What is it like going from playing in Challenger Series to playing in international LAN tournaments? What is the hardest part to adjust to?
Kikis: As for myself, I have a lot of experience of playing LAN events even before LCS was a thing, for example 2012 regionals at Gamescom, so it’s nothing new to me. But it’s a lot different and more exciting to play in front of huge live audience, when you can feel when they cheer and get hyped, instead of online at your sweet home. It’s definitely something I look forward to and will never get bored of.
What steps do you take to adapt to the newest patch? What is your approach to the current jungle?
Kikis: Well, the most important thing is to get used to it. And to do that, you just spam solo Queue games.. To get a feel of what’s strong I try a lot of champions that I think might be worth experimenting with. If I don’t see any potential in a champion, I’ll just drop it and move on. If I think something can work I’ll use it in a scrim to see how it works in a more competitive environment. I don’t look too hard though, I don’t put pressure on myself to deliver a new pick to the audience. I won’t put team in situation that we lose purely by trying too hard to make something work.
Who do you expect to give you the hardest time in the jungle?
Kikis: It’s hard to judge skill levels after new jungle patch came out and most of the junglers didn’t play competitive games on it. But if I had to choose, I respect Svenskeren as a player the most and I think he could give me the hardest time in the jungle with his aggressive playstyle. It doesn’t mean I would fall under his grace though, I will fight to the death with everyone I meet on Summoner’s rift.
What do you like or dislike about the current state of the jungle in the preseason and what changes would you like to see heading into Season 5?
Kikis: I like the way changes are going right now. Riot is doing their best to make this role balanced and fun. I actually really enjoy 2 stacks of smite and ability to change jungle items for free before enchanting. It gives better options for farming junglers that start with purple smite, and later on they can change it back to more useful smite in team fights.
What are your thoughts on ranged junglers and do you believe they require an advanced mechanical proficiency? What is their place on a team?
Kikis: I think ranged junglers are pretty strong, but it’s hard to fit them into a team comp. A lot of the times you have mid, ad and support ranged and you need some kind of front line. They require proper knowledge and practice about juggling the minions to not lose health and also don’t let them hard reset, which slows your jungle tremendously. Though with the recent nerfs on soft resets going down to 5 I am not so sure about them anymore. That might’ve killed their viability.
What was your mindset picking TF at IEM, was it intended to be a “cheese” or is it simply something you’ve practiced and had success with? What were your thoughts going into the matchup against TSM?
Kikis: We’ve practiced TF in scrims quite a bit. It worked pretty well. A lot of damage with great CC and map control with ult. I was confident in the champion, team was confident in me and we just went with it. Of course the part that we pick it in higher rotation to make enemies think it’s a mid-laner played a big part and that was intended, but it wasn’t the sole reason to use Twisted Fate. Everyone was super pumped against playing versus TSM and we were really motivated to win that and I’m really glad we actually did.
What did you gain most from playing at IEM? What are your overall thoughts on the event?
Kikis: Most people on the team doesn’t have a lot of LAN experience, especially in front of such a huge and wonderful audience, so it was a good thing for us. We played versus the best teams from NA and we learned a lot from C9 about vision control and team synergy. The event itself was really nice. We’ve met a lot of fans of the team, signed some stuff and took some photos. (which is pretty new to us by the way, it was overwhelming).
How are you preparing for the LCS? What are your goals going into the spring split?
Kikis: Well, mainly playing the game. 7 hours of scrim daily, 1-4 hours of solo Q and some analysis/team talk and watching replays. Every day we are getting better, we know our problems and we address them correctly. Everyone has a lot of trust into each other which is really great. We are not afraid to practice picks that we think are strong and we are motivated to put up a good show in the LCS and hopefully more.
Who are you looking forward to playing against most and who do you feel is your biggest threat in the EU LCS?
Kikis: It might sound lame but I look forward against playing every team. I am curious about overall strength of EU teams and on how we stand against them. The biggest threat will probably be Elements and SK. They look really good on paper, but we have to see if they stand up to their hype.
What players do you look up to? How would you define your playstyle and how do you feel it plays into your teams overall gameplay?
Kikis: The people I most look up to are the ones that give their heart and dedicate a lot of time to league. So from Europe it would mostly be Rekkles and Froggen. Also Faker, because he is a god, and Zefa. I really like Zefa’s playstyle and love watching him play.
What is your favorite lane to gank?
Kikis: I don’t really have a favorite lane to gank. The only thing is that a lot of the times it’s hard to gank bot lane because they have more people percentage wise compared to other lanes and more defensive summoner spells.
Kikis: I would like to thanks to everyone who is cheering for me or my team. The amount of support we are getting lately is huge and we are grateful for that. Also shout outs to our sponsors for helping us out and making living in gaming house possible!
Authors Note: Due to a busy schedule and preparation for the upcoming LCS, the release of this interview was delayed and some of the information is late.