Team Envy’s FNS discusses game plan against Immortals and more
Day 1 of the North American First Strike event is in the books. Hearts were broken and the favorites advanced. Run It Back was able to speak with several players following the matches that took place. First up is the in-game leader for the victorious Team Envy, Pujan “FNS” Mehta. FNS performed incredibly well against Immortals, propelling Team Envy to the Semifinals.
He shares his thoughts after the victory, the inner workings of a massive 1v4 clutch, feelings on the next round, and more.
Run It Back: Without giving anything away, how much of the series against Immortals went according to plan, without any wrenches being thrown into it?
FNS: I’d say the entire Icebox game, we had no info on their Icebox, and because of that there was no real game plan outside of what we were going to do. Just how we play normally in scrims. We applied that to the match and, luckily for us, we were able to get six rounds on the defense side. On that map, it’s very strong. In scrims we have horrible defense sides. When we switched to attack, we were really confident. When we got away with winning pistol, we kind of knew we had it in the bag. We went in with our own game plan and it worked out pretty well on Icebox.
As far as Ascent, the only thing that got away from us was our defense side. Our attack went exactly how we thought it was going to go. We had a really strong attack side and I think we even won the pistol, but then we got eco’d. On the B retake, they won a 2v3 that was literally miraculous. Had they not won that, I think the game would’ve been 13:3. It would have been over. Because they won that, it gave them momentum and broke our money. They did a really good job of coming back, so I’d say, the only thing that didn’t really go according to plan was our defense side on Ascent.
Run It Back: How does it feel to, not just get the first victory for Team Envy out of the way, but the first victory of the entire North American First Strike event?
FNS: It feels really relieving, to tell you the truth. Going in, we had a lot of high expectations. Not just for ourselves, but I think fans had high expectations about us, and other people, other pros, just teams we’ve been scrimming. We’ve been doing a really good job as far as form, to keep it up. We had high expectations for the first time in a long time. We’ve been underdogs going into events in the past, so this time around, going up against Immortals, I think we weren’t underdogs. There was just more attention on us to win and more pressure for us to win. We hadn’t been in this situation, so it’s definitely relieving to come out on top.
Run It Back: Team Envy won the entire Nerd Street Gamers qualifier. Do you feel like being able to avoid the second qualifier was helpful at all, having time off to prepare?
FNS: Yes and no. I like playing matches. I think when you play matches, outside of other teams scouting you, it’s always good to play as many matches as possible. Players get more experience and more playing time when it matters. We definitely got a lot of time to scrim, work out the kinks, and add new things to our team. In that sense, it definitely helped. When you don’t play matches for 23 days or something like that, because we qualified so early, it can have its pros and cons. The cons are that we haven’t played matches in so long, so we’d take a little bit to warm up in the first match. That was the only thing that I was worried about. Luckily, we got off to a really strong start versus Immortals. None of the rust was really there. I thought it would be.
Run It Back: On Ascent, you pulled off that incredible 1v4 clutch. Do you mind talking through what was going on in your head there, how you felt when you saw you were by yourself, and how you felt after you pulled it off?
FNS: I was super confident in the angle that I was holding. I was at the generator spot, the front of generator looking at the doorway. I knew the rest of my team had their attention on Heaven. I got really confident in that angle, because they were peeking in to me. As long as I have good crosshair placement, I’m able to get the kill. As soon as I got the two kills at doorway, I pretty much knew that I could easily win the round. The other three of my teammates were holding Heaven. I just assumed they would be low anyway. Then, crashies said they are both very low on HP. I had time to regroup and turn around to play the 2v1 correctly. I isolated each 1v1 and, because they were so low, I got the third kill really really fast. I think Neptune was just too low to able to do anything versus me.
Run It Back: When Immortals started to come back, was there any worry? Were you guys calm or starting to feel some pressure?
FNS: After 11:10, there was definitely a sense of pressure. We needed to win that round or we would just be broke. Before that, though, there was no panic or urgency. They just did a really good job of taking control of the extremities. They used their drone really well. Their executes were really clean and they were able to get a lot of kills on the entry. It was really difficult for us. We were also doing a really bad job of retaking bomb sites. Usually we’re very good at that, but we didn’t coordinate well enough on the retakes.
Like I said, had they not won that eco, I think the game would be different. Because they did, we kind of let them back into the game. They did a really good job, to their credit, of using their utility to push our OPer back. Not give him any impact really. We were kind of forced to play sites a lot more against that team that did a really good job of pushing us back on the extremities. I think the pressure came around 11:10. We were able to win that 11:10 round very cleanly to make it 12:10. It was really relieving to win that round. We knew at the very least we were going to overtime.
Run It Back: How closely are you and your teammates going to watch Renegades vs. TSM?
FNS: We’re for sure going to be watching. All five of us will watch, I’m sure separately. We’ll all bring our own notes. There’s no reason not to. All we can do is gain things from watching them. We’ll see what happens between TSM and Renegades. I expect TSM to make it out cleanly.
Run It Back: Lastly, is there anything you want to say to the fans of Team Envy?
FNS: Fans in general of the game, I think it’s awesome that you guys are watching. I appreciate it, regardless of whether you’re rooting for or against us. I definitely want to thank Envy in general for giving this team a chance and picking us up in the first place. It’s pretty awesome that we’re able to win under this name and make them proud hopefully. Lastly, I want to thank my teammates. I hang out with these guys every single day. They’re more than just teammates to me. I’m thankful for the fact that they’re, not just on the team, but my friends as well.
A huge thank you to FNS from Team Envy for offering us his time after the victory over Immortals.
*Answers may have been altered slightly for the sake of clarity*
Stay tuned to Run It Back for more First Strike coverage, player interviews, and the best in Valorant news!