Welcome to Fnatic: An Interview With Naama
Posted 2012-07-29 Bleys
Welcome to Fnatic: An Interview With Naama
The newest member of FnaticRaidCall's Starcraft 2 line up is Santeri "Naama" Lahtinen, a well known 19 year old from Finland. He joined Fnatic earlier this month and has been having a fantastic 2012. Despite his youth, Naama has been around the world in pursuit of being the best and has a number of recent victories under his belt. We were able to sit down with Naama and get him to answer some questions that give a peek, at the inside of his head.
You lived in Korea for some time, training with the MVP B team. It has been said that later this year you're going to the Fnatic Gaming House in Korea. Can you talk a little bit about your experiences living in Korea? How does it differ from your home in Finland?
The korean lifestlye is very very different from anything else. It is just mostly gaming all day long and staying inside. At home I enjoy doing other stuff as well like hanging out with friends, go out with friends and do sports sometimes. The Korean lifestyle gets kind of boring after a while to be honest.
Your brother is also a progamer. How did you guys break the news to your parents? Were they happy and supportive or more skeptical?
My brother was a progamer. I guess our parents didn´t like it at first but then when we started earning some money they started to understand and support it.
Can you explain how you came to Korea, the decision making process and the stops along the way? How did your family react to your decision to move to Korea? And were you satisfied with your previous visit there?
After I had some decent results in DreamHack Winter 2011 my ex team (esahara) asked me if I want to go to Korea and I said yes. Then we planned the date as well as the place and that was pretty much it. My family was very supportive about my trip to korea because it was an unique opportunity.
Do you have any funny stories about being a foreigner in Korea? What is your favorite new food, that you love and only discovered since moving out? Is there anything about home that you still miss, or has the homesickness not been a problem?
I don't have anything particular but every time the shop ladies started to laugh when I said "thank you" in korean after buying something. My favourite korean restaurant food is probably Bulgogi or korean BBQ and I missed almost everything from home and at some times I just wanted to go back, I think 2,5 months is too long for a stay.
You've been in a couple of organisations before joining Fnatic. What was your overall opinion of the team before actually joining it?
My opinion about Fnatic was that they have been around in esports for so long and they are very reliable and professional with really good sponsors.
You tried to qualify for Code A. What type of tournaments are you looking forward to the most? MLG, GSL, ESL, GSTL? Which tournament you feel most comfortable in?
I like the basic open tournaments the most, such as DH, HSC, ASUS ROG and other european events. MLG has always so many koreans playing and the mega bracket seems to be impossible for a foreigner, I think they are doing it wrong. Though I gotta admit that the MLG qualifiers with paid trips are really good for all the players and teams.
What are your feelings about the differences between playing in front of European crowds versus a Korean audience? Do you enjoy one more than the other?
Never played in front of a Korean audience but I guess I would prefer to play in front of a European audience, preferably a Finnish audience.
Did you have any particular friends or practice partners on the Fnatic roster before you joined? How do you feel about your new teammates? What goals do you think playing for Fnatic can help you achieve?
Harstem is a really good friend of mine and I feel a very good about being in the same team with him. Also I had met NightEnD many times before and we were in good terms, though not the best friends either x) The Koreans are obviously very good and I hope they can share their knowledge about the game.
Fnatic has been playing (and doing well) in team leagues recently, like the GSTL and the EGMCS. Do you enjoy playing in team leagues? What are your expectations for Fnatic's team performances - any bold prophecies?
I would love to play in an offline teamleague tournament some day. It was a magical feeling to watch the WC3L and ENC teamleagues in Warcraft 3. Well I think Fnatic can do really well in teamleagues because of the koreans, Moon is probably going to dominate really soon.
Fnatic has a mix of European and Korean players in the line up. Do you speak fluent Korean after spending a while in Korea?
I know probably 20 words in Korean, half of them swear words.
Your style of play has always been known as... interesting, unique, unconventional. How do you come up with your builds? What inspires you to think outside the box, rather than trying to perfect a build that someone else has already established?
Sometimes I just go into a game and do something I have never done before even in tournament games. The logic behind my builds is that; why would I do a build that my enemy has faced 1000 times than a build he has never even seen before.
What is your favorite match up and which match up do you feel least comfortable with? Has it always been this way, or do you find that your best match up changes with time and patches?
My favourite matchup is TvP because it's always very much fun and TvT is probably my best matchup. The best matchup always shifts because when you clearly have a best matchup you start focusing on the other matchups more and then your best matchup gets neglected and gets worse, of course the patches play a role too.
What are you looking forward to the most when Heart of the Swarm comes out?
I look forward to the start. In WoL the start was the most fun I have ever had with SC2 because every day people came up with new builds and new units to abuse.
You used to play Warcraft 3. Can you talk about your transition over to Starcraft 2 and why you chose Terran?
The transition to Starcraft 2 was very easy because I was a very fast player in Warcraft 3. I used to have APM of 300-400, most of it obviously spam but it still meant that I was fast. I chose terran because I felt that they have many options to harass the opponent and good static defence.
How was HSC? You seem to have performed quite well in there, what are your impressions of the tournament?
HSC was the most fun I have had at a SC2 tournament, as always. Tournament went ok for me, I lost only versus zergs which is not very surprising.
How many hours do you usually practice per day and is it changing over time/situation?
I usually practice from 2 to 8 hours every day and it definitely is changing over time and situations.