Archive for the ‘Original Content’ Category


Welcome to “Chasing Glory,” a recurring feature where I will discuss the top narratives and key moments from each day of the 2015 League of Legends World Championship. After nearly a year of competition in leagues across the globe, 16 teams have emerged at the top of their respective regions. Now, they travel to Europe where they will battle through the finest international competition for a shot at taking home the Summoner’s Cup  at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin on October 31st.

Opening day featured plenty of interesting matches from groups A, B, and C of the tournament, with some teams going about business as usual and others stumbling to find ground on the tournament’s newly implemented patch 5.18. I’ll be recapping the matches in order starting with the ever so consistent Fnatic facing off against the hit or miss Invictus Gaming.

Maintaining The Status Quo

Coming off a perfect Season and a 5-2 run to win the split, Fnatic was riding a wave of both confidence and hype heading into this World Championship. Led by veteran support player and 5 time worlds attendee Yellowstar, reunited with Rekkles in the botlane, Fnatic would be among the many Western Teams to bootcamp in Korea in hopes of redeeming their lackluster Season 4 worlds performance, and seeks to continue their dominance into the World Championship.

iG, or Invictus Gaming, is a different story. Known for their inconsistency, the third place LP team comes into this event on a positive note, with a 3-1 upset over serious title contenders EDG in the third place match of the LPL Summer Playoffs and then a perfect 3-0 set against Qiao Gu for the Korean region’s final ticket to Paris.

With the recent changes in patch 5.18, carry style top laners have fallen more into favor than ever, giving a boost to both Zzitai and Huni. Locking in Riven, iG top laner Zzitai looked to snowball his lane early, prompting a Hecarim pick in reply from Huni. Leading the game by a tower and securing First Blood in the top lane, Reignover took advantage of a passive KaKAO and the duo completely negated the impact of Zzitai’s Riven.

Surrendering at 30 minutes after Fnatic ravaged through their base, iG will look to redeem themselves in their day 3 match against Cloud 9. With a rematch against Fnatic looming down the line, iG needs to pick up as many wins as they can to ensure their top 2 placing in the group. As for Fnatic, their pick and ban phase showed that they can adapt on the fly, completely shutting down iG’s composition with their own picks. Reliant on a farming Skarner that never took off iG crumbled to the European kings, and Fnatic and showed us there is something to the hype.

Cool, Calm, And Collected

After squeaking their way into a Worlds qualification with a cinderella run from 7th place to winning the Regional Qualifiers in North America, Cloud 9 was supposed to come in, lose six games, and get out. Facing off against LMS champions AHQ, who took a game from Fnatic at the Mid-Season Invitational and are known for their aggressive early play, the third seeded North American’s fate was all but sealed as Mountain’s Rengar handed First Blood over to Westdoor on Fizz.

Going back to his roots and a champion he was originally known for, Cloud 9 mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen headed into his first ever appearance in international play with the recently buffed Veigar. AHQ seemed lost against the tiny master of evil, constantly finding themselves locked up in Veigar’s Event Horizon in teamfights. Stacking his way to over 500 AP at the 22 minute mark, Incarnati0n’s 100% kill participation Veigar thwarted the early aggression of AHQ. Doing what he does best, C9 team captain and newly transitioned Jungler Hai stepped up big time, orchestrating a 23 minute victory in convincing fashion and showing us once again that his shotcalling is nothing less than world class.

Grand Challenge

Aside from the anticipated rematch of Ryu vs. Faker, expectations were low for H2K heading into this game. After SKT picked up a few early kills, H2K kept the game relatively close until a 23 minute fight in the river sent SKT barrelling ahead off the back of a Marin Triple Kill. In control of the map and a 3k gold lead, SKT would go on to close out the game systematically in a 31 minute win over Europe’s second seed.

No Mercy

For the better part of the year, EDG has been cited as one of the top teams in the world, and a contender for the title of World Champions. With the Bangkok Titans coming from one of the weaker competitive regions, it was apparent from the beginning that there was a huge mismatch in skill. Getting three kills in the first four minutes, Deft set the pace of the game with a double kill less than three minutes in. EDG quickly dispatched the Bangkok titans in a surrender at the 20:20 mark, never slowing their pace from the early First Blood.


In Doublelift We Trust

Before this match, most would agree that Zionspartan is a cut above his Top Lane counterpart on Flash Wolves, Steak. Despite this, Steak impressed holding his own and having a hand in 100% of his teams kills as CLG’s Zionspartan fell to his fourth death without an answer. With a 7k gold lead and 3 towers over North America’s first seed, the Taiwanese Flash Wolves were poised for victory. Until they overstayed in the bottom lane, netting CLG their first in a series of teamfight wins peppered with Flash Wolves misplays. Clawing their way back on the shoulders of Doublelift’s Jinx, CLG managed to walk away with a win they probably shouldn’t have.

Taking advantage of an enemy’s mistakes is the mark of a superior team, but CLG has a lot to work on if they want get any farther than the group stage, let alone win the tournament. Their next match against Brazil’s PaiN Gaming will be a good indicator of if they can bounce back after a loss and pull off what should be a fairly easy victory.

Wild Style

The Koo Tigers are in a funny spot in terms of how they are perceived. On one hand, they pulled off 1st and 3rd place finishes in one of the toughest regions of play. On the other, the innovation they showed in the first half of the season hasn’t been as apparent. That said, the Koo tigers sport a talented roster backed by solid strategy, especially when playing with a lead.

Viewed as the weakest team in the group, PaiN Gaming enters worlds on a high note, being 15-0 since the CBLoL playoffs. With star Mid Laner Kami at the forefront of their play, the Brazilian squad needs to capture the same macro play they showed in the Wildcard Qualifiers if they want to stay alive in the tournament.

When PaiN managed to slowly pull ahead, Koo’s Gorilla started to pull himself ahead, along with the rest of his team mates. Setting up plays across the map, Gorilla showed why he is often in the conversation of best support player in the world. With their newly found lead, Koo Tigers made quick work of PaiN in a 30 minute finish, playing a very clean second half of the game and showing why they are one of the best teams at worlds once the late game hits.

Day 1 MVP: Hai



In choosing the MVP, I looked at a lot of factors. Individual performance, impact on game, role in team, and so forth. While there were definitely cases to be made for the fantastic playmaking of Koo’s Gorilla or the endlessly entertaining Deft Show against the Bangkok Titans. However, as great as those players were, it’s Hai who stood out as the truly most valuable player of the day.

Coming into the tournament as the last seed from North America, Cloud 9 was written out of the event before they left California. With an underperforming top laner, a rookie mid, and a returning player transitioning into a new role, there were a lot of reasons to not think much of the NA squad. Hai quickly silenced any critics with a Lee Sin performance any jungler could be proud of. Putting his signature shotcalling into action, Cloud 9 maneuvered the map, taking objectives as AHQ trailed behind. Hai also put up an impressive display of mechanics, setting up enemies and kicking them to their certain death.

The success of Cloud 9 since Hai’s return can be attributed to a lot of things. Improved shotcalling, a more comfortable mid laner, a better team environment, but above all, there is one constant: Hai.

images via Riot Games/lolesports

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


tsmfinals Good luck TSM at the World Championship! We have faith!

TSM x Dragonball Z Crossover? Sure.
Side note, my tablet died little over halfway through this so then I had to use my mouse. Pardon the mess!

Author: Ketherly twitter


Hoping to revitalize the team heading into the 2016 season, Team Dragon Knights have renamed themselves to Team Arena Online after partnering with Houston based online tournament organizer, Arena Online. Team Arena Online retains their seed into the 2016 NA Challenger Series Spring Season, where they will compete to gain entry back into the LCS.


Retaining three members of the original TDK squad, Team Arena Online currently consists of:

Top Lane: Shin “Seraph” Woo-yeong

Jungle: Kevin “Kez” Jeon

Mid Lane: Noh “Ninja” Geon-woo

As for the bot lane, it is rumored that Support player Andy “Smoothie” Ta will be leaving to replace Team Liquid’s Alex “Xpecial” Chu, and remains unclear whether AD Carry Kim “Emperor” Jin-hyun will be returning to the team.

NoL spoke with Chris Shim, who made a brief statement on the change:

Arena Online brings a platform to gamers of all skill levels who want to compete in online tournaments for PR, prizes, reputation and even cash. We are excited to be working with Arena Online and we believe that the partnership will benefit the organization in many ways and will allow us to focus on the upcoming season.

-TAO Organization-


Original Announcement


images via Arena Online



You guys had a rough split. What were the biggest issues in the team and why did it never fully come together for you?

I would say we had 3 major issues this split. First of all, we started with internet issues and our coach arrived 2nd week in, then we just randomly dropped games versus weaker teams just because random situations would come up and we wouldn’t deal with them properly or like we did in scrims. Finally Forg1ven got banned 2 weeks before the end of the split. I feel like if we dealt properly with those issues we would have at least been in playoffs, and in the shape we were towards the end of the split maybe got a spot to worlds.


Looking back, who gave you the hardest time in lane? Have you noticed any weird quirks in any of the top laners?

Hmm I think Reignover plays really well around Huni, so he’s the one that gave me the hardest time in lane probably. And sorry I’ve to keep my secrets on how to beat other toplaners!


Who do you feel is the strongest top in Europe?

I would say there is a clear top 3 between Huni, sOAZ and me, with Odoamne being 4th in Europe. I would like to say I’m the best, but you could argue Huni played better last split. I’ll just have to show even more next split. Like a great philosopher once said : “You can either be the best or suck a ****.”


With a clean 3-0, how did you feel coming into the promotion series?

We were really confident going into the series. It was really smooth playing with Kris again and we watched how mouz played and prepared properly. I actually feel like if we could have played the last weeks and then playoffs with Forg1ven we would have gone to worlds.


What is the team dynamic like in game? How is shotcalling assigned and who is the most vocal?

This split, with the arrival of Shaunz, Diamond had to become the shotcaller of the team and needed to know what to do in a situation given. Things like when to duo roam with Edward and when to control Baron Nashor with 5 pinks, when to give up drake and what to take in exchange for example.

Obviously the other 4 members were giving information, and depending on who’s fed between Forg1ven, Betsy and I, we could adjust the plan during the game.

Let’s say Forg1ven get 5 kills in early, he could just call to split push or 1-3-1 and Diamond would adapt.


Why is it that Gambit decided to choose mousesports as their opponent In the promotion tournament?

I dont really think it would have mattered but personaly I just can’t be arsed to play versus Udyr, Twisted Fate or Shaco ;).


Expectations of the top lane meta for the World Championship?

Hmm unless there are some big nerfs on 5.18 the hot picks will probably be something around the lines of Darius, Fiora, Gangplank, Olaf, Shen, Ryze with the usual Gnar and lovely Riven/Fizz/Yasuo (for good players only ;).


How would you rate the reworked Darius, Fiora, and Garen? Do you think they will see play in competitive games?

The reworked champions are all broken I think, whether it’s Skarner, Mordekaiser, Darius, Garen or Fiora, they all are really good, and few people found ways to counter them yet I believe. Worlds is some time away however so they may fall of. As of right now they would be surely all played in competitive I feel, maybe Garen a bit less than the others.


Which teams are you most expecting to perform well at the World Championship? How strong is Europe comparatively and what are their chances?

I think the 3 favorites going into Worlds right now are probably LDG, SKT and EDG.

Not sure about OG and H2K given their groups, but I really do think FNC will perform well and hopefully keep the trophy in Europe.


Who do you think are the strongest top laners from other regions?

I really like watching Duke, Smeb and Ssumday.

In NA ZionSpartan is really above the rest. I haven’t been watching enough LPL to properly tell who’s the best there, gonna have a better opinion after Worlds.


What are your plans for the offseason? Will you have vacation? Will you continue training?

Right now I’m just spending some time with my family and my friends while trying to setup my stream. I’m still playing soloqueue, and while I’m not I plan to go on getting vacation. I’ll be going to almost every single stage of Worlds, viva Europa!



Well first of all thanks Tim for the interview, thanks to everyone that believes in me. I’m really confident season 6 will be my time to shine !



image via azubu

Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.



In Europe, Origen did not falter against the Unicorns of Love, sweeping them 3-0 in 107 minutes of game time. This marks the first trip to the World Championship for the team, who joined the EU LCS in the Summer Split. Origen is certainly not lacking in experience however,  with mid laner and Season 1 world champion Enrique “xPeke” Cedeño Martínez at the reigns. Backed by his long-time team mate Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, and veteran players in Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez and Maurice “Amazing” Stückenschneider, the team has provided an excellent environment to foster upcoming talent, as seen in their AD Carry Jesper “Niels” Svenningsen, who walked away with the rookie of the split. A combination of new blood and experience, Origen has managed to become a real force in Europe in a short period of time. Living in the shadow of European powerhouse Fnatic for most of the split, Origen heads to worlds with something to prove.





On the other side of the globe, Cloud 9 pulled off nothing short of a miracle against heavy favorites Team Liquid. Battling through two best of fives on their way, the team managed to climb back from 0-2 deficits both times before taking down the #1 NA seed 3-1 in the finals. Heavy favorites coming into the Summer Split, Cloud 9 struggled in unfamiliar fashion, falling as low as 10th place. When things started going south, Cloud 9 decided to mix it up, adding Royce “Bubbadub” Newcomb to their support staff, and initiating a roster swap that saw a retired Hai “Hai” Du Lam take on a surprisingly effective role in the jungle, replacing longstanding jungler Will “Meteos” Hartman. With Hai back at the helm of the team, newly added mid laner Nicolaj “Incarnati0n” Jensen could finally shine, dictating the mid lane for the entirety of the regional qualifiers after a very slow start to the summer split. Led by Hai’s renowned shotcalling and featuring star performances from AD Carry Zachary “Sneaky” with Derek “LemonNation” “Hart” and An “Balls” Van Le taking on a more supportive role, Cloud 9 managed to turn their worst split in team history into yet another World Championship appearance. Though Cloud 9 has qualified for the World Championship every year since they debuted as a team, this time the road had a lot more obstacles, and the team heads into the biggest international event of the year as underdogs, a position they haven’t been in since joining the LCS in 2013.


Image Credit: lolesports


Interview with Forg1ven banner

Touted as one of the best AD carries the west has to offer, I had a chance to talk with Konstantinos “Forg1ven” Tzortziou about his time on Gambit, the upcoming World Championship, and his competitive future.


I’ll jump straight into it. You’re currently serving a 4 game suspension due to negative behavior. What are your thoughts on the ruling?

Whatever I say on this matter won’t change anything even if I obviously am still really furious so what’s done is done.


How are you spending your downtime? What are your hobbies besides League?

Whenever I am not in front of a computer for my job I just divulge into social life. Otherwise I am either watching a tv series or playing a different game.


You were recently searching for another game to play, with a potential to win money in the future. Does this mean you wish to switch games, or is it just something to do on the side? Are you considering taking a break?

I have changed from CS 1.6 to DotA to League to CS:GO and in the future to HotS or whatever gaming title is really fun and appealing so yes. This doesn’t mean I will go pro because at some point I will have to finish my university studies and fulfill my army obligation so we will find out eventually.


Where do you stand on your current goals for competitive LoL? Do you see yourself returning to Gambit next year? If not, where would you want to play if you could play anywhere?

My intention is to play my last upcoming spring split with GMB unless an offer comes for the team which me and the organization find beneficial for both(Which i don’t see happening). I intend to honor my contract.


How is playing with Edward? Did you have to make any changes to your playstyle?

It was certainly the most entertaining and fun bot lane partnership I’ve ever had. It was harsh in the start but I really cared about Edward to improve him and through this I would improve too. I think in the end he became a better player, not the best, but significantly he showed progress that he did not with his former AD carries. One of the best personalities I’ve ever encountered. I didn’t have to change playstyle cause of Eddy, mostly cause of how my team operated and how I think I was misused or not prioritized at all so I gave up a lot.


If you could play with any support in the world, who would it be?

I don’t care tbh I believe that whoever I play with for a month or a bit more the player will show drastic improvement in at least one or more aspects of the game. Unlimited did, nRated did, Edward did, so I can’t see why this trend wouldn’t continue.


Would you ever consider playing in a different region? Where?

Yes. Obviously I want a go to NA at some point. Next worlds I will be 24 years old and I don’t think that is really hopeful. In general. wherever they speak English.


What do you think the teams “skill cap” was in terms of potential placing?

I think 4th place was the highest most likely.


What are Europe’s chances at worlds? Do you believe Fnatic is a title contender?

I am not following league since I got punished so whatever I say would be wrong and a lie so good luck to the representatives.


Which AD Carries were the most difficult to play against in the regular season? Who in your opinion are the top 3 AD carries in Europe? Who do you want to play against the most?

There was no bot lane that would stand out in general either cause of the meta or cause of the inability that exists with European bot lanes for consequent years. The only exception was the H2K bot lane. I think top 2 are Hjarnan and Freeze. No preference since everything seems to be the same over and over.


There was a recent overhaul of AP items, and talks have surfaced of AD Carries needing an item overhaul as well. What do you think on the current state of AD carry items and do you think item paths are stale? What would you change to improve the role?

I really wish that at some point AD carries would cease to exist so they fully realize that the role/items are extremely problematic. I prefer the Bloodthirster meta. I am not the one responsible for changing the role there are people that are getting paid to solve this kind of issues so it’s up to them.

It already started to happen kind of with Mordekaiser. I was thinking about it and I don’t get why teams haven’t tried to replace AD Carries with an AP Mage bot lane for example.


There has been criticism of your champion pool in the past, notably that you don’t like playing champions like Kalista and Sivir. Is there a truth to this? What is the decision making like behind what champion you will play during the game?

I didn’t play Kalista and I don’t think this was a problem since even if I played I am 101% sure that nothing different would have happened or we wouldn’t get a win just because of ‘that champion’. I was playing Sivir but after 1 week teams that had blue side were banning Sivir against us so nothing I could do there either. It’s rarely up to me to pick a champion. I present my team with the choices we have during a champion select and based on what we trained last week and they decide pretty much what is the most optimal.


The promotion tournament is just around the corner and Gambit has chosen Mousesports as their opponent. Why Mousesports?

I guess they are seemningly the weakest team available to pick. Wishing GMB the best since I won’t be able to assist.


After watching the final, were there any surprises in the Origen vs. Fnatic Matchup?

I saw the vods. Pretty much expected a 3-1 in favor of fnatic but not 3-2 to be honest.


What are your thoughts on either team and their current strength heading into worlds?

Origen could go further if they don’t collapse under pressure or hype. But for most Fnatic is the sure bet.


Do you watch/follow other regions?

No not at all.


Did you watch the NA Finals? What are your thoughts on NA teams and where they stand comparatively to Europe? How good is Doublelift/Aphromoo?

Since lane phase has pretty much disappeared it is really hard to see combinations to shine but I personally think they will stand up to their responsibility that they will be given by their team.


What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in maintaining a career as a pro gamer? What drives you to keep playing?

Riot cause with their rulings or decisions they have created a really big apathy and disappointment inside of me for the game and this ‘career path’. In the past it used to be motivation to show a better quality than my counterparts in my role, now I really don’t know. It doesn’t matter anyway.


Will you continue competing in League of Legends? 

We will know after worlds.


You’ve been playing quite a bit of Heroes of the Storm. What is your opinion of the game so far and do you expect its eSports scene to grow to be a viable option for players? What attracts you to the game?

I think it’s a fundamentally different game from DotA and League and it will attract people. It’s up to Blizzard to pretty much make it a stable professional gaming title because in some years the other titles will ‘drop’ in popularity. I have no idea how it will do. You can say that HotS is comparable to Season 1 League at the moment.


What is your ideal breakfast?

Fast food or cereal.


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



Coming off of a 2nd place finish the the LJL Grand Championship, I spoke with Hiroki “MizuRussian” Nakamura on the recent finals, the future of the LJL, and eSports in Japan.


Hello Mizu. Nice to speak with you again! You took first in the regular season and 2nd in the Grand Championship. Are you satisfied with these results and what are the immediate goals for the team?

To tell the truth, I’m not 100 percent happy with the result because we had our goal from the start to win Grand Championship. But I’m proud of how well Rampage players has performed from being middle tier team last year to this result.


You played a close 5 game series against DetonatioN FM. What was your preparation like heading into this set?

We had good preparation for S2 Final, we researched a lot and our Coach Dragon is really good at it. For the Grand Championship we didn’t prepare very well. One of the biggest reasons was our Top Laner getting into in Car accident 1 week before the Grand Championship. So our scrims got cancelled meanwhile, but I’m really glad that he’s still alive and recovery is going well.


You were up 0-2, what happened after that second game? What contributed to losing the next three matches and ultimately the series?

Our mentality and physical strength wasn’t good enough, since we have  recently recruited the team I think we lacked in experience compared to Detonation FM. We need to take this loss in a positive way and use it as a learning experience for next time.


How strong do you rate the other wildcard regions? Who do you see as the biggest threat at the IWC? Can DetonatioN FM make it out of wildcard?

Most of the people probably think Turkey is strongest team as I do. I think Detonation need to prepare and use their full potential to win against them, and against other regions too. But I have full hope and wish Detonation FM to win since they beat our team. I want to see Japan make it out Wildcard.


What got you into eSports originally? What led to you taking an interest in the Japanese LoL scene, especially given its infancy at the time.

I was a player before in Europe, born in Sweden and after a while I talked with Japanese players about 3 years ago which made my interest to organize teams here in Japan.

Right now I’m living in Japan, before in Sweden it was ok to manage the team from distance. At that time, Rampage was keeping number one spot for about 1 year since there wasn’t that many good teams. Now I have to be here in Japan to manage the team and I think I made the right choice since team has changed for the better..


How much has changed in the past year for the Japanese LoL scene? What steps do you think need to be taken to bring the competition to a higher level?

The eSports scene in Japan is getting more popular but not enough for the marketing side, and I think that’s our work to do. We need to work all together here in Japan since the eSports scene isn’t big enough but I think in the future future it will grow and improve a lot.

I think most effective part for LoL scene in Japan would be making a server, which I’m waiting for!


Japan has been slower to take to PC gaming, LoL included. Do you think there is a naturally smaller cap to the growth of the scene and talent pool because of this? How much of a difference would a dedicated server make?

I think the reasons are that arcade games got too popular here in Japan, and the culture here is a bit different. Japanese parents/people don’t prefer kids to use the PC or play games.. Once a server is made here in Japan, I think the amount of players will increase a lot, x20 to x30 and that’s great for us to pick up more talented players.


What is a practice schedule like typically? Walk me through a day in the life of an LJL team.

I think Rampage lack on practice, we only practice 3 to 4 days a week because we have students. Other professional team has 5 to 6 days a week with longer practice time. It’s one thing Rampage need to change and working on it now.


What do you think would help grow the Japanese LoL scene? Do you believe it can be as large as other scenes and do you expect it to see a surge in popularity once it has an official server?

I think the first step is to open a new server and everyone needs to adapt after that.


There has been a lot of discussion on Coaching styles recently. I am wondering how the Rampage coaching staff approaches the topic and what your thoughts are on different coaching styles?

Rampage is working with CTU organization from Korea right now, we got Coach Dragon san from there and getting a lot help from the CTU. Dragon san was an ex Professional player for HoTs and LoL so he knows how the players are feeling when they play and he can advise well by reading their mindset to show them the right way to get better. I’m really happy I met Dragon san and that he became Rampages Coach.


Do you play the game? What rank are you and who is your favorite champion?

I don’t play the game anymore, playing ARAM only with friends. I was rank 12 solo queue before and I was known as Cassiopeia/Twisted Fate in Japan.



I would like to thank Tim san for a great interview again, and I hope there will be more Japanese esports lover in future like me. I’m a big fan of League of legends and hoping Japanese eSports scene will get better with time. Next time Rampage will try to get the Wildcard spot here in Japan, so please remember us and if we get there, please cheer for us!


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


Interview with Powerofevil Banner


Last time we spoke you were just coming off of a second place finish in the Spring Split. Now, you’re about to face Fnatic in the Semifinals. First however, let’s talk about your most recent game against Fnatic.

Our game vs Fnatic was not as we expected coming into the rift. We had a good start but made 1-2 crucial mistakes which got us really far behind and props to Fnatic with closing out the game insanely fast and punishing our mistakes.


You let Ryze through seemingly with the plan of attempting to shut him down early, which did work and led to an early advantage for you. What fell apart that the game turned around so rapidly and was closed out in only 23 minutes? What was your gameplan before the match?

As mentioned before these 1-2 errors crucial were the biggest reason we lost the game. I felt ahead BUT we were only even. We had a better scaling composition so we were totally fine with that until we got dived bot and Ryze got back in the game.


With Fnatic going 18-0, and an almost assured qualification the 2015 World Championship, do you think they are title contenders? What makes them so strong?

They are for sure title contenders. Not dropping a single game in the regular is insane BUT I am hyped to face them in the playoffs in a bo5. I am sure we can make it a close series. I think they just have some of the best tp decision calls and shotcalling in the game.


You were playing with Gilius. What are the differences between him and Kikis?

Gilius is not as experienced as Kikis LCS wise. He is warding less and his routes are not as carefully plannes as Kikis but he improved a lot on that. With his good mechanics he got us ahead in the early game most of the times. The best thing on him was that he always wanted to improve and he was really confident in the calls he made even as a new player.


Can you talk about H0r0? It is understood that he will be playing with the team in the playoffs. Has the team been practicing with him? How has the team dynamic been and is there a difficulty communicating in the team due to language barrier?

Horo was the starter vs Roccat. We felt really confident after practicing for a week with him in scrims. I think one of the biggest thing was that we started having fun in scrims again and you learn a lot if you enjoy the game as well. I dont think we have to many problems communicating with Horo both outside of the game or in the game. He sometimes speaks a little bit slow but he improved a lot on that already. We are trying to help him ingame when he trys to say something but normally thats not a big deal.


What are the advantages of H0r0, in your opinion? He’s definitely no stranger to the competitive scene, where do you think he stacks up with the rest of the competition? How is the Jungle/mid synergy going?

Horo is planning his route really careful which means he nearly never gets chaught. His warding is similiar to Kikis which helps me out a lot. If you call for him, he trys to come ASAP and is not looking at what he is losing. He will try to help you and get you back in the game even if he falls behind for that. He had a really good performance in the series and I am proud of reaching semis with him. I would say the jungle/mid synergy is fine right now but obviously can still get improved on.


How did you feel heading into your series against roccat, and what steps did you take to prepare?

We prepared the whole week playing scrims and speaking nearly everyday about bans, counterbans, picks and counterpicks. We felt really confident in the series with our bans that we didnt switch anything till the last game where a change was needed after the “sivir” ban.


What are you working on most to improve on individually? What is your current favorite solo queue champion?

I think I need to improve on my eye when I can go for a roam and get kills on another lane. I feel like I dont have the perfect eye for that yet. Syndra is my favorite soloQ champion. Your laning phase is decently strong but her burst after 6 is just insane.


How do you feel about the recent Azir changes? Was it overdone? What changes would you have made?

In my opinion Azir is not tier 1 anymore. He lost an insane amount of combat potential (1v1) with losing the knockup on the E spell. In general it is way harder to ult people in both teamfight and 1v1.


What changes would you make on the mid role, if any?

I dont think I would do any changes. I like the meta right now and that you have a huge diversity in the champions that are available.


What is the pregame and in-game dynamic like? What I mean is, what is the thought process behind say, your pick for example, and what factors go into what you will play? Once in-game, how is shotcalling handled? Is it just one player making calls, or does everyone have a role?

When I look what I am going to pick, I am checking out their bans. What did they ban what do they want to go for maybe. What is our team composition about. What is the enemy team composition about. Do they, for example, have enough engage? This can lead sometimes to picking a poke champion. (Kog/Varus). Normally I dont care about what I can get countered with BUT sometimes you NEED to look at that and you are forced to go for not the best pick for the team but the 2nd best.


Who do you think are the top 3 mid laners in Europe right now? Who is the hardest to lane against and what makes them difficult?

I think the competition is really close so its hard to say who is top 3 right now. The hardest to lane against is probably Ryu/Nukeduck and Pepiinero because they are always trying to win their lane even if they maybe overextend.


How dank are your memes?

Not good, haha!


You started the series off with a strong 2-0. What was your mindset heading into the 3rd game and what happened in games 3 and 4 that led to those defeats?

I think a huge factor was the Kalista pick. We didnt play against her for weeks and werent used to the overaggressive style that the support can manage to do.


You’ve been in a game 5 scenario for most of your playoff life, are you used to it to the point you would say you feel comfortable, or at least calm?

I dont think a 5th game will ever be calm. It went to 50 minutes again and it was the same scenario as in the 4th game. People were scared of losing it again so everyone took his last power and we played it out carefully…keeping TP’s and Maokai Righteous Glory engages in mind.


What was your plan heading into the final match and what was going through your head?

We were thinking about Kalista but in the end we didnt want to change anything. The 4th game was ours and we lost it more than they won it (Not denying that they had an insane comeback). When they banned Sivir we saw our chance of being able to switch a ban.


You’re up against an undefeated Fnatic next. What is your preparation like heading into that series and are you confident you can come out ahead? Do you expect a close series?

They didn‘t drop a single game and that is why you should respect them BUT that is a weakness as well when they drop their first game in the series I think. It doesn‘t matter that you went 18-0 in the regular split. If you lose the series, you lose and go to gauntlet system most likely.


Did you expect to be in yet another semifinal in what is still your rookie season? Is there a lot of pressure this time?

I dont think there is much pressure on us. I am sure everyone expects us to lose against Fnatic which means we can only upset people and not disappoint anybody.


What are your thoughts on the NA semifinal matchups and who do you believe is the strongest of those teams? Which NA teams do you think will be at Worlds and which do you feel are the strongest or you would like to play against the most?

Its hard to predict to be honest. I will let myself get suprised who goes to worlds, but I would love to face Bjergesen there. I am sure he would want revenge from our last time we met in IEM.


How do you think Incarnati0n has done in his NA debut?
I think he is a middle tier midlaner for now but becomes better every day.



Thanks to everyone who supports me and keeps supporting me in the Playoffs. I am going to try my best reaching worlds with my team!



Announced last month, Yuri “KEITH”  Jew been staying at the TSM house on a trial basis.

Today, TSM has released a video announcing their decision to stick with Wildturtle as their starting AD Carry.


View the video in it’s entirety below:


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.



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.