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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.

 

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Fresh off his first split in the LCS – and his first LCS title, I had a chance to speak with Pierre “Steeelback” Medjaldi on his time in Fnatic, performing under pressure, and the upcoming Mid-Season Invitational.

 

Q: How did you react when Fnatic first contacted you for tryouts? Were you confident you would get the spot?

The first time that Fnatic contacted me was through Yellowstar. He wanted to do some duoq with me to see if I could compete at an LCS level. I was really nervous because i wanted the spot really badly. After a few days he decided to bring me into the team and I was super happy.

 

Q: You’ve had massive success in your first LCS split. Looking back on your performance so far, how would you rate yourself compared to where you believe you can be?

Looking back on my performance I’m not really happy with it. I feel that i can do way better. I was really nervous, which affected my gameplay and caused me to play too scared. I’m more confident now, and believe I can improve even more. I feel much stronger than at the beginning of the split.

 

Q: Was it difficult adjusting to the team? Was there any pressure to fill the spot of Rekkles?

At the begining i was a bit nervous because Rekkles was one of the best AD carries in EU and I had to replace him. I didn’t want to fail, especially since I was a solo queue player without any competitive experience, but now I feel that i can be one of the best and compete at really high level.

 

Q: What is it like playing with Yellowstar and what was his role in helping you fit in? Did it take long to build synergy?

Yellowstar is a support that roams a lot, which is something that I wasn’t used to. After few weeks I adapted my playstyle to this and I feel that we took time to build a synergy between us but it’s finally here and I’m really happy with it.

 

Q: What is the biggest difference in playing with Yellowstar compared to other supports in the past?

Yellowstar makes a lot of a calls. He looks at every lane and leads both inside and outside of the game. He has a lot of experience and is very mature, he really is like the big brother of the team.

 

Q: How would you best describe your role in the team and why does your playstyle fit so well?

In our team we have to play more safely on the bottom side because we play around top side more. Reignover and Huni have really good synergy so they play really aggressive top side . I’m trying to fit my playstyle into the team as best as i can. I used to play really aggressively in the bottom lane but i adapted to the team to play safer. To be the best you have to know when to play passively or aggressively.

 

Q: How far do you think this Fnatic roster can go and who do you view as your biggest competitors?

I think that our roster is really strong. We have young players that are very determined to win. I think that if we keep working like we do we can have good results at worlds. Our biggest competitors are obviously Chinese and Korean teams.

 

Q: What ADC would you like to see played/played more often in LCS that isn’t currently?

Ezreal.

 

Q: Favorite ADC of any region?

Deft is someone that I really enjoy. He is a really strong player and his laning and teamfighting are super strong. He always deals tons of damage.

 

Q: Who is your best champion?

At the moment I would say Lucian.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on Forg1ven? Is he on another level and where do you think he ranks in the world?

Forg1ven is a strong adc. His mechanics are really impressive, I’d say he is the best AD in laning phase, but i dont think that he is the best when it comes to playing passively and team fighting.

 

Q: Who is your “best friend” in the FNC house?

Febiven

 

Q: Who will win MSI? Who do you want to play against the most and why?

Fnatic obviously! I really want to play against Deft because i think he is the best ADC in the world .

 

Q: Is there anything you didn’t get to play in the finals that you would have liked? Do you think there will be any crazy surprises at MSI?

I think that we can surprise people and win against Chinese and Korean teams.

 

Q: What is the team environment like? How is communication handled in game?

The team environment is really good, everyone is really friendly with each other. We had some issues in the game at first, like getting too excited or not talking enough when we’re losing, but we have an amazing coach that is hepling us!

 

Q: On current AD variety, can you really play anything? Is there still a “holy trinity” of ADC’s and if so who? What is your current champion to play competitively and why?

I think that i can play lot of different ADC’s. My top three right now are: Urgot, Kalista, and Sivir. My favorite AD to play competitively is Sivir or Lucian because their laning phases are strong. With Lucian you’re more able to make plays, and  with sivir you can push the lane and support your team a lot.