Looking back on the NA LCS playoffs, what would you have done differently? What do you believe you did well despite the outcome?
Our biggest mistake in the playoffs was not doing lane swaps correctly. TSM got advantages out of lane swaps every game which put us at big disadvantages right away.
Heading into the summer split, what is your preparation like?
We have been scrimming as much as we can to get used to playing with our new roster.
What are your overall thoughts on MSI? How strong did you believe TSM was going in and whatdo you think went most wrong for them? Were you surprised by any of the other teams?
MSI was an interesting tournament, I think TSM was a little overconfident going into it and their loss against fnatic was hard on them mentally which rolled over into the rest of their matches in the group stage. AHQ played surprisingly well. In the past, Southeast Asia hasn’t done that well with the exception of TPA at season 2 worlds.
With Hai recently stepping down, what is the team dynamic like? Is there a lot of adjustments in adapting to playing with incarnati0n or is it more of him molding to the team?
The team dynamic is similar but I’ve had to step into the shotcalling role since Hai left. New rosters don’t run smoothly over night so it will take some time for everyone to adjust to the new lineup but it seems to be going in the right direction so far.
What is the biggest difference between Hai and Incarnati0n in the mid lane, so far?
Hai was a really selfless player who put a lot of emphasis on vision, roaming, and helping out everyone else on the team. Incarnati0n plays more of a carry style.
Hai was renowned for his shotcalling. Will you be assuming this role or will it be passed on to incarnati0n? What is the team doing to make sure communication stays on the same level or better with the loss of Hai?
I’ll be taking over the shot calling for the team. It was always a combined effort before with hai, where I covered most of the macro oriented shot calling while he did the micro stuff such as pulling the trigger for a fight or going for high risk plays. Those are things that I’m working on and hoping to have ironed out as soon as possible. I hope that the communication is good with the new roster. I think that our success as a team previously came not only from Hai’s shotcalling, but our ability as a team to listen to his calls without hesitation or resistance. We all had a lot a trust in Hai’s leadership so we followed him blindly and I hope the team will put the same level of trust in my calls.
Do you believe the current roster is a contender for worlds? What do you wish to improve on most individually? As a team?
Worlds is an entire split away and I haven’t even begun thinking about it. I think that everyone on the team is skilled individually but winning competitive matches goes way deeper than just mechanics. I’ll be happy with whatever result we get as long as we give it a perfect effort
How do you expect the newer teams, TDK and NME, to perform? Who do you see in the top 3 positions at the end of the split?
I haven’t played against TDK or NME in LCS yet so there’s no way to tell. They both looked good in the challenger series so only time will tell
How are you feeling on the current meta and state of the game overall? What changes, if any, would you like to see?
I think that Cinderhulk is interesting for the game because it changed up the champion pools but it has led to some weird stuff that I’m not a big fan of. I don’t like top laners running Smite or the fact that Warrior junglers get out scaled so hard by the % hp on Cinderhulk… I also really dislike any meta where Nunu is a top pick.
Describe your playstyle. Do you believe there is a “superior” way of jungling, or is there a way to make any style work within a team?
I don’t know if the way I play falls under a specific style. Limiting yourself to one style seems like a mistake so I try to be aggressive when I can and cautious when I need to be. I suppose you could say that my style is safer and more farm oriented than other junglers. I do not like going for high risk plays when I don’t have to and I care about vision control.
What changes do you expect to see with patch 5.10? What are your thoughts on 5.10?
I expect the top junglers to be nerfed, the patch is probably going to feel bad for a while but then I’ll get used to the nerfs.
What’s your current favorite champion and why?
My all time favorite champions to play are Elise and Zac. I originally started playing each of them because I enjoyed their play styles and I found a way to fit them into my competitive champion pool which yielded pretty good results until they were inevitably nerfed.
Thoughts on Zac? Will we see him return at any point this season?
I liked Zac when Cinderhulk first came out but since then I’ve liked him less and less. I think there are a few problems with Zac. First of all, if you play him in a traditional jungle style of ganking and warding for your lanes while buying Sightstone and Locket, you’ll be way too squishy for team fights and drop dead as soon as you jump in. The only way to be strong enough for team fights on Zac is to play selfishly which doesn’t put much pressure on the enemy team. Secondly, Zac’s E is almost impossible to hit given how much mobility and how many knock ups champions have nowadays. Lastly, Zac doesn’t do very much damage with a tank build and he’s easy to kite.
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Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.