truth and ATK finished Fragadelphia 16 in 3rd-4th place

truth: "I'm really happy with how we've been playing"

The well-traveled player has really enjoyed his time with ATK in Mexico thus far.

For our fifth and final interview of Fragadelphia 16, Dust2.us' Jeff "Mnmzzz" Moore sat down with ATK's Erik "truth" Hansen Dyrnes to discuss his history in the Norwegian scene, his international adventures as a player, and moving to Mexico to join ATK, among other topics.

Note that this interview was recorded on March 5th, 2022 however, the release of the transcript was delayed due to issues with the audio recording.

To start, you are one of a few foreign players here at Fragadelphia 16. For those who might not know, can you discuss your early history in the European scene?

My first team ever was Refuse and I'm pretty sure none of my former teammates are still active. I played with k0na, phrzer, and tomzey. After that we won a Norwegian LAN against Oslo Lions, a team that played [ESEA Premier Season 19].

A short time after that the team disbanded and I started playing with Swedes on a team called TzatzikiKlubben with hampus, RuStY, xajdish, and we also had hallzerk for a short stint. It was a mix-team and it worked out for a little while and we were close to qualifying to [DreamHack Open Austin 2017] but we lost against mousesports.

Then I went over to BX3, a Norwegian organization, and it was my first time playing local teams again. This was a completely new lineup with me, Radifaction, RoSeY, ztk, and hallzerk. After that I joined Kingpins with a lineup consisting of me, akEz, aNdz, [H4RR3, and Marcelious]. We later added mikki but decided he wasn't a good fit for the team due to being inexperienced and then akEz and H4RR3 got an offer to join Nordavind so we lost two of our key players.

While building our new lineup, we won a local LAN with Grusarn and convinced him to leave his team and join us on Kingpins. With that our new lineup ended up being me, aNdz, Grusarn, Marcelious, and RashiiiE. We did ok with that team, winning Telenorligaen, [a local Norwegian LAN circuit], against Nordavind which had a wicked lineup because they kicked all their players and had to play with their coach, which was good for us. After that I decided to not re-sign with them and went to BTRG.

Speaking of BTRG, I feel like that marks the beginning of your international period as a player after spending your early years on Norwegian/Swedish teams. Right before joining BTRG, I know you briefly played on a very interesting mix-team called ECL at PLG Grand Slam 2018 with ScreaM, D0cC, and fejtZ. How did that team form and what was it like playing with that squad?

First of all, we played the African qualifier because fejtZ had a contact there who asked if we wanted to play. It was me, bramz, fejtZ, and two other Tunisian players who I don't remember. Both of them couldn't get a visa for Dubai so we added ScreaM and D0cC. That team was interesting and I think we had a good group run despite it being D0cC's first event. We played decent together and had an ok result. We lost to TYLOO 16-14 and then we beat NASR and Grayhounds.

Your next destination on your international journey was joining Chinese team BTRG alongside fejtZ. How did you make contact with this Chinese organization and eventually join them?

Yet again it was fejtZ. He was contacted by them and he recommended me as well because we had good experiences together and knew how to play around each other. When we went there it was kind of odd because we had three Chinese players and only one of them could speak decent English. So, the first thing that happened was we had to print out all the maps and write down English callouts for them so they could learn them which took a while. We decided that we change out one of the Chinese players for a Singaporean player called ImpressioN. We made it a lot easier for us because he could speak English and Mandarin fluently. He joined as our IGL but also did a lot more work than just being the IGL as he communicated with the org for us because none of them spoke English. He was basically an agent, manager, and IGL all in one so he had a lot on his plate.

Was your time on BTRG valuable despite the language barrier and other issues?

Yeah of course. You learn different cultures and you learn how people act. Every experience you get is really important to develop as a human being.

After BTRG you returned to Apeks and then after a year and a half with them you went inactive for the majority of 2021. What were you up to while away from the game?

I was really burned out from my last project. We had a really rough summer with loads of matches and the team wasn't that good. I was burnt out and I needed a little break. Straight after that I tried out of Nordavind but it wasn't for me so I started playing VALORANT a little bit casually for five months. After that I got back in CS:GO and playing on a mix-team with tabz and after playing for a bit feel back in love with CS:GO again.

After recommitting to the game, how did you end up with the ATK lineup?

I used to have sprayxd as a coach on Vexed a few years ago. When he tweeted that the team was looking for new players, I messaged him and after that he reached out to me. Then we had two weeks of talking to the org and fixing our contract and after that I flew to Mexico.

What's it like living in Mexico? Is there any culture shock from living in a completely different country with a new group of players?

So far, it has been all good. The only incident was sprayxd was robbed for his phone. Other than it's been ok, the weather is better than Norway.

Can you discuss the team culture a bit? How well is the team getting along with such a diverse nationality mix, and do you think having another European in the form of b0denmaster helps?

So far, we've all worked really well together. Everyone is looking to learn new stuff and we're all focused on bringing the best results to ATK as we can.

Unfortunately, sprayxd wasn't able to join the team at Fragadelphia 16 due to visa issues. Has his absence been felt on the team?

It is how it is. It doesn't feel that different but it would be nice to have him here because he could pump us up in the moment. We handle ourselves pretty good and everyone on the team has a good attitude and we want to do our best.

I was talking to mithR yesterday and we were discussing who we think would be the big threats at this event. He pointed out ATK as one of the biggest threats. Do you think there's a potential situation where the Brazilian and European teams take over the event or are there NA teams that have impressed you so far?

I don't really know how these teams are going to play on LAN and I don't think they're that impressive anymore but ChocoCheck caught me by surprise in how they play when I first came to North America. But now that I've been playing FPL and stuff, I've got to know them I don't think they're that scary. Maybe a team like Strife could do better as they're more serious.

Do you think Strife is your only threat among the North American teams?

It depends on who will have a good day. I think every team can be a threat if they have a good day.

With that, is the expectation for ATK to win the event outright with your tools and protocols as a team?

We'll see how the day develops. We've been playing trash and before the first day we hadn't played CS:GO in a couple days because we've been traveling. We'll see how we develop throughout the day. Hopefully we get warmer and play better because if we play anywhere close to our top level, I think we can get top two.

Looking towards the future, do you and b0denmaster plan on staying in North America long-term with ATK?

I think we're both interested in staying in North America depending on how it goes with our team. I'm really happy with how we've been playing and there's going to be more opportunity in this region in the year ahead.

ATK currently have a perfect 5-0 record in ESL Challenger League Season 40 and have locked in their spot for playoffs. Their next match will be against ONET4P on March 22nd at 08:00PM.

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