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Heading into MSI what was your preparation like heading into the event? What were your expectations beforehand and did you feel confident that you could perform on an international stage?

We prepared like we did for playoffs in the NA LCS, but keeping in mind the meta in the other regions and what they’re likely to play. I don’t think we ended up having the best grasp on the Meta though, and we didn’t have enough time to adapt after playing all the international teams in scrims. I had pretty low expectations since I try to avoid having high hopes and disappointing myself, but I did have confidence that we could potentially do well.

After playing in scrims I felt pretty confident in my own individual play compared to the other mids in the tournament, I don’t think it was lacking. Our mid pool was very safe and independent of help, so it might not have looked like I had a lot of pressure/control in the matches.

 

Looking back, would you have done anything differently at MSI? What are your thoughts on your own performance?

For me personally I would have put a lot more practice into Leblanc and Azir as those were power picks that patch but we didn’t pick up on them in time. Azir is a champion that requires a ton of practice, and we thought we would be able to efficiently counter LeBlanc, but it’s very difficult considering her power level on that match. I think my individual performance was fine, I played pretty consistent in all laning phases but I also didn’t play champions with high kill pressure. Unfortunately I didn’t get to show much later in the game since we fell apart early in every match.

 

What are your thoughts on the MSI Finals? Did you expect EDG to win? 

I thought the final could go either way but SKT would take it in the end, was pleasantly surprised seeing EDG counter Fakers Leblanc and win the final game, definitely deserved!

 

What did you learn most from the event? 

Mostly to respect other regions and their meta/picks. Other teams had heavy focus on top lane and there were a couple of meta picks we didn’t pick up on before the tournament. It’s important to stay on top of the meta and play what is strongest if you want to compete internationally.

 

It always gets asked, but I have to: What was it like laning against Faker?

Laning against Faker on stage was a cool experience. I was nervous in the early game but he made a couple mistakes that let me get pressure and blow his summoners. I feel like they may have underestimated us and therefore he was going for aggressive trades that he normally wouldn’t have, which ended up getting punished.

 

How has your play changed since joining TSM? What do you believe you have improved on most?

When I joined TSM I played mostly assassins and some Orianna, but my Orianna was not near the level of the rest of my assassin champion pool. Since joining TSM I can play more playstyles and a bigger variety of champions. I also learned how to translate my own lead in lane to snowballing other lanes and winning the game, instead of trying to get more kills or a bigger cs lead.

 

How much impact does the mid laner have on the game and what should their primary focus or role be? 

Mid lane has a lot of impact on the game, since if you lose control of mid, their mid can move first to every skirmish or fight around the map. Also when you lose mid tower you lose a lot of control, and they can freely move into your jungle without being spotted by the first mid turret. The primary role or focus changes depending on what champions you play. You can go play assassin/split pushers, poke champions, team fight or supportive champions, the mid lane is very versatile in terms of its role.

 

How are you enjoying the current Meta? What changes, if any, would you make to the game right now?

I don’t mind the current meta, though it saddens me a little to see assassins falling out. Mid lane is mostly about fulfilling a poke or team fighting role depending on your team’s needs.

 

Who do you see occupying the top 3 spots before playoffs? Do you believe NA is a contender for the World Championship title, more specifically TSM?

I think the top 3 in NA by the end of the split will be us, Gravity and Team Liquid in any order. Gravity has really shown up this split and shown they can be strong, and Liquid is extremely solid. NA is looking slightly weak as a region but hopefully the top teams can pick it up with a bootcamp before worlds. With the right mindset I believe any of us can catch up with a month or two of boot camping.

 

Are there any champions outside of the Meta you would like to see in competitive play? Who is your  favorite champion in Solo queue right now?

Even though he can be situationally viable I love playing yasuo and wish he would be a more competitive pick. He has such a high skillcap and outplay ability and is a champion you never stop improving on. Also the likes of Riven mid, miss those times.

 

Shoutouts?

Shoutout to all the fans for supporting us, especially after the fiasco at MSI, we’ll do better in the future! Also thanks for all our sponsors and TSM for giving me the opportunity to be here. I’m living the dream.

 


Tim Kimbirk is a Journalist and content creator for TSM. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

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WIZARDRENEK5

Sorry for the late update, I moved!

Once I settled down, I fired up a game and bam! A Fizz agreed to trade roles with a Renekton, but the trade never happened. As soon as the game loaded up Renekton was furious because he had his Fizz runes and masteries, and all the Fizz had to say was “whoops (:”.

Needless to say the game was filled with very colorful language. Oh well!

 

Author: Ketherly twitter

Edit: I probably will not update this banner haha, here’s a poorly made process gif instead!WIZARDRENEKprocess

 

Ekko New Challenger Banner

 

Fitting in

This week, Ekko became eligible in the LPL, as well as the EU and NA LCS. While still disabled in LCK, it’s always exciting when a champion enters or returns to the meta, and in this case rings especially true. Regarded as “overloaded”, Ekko can be seen as a burst mage with a ton of utility,  not to mention the fact that he can escape most situations relatively intact. His E skill, Phase Dive, grants him the ability to chase down opponents, or get out of a potentially lethal encounter. Coupled with an AoE stun, the pick potential is real from whatever position he is played.

Making his competitive debut in EU, Ekko would take on a variety of roles as players figure out exactly where the AP assassin belongs. Billed as a mid laner, does Ekko truly stand without limits?

Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen so far.

 

Stage 1 Europe

After bans in the first 3 games of the week, we would finally see Froggen bring Ekko out to a strong performance of 4-1-4, though eventually falling to Fnatic. In his next appearance, Airwaks brought the time shattering menace into the jungle, ending up with a 3-2-3 score and a defeat.

Played 3 more times, only one player would find success on Ekko as Froggen received yet another loss with a modest score of 2-2-1. Fnatic top laner Huni pulled off the only Ekko win in EU, going 7-1-7 and rushing what has become the standard: Morellonomicon. In the clip below, Huni shows us Ekko’s bait potential, Fnatic style.



Kikis would also bring Ekko into the jungle, suffering a 1-4-5 loss to H2K. It’s worth noting that in both Kikis and Airwaks games, neither jungler opted to build sightstone. With a questionable rush of Spirit Visage on Airwaks, and Kikis going from his Cinderhulk into a Locket of the Iron Solari and Glacial shroud, a case can be made for the early vision offered by sighstone over getting tanky as fast as possible. Time will tell.

Ekko premiered in Europe, but would make his first true mark in North America.

 
Stage 2 North America

At the end of day 2, Ekko’s debut would spark numerous questions. Where is he best played? What should he build? What role does he serve? The NA LCS would provide no clear answer as he ended week 3 with wins across all three roles.

Interestingly, in both of his losses in North America, Ekko was played mid lane, and ended with a positive score. With Innox going 5-2-5 in their loss against Team 8, and Bjergsen 7-1-6 against Team Dignitas, neither player could capitalize on their advantages, hinting at something far from revolutionary: Ekko is team dependent. While he boasts awesome slaying power, Ekko is also loaded up with a stun and a slow, granting his team just as much utility as damage. Coordination is key, best displayed in Team Liquid’s game against Cloud 9.



Opting for a sighstone rush and lots of early game pressure, IWillDominate gave us the first glimpse of Ekko’s strengths in the jungle. At the end of the 39 minute matchup, Ekko became a tanky time-travelling terror, soaking up damage for his team and controlling team fights through zoning and intelligent placing of his ultimate.

In their match against TDK, Bjergsen was able pull off a score of 12-6-7, taking control of the mid lane and eventually the game in a relatively standard match from TSM.



Finally, ZionSpartan would put up an admirable 4-3-9 in his victory against Gravity, once again showcasing Ekko’s carry potential even when starting defensively, choosing to build a Seeker’s Armguard before the traditional Morellonomicon.

Ekko secured a 3-2 overall win record in NA, leading to even more questions.  Next stop, China.


Stage 3 China

There was no shortage of Ekko play in the 12 team LPL, finding himself played in 11 out of the 24 games in Week 4. In a region known for it’s teamfighting, it would be interesting to see the Chinese teams approach to the league’s newest champion.

Our first glimpse of Ekko in the LPL would come in the form of a loss in the midlane as Dade gave up first blood and fell 3-5-1 to Pawn’s Leblanc. Being forced into an abyssal scepter, Dade never quite managed to claw back into the game and EDG closed the game out in typical EDG fashion – convincingly.

The next showing of Ekko would be by none other than Rookie. Living up to his nickname of “Faker Junior”, a 10-3-13 score in game 2 against LGD showed us what can happen when Ekko gets ahead early. Controlling the pace of team fights and zoning enemies with his W ability, Parallel convergence, Ekko’s presence in 5v5 scenarios is impossible to ignore.

 

 

In a less than spectacular performance, Flandre would flounder, going 2-7-1 with another strange item build on Ekko, choosing to build Cinderhulk and Trinity force and operating with a summoner spell combination of Teleport and Smite. After Snake took an early tower, QG would take hold of the game with a solo kill from V, and never slowed down from there. From behind, Ekko was never able to get into the Snake backline, and his team fight impact was rendered useless.

The first matchup of IG vs. OMG would feature Cool on Ekko, but with an 0-0-1 score, it was pretty much the Uzi show. It would be the 4-1-16 Jungle Ekko of mlxg to give us our next win on the champion in game 1 of RNG vs. WE, followed by a poor attempt to do the same by Spirit in the next game, closing the set 0-2 with a score line of 3-2-6. Not wanting to follow in Spirit’s footsteps, Eimy showed us once again that Jungle Ekko is more than a gimmick, controlling the pace of the game against one of the best teams the world has to offer in EDG.  He would close game out game one with an impressive score of 4-1-22. With Pawn and GODV both posting losses in the mid lane, it would be Eimy to bring out Ekko two more times, posting up a 3-1-19 win and a 1-4-4 loss in their set against WE. Not out of the ordinary for a jungler, every game Ekko was played in the jungle featured a Sightstone rush, with victories using both Ranger’s Trailblazer and Stalker’s Blade.


 

Wanting a more clear idea of his success in China, I consulted with LPL caster Froskurinn Devin “Froskurinn” Ryanne Mohr.

 

“I think Ekko has found most of his use in the jungle – starting fights using his kit as a gap closer and slow for the rest of his team, serving as an initiation tool. Mlxg and Eimy showed much better performances than the mid laners, apart from Rookie.”

 

I asked her what she thought about Sightstone on Ekko, and mentioned that in EU, there was no Sightstone on Airwaks Ekko in his loss against Gambit, but Team Liquid’s win against Cloud 9 was impacted heavily by the presence of IWillDominate’s sighstone Ekko, allowing him free reign over the map.

 

“I mean obviously it has some relevance but I think it’s more how they’re considering using him versus how its being executed. In the mid lane he’s just another burst that can soft counter assassins but in the jungle it’s more about choke points – and his W being used in those choke points.  They only build him tanky to help his clear be safe, but he can run so far ahead of his team and catch everyone with his W/E combo. His ult is a safe backup in case the enemy team turns to burn him – and while they try to do that, the time the enemy spends on him allows his team to catch up and murder them now that all their cooldowns are gone.

As far as China is concerned – His jungle dynamic really works with the team fighting specialties in China of in playing with angles and choke points, and I think that’s how the Chinese teams have been using him best and where we’ll see a priority outside teams that have all-star mid laners like Cool, Rookie, GodV, etc.”

 

Ekko would end his run in China at 5 wins and 7 losses, with three of those wins coming from the jungle. It’s been made clear that Ekko doesn’t fare well from behind, and that team coordination is more important than ever, with many of his strengths coming from how much impact he has in team fights. He may have a huge toolbox, but using those tools efficiently is critical to his success. It will be interesting to see where Ekko finds his place as the various summer splits unfold, but one thing is certain: Ekko does have limits, and teams will have to play around them if they want to succeed with – or against – the boy who shattered time.

 

By the Numbers

Here’s a quick look at Ekko’s performance so far, broken down by region. All games took place between Jun 11th and Jun 14th.

 

Global

 

Number of games available June 11-14: 44

Picked or Banned in: 37/44 (84% P/B)

Total picks:  21

Total bans:  16

Winrate: 43% (9 Wins, 12 Losses)

Most successful position: Jungle (4 wins)

Breakdown by wins: Jungle (4), Mid lane (4), Top Lane (2)

Breakdown by losses: Jungle (3), Mid Lane (7), Top Lane (1)

Most played by: Eimy – Jungler of Unlimited Potential (3 times, 2 wins, 1 loss)

Total games mid: 11

Total games Top: 3

Total games jungle: 7

 

Europe

 

Total Games: 10

Picked/Banned: 90% (5 picks, 4 bans. Uncontested 1 game)

Winrate: 20% (1 Win, 4 losses)

 

North America

 

Total games: 10

Picked/Banned: 70% (5 picks, 2 Bans. Uncontested 3 games)

Winrate: 60% (3 wins, 2 losses)

 

China

 

Total Games: 24

Picked/Banned: 87% (11 Picks, 10 Bans. Uncontested 3 Games)

Winrate:  45% (5 Wins, 6 Losses)

Winning players across EU/NA LCS and LPL

 

Top: Huni (EU), ZionSpartan (NA)

Mid: Bjergsen (NA), Cool (LPL), Rookie (LPL)

Jungle: IWillDominate (NA), mlxg(LPL), Eimy (LPL)

 


Tim Kimbirk is a journalist writing about eSports for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.

Categories: Esports, Original Content Tags: , , , , ,

Incarnation Rift Pulse banner

 

Rift pulse is back with another weekly update of the most recent events in LoL esports. With the NA and EU LCS back in full swing, the second half of season 5 has officially gone global.

 

North America

 

  • CLG announced their new coaching staffwith  Chris “Blurred Limes” Ehrenreich stepping in as Head Coach.
  • Ex Nihilo, a new organization, has formed a team consisting of a blend of former LCS players and Challenger players.

 

NA LCS

 

NA

 

 

Europe

 

  •  Gambit Gaming announced that they will have a two-week trial period for Kévin “Shaunz” Ghanbarzadeh in the head coach position.
  • Mike “Wickd” Petersen announced on twitter that his team has signed to Denial eSports.
  • Jesse “Jesiz” Le and Luka “PerkZ” Perković join Gamers2 in their fourth attempt to make the European LCS.
  • Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi has left Fnatic in wake of Rekkles return, joining Odyssey Gaming in their pursuit of qualifying to the the NACS.

 

EU LCS

 

EU

 

 

 

China

 

 

LPL

 

cHINA

 

 

 

 

Korea

 

 

LCK

 

LCK

 

 

 

 

SEA

 

LMS

 

 

LMS

 

Brazil

 

CBLOL

 

CBLOL

 

OCE

 

OPL SUMMER

 

OPL summer

 

 

 

Scene Updates

 

  • The NA LCS Summer Finals will be played in NYC, with the EU finals heading to Stockholm.
  • IEM announced the details of Season 10, with the World Championship once again taking place in Katowice.

 

 

images via lolesports, Riot Games

 

Incarnation-Interview-Banner1

 

When were you originally contacted by c9? What were the original talks like and did you have plans pending the removal of your ban?

Originally Jack reached out to me around November last year inquiring if I was interested in being a mid lane coach for Hai.  I was interested in being a part of Cloud9, but as a player not a coach.  This led to several conversations about how this could potentially happen if I was to ever be unbanned.  Ultimately we came up with a plan where I would be contractually bound to Cloud9 and if the opportunity ever presented itself I could try out for the mid job.

 

On entering the mid lane in place of Hai, will you be taking over as primary shotcaller, or is a different system being developed? How comfortable are you shotcalling and do you believe you can grow in the role? 

I’m open to getting more involved in shot calling but Meteos is handling it now and doing a great job at it so I see no reason to make any changes.

 

Are there any champions you wish were played competitively that aren’t, or some that you just wish to see played more?   

Yasuo, Fizz. I wish the mid lane champion pool was more diverse and not mainly control mages.

 

What do you like to do in your downtime? Do you play other games or have any hobbies?

At the moment I don’t have other games I’m playing but in the past I enjoyed playing CS:GO.  For now though I’m putting all my focus into League.

 

You were at a significant deficit in the lane phase against TSM, what was going through your mind? Did you get into the “play for lategame” mentality? How confident were you that you could bring it back?

I was very nervous as this was my first competitive match on stage and I felt like I had to prove myself.  I knew there was going to be a lot of attention on how I performed today which increased the pressure of the event.  To make matters worse I saw that Bjergsen got ahead by getting the small raptors on an already difficult match up.  Add in the level 3 gank and I was looking at a rough start.

As the game progressed I felt more comfortable playing on stage and I knew I just needed to be patient and scale into late game.

 

In your opinion, what was the biggest turning point of that game and when did you realize you were going to win?  

When I stole blue and we sieged mid and then rotated top and got two towers.

 

How is the communication in game? What do you think needs improving the most and do you believe you will be one of the top teams at the end of the summer?

The communication is going well but we still have several things to work on.  I’m satisfied with the progress we’re making though.  If we continue to improve I expect we will be one of the top teams at the end of Summer.

 

Shoutouts?

I’d like to thank Logitech for providing us with an office to practice.  I’d also like to thank HTC for my new M9!

 


Author’s Note: This interview has been condensed from twenty questions to seven. Please excuse the brevity, I hoped to provide more insight and will include a follow up interview with the original, extended question set in the future.

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.

 

 

Metoes Interview Banner

 

 

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.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks to our fans and sponsors for the continued support!

 


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.

 

Rift Pulse Final 21 05

Rift pulse is back with another weekly update of the most recent events in LoL esports. With the EU and LCS less than a week away, and both the LPL and LCK already in action, rosters are finally taking shape across every region.

 

North America

 

  • Brandon “Saintvicious” DeMarco stepped down from Gravity, joining Team Coast as their Head Coach.
  • Team 8 acquires Zach “Nien” Malhas and Chad “History Teacher” Smeltz, as starting AD Carry and Head Coach respectively.
  • Min-su “Move” Kang joins Gravity Gaming, taking over the starting Jungle position.
  • Johnny “Altec” Ru finds a new home in the LCS, this time as the starting AD carry position for Gravity Gaming.
  • Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie will sub for Misfits in the NACS as Jebus has run into visa issues.
  • TDK adds Jin-Hyun “Emperor” Kim  and  Geon-Woo “Ninja” Noh to their starting roster.
  • Team Winterfox unveiled their new roster, with former Gambit Gaming AD Carry Kristoffer “P1noy” Albao Lund Pedersen taking over as Starting AD Carry.

 

 

Europe

 

  • InnerFlame joins Gamers2, assuming the role of Team Manager.
  • Team ROCCAT has announced Etienne “Steve” Michels as their new top laner, also adding EXORKK as a substitute AD Carry.

 

 

China

 

  • OMG has revealed their roster for the 2015 LPL Summer Split, with Hu “Xiyang” Bin moving to the top lane.

 

LPL

 

LPL

 

 

 

 

Korea

 

 

LCK

 

LCS

 

 

SEA

 

LMS

 

LMS

 
 

Brazil

CBLOL

 

CBLOL

OCE

 

Scene Updates

 

 

images via lolesports, Riot Games

 

XiaoWeiXiao Interview Banner


Looking back at playoffs, what would you change about the series against TL? What went wrong in your eyes?  

We shouldn’t have picked Yasuo at all – our communication during picks and bans wasn’t good.

 

Youre known to play Yasuo despite him seemingly falling out of the meta. What is your reason behind continuing to play him?

Yasuo is good pick against ranged AP champions and they picked a lot of poke champions.

 

What changes, if any, would you make to the champion to make him stronger in the current meta and where do you think he fits in now?  

His lane phase is very weak – they should buff his HP.

 

How do you feel about your performance in both the playoffs and spring split?

Not bad.

 

What are you looking to change most individually?

I want to make my champion pool stronger.

 

Do you feel this team is stronger than LMQ?

Our Jungle and top are better than LMQ. Teamfights are worse than LMQ.

 

How is the Dynamic within TiP compared to LMQ?

LMQ is easier to communicate with but TiP is more exciting for me with all the players being from different regions.

 

What is the team environment like in game, especially with language barriers? What steps are you taking to overcome language barriers and is the team focusing on communicating in English?

Our biggest problem is language but we are trying to study some simple words to communicate easier.

 

How are you preparing for the next split? Are you confident you can make it to the World Championship?

We are going to fix our language problem as soon as possible and I think we can make it to worlds.

 

What are your thoughts on Incarnati0n joining Cloud 9 and do you believe the team will be even stronger? Where do you think Incarnati0n stacks up among the other mid laners in NA?

I have no idea because I haven’t seen him play. I can’t say anything right now. Let’s see how he performs in the LCS.

 

How do you expect the new teams, NME and TDK, to perform? Who do you imagine will be in the last place spot at the end of the split?

We have not played against them yet. No clue about last place.

 

Who do you predict will be top 3 at the end of the split? Who will go to the World Championship?

TiP/TSM/C9

 

What is your opinion on the Mid-Season Invitational as a whole? Did anything stand out, and were the results what you expected? How would you rank the regions, in order? Were you proud that a Chinese team was able to finally take down a Korean team in an international event?

I was surprised about AHQ/FNC, they look so strong. I was shocked when they both beat TSM. I would rank the regions at MSI in this order:

EDG, SKT, TSM, Fnatic, AHQ, Besiktas.

I’m really proud that EDG beat SKT. ClearLove finally made his dream come true.

 

Are there any champions you wish you could bring into the meta that arent played?

Yasuo!

 

What are your thoughts on the recent Zed changes and how do you believe it will affect his gameplay? Is he still just as strong? Would you make changes to Zed?

I don’t think it will affect his gameplay too much. I think he is still strong in some team comps. I would make him more tanky.

 

How would you describe your playstyle and do you believe it has changed since joining the LCS?

I think my CS is always good and I do the most damage in team fights. I play more aggressively in lane since joining the LCS and I am trying to roam more and help other lanes.

 

How are you feeling on the tank meta, and what changes, if any, would you like to see to the meta? 

The new Jungle Items make junglers too tanky, it’s so difficult to kill them in team fights. I would like to see more mid and AD picks where people just all-in in a team fight.

 

Expectations heading into week 1?

There will be many dark horses coming out in week 1.

 

Shoutouts?

Thank you to our sponsor Azubu, Riot Games, and especially to our fans who support me. I will do better this season.


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.

 

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How are you spending the time between MSI and the Summer Split? Do you get any downtime? 

I get a week off, but I feel like don’t deserve it, so I am constantly playing as much as I possibly can to prepare my mental tolerance to do better in competitive play.

 

Heading into MSI what was your perspective on the Meta of the event? Do you feel you prepared correctly in terms of picks/bans and what to play?

Yes, we just played very badly. I feel like the only thing we could pick up would be Rumble top and Urgot bot. something we’ve tried before.

 

Expectations were high heading into the event. What were your personal expectations? What factors played most into the teams lackluster performance? Do you think it’s an issue with preparation? How much of a factor was “tilting” and can you expand on tilt in competitive play?

I think it was 60% Tilt and 40% everything else. When we got first blooded we lost almost all of our positive mindset and hopes of winning.

 

It seems as if you should have lane swapped against in your game against Fnatic and kept the 1v1 against AHQ. What were the reasons for playing these the way you did and what could you have done better?

In the 2v1 I could have not died. In the 1v1 I could have called for Santorin to protect me from dives. I played like this because I feel like I didn’t play enough solo queue before the event, and didn’t work hard enough on the important factors of communication.

 

Fnatic, 6 top bans. How did this affect you and did you expect it at all? Were there other champions you could have played and simply didn’t?

I played Gnar a huge amount of times so it didn’t really affect me. What did affect is me not being on a specific tank champion and doing well. But it didn’t really matter because my play this tournament regardless of champion was pretty bad.

 

Instead of asking “what went wrong”, what went right? Despite the obvious errors in game, was there anything you felt the team managed to do correctly in the face of losing?

Nothing went right for us.

 

The popular opinion is that you were simply left on an island to fend for yourself in most of the games. You have stated this simply isn’t the case. Can you elaborate a bit on how those situations (being dived/camped) could have gone differently? Is it as cut and dry as you not getting the help, or is there a communication issue?

It’s all about the communication and if I don’t ask for it, then I deserve to be dove for not asking from them to be there instead of saying “I’m going to get dove here.”

 

Moving forward, what is your immediate next step and what do you think you need to work on most individually? As a team?

Communication, positive mindset, and for me being comfortable playing league while communicating against godly players.

 

In terms of overall strength, is NA as far behind as it seems? While it is quite far off, how do you believe each region will stack up at worlds? Do you believe TSM can win worlds?

It is the same as fans think. For us winning worlds, this is the best lineup we’ve ever had so if we had a chance of winning worlds before it is at its highest percentage now.

 

How much do out of game activities affect in game performance and what have you been doing outside of the game?

Playing too much CS:GO and GTA 5 kept my mind off of the terrors of solo queue. Which was a mistake because I need to feel that pain to be used to playing on stage comfortably.

 

You’ve played professionally for over 4 years, and have been to every world championship. Have you considered retirement? In your mind, when are you “done”?

I’ve considered retirement since last year before we beat c9 for the summer split. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to carry, then when we played there my performance was surprisingly really good. I feel like I played better than I ever expected myself to play. My mindset changed for worlds and I dedicated myself to trying to do more for my team. I don’t want to be a burden and if there is a better top laner then me available I would gladly give up my spot if it increases TSM’s chances of winning worlds.

 

How do you deal with criticism? Has there ever been a point where it’s gotten to you to the point that it affects your in game performance?

In my rookie years yeah it did a bit. Nowadays it doesn’t it’s just motivation for me to do better to prove people wrong. But it does apply some pressure to my game which could hurt my play, still not sure myself.

 

Looking at the summer split, who holds the top 3 slots at the end of the season? Who will attend worlds?

TSM, and whoever else they don’t matter.

 

Any thoughts on the newest additions to the LCS, TDK and NME? Do you expect them to perform well?

I’m looking forward to see how well Seraph plays. When he first joined I felt like he didn’t deserve to be in the LCS, but as time goes on it is inspirational to see players climb back in through their own resolve and team.

 

Do you watch the EU LCS? What teams in EU are the strongest in your opinion and is there anyone you want to play against specifically?

I’ve always wanted to play against SK but we never got the chance. They seemed to be in a slump for playoffs because of team synergy I’m guessing. FNATIC is obviously the strongest.

 

What champions do you want to see return to competitive play? Are there any champions you wish you could play more often?

I play a really mean Olaf. I never got to show it at season 2 because I never thought he was as OP back then but my Olaf was world class at the time in my opinion at least.

 

What is your thought on the current top Meta and state of the game in general? What has been your favorite Meta to play in so far?

Top lane is never fun unless you’re carrying the game.

 

Who is the hardest top laner to play against in the NA LCS?

Impact and Quas.

 

What is your current favorite champion in general?

Jax and Singed.

 


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.


tsm-lcs


As the 2015 LCS Summer Split approaches, Team SoloMid has renewed its player contracts through dates ranging from 2016 to 2018.

Formerly ending in Q4 2015, Team SoloMid shows faith with these extensions to their LoL squad, adding up to 3 years onto each player’s tenure.


Current TSM Roster with updated Contract dates:

 

TSMMM

[Click to Enlarge]

 

Photo Via Cloth5/Riot Games/NoL