trundle and the aggressive early games they had for a while where they just take over games. If they find something like that again, I believe they have a style that can work internationally but they probably won't make it too far.
 
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You fly to Korea to start bootcamp tomorrow. What are you most looking forward to?

The last couple of times I've been to Korea we haven't gone out much from our hotel rooms. Every now and again we'd go and do Korean barbeque so that was nice, but other than that we usually just stay inside our rooms and play. It's hard, I think I'm probably looking forward most to scrimming again and I feel like I'm going to use the week we have before scrims to practice new champions and try to find out some new strategies because I feel like, if we want to go and win Worlds, we have to have a lot of things prepared. It's not enough to just be able to play one thing because if it falls out of meta, it's going to be hard to do.
 

Follow the adventure of Caps and the rest of Fnatic as they prepare for Worlds on Twitter at @FncCapsLoL and @FNATIC!