He is the captain of Penta, the two times wold champion organization, and knows his roster better than anyone. Fabian "Fabian" Hallsten is willing to write his name and his org's name in the legend by winning the third and last season of Pro League, before starting the conquest of the Six Invitational as a grand favorite. He tells us the key to their success.


(Crédit: R3siak)


ESIX : Since the beginning of Penta, there has been players from all over Europe (from spain to denmark passing by germany). How would you explain that? Mostly when most teams usually only play with players from their own country or regions.


Fabian : I think to play with players of one nationality can limit the play style. If we look at Sweden, the country where I’m from, we have many players with brain, they think a lot. But there is also many other countries where you’ll rely more on aim, like Spain. I mean, Goga may not be the smartest player but he is a good shooter, he’s a really aggressive player.

So I think having players from different areas gives you a better team building up. I also believe
that if you limit yourself to one only nation, when you have a small scene — in Sweden, we don’t have a really big scene, in Denmark neither— it’s really hard to have five really good player in the same team.

If you take a look at France, that is a really good example, there are many good teams. But they
don’t go this far because they don’t put the 5 best players together. There are many good players, but the best aren’t in the same team.


How is a Finnish player different from a Spanish player ? Isn’t there a disadvantage to not 
speak the same language?

I think that matchs with cultural aspect, the way a player behaves personally. It’ll affect his play.
As nordic players, we keep a lot to ourselves, we don’t talk to people, whereas Spanish are from
latin culture, will be more confident and straight. Also we don’t speak english as native language, so we don’t want to fight each others with word that we don’t know. So instead of fighting, we take time to explain how we want to make things. I think not being from the same place is more positive than negative.


So we can say you’re the European Dream Team?

Not really a dream team. I won’t call it a dream team I’d rather call it the outcast team. Nobody
really wanted us, so we made our own team. Joonas is Finnish, he left Gifu because they no
longer wanted him. In Sweden there is not 5 good enough players. And nobody really wanted me because i didn’t play in a long time. And when you look at Pengu, he comes from Denmark, they don’t even have a team in Denmark, they don’t have 5 good players.

Afterwards, there was a really good context, and we became really good friends. I think becoming friends is an essential step. It means you no longer care who is on top of the scoreboard, neither who his at the bottom of the scoreboard. We just want to live the experience together. It becomes a little family more than a group of players. We try to have something together, I would do anything for my teammates and would do anything for us. So hard to call it a dream team.


I’d like to build on the words “little family”, that seems really interesting. For you, Penta works to that extent thanks to the family spirit, more than by the individual skill the team is made of?

Yes I think so. In many teams, we put 5 very good players together and we believed they are
strong. With Penta, we didn’t really do that this way. We don’t mind individual skill,. When we
started, indeed we had Joonas and Pengu which are two of the best players in the world, but
when you look at me, or Goga or KS, we did nothing with our pro careers until we arrived in the
team. Me, for example, I’m a really bad shooter, I don’t know how to shoot, but I know how to
play as a team and how to lead the team, and therefore I’m fulfilling my part. It’s not always about having the best shooters, but to have a good synergy and a good team experience.


Penta missed the last two LANs in Year 1, after its world champion title. You, who arrived in the
middle of this bad patch, what changes did you make to the team to explain your current level in the game?

I joined Penta after my old team disbanded in the middle of the season.We couldn’t train enough,
and that’s when Penta contacted me. It was a desperate choice. When I arrived in the team, the
team captain wasn’t good enough and the synergy wasn’t. We replaced him and built a team on
our own skills. Joonas for the shooting skills, me for my brain skills and Pengu for both. We built a
team on three players and we needed to fin the two last able to play around us. As I said before,
we needed synergy, a family spirit and good friends to emphasise the best out of the team.


Many players succeeded in Penta. Why is your current roster the one that works better?


I don’t think we can explain this with the practices, I think doing too much practices isn’t good. I
mostly think the team is well done. KS is a good support player, Joonas and Goga are good
aggressive players and Pengu is both agressive and support, he is a wild car, a good player to
add to the roster. I think each and every player is able to go from an aggressive role to a support
role, like Pengu does it. That’s what makes us really hard to beat, that makes us hard to
comprehend.


(Crédit: R3siak )


 
To come back to the Six invitational, Penta missed the first one, do you think you will be able to win in Sao Paulo and then the 6 right after? In that case, it would mean that you would have won all of the possible titles in one year.


It would be amazing ! It would go down on history. If we are able to do it ? I really hope so. I don’t
think about which team we’re gonna play in the finals, or in the semis, I don’t mind. What I mind is
what team are going to play in quarter final. And if we win quarter final, then it’s the team we are
gonna play in the semis that I mind. I think to think about what is going to happen in the future
isn’t good. Every team are able of it. As for us, we are if we continue to play our game, and if
we’re not surprised by any team. About missing the last 6, there was four different players, it is
not the same team at all.


It wasn’t the same team, indeed, but the five of you, are you really excited when you think about playing at the 6?

Yes, of course. To go to both Brasil then Montreal is such and amazing experience in life. And
winning would be huge. But I don’t look this far, we have to play our game to win et go up to it.


Precisely, when you are the two times world champion, how do you stay focused on your goals? Isn’t there a weariness feeling and a loss of focus?

We have to understand as twice world champion, that it’s not finished. You aren’t the best team in
the world juste because you’ve won some titles. You should always look forward progressing. If
we think we are the best team in the world, that nobody can reach, then other team will get closer
and beat us. We must alway do our best in prac, always do our best when we are together. It’s
easier to become the best than to stay the best.


Precisely, we can take the example of Continuum, which went from twice world champion (Y1S3
and 6inv) to a team not able to qualify to playoffs of the first two seasons of this Year 2.

What I understand. Sometimes you’re no at the top of your game and you can’t achieve to have a
good seeding so you’re punished for this. For me , the reason of cTm failures is they changed
player to get something better but it didn’t work. Nor the team play, neither the synergy were
there. And maybe they weren’t good friends anymore. I don’t think witching players is the good
answer to failures. You need to work with the players you have. If you put trust in your player, your
player will put trust in you. If you give to a player one month to get better, he will remember it and
be faithful to your team, instead of saying to your player after two weeks where he gone bad in
prac “You’re bad, we need a new player”. Doing this, you don’t build a friendly relation neither a
team spirit.


The obvious question is to ask who could beat you? And how?

Anybody could beat us. Saying which team can beat us is hard. I think people overestimate us.
It’s the same think for some other teams, like FonTT. We are not this better to the other teams, we
may be 1 or 2% better, but that’s all. It’s not like we have double of the skill to anyone else or we
do double of work . This is not the case. At the level we’re at, it’s just a peek, a peek advantage,
when we see an angle, it can be very tiny things.

How to beat us ? The team need to play like us. To have the best gameplay forseeable, not in the
way of having all your stategies written up on a paper but being able to adjust to any situation.
The most important is to be able to say “Which part we failed ? - Ok, we’ll change it next time”.
I think the best teams at the time play like that. They adjust. And as they adjust, they play the
same game as us. Anybody can beat us.

Furthermore, I think the top 5 of the teams that can beat us at the time we speak would be Ence,
Continuum, FonTT, Black Dragons and sKNOWS. That’s my point of view. I don’t have stats to
back that up but it’s strong teams, they are good and they should be on top.


You will, by the way, play against ENCE in the finals of the European zone. You both have 2 european titles. Who will be on top at the end of the game, this Thursday night?

I think we are going to win this game, and that overall we’re a better team. But I know they trust
some of their players to bring back the win.They have a very strong team and their game deny
pretty much the entire European type of game. Online they have a very good team, maybe even
better than ours, but when you come to offline, I don’t know what happens, maybe a mental block
that prevent them from winning. Online we probably heave the same skill, but offline we definitely
a bit better.


(Crédit: R3siak)



We mentioned the team Continuum, a organization which like you, is very relevant in the R6 scene. Do you wish to play against them at Sao Paulo?


It would be amazing to play cTm at LAN. We’re very close to those players. Troy (Canadian)
Pengu and myself are really close friends. We can also talk about BKN, who come from our team,
he was our coach. He may help them a lot. He know how we work and can teach the Continuum
player how we play. They already started to play like us a lot. It suits well their gameplay, because
they have very good aggressive players and smart players. They just needed a best way to play
siege. They crushed NA scene with very huge wins.


So you observe the other scenes and teams?

We observe every team. We watch them more than every other team does. We watch more what
other team does than what we do ourself. It doesn’t matter what we do if we play depending what
the opponent does. So we watch very closely at what the other teams does we take note and we
put everything on a paper so we know exactly what every team does. We know what operators
they play, what bombsites they play, we know how they defend et we know how they think when
they attack. Adapting allow us to do different things every time. If you do everytime the same thin
you’re easy to read.


Last question for fun and to see how you feel about the other players in the league. If tomorrow
you could build a new team, but without your current teammates , who would you pick?

I would take Sh77e, because he is a player with very high skill. He has a really important role for
Ence, and would be a contribution in any team. I would pick Astro, a very aggressive player, he
maybe has the best aim in the world, who knows. I would probably take Troy Canadian, of cTm,
for his intelligence and for the very good shooter he is. He is maybe the best Lead in game of the
time. For the 5th spot, I always wanted to play with Panix. I wanted him to play for Penta in Y2S1
but he said no.


For you Panix is the best french player?

The best french player individually it hard to say. But I think Panix is a very smart player, he never
does really big mistakes. He is also a very good shooter. So is he the best french player ? Panix is
probably the best french player.


I think we’re done, do you have anything to add?

I want to thank everybody who watches Pro League. We will do our best to bring back another
title home.


We thank @fabian et the org @PENTA Sports for making this interview possible.


Article made with involvement of Hyrzuka for the translation.