By Sören "Fantasy"

Hello Fittske, thanks for taking the time for this interview. Let's start with a little introduction from your side. Who exactly are you?

Fittske: Heyo! My name is Love Brändström, 21 years old, currently living in Stockholm, Sweden. Right now I'm playing support in [tdM]Trademark eSports.

I am sure most of the community members are aware of your current spot in the HoN scene, but how did you start gaming?

I guess that depends on what one defines as "gaming." NES was my first so-called gaming experience, and I've always had it in my life more or less. The first game I got any good at was probably Counter-Strike 1.6. I used to play it A LOT at a LAN center not too far away from where I live. That LAN center was the core to my gaming career and also the foundation for quite a few friendships (pallet, Bassets and Pajkatt to name a few).

It was at that LAN center that I got introduced to DotA. The game was sooo unbelievably hard but still so much fun, I was instantly hooked. At that time DotA-league was really popular and we were always signing in and playing against and with each other on that platform. But at that time it was "only for fun."

Was it also the LAN center where you got in touch with HoN, or how did that happen?

You could say that, yes. Pallet and a few others started playing it and tried to get me to cross over, but the abandonment of DotA wasn't anything I was interested in at all. As time went by, more and more people started playing Ho. Then one day I decided to try it out. I complained about every single thing that was "new" and cried about imbalance in the game. After 20-30 games I stopped hating, and started to appreciate the flow in the game and the mechanics that were superior to DotA’s.

So it was not love at first sight. Still you stuck around with the game and grew to love it. When did you decide to even go further and start playing it on a competitive level against the best in the world?

When I started playing there was no matchmaking yet, so I played in-houses and a lot of public games with Pallet and Bassets who were a lot better than me at HoN. I noticed pretty fast that I was able to compete with many high PSR players, and that was maybe the first factor that led me to the competitive scene.

When TMM was implemented I had just gotten to know Piratkuk (Zetpro/SweetPro) and we played all the time and he taught me many things when it came to support in HoN (that was what he played back then). It was soon after that period of time that I decided to commit a bit more to the game; support was something I found most challenging to play so I wanted to get better at it.

You got the first burst in fame when you played in the ADON in the UNGL Cup. Was it your first team?

That is correct, ADON was the team/community Zetpro and I founded and we gathered all the pubstars (that we liked) without teams and started scrimming and playing in-houses. Mynuts, Skyzoe, s4 and Jonassomfan were part of ADON and they were looking to pick a 5th member in their main roster, and the person they happened to pick up was me.

Your first major victory on the big stage was in the UNGL tournament, when you took out the masters themselves in fnatic.HoN. After that the rise began, and you skyrocketed with your team to major titles, a sponsorship and an elite status on the scene as a player. Looking back, how surprised were you that it all went this fast and this far?

Obviously beating fnatic in my first official game was a huge accomplishment, especially since they were on their domination streak at that time. I knew that we were pretty good, but not that good! Though I have to say that the trilane meta made it pretty easy for lesser-skilled teams to pick off games against good teams. Since the game against fnatic was a Best of One, we were able to do just that, pick off one game.

One thing that is following your professional success in Heroes of Newerth is the connection to Mynuts. How would you describe that relationship?

Mynuts is THE original captain, he has the leadership qualities that I require to play to my potential. We complement each other really well. He is also one of the few in HoN I could see myself be friends with outside of HoN (no offense to everyone else); he is a pretty cool guy. :)

You played under several other captains in your day, some of them highly respected leaders like swindlemelonzz or Emperor. What sets Mynuts apart and provides this positive effect on your game?

Criticism—swindle was almost afraid to take conflicts inside the team and that didn't work at all for me. Emperor has what it takes, we just didn't have the time to get everything right in the team, there's really nothing more to it.

Mynuts points out every single thing he thinks I'm doing wrong. Then we have a discussion (if needed), and then we make the adjustment. I'm improving in every game that we play together. He is also really enthusiastic on LAN and so am I; that brings a great atmosphere inside the team and things like that really helps in a LAN environment.

Is that constant improvement and good environment/atmosphere also the reason why Trademark eSports is so incredibly dominant right now? Or what is the major factor in that?

I think it's one of many reasons; the atmosphere is great but that alone won't win you any games. Team play, individual skill, drafting and implementation of game plan TOGETHER with atmosphere wins games.

Are you confident that you can sustain this level of success for much longer?

I will do whatever I can to help the improvement on a personal level as well as on a team level—whether that's enough I really can't say. Time will tell. Dominating teams are known to have downswings and there's no getting away from that; if we have one I'll do whatever is necessary to make it as short as possible.

A couple of major LANs are on the horizon with the GSL, the HoN Tour Finals and the DreamHack events. Which event are you looking forward the most, assuming you qualify for all of them?

Definitely Las Vegas—once in your life you have to go there. That's just the way it works and now I'm able to cross that off the list. I've heard so many great things about the place and my team is a great bunch of guys so it's 100% going to be a blast!

Thank you very much for the time—any shoutouts or anything special you want to get off your chest to close the interview?

Nothing special, just the regular shoutouts to Trademark eSports, Razer, Raidcall and Bangbangcrew. Oh and Jennifer Berg! Cheerio.

- Sören "Fantasy"