Interview with Alex Ich: “I think Jungle is the most important role”
First off, what is something unknown or that very little people know about you?
Alex Ich: Dunno, not sure if everyone knows yet that I am married, I have a beautiful child and his name is Dmitry.
Thoughts on the teams at worlds and did everyone make it as far as you expected? Did any of the outcomes surprise you?
Alex Ich: I don’t think that outcomes surprised me, only Samsung Ozone did worse than expected, but everything else was ok, I think we could have done better though.
Who do you think is the current strongest team in the LCS? Who do you expect to be the best in Season 4?
Alex Ich: With all the current changes I cannot answer this question. Time will show
Zed, Kassadin, and Ahri recently received changes. What would you have done differently, if anything, to tune these champions?
Alex Ich: Kassadin’s obvious nerf should be increasing ult cd, I would say the same for ahri’s ult and zed’s ult. All these heroes power is from their ultimates, so you should nerf them but not their kit overall. They can assassinate too often and it is bad.
What is it like playing under pressure for you, how do you handle high pressure situations?
Alex Ich: I think I just got used to it.
What is your opinion of Faker?
Alex Ich: I think that he is good, LOL.
What do you think seperates your playstyle from other mid laners? Is there a “best” way to play the role, or is it based on your teams overall plan?
Alex Ich: I think that my playstyle is a bit farm oriented, not sure if it is the best way to play but it is strong, my goal is to farm and become beast until the lanephase ends. I think that I excel at playing mobile assassin heroes
Are there any champions you want to see return to competitive play? Who, and what would make them viable?
Alex Ich: I would like to see a Ryze buff so he can get more playable for me. I don’t think that he is that good at the moment.
Do you think the mid lane is more important in EU than other regions? What about EU’s midlaner playstyle is different?
Alex Ich: I think that jungle is the most important role and most of the time junglers get mid lane rolling, but people give less credit to jungler and more to mid laner because he has a better score.
Who is the shotcaller within the team and how are things like objectives handled? Is there always a goal in mind or do you just takeopportunities as they come?
Alex Ich: We have everyone speaking, I think it is one of the best ways to handle it, though has some flaws. Most of the time you can’t see all the game yourself so it’s good that people say their opinions, you only need to filter and help so there will be no mess.
What should a mid laner do to make the most impact on the game for his team?
Alex Ich: He should farm, roam, not feed, play good champion, good positioning. For example if you play orianna, u need to stay on range, use all your skills, save your ad carry, land op ultimate and not get caught, its hard.
What champions are you current favorite to play as? Who is your least favorite to play against right now? Who do you think the strongest mid champion is currently?
Alex Ich: My favourite champion to play is Kha’Zix though I am not sure if I want to play him competitively. Least favorite to play against is Riven and the strongest is Orianna/Gragas/Nidalee, something like that.
Who is the toughest mid laner you have faced?
Alex Ich: I would say Xpeke, dunno why but I got most problems with him in lane.
How have you and the team been spending the offseason?
Everyone is spending his time with the family, so we don’t spend the time together. We are still training though, preparing to IEM.
Is Froggen still one of the best mids in the world?
Alex Ich: Yes he is
What do you like to do in your free time?
Alex Ich: I like spending my time with wife and child, play soloq and play some other games.
Looking into Season 4, do you think the current top teams will stay on top, or new ones emerge as we have seen in the past? Do you think SKT can stay as dominant as they have been?
Alex Ich: I don’t know, I am not oracles, everything can happen, I would say there will be a lot of changes.
Do you feel the NA region is weaker than other regions overall? Will they emerge in Season 4? What prevents them from growing as rapidly as other regions?
Alex Ich: I think that NA region is not weaker than other regions, they have C9 who are really strong and TSM can get big with Bjergsen, so I would say they should be ok.
How do you feel about the roster changes announced so far in Europe? What team will they impact the most?
Alex Ich: Dunno every team will be hugely impacted because of changes. We should just wait and see how it goes.
Reginald recently retired as a player, and Ocelote stepped down from the main roster of SK gaming. We’ve seen your thoughts on them, but what was it like playing against them?
Haven’t played against Reginald for ages so don’t really remember, but tbh both Ocelote and Reginald were good midlaners, so playing against them was fun. In tournaments I got an edge most of the time though.
How do you feel about the current format of the LCS and World Championship? Do you think there should be changes for Season 4?
Alex Ich: I think that travelling every week for teams is bad thing. I would say that travelling just once every 2 weeks would be much better. And I think that games should be bo2 because the game is hugely dependent on side and pick and it can change in the next patch.
What do you think has been the biggest issue so far when finding a new support player? What are the biggest obstacles you have faced while trialing other players? What are you looking for in your support?
Alex Ich: We need a Russian speaking support that plays well. We have little time, so you should just pick and go. Most of the time we cannot just change support during the season, because we cannot take a Russian support, due to the fact that it takes around 1 month to get him passport+visa.
This was actually supposed to say “Will Edward ever return to Gambit?”, however it was recently announced that he is returning to your roster. What led to this decision? Not being able to find other supports that were as good or fit the team, or something else?
Alex Ich: I think that he knows that he will do the best in our team and we will do better with him, I would say it is just synergy.
Now that Edward has returned, do you expect Gambit to be back in top form?
Alex Ich: Yes
What are Edwards biggest strengths and what does he bring to the team that other supports can’t? What does he lack or need to improve in?
Alex Ich: Edward has one of the highest percentage of skillshots landed, he has huge experience and he is not stressful. I think his temper is explosive so he needs to work a bit on that, but overall I think he is a beast support.
Do you ever wish you could play a different role? If so, what would it be?
Alex Ich: I like to play ad and jungle in soloq, but I would say that mid suits me the most, though sometimes heroes get out of my meta.
How does the team plan to prepare for Season 4? What types of improvements overall does the team need the most? How about you individually, what would you like to improve on the most and what do you feel you are currently weakest in?
Alex Ich: I think we need to see the changes of season 4 first to know what we and I myself should change. I would say that we need to know next year’s LCS system and depending on that plan better our training because it is the weakest part of our team.
Thoughts on Mandatorycloud? Do you feel he is the best mid laner in NA?
Alex Ich: Not with Bjergsen been there. I think he is mechanically good , though he lacks experience and his or rather his team transition into mid-late game is not that good. He needs to improve on that part of game.
Predictions for the upcoming Battle of the Atlantic?
Alex Ich: I don’t do predictions, we should win our games though
Are there any item changes you want to see? Or perhaps a new type of item for the mid lane?
Alex Ich: Zhonya’s nerf please, thank you.
Bjergsen was recently the latest European player to head to NA by joining TSM. How much of an impact do you think he will have on the team, and will he live up to the standard TSM has set the past 3 seasons? How good of a mid is Bjergsen compared to other NA mids? Do you expect to see more international team rosters as the game progresses?
Alex Ich: The more the game progresses – more money included – more transfers like in professional gaming. I would say that Bjergsen is really strong mid and if not strongest then one of the strongest in NA. TSM should do better with him because Reginald will control them and will have more time for handling TSM as organization so there will be five players fully related on game.
Alex Ich: Dunno, delete Riven from game? Tired of playing against her.
Alex Ich: I want to thank Gambit, BenQ, Steelseries, Pringles and Twitch for helping and supporting me and my team. Also I want to thank all our fans all over the world for watching our plays and rooting for us. I hope we will do even better now and in season 4 with Edward and I hope our team won’t have any more changes and internal problems.