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On the semifinals day at ESL One Hamburg 2018, we had the opportunity to talk to Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora, who has recently returned to the United States and joined the newly formed Forward Gaming. We spoke about his time in SEA, why did he choose to move there, what made him come back and what are the things he gained from the Fnatic experience.

Hey UNiVeRsE how is it going, I heard ESL impressed everyone with how they treated the players, are you happy with how they organized this event?


Oh yes, the players’ treatment was so much better than any other previous years. When we got here the practice rooms were already set up, they had a very nice player’s lounge waiting for us. Everything was so much better compared with the previous editions.


Ok, let’s talk about the two big decisions that you took this year. One was to pack your things and move to Southeast Asia and the other was to come back to NA. So, what made you go there and join Fnatic in the first place?


I went to Southeast Asia basically because I thought I had the best chance of doing well at TI by playing over there. I knew DJ and Abed are really good players so I went there expecting that we will be good and now, looking behind I must say it was a pretty good change for me. At the same time, I think moving to SEA was a  pretty crazy decision in a way because I was paying with a completely new set of players and I was playing in a new environment as well.

I mean, it was definitely an experience, I feel like I learned a lot by doing my time there, but I decided to come back to NA because ultimately I am the happiest when I live in America or somewhere in the west, it could have very well been Europe. So, yeah, that was the biggest reason for leaving SEA, for personal happiness.


And I’m guessing having the opportunity to reunite with SVG or Aui_2000 played a lot in your decision to join Forward Gaming?


Oh yeah, sure, working with these two in the past made my decision even easier.


What would you say are the main things you learned or you discovered about yourself while you’ve been with Fnatic?


I played with EternaLEnvy for a while and he has a very different vision on the game than most of the other players and I feel like  I learned a lot of stuff from him. Just talking to him all the time and playing with him taught me a lot. And living in a completely new environment was scary to me and I realized that there’s a lot of things that I took for granted when I was playing from home. But, overall it was an interesting and a very good experience and I enjoyed my time there.

What are your personal expectations with Forward Gaming in terms of Kuala Lumpur Major or even for the entire season?


I don’t really have any kind of expectations right now. We will obviously try to do our best at the Major and getting top three would be pretty amazing. My main goal is to improve myself throughout the year so we can do well at TI.


Most players are waiting for a new patch, people want different things from it, so I would like to ask what’s your desire for the offlane, what do you want to see changed with the new patch?


I would like to see some changes that will make more heroes viable for the offlane. This patch it’s been here for a while and it’s kind of been figured out, of course, a few things are still popping here and there, but I want to be like a huge change where the offlane will become a bit more specific. Right now everyone can be an offlaner, because the way I feel it goes is that all three core roles are pretty similar and I want to have a specialized offlane role.

Alright, I hope Valve will listen to your voice and I hope you and Forward Gaming will have a great year moving on from here. Any shout-outs at the end of our interview?


Shout-out to Forward, shout-out to our title sponsor Mr.Cat and thank you for having me for this interview.


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