There’s not much that bothers Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, not even reliving the worst map of his career. Widely regarded as one of the best players in Europe, Middle East and Africa, it’s rare to find him near the bottom of any scoreboard, but last time Fnatic faced Acend, he dropped just two frags on Icebox, making it statistically his worst performance of all time.
But when asked about the rematch as Fnatic take on Acend this weekend, Derke simply joked, “Oh I’m sure we can beat them this time if I get more than two frags!”
Fnatic only managed to get one round on Icebox in their previous match-up against Acend, but it’s not something Derke will dwell on as Icebox is currently their best map.
“Icebox is one of our strongest maps right now, I don’t want to look and focus on the past because we are doing very well now. I just want to play our best, win and go to playoffs,” he said. “I don’t think I can ever do worse than last time and I don’t think my teammate who had one kill would ever do worse than that either in his career. We were the star players of the team at the time so I think sometimes you’re unlucky, the stars just align, and you end up getting three kills between the two of you. We found the funny side though, we didn’t cry or tilt over it, it’s a bit of a meme for us.
WE RIDE TOGETHER WE DIE TOGETHER🤝 pic.twitter.com/HaIL9CY9no
— FNATIC mini (@minijake_) April 15, 2021
Despite being able to see the more amusing side to their last encounter, Derke still wants to get his revenge this time around, especially with a potential playoffs spot on the line.
“I really want to get my revenge, it’s going to be an exciting match,” he said. “I feel like they’re going to change some stuff because it didn’t work against Guild. They won Champions, while we were the quarterfinalists. Right now, we’re becoming better and better each week, you can see the improvements. Even in pracc sometimes you can see the improvements not just as a team but for individuals too.”
One of the changes Fnatic will be bringing into the rematch against Acend is their new player Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov. The 26-year-old had a fantastic debut against G2, winning the Player of the Match vote, and was also instrumental in Fnatic’s victory against BBL.
“I bonded with Brave a lot because I already knew him and I was hyping him up for our trials,” Derke said. “We communicate in Russian sometimes in clutch situations or when we’re defending on-site together because sometimes if I want to say something fast it’s automatically in Russian. We have a good relationship, we meme a lot as well and hang out. It’s really nice to have him on the team and see him do well.”
Fnatic has yet to drop a series in their group, and with only three teams out of the six eligible for playoffs, their match against Acend could be the pivotal difference-maker.