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Posts Tagged ‘Interview’

 

Sitting proudly at the top of the standings, H2K is hard at work as the playoffs loom just over a month away. After narrowly losing to Vitality and a clean victory against Origen in week 6, I spoke with support player Vander on the split so far, looking ahead, and playing through temporary roster trouble.

You recently finished playing against UoL, G2, Vitality, and Origen, and will face off against Fnatic this week. Having completed the perceived “harder” part of your schedule with most of the current top teams out of the way, is there as much focus on the season or is the team already looking towards playoffs?

 

It is still very important to us to win every consecutive game. Our main goal now is to secure top two in the split. It gives us a free BYE to the semifinals, which is very helpful, especially if we want to win the whole split. Also we will be able to book our flights to Rotterdam a bit earlier and save some money.

 

You came up just short of a win against Vitality in a 60 minute game in week 6. What led to the game lasting as long as it did and what contributed most to the loss? What is your mindset in a game that plays out that long?

We played bad early game; after Graves TP top we had 3 losing lanes. On the other hand we had a better team-fighting composition, so the enemy team was scared to push our towers and we couldn’t really step out any further. It was a long stall until the fifth drake buff. At this point we had to stop farming and try to regain control of the map by catching targets with our ultimates. Sadly we failed the last and crucial fight and Vitality won the game.

 

You play a big part of your teams vision game, especially early on. Is there a specific emphasis on vision for you is it just in the nature of the role? What is your ideal way of playing the early game as a support?

My goal every game is to have lane control, which lets me to push out or move faster than enemy support to any skirmish on the map. If you can do it, warding becomes easier. I am also scared that Forgiven will get mad if we lose lane. Both me and Jankos try to cooperate a lot to setup good vision for our laners.

 

How is shotcalling handled in game and what is the team environment like on a typical day?

I think in the first few weeks Ryu was the main shotcaller, but when we lost him other people had to take on the responsibility. Right now it’s much more divided – the worst thing is when the game is really long and one mistake costs you the game – people become scared to make the aggressive call. I think we have good time with each other, everyone plays as much as possible, we definitely aim to win the split.

 

You have a lot of synergy with Jankos, who came with you to the team from Roccat. How strong is your bond inside and outside of the game? What makes you such a strong duo in your opinion?

I can definitely say that we are good friends and we really trust each other – both inside and outside of the game. I think we are A good duo, because we like to fight a lot and gain control of the game together. We lived through so many meta changes together, it allows us to understand what to do quickly. We are experienced players at this point.

 

How are you enjoying playing with Forg1ven so far and what bot lanes do you think stack up to you? Are you the strongest bot lane in EU? Which teams are the hardest to lane against?

I think we are a really good lane. Forgiven gets a lot of advantages by himself, so my main job is to make him safe and peel off the enemy support most of the time. It makes my life pretty easy. I wouldn’t say any lane is hard to play against. We have our own playstyle that just works most of the time. I think our main weakness that we do not play some champions that are currently really strong.

 

Due to visa issues, you played for several weeks without Ryu. How did the team operate with Selfie in his absence and what was the most noticeable difference between the two?

Selfie is way less experienced than Ryu. He often played way too aggressive and got caught in early game. It made games very different for us, because Ryu is probably the best at understanding the pressure game in our team. Mechanically they are very close, so it was all about knowledge and losing the backbone of our team.

 

Who is the strongest team in the LCS?

Hard to say right now, I think us and Vitality are the strongest. I am confident we will be better than them by playoffs. I am also a bit scared Origen will catch up and become really dangerous again, their players are both very experienced and skilled – if they tryhard.

 

Looking ahead, do you think G2 will continue to remain at the top of the standings? Who do you see in the finals of the playoffs and representing Europe at the Mid Season Invitational?

In my opinion G2 is the most likely team to drop off from the current top three. It is my 3rd season already and I have never played in the final. Our players are really good and smart, if everyone puts their 110% effort I am sure we can go to MSI.

 

You took down Origen pretty handedly, and they are currently struggling, especially when compared to their performance last year. Do you expect to see them back on top by the end of the season? Are other teams getting that much stronger or is it just growing pains?

This split a lot of powerful teams formed. Last year when I was on Team ROCCAT we almost took them down in the qualifiers to Worlds. They were a really good team, but not invincible. I think right now their biggest problem is their personal performance. Every game someone from Origen makes a huge mistake, which turns into a big lead or easy snowball for enemy team.

 

How are you enjoying the current meta so far and what is your favorite support champion?

I don’t really care about the meta; I always try to adapt and have my own opinion on strong champions and team comps. I try to follow everyone and see what they are doing, but blindly copying them is not the right way to go. I really like to play Alistar, he is very versatile champion.

 

Shoutouts?

I want to thank my team and coach for trying their best to improve each day. Big shoutout to H2k and people behind this organisation. And the most important ones – our fans.

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is an esports journalist and content creator. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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We last spoke in September, just after you requalified for the LCS with Gambit. A lot has changed since then, with you joining a brand new team as well as organization. What are your thoughts on the Gambit situation looking back, and what is it like being a part of the debut squad under a new banner?

A lot of things have changed indeed. I find it very refreshing to be playing with 4 new guys that have not played with each other aside from the bottom lane. On top of that, to play under a French organization with a really competent staff is great as well, though I do cherish some of the moments I spent with Gambit.

 

Is Vitality the strongest team you’ve been on? What sets them apart from your previous squads?

Yes definitely. Even if I’ve played in the past with talented and experienced people such as Diamond, Edward, Forg1ven, etc. I feel like this time we all have the same drive to become the best, and the tools to achieve that.

 

You play a carry oriented style and currently boast one of the highest KDA’s in the LCS. Is this your preferred way to play or is it just what fits into the team? What is the ideal way to play Top in your opinion?

At the moment you can basically play everything on top lane so if I had to say what ideal way there was to play top it would be to adapt properly and to be able to play some Kennen, right after some Poppy, followed by Fiora and you can even put a little Graves in the mix.  All of those champions have different purposes and way of being played. Even though we have mostly played with carry style champions in LCS we know we’re able to play with non-resource dependent champions in the top lane so that’s not really an issue.

 

You’ve always been an avid Kennen player, and this season you’ve already played him twice. Is he on par with other top liners, or is he still strictly a niche pick? What is the best situation to pick him in and do you expect him to be relevant for the foreseeable future?

Kennen is a decent pick since almost no one can bully him out of the lane. He also has really strong team fighting and is one of the best teleport flankers in the game. There are ways to play around it though; when you play against a Janna, a Poppy, a Lee Sin or an Alistar it becomes very hard to flank, since they can all push you away or put you out of the fight, and your champion in team fights rely entirely on you landing your ultimate on as many people as you can. He has a pretty good split-push for the early and midgame but when people start to get items it’s time to group. I find him interesting since he’s one of the few AP top laners still played alongside Ryze/ Lulu/ Lissandra despite them falling out of meta currently, however I wouldn’t consider him an S tier top laner but more like the most optimal pick in some situations.

 

On the meta, how are you enjoying Season 6 so far? What do you like or dislike most? If anything, what would you change? What has been your favorite competitive meta thus far?

I do enjoy the current meta since you need a lot of adaptability to play all those different picks. I think it came down to all the reworked champions being overpowered such as Quinn/Graves/Poppy/Fiora/Darius. Not sure I’d change anything, even if we still see TP played every game, it adds more strategy to the game. I very much liked the Jax/Irelia meta, when I felt even if the champions were pretty strong compared to the other lanes a lot of those matchups were purely based on skill, and quite snowbally. But right now I’m able to play some Graves or Lucian top so I won’t complain.

 

Would you define Vitality as a Top, Mid, or Bottom focused team? What are the team’s goals in game?

I don’t think if you strive to become the best you can, in the current meta, focus on a specific lane. I think it’s more dependent on champions picked after the draft and the situation in game, whether it be lane swapping, objective control, etc.

For example if I’m playing a Fiora top, it’s a pick that will require resources and therefore needs to be played around, with jungle pressure and lane assignment so you need to compensate and have a bottom lane that can play a bit more passively. Lucian and Janna for example.

On the other hand if we just want to have a composition with a Lulu mid and hyper carry bot like a Jinx, you’ll need for Jinx not to fall behind, so playing a pick like Poppy that can handle themselves and have a useful kit even if she doesn’t have the most resources will be the best in this situation. It’s obviously more complicated than that and a lot of it is down to applying pressure at the correct time.

 

Q:  There has been some commentary on teams being able to defend or turtle a game out long enough to just win a team fight and close the game from there, overriding poor play in earlier stages of the game. What are your thoughts on this and do you think better teams will prevail regardless?

I guess you can take our game vs UOL as an example of it, even if we didn’t manage to actually win the game there were some comebacks, but it mostly came down to us not respecting them early on and falling behind when we would out scale them regardless. They fought when they needed to, and we didn’t. In the current meta the game is very snowbally so it’s actually pretty hard to comeback if the enemy control objectives and apply pressure properly Lane assignment becomes really important with how the game is evolving.

 

What was the thought behind the Top lane Lucian pick and what situations does he work in? Have you practiced with him as a team? Do you expect to see more of it?

Lucian is a very strong lane bully and is pretty strong in lane swap scenarios as well due to his fast push and decent wave clear. I find the champion very mechanically rewarding, and he doesn’t necessarily require as much gold as when he is played as an ADC since you don’t build him around critical strike. We indeed practiced him as a team, on top of playing it quite a lot in solo queue.
How is the communication handled in game and what is the team environment like?

The bottom lane and especially KaSing will do most of the shot-calling and map rotations, with every player giving input about how’s their lane is going, how chunked the enemy is, dive possibility, teleport advantage, etc. The objective is to get to the point where once laning phase is over, every player knows exactly where he belongs in a certain situation to correctly apply pressure and control objectives.

 

Where do you expect to place at the end of the season? Predictions for Top 3?

At the end of the split we expect to be the best, I don’t really know who will be top 3 alongside us 😉

 

In week 5, you handed G2 their second loss and completely dismantled Origen. Is this the team ramping up and do you expect to keep getting better?

I think our improvement curve is going really well, I still remember us a few weeks ago being completely lost in some situations. Right now things looks better but we still have a lot of things to fix so we will definitely get better throughout the split and going into playoffs!

 

In your game against Origen, you ran a team comp with Zilean and Bard. What went into the draft for this game and what was your mindset heading in? Did things play out as expected?

We practiced this mid/support duo in scrims and they’ve got quite good synergy. Being able to put the double bomb damage + free stun on top of the golden bard ultimate is deadly. On top of that it’s not like the trade-off is bad while picking them, because in those matchups they were good during the laning phase as well. At the end of the draft we had a scenario we expected, plus the supportive mid pick allowed me to pick a more damage oriented top laner that could do some AD damage too because we basically had 3 AP champions.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks for everyone supporting me and my team, much love and Cabane 123!

 

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

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Putting up impressive numbers in the first few weeks of the 2016 season, I caught up with Unicorns of Love AD Carry Pierre “Steelback” Mejaldi to talk about his return to Europe, playing on a new team, the current meta, and more.

 

Q: You spent some time playing in North America on Team Imagine before joining Unicorns of Love. Did you enjoy your time there? Do you prefer playing in Europe?

Yes I enjoyed playing there. It was something totally new and a different mindset than EU players. I felt happy when I was in NA because I met really nice people and it gave me the opportunity to grow as a player.

 

Q: What was your mindset like heading into the season? Was there any difficulty in adjusting to a new team?

My mindset was to perform to my own expectations. I knew that I improved a lot but I didn’t want to fail to adapt properly on stage. There wasn’t really any difficulty because everyone is really experienced which make things way easier.

 

Q: What is it like playing with Hylissang and what is the biggest difference between him and BIG/Baby or Yellowstar?

Well the biggest difference is in the laning phase aggression. Hylissang is very aggressive in lane which I like. Baby was kind of the same too. Yellowstar was more control and roamed way more which was also good, it’s just two different playstyles.

 

Q: What type of role do you feel fits you best and do you feel it meshes well with the team?

I feel that I can play way more aggressive in this team and play more how I feel.  I felt that I wasn’t playing my own playstyle before, and I really didn’t like playing passively so now I’m quite happy that I can just play natural and that everyone has the possibility to be a carry.

 

Q: What is the team environment like? What is communication like in game and how is shotcalling handled?

The team environment is pretty good. Everyone is willing to improve and plays the game a lot. We talk way more than my previous team and I think it’s really nice. You always needs to say what’s on your mind with shotcalling, and everyone is doing it pretty much which I think is the best cause everyone should be able to understand what would be the best move possible at what time.

 

Q: You played week with Djoko due to visa issues with Diamondprox. How much has this affected the team? What is the most noticeable difference in his absence?

Djoko played better than everyone expected, I’m sure he had confidence on stage to make plays. The absence of Diamondprox affected us obviously because he was a top tier jungler and had a lot of experience, he was helping the shotcalling a lot. I’d say the most noticeable difference is the experience and the knowledge that he has with every match up which is really huge.

 

Q: Last year, you said you wanted to see more Ezreal in the LCS. In 2016, he rounds out the top 10 most played champions in the EU LCS. Do you still enjoy playing him?

Yes I really enjoy Ezreal even though his laning phase is not the best at the moment due to his tear build. I still like him because you’re able to poke and make plays with him.

 

What in your eyes makes him so strong?

I feel his strongest point is his poke and his ability to peel for yourself and I think that people forget a lot about how to use his ult efficiently. For example clearing waves and harassing the enemy.

 

Q: How would you rate your performance so far? Who do you feel is the biggest competition among AD Carries in EU?

I’m happy that people noticed that I improved but I still think that I can do way more. People shouldn’t forget that my team is really good, which is a huge reason why I’ve looked good at the beginning of the season. I think there are a lot of good AD carries that I can learn from and we will see how it goes during the season.

 

Q: Of the teams you’ve played, who was most difficult to play against?

Well I think Fnatic was the most difficult cause they managed to stall the game for super long even though they were really behind. I feel that we lost to G2 and Origen because mostly because of draft.

 

Q: How do you feel about the state of the current meta? Specifically AD Carries? Are there any changes you’d like to see in the game?

I feel that the current meta is pretty good because it’s more about aggressive plays all over the map and there are way less tanks. Also, on AD carries you can build differently depending on which ADC you pick. Same for masteries, before there was one only way to take masteries and build AD carries.

 

Q: Shoutouts?

I just want to thank every fan that support us. It helps a lot, you guys are awesome keep it up!

 

 

photo credit: lolesports


Caymus is a journalist and content creator for SoloMid. You can find him getting caught out in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about Esports.

 

Joining LGD in early December, Top Laner Jang “MaRin” Gyeong-Hwan and Jungler Xie “Eimy” Dan spoke with NoL on their transition into LGD, team synergy, the upcoming season, and more.

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MaRin

 

What was going through your head after you won the World Championship and the MVP of the event?

I was very happy over the fact that we had won, but I was even happier to have received MVP. I think that the KOO Tigers, who handed us a loss at the World Championship Final, were our most difficult opponents.

 

What is your biggest goal on LGD and what do you feel is your strongest attribute?

I left SK Telecom to experience new challenges. As long as I call pro gaming my profession, my constant goal is to win the World Championship. A “strength” would be that because I am living in a new environment, it’s more fun.

 

Are you already learning Chinese? What are you doing to overcome the language barrier, and do you plan to continue shotcalling in LGD alongside PYL?

I did buy a Chinese language book, but I didn’t have time so I couldn’t really learn much beforehand. I must now begin to learn, so I think I’ll be busy.

 

As for shotcalling, because we have to all play scrims and give/receive feedback to set our teamwork, I’m not quite sure yet.

 

Who do you consider your biggest rivals in the top lane?

I haven’t been able to scrim in China yet, so the only players that I’ve met are the ones that I’ve met while in tournaments or official matches. Therefore, I can’t choose a rival. Right now, I want to work hard with the mindset that everyone is a rival.

 

Who are you most looking forward to playing against in China? Why?

I’m looking forward to all of the teams, but Vici Gaming is a team I’m looking forward to playing the most. I think it’ll be fun because I was on the same team with Lee “Easyhoon” Ji-hoon, and now we’re facing each other as opponents.

 

What are your thoughts on Illaoi? Do you think we’ll see her played competitively?

I haven’t played Illaoi all that much, but I feel that she’s unable to use her strengths against ranged champions, and isn’t able to make all that much of an impact during team fights. I do think that if the player has researched and practiced Illaoi a lot, it can definitely be used in tournaments.

 

Anything else?

I don’t know Chinese all that much yet and haven’t had much practice, so the spring season opening is a bit of a worry. Regardless, I will try my hardest. I would be very thankful if you’d cheer for me and be patient, even if I show a lacking performance.

 

 

 

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 Eimy

 

You’ve qualified for the LPL on two separate occasions. Is there a bit of relief not having to qualify to compete this time?

I feel really lucky that I don’t need to qualify this time around, and I’m very grateful to LGD for giving me this chance to play with them in the LPL.

 

How did you get in contact with LGD and what led to your decision to join?

During the offseason I told my team Unlimited Potential that I was interested in changing team, so they told L.Ace I was available and interested in other clubs. That was how LGD knew I could be contacted. I chose to join LGD because I thought that I would fit well with the members of the team.

 

What do you hope to bring to LGD and accomplish in the season?

Right now I’m not yet sure what I can bring to LGD, but I’ll have a better idea once we start practicing. I hope that we can be the champions this spring season.

 

You have played with Heart and pAinEvil in the past. Does it feel good to play with former teammates and do you believe it will help the team to mesh faster?

I think that we’ll mesh together quickly again this time. Last time when I played with them we had good chemistry.

 

What is your take on the jungle in the preseason so far, and are you enjoying the faster pace of the game? Are there any specific changes you want to see to the jungle in Season 6?

I think that personally I can adapt well to any meta, no matter how much the pace of the game changes. As a jungler I’m also very team-focused, so I will adapt to my team. Personally for Season 6 I would maybe like to see some stronger jungle items, or some new jungle items.


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

Translations by: @LGDReira and @xoprestige

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In December, multigaming organization Natus Vincere, or Na’vi, made their official return to the competitive League of Legends scene with the announcement of their challenger roster, and their intent to climb their way through the Challenger Series into the LCS. NoL spoke with their starting Jungler, Amin “Amin” Mezher, on playing in the Challenger Series, the development of the amateur scene, how he ended up on Na’Vi, and more.

You’ve spent quite some time in the Challenger series. What has kept you motivated to continue playing? Has there ever been a time you considered giving up?

I just enjoy playing the game in an amateur scene where I can have a real life and also some competitive gaming. Giving up? No. I could have played in the LCS if I wanted to, I had offers.

 

What are your thoughts on the development of the Challenger scene over the past year and where is it still lacking the most? What needs to change to make being an amateur player more viable?

I think the challenger series has improved a lot since I played in it with NiP. It’s a lot more structured now, with better money.

 

With so many teams receiving backing, both new and old alike, are you concerned with organizations who have a higher spending power potentially limiting the growth of upstarts and those with less money?

With so many new organizations coming in, with an entire bank in the pocket it definitely makes it harder for Solo queue players to get into the scene. Why would you tryout a random solo queue player when you can just buy one of the best players in that role?

 

You sometimes get a bad rep for your attitude. Do you think it is deserved and are you doing anything to change this perception?

I would say it’s deserved, but a bit exaggerated by the community, reddit etc. I think I was way more toxic back in the day when I was a lot younger. Now I’m trying to be more mature and I think I’m on the road to incarnation.

 

How did you end up on Na’Vi? What led to your decision in joining the team? What was the trial process like?

I wanted to join an amateur team this year and I heard Na’Vi was looking for players so yeah, the org is very big in esports and it made my decision easier. I saw that they took it very serious with the staff etc. which was important. To be honest I just scrimmed two games and after that it was a done deal pretty much.

 

What are your immediate goals now that you are officially competing again?

My first goal is to qualify for CS and play good every game and prove myself a bit more to the community.

 

Does Na’Vi have a gaming house, or plans to get one?

I do believe Na’Vi are going to buy a gaming house soon in Berlin, so yes.

 

Are you already practicing as a team? Results?

We haven’t played a lot of tournaments or barely any official games, but we’re practicing. Results are pretty good since we’re a new team.

 

How confident are you that this team will perform in Challenger Series and potentially make the LCS? Is there an expectation to qualify by the organization?

I believe if we stick together and if everyone takes it serious, we can go a long way, including in the LCS. Na’Vi believes in us.

 

What is the team atmosphere like? Is it strictly business, or do you guys do things together outside of the game as well?

I like the team atmosphere because it’s not strictly business, we’re friends too. So after scrims we can just keep hanging out.

 

How is shot calling handled in-game?

We’re still a new team so we’re trying stuff out pretty much but it’s mostly me, mid, and top shot calling.

 

How are you enjoying the preseason? What do you hope to see changed before competition starts?

I like the preseason, I like the fact that more aggressive junglers are played. It fits me.

 

Who do you see as the biggest threats in Challenger right now? Who are you most looking forward to play against?

I would say Millenium are one of the best challenger teams right now. They’ve played together for a long time and have great teamwork.

 

Shoutouts?

Just a big shoutout to Na`Vi and all the sponsors


 

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

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When the 2016 North American LCS begins in January, Hai “Hai” Du Lam will be starting his third season under Cloud 9. Making a switch to the Jungle from Mid Lane in the middle of the Summer Split, Hai once again finds himself in a different role, this time as the teams Support. He spoke with NoL on changing roles, Cloud 9’s new roster, and more.

 

How are you enjoying support so far? Was there something in particular that was hard to adapt to?

It’s fun, it’s the role I hate the most in Solo Q but probably one of my more favorite ones to play in competitive. I think the main thing I have to adapt to is my “power level”, I’m significantly weaker in terms of power than I ever was before. So it makes it harder for me to do things on my own.

 

How did you enjoy your time as Jungle, though limited it may be? What was the biggest surprise in playing the role competitively for the first time?

It was fun! Definitely a bit different from mid, I was strong but still had to cater to people’s needs more so than when I played mid. I think the biggest surprise in the role is the fact that “strength of jungler” doesn’t matter as much as a ton of other junglers always brought it. For example, there are strong early game junglers but that doesn’t mean you keel over and can’t ward/gank, you just have to be smarter about what you’re doing.

 

What is your favorite support champion or lane combo to play as? Against?

I like play Alistar and Lucian/High kill pressure ADC. I like playing against kill lanes, doesn’t matter what support.

 

You’re known to be quite the shotcaller. Is is easier for you to direct the game from support as most people imply? What do you think it is that makes you stand out so much in terms of your ability to make the right call?

Well, it is easier since I don’t have to worry about losing the game if I’m too busy trying to figure out how to win the game. Generally when a support dies that doesn’t mean baron or turrets are gone, just you can’t fight. However when I died as mid/jungler, it did mean an objective was gone, so that’s nice. As far as my ability to shotcall, I’d say it has to come from the kind of person I am, my personality is a very dominant and confident one. When someone is consistently telling you what to do, and you win, you really have no reason not to follow that voice, no? So loyalty comes from success, and success comes from intelligence.

 

How has the team been adapting to the addition of Rush? What element does he add to the team that wasn’t there before?

We actually get along really well with Rush, the guy is a beast. Definitely a better jungler than me and reminds me of myself because he’s super aggressive albeit he makes a lot of dumb plays (which is fine). As long as I keep him in check with what he’s doing, he’s easily the best jungler in NA.

 

How has it been playing with BunnyFuFu and a two support system? We’ve seen a similar situation with teams in the past, but generally mid laners. Do you think having two players rotate can benefit any position?

I enjoy playing with Bunny a lot because for one, he adds a lot of stability to my stress/emotions outside of the game. We go to the gym together and I get along with him really well, he’s like a little brother to me because he’s basically a wide eyed deer staring into the vastness of the world. I think this system is nice because it lowers the stress level a lot and for us specifically, it helps alleviate my wrist issues that I still have. It’s nice to have a break/play not as much and have a reliable substitute.

 

With the introduction of the preseason patch, a lot has changed. How do you feel about the preseason so far and what are you loving/hating the most? Do you enjoy the shift towards a more AD centric meta?

I personally like the preseason due to a few reasons ;

They fixed the RNG waves at level 1, meaning sometimes a bot lane/top lane would get EXP off a minion due to no skill of their own and the other side wouldn’t. This swung the lane a lot and made it feel really bad to play.

They allowed teams to snowball better and be able to close out games more, you can’t really “farm in base” and hope for a comeback anymore. You get punished for playing passively, and I think that’s great.

As far as the meta I don’t necessarily see that much of a difference in terms of power for ADC, they feel the same to me. If fed/ignore, they kill you, if not, they die.

I enjoy no more Mordekaiser.

More mid laners and top laners are running ignite instead of Teleport now, this is good.

I like the trinket changes so far, less wards means more plays, which means the better team can control vision easier. (Minus baron baiting, that’s impossible with blue trinkets.)

There’s probably more but this is all I can think of for now.

 

What are your thoughts on the upcoming LCS season, with all of the new teams and wave of roster changes? Thoughts on the new TSM, particularly Yellowstar and his transition to NA?

My opinion of all the new teams/players is that I hope it elevates the level of play for NA. Anything to help our region grow is welcomed by me. There’s a lot of hype on Yellowstar being a great shotcaller, I want to see if their team lives up to that hype.

 

Which bot lanes do you want to play against the most in the LCS? Who do you rate as the strongest, based on current rosters?

I don’t really care about what lane I play against, we will win or die trying. (Sneaky and me are the best 100% chance, I’ll believe that whether I’m right or wrong.)

 

You’ll be competing at IEM Cologne soon, playing H2K in the first round. With h2k having recently completed a new roster, where do you stack up, particularly against VandeR/Forg1ven?

I actually know nothing about H2K’s new roster or EU’s power level after worlds, it’ll be interesting to see how things go. I’m excited to play support on stage for the first time though.

 

Cloud 9 to take the whole thing, right?

Of course, or we’ll do our damn best to.

 

Looking back at 2015, what is your favorite memory from the past year? Was switching roles twice the least expected thing to happen to you?

My favorite memory is probably qualifying for worlds, my entire team was just shocked and surprised we made it. I’m happy we went from almost being relegated to world’s contenders. My entire team/owner were pretty depressed before that whole chain of events, and to see the emotions change in such a short time is the reason why I played and still play. My teams happiness is extremely important to me.

 

Shoutouts?

Thanks for the interview and I’m looking forward to how our team develops and grows. For all my fans out there, thank you for sticking by my side through thick and thin. Cloud 9 for life, right guys? #Cloud9

 


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

 
ddd
In the premiere edition of Sessions, Noah Whinston talks about his transition into eSports, acquiring investor interest, player treatment, and more.


Immortals-Interview-Noah-Whinston

 

Editors Note: Clinton Foy is the managing director of venture capital firm CrossCut Ventures.


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

 

SAMSUNG CSC

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!

 

Shoutouts?

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.

 

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.

 

INTERVIEW WITH MIZURUSSIAN

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.

 

Shoutouts?

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.