Confidence is key with FABRIKEN
You cannot spell European VALORANT without FABRIKEN. As one of the standout unsigned teams in the region, Emil "eMIL" Sandgren exudes confidence in his promising all-Swedish lineup. While their recent performance at the Vitality European Open didn’t net them a win, it was certain that their confidence never waned.
After advancing through the group stage as a second seed, eMIL assured me that the team was still in high spirits and was confident heading into the playoffs. “The team atmosphere is great, even if we have bad games we won’t let us get demoralized,” eMIL explained. “Our game against G2 didn't go well after we won the first map they came back strong. We underestimated them I think, Mixwell and Davidp played insanely good all day, really impressed. Luckily we started playing like we normally do and won the rest of the games. I know we will come back strong in the playoffs, and hopefully, we will get our revenge in the end!”
With that kind of energy and attitude, it’s hard to picture them down after they ended their run with a respectful 3rd place finish. Disappointed, sure, but this was not a team to be discouraged so easily. eMIL spoke to us about the internal dynamics within the team, what it’s like to coach alongside his twin brother, and where FABRIKEN’s goals are set for the future.
GGRecon: Could you talk about the formation of FABRIKEN? Why these set of players?
We already started brainstorming what roster we were going to have months before the beta even was out. Of course, the roster we had in mind at the time is not the exact roster we have today, but close! Lateks and Leo are teammates and friends from Overwatch and have played together for a long time. Shadow and Meddo are also friends from CS:GO, and they are a power-couple that spend most of their time together. Could almost think they are married. Zyppan is the only player that has no connection to anyone from the beginning, and he came in from NiP.
Me and d00mbr0s are twins, identical twins. So there is no question about us working well together, we have also been in teams for more than 4 years with both Leodeddz and Lateks. We are also friends outside of the game! The reason we have these players is because it works. There is a friendship that goes deep, there is a synergy that runs deep. This makes us not question each other or fight when things are bad, and because of that, it’s very easy to stick together and work through potential problems. It also puts a solid base for Zyppan to help him get unleashed.
GGRecon: Could you expand a little more on the dynamic between you and your brother? Were you always into gaming? How does your approach differ to his when it comes to VALORANT?
My twin brother and I have been playing games since we were little boys. Always trying to be the best from the age of 9!
We have been going to the same schools, same university and even worked at the graveyard as grave keepers together.
In esports, I was more into playing and he did coaching, so when I had a career in Overwatch as a player, he had a career as a coach. Now in VALORANT, we combine his coaching experience, my playing experience, and our synergy as twins. This is what stands us out from the rest.
GGRecon: Do you think the team will remain fully Swedish for the time being? Is there a possibility of a mixed roster in the future? If not, why is that?
I can't tell you the future, VALORANT is very new. We want to stick together but you never know what will happen! It would be a shame to not see the current FABRIKEN lineup on the world stages down the line, I think we would be a force to be reckoned with. But esport is esport, anything and everything will happen.
GGRecon: Could you walk us through a regular practice day? What do scrims look like compared to other esports titles?
Scrims are not too different from other esport titles, we scrim 6 hours a day, 6 days a week. This is without being signed since people are still doing fulltime work outside of VALORANT. The daily hours are of course longer if we play tournaments. Our day is a mix of scrims and reviews. Seeing as we are 2 coaches we can do a lot of different stuff with our time.
GGRecon: Could you talk about the more social dynamic in the team? Who is each person in the social structure of the team?
Shadow is the funny one, he always puts a smile on everyone’s face which is an invaluable trait to have. Meddo is the serious one, always on top of his game trying to perform to his max. Once given confidence, nobody can stop him. Lateks is the team leader, he has a strong mentality and strong presence in the game. He's a rock to lean on. Leodeddz is the supportive one, he always set people up for success both in-game and outside. The team would not work as well without him, a real treasure to have on a team. Zyppan is the mad fragger, the young prodigy that has no fear. This guy does not fear anyone or anything and has confidence for days. Zyppan paired with the other guys [equals] success. D00mbr0s is the alpha, the team dad. He has insane knowledge and I feel sometimes without him nothing would work. As for myself, I can’t put a label on me, that is up to someone else to do. But I work in harmony with d00mbr0s, and use my experience as a former pro player to my advantage.
GGRecon: As cliche as it sounds, goals are something anyone can relate to, so with that in mind, what do you want to accomplish with FABRIKEN?
We want to become the best team in the world. That’s about it. We are not in it to be famous, we are not in it to make money, we just want to be the best. We all share the same goal.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment and Riot Games