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Posts Tagged ‘LCS’

 

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 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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Top scorers points earned for week 1

  1. Shiphtur – Dignitas: 60.27 points
  2. Piglet – Liquid: 58.89 points
  3. Freeze – Renegades: 48.31 points
  4. WildTurtle – Immortals: 48.29 points
  5. Fenix – Liquid: 47.84 points
  6. Trick – G2: 47.09 points
  7. Kiwikid – Dignitas: 45.69 points
  8. Altec – NRG: 45.65 points
  9. FORG1VENGRE – H2K: 45.45 points
  10. Stixxay – CLG: 44.17 points

 

First impressions from Week 1

  • Immortals look amazing. I’m happy to give especially Reignover and Turtle higher priority. I get the feeling Fnatic’s early game shotcalling last season was heavily directed by Reignover, although I can’t prove it, but that usually means a lot of fights. Turtle’s back to his aggresive self too so he’ll be awesome.
  • We have yet to see Dignitas fight upper tier teams (NRG had subs, so it didn’t count), but their point gain versus middle pack teams is amazing. Pay attention to their matchups, and Shiphtur may very well get you 50+ points in a week.
  • NRG’s question marks to me at the moment are KonKwon and Moon. Their other players look great though. They did very well this week, but it would be great to see how much Moon influences the tide of their games.
  • CLG is looking alright. Heavy rotations still in play, but lots of diving and teamfighting as well. I still have questions about Huhi, but I think Stixxay deserves a spot on the map.
  • Liquid‘s members are looking to be very good fantasy point generators, even though they’re 0-2. I don’t know if I should include Matt on the list yet, however, and the whole sub squad thing does not help their case. Be careful about running them, because if they’re subbed out midweek you’re in trouble.
  • TSM and Origen I think had off weeks… I’d have to see their week 2 play to decisively lower any of their positions, since apparently neither team had much practice coming into this week. Also Doublelift randomly got high points, so he’s working that + status well.
  • Renegades seem to have a pretty rotation heavy style (ode to MonteCristo I suppose). Their teamfighting seems alright though, so I’m happy to give small boosts to some of their members.
  • Consider fielding players who get to play against TiP. TiP is looking very weak, and that’s exploitable.
  • UoL looks pretty good. Diamond and Viziscasci have decent synergy, and their new bot lane have been performing acceptably. They’ll put up a good fight regardless of their opponent, so I expect good things to come from them. However, I’m still not convinced about the nature of their aggression. Their points seem to be above average, so I’m keeping an eye on them.
  • I’m still unsure about Echo Fox, Fnatic, G2, and Roccat. Fnatic moreso because they had one decent game against an out-of-form Origen, and because they had one terrible game against Vitality.
  • H2K is looking fantastic as well, but they seemed to play more rotationally as opposed to aggressively. I feel like they’ll get consistently high points, but absurd maximums will be rare.
  • Vitality’s performance looks to be about whether or not Shook wakes up right that day. I’ve lowered Kasing and Hjarnan temporarily for now, but there’s a good chance I might bump them back up again.
  • Elements, Giants, and Splyce did not impress me at all last week.

Based on these impressions, I have slightly adjusted the Drafting Priority for Week 2. Notice the tonne of new additions. Below the list, I’ve done a small run down for notable Week 2 matches that might be worth setting up your roster for.


 

W2-Recommended-Picks

 

Notable Week 2 Matches

Average points per game ~= 20 per player. The games I note are ones I expect to be higher than average or lower than average in certain ways. If I don’t note something, it’s because I either don’t think it’s worth mentioning, or I think it’ll give average points.

Team Impulse vs. Cloud9

  • Probably a convincing C9 win. Rush, Sneaky, and Jensen expected to do exceedingly well here.

TSM vs. Immortals

  • Slanted in favour of Immortals, probably 65-35 odds from TSM’s poor showing this week.
  • TSM looks to be good at putting up fights, so they (Doublelift and Bjergsen especially) should be able to net decent scores.
  • IMT has a very aggressive style that has been successful so far. Unless TSM has found a way to completely shut them out, they should score quite well too.

Liquid vs. Counter Logic Gaming

  • Probably a bloodbath.
  • Liquid has a good record vs CLG in season games.
  • Pay attention to which players Liquid fields.
    • If Piglet, Dardoch, and Fenix are in, I think they’re bound to get lots of points.
  • Also, if Liquid beats CLG like they have in the past, expect it to be a stomp (low CLG points).

NRG vs. Immortals

  • I expect a lot of kills to go both ways in this matchup.
    • Impact vs Huni, Pob vs GBM, Turtle vs Altec are all going to be crazy.
  • The question mark here will be Moon, and his performance will determine which way the points slant.
    • If he does well, NRG and Immortals should go even on points, but if he does poorly, Reignover’s going to take over.

Counter Logic Gaming vs. Cloud9

  • If C9 run hai, expect a lot of rotations, and an average to above average game for points.
  • This shouldn’t be a stalled out game. I expect a lot of proactive diving and skirmishing.
  • Whichever team wins this game will likely have a tonne of points from objectives.

Giants vs. G2 Esports

  • If both teams have the same showing at last week, I expect Trick, Emperor, and Perkz to have nutty points from this game.

Origen vs. Unicorns of Love

  • This game will probably have quite a bit of action going on, so I think points should be higher than average.
  • There might be a bit of a mid and bot lane mismatch in favour of Origen, but if Diamondprox plays well he can probably balance it out.
  • The key question is if Origen was able to get meaningful practice this week, as opposed to the last one.
    • If they are in practice, they’ll score amazingly
    • Running Origen & their members will be a high risk high reward decision for this week

Fnatic vs. H2K

  • H2K seems to play a very rotational style game.
    • Even though they convincingly won both their games in week 1, they didn’t have absurd amounts of points.
  • Fnatic also looks really shaky.
  • I expect H2K to have average-above average points for this game.
    • However, if they sweep the game, Fnatic will do extremely poorly on points.

Fnatic vs. Unicorns of Love

  • Last season, I would run all my Fnatic and UoL members regardless of their other matchups whenever I saw this was going to happen.
    • It just got the most insane points for no reason whatsoever.
  • Fnatic and UoL now have really different lineups, and I find that their playstyles are have yet to be solidified.
  • If you feel like a gamble, this game might explode and possibly win you the week.

 


Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: Tweet any questions you may have to @SoullessFyr

Special thanks to Chefo

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The 2016 season has arrived. With one of the most tumultuous offseasons we’ve seen so far behind us, it’s only fitting that we kick off the Spring Split with the most storied rivalry in the region: Team SoloMid vs. Counter Logic Gaming. While CLG holds the edge in more recent history, a matchup between these two teams almost never disappoints. Let’s see how the first day of competition played out for the reshaped North America.

 

TSM CLG

 

TSM vs. CLG: Finding Ground

 

In the first and most anticipated game of the day, CLG showcased the power of coordination with superior objective control and map play, especially in the early game. With a failed lane swap from TSM to start the match, CLG managed to jump ahead and stayed in the drivers seat, secured by a baron around the 23 minute mark which would set the pace for the rest of the game. In staggered moves around the Dragon and Baron, CLG would eventually close the game out  after 44 minutes, five Dragons, and an impressive debut from CLG’s newest addition Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes. Participating in 19 of CLG’s 22 kills, the recently recruited AD Carry came into this game with some big shoes to fill, replacing his lane counter and longtime CLG AD Carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. CLG looks to a much easier game 2 against the 0-1 Team Dignitas, and Team SoloMid hopes to recover for an even week in a vital game against Team Liquid.

 

IMT

 

Cloud9 vs. Immortals: Reignover Me

 

Living up to the preseason hype, Immortals delivered a clean performance against Cloud 9, with Jungler Kim “Reignover” Yeu-jin putting the team ahead from the beginning and never letting go. Though the first outer tower would fall rather late at 16 minutes and 50 seconds into the game, once it was down, Immortals continued pressing into C9 and methodically closed the game out at the 27 minute mark. With a creative Cho’Gath pick from the teams coaching staff and Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, the top laner was able to shut down the Cloud 9 carries and deliver kill after kill onto AD Carry Jason “WildTurtle” Tran. WildTurtle put up 11  kills and 4 assists in his season opener, closing the game with a quadra kill and silencing the critics that he was past his prime or less than ideal for the newly minted Immortals team. While Immortals look to be a contender for a top spot in the league, Cloud9 once again looked to be in disarray without shotcaller Hai “Hai” Du Lam, who is looking to transition out of the starting position for the team as support player Michael “Bunny FuFuu” Kurylo steps into the role.

 

NRG

 

Team Dignitas vs. NRG: The Color Purple

 

In the third matchup of the day, we saw a handicapped NRG using substitutes Cristian “Cris” Rosales and Lee “Shrimp” dispatch of Team Dignitas after falling behind to a mid lane push after an early gank  onto Lee “GBM” Chang-seok. Marked by an impressive opening performance culimating in two baron steals by the former Jin Air mid laner, a back and forth battle between the two teams would eventually find NRG coming out with a 40 minute win. Despite a strong performance from mid laner Danny “Shiphtur” Le with an 8 kill Anivia, Team Dignitas was lacking in synergy and never quite managed to execute despite an early lead. Performing solidly, NRG is in decent shape heading into their match against the Renegades. Dignitas on the other hand has a lot of work to do if they expect to put up a fight against the very-in-sync CLG.

 

REN

 

LA Renegades vs. Team Liquid: Ice Ice Baby

 

Patch 6.1 may be regarded for having faster games, but that didn’t stop the Renegades from taking a full hour before closing this one out in an important victory over Team Liquid. Qualifying into the Spring Split by winning the Challenger Series last season, the Renegades showcased the advantages of team synergy starting the game off with advantages coming from both the top and bottom lanes. AleÅ¡ “Freeze” Kněžínek and Maria “Remi” Creveling proved to be a force in the bot lane, with a huge 11-2-7 score and 100% kill participation from Freeze. Playing around the initiation of Remilia’s Alistar and Freeze’s Kalista, Renegades made good use of strong teamfighting assisted by the tankiness of Mundo and Alistar and shielding power of Alex Ich’s Orianna. In the final fight of the game, Team Captain Alberto “Crumbzz” Rengifo managed to steal the Baron and finally close out the game. Team Liquid will utilize it’s 10 man roster with substitutions in the support and jungle positions in their match against TSM. Renegades should look to continue playing around their bottom lane and using their superior team play to gain advantages in their game against NRG.

 

EF

 

Echo Fox vs. Team Impulse: Old and New

 

Before this match started, there was an air of caution around the recently formed Echo Fox squad as it has several unproven and otherwise unheard of players. With star player Henrik “Froggen” Hansen at the center of the team and AD Carry Yuri “KEITH” Jew finally getting his chance at a starting role, it was up to Froggen’s veteran leadership to bring this squad of mixed experience together. With a 37 minute victory over Team Impulse and a stellar 7-0-5 performance from Keith, Echo Fox looked promising in their LCS debut. Team Impulse however is a team playing with substitutes and Support Austin “Gate” Yu in the mid lane for the first time in months, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into this match. The first litmus test for Echo Fox will be against Cloud 9, who will be out for blood after a one sided loss to Immortals. Speaking of the Immortals, they should have no problem handling Team Impulse when they meet in their second game.

 

 

 

photo(s) 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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Fantasy LCS isn’t about picking up the best players historically. For example, a good player last season who didn’t get top tier fantasy points is Froggen. Consider that Elements was in shambles, and though he’s still arguably a top mid laner in EU, it was hard to consistently perform for him. Fantasy LCS is about being able to pick players that are able to consistently achieve a high amount of kills, assists, and multi-kills.

 


Explanation:

Quality 1

As mentioned above, all that matters in Fantasy LCS is high kills and assists. You want extremely aggressive players who will always try to get kills instead of farming safely. Having a high number of deaths is not a detriment as long as the player is getting kills. This is pretty simple math:

  • A player who trades a kill for a death nets 1.5 points.
  • A player who dies but gets an assist nets 1 point

Trading for an assist is already the same as getting 100 CS. A passive player who aims to only farm is going to lose out big time on fantasy points. Farm should be seen as a bonus extra 3-6 points.

Quality 2

Multi-kills play a large factor in getting bonus points. In my experience, you should aim for about 20-30 points per player per game on your fantasy team. If a player gets on average 25 points a game, you’d get 50 points in a week per player, leading to an average of 300 points, which is very difficult to beat.

  • Pentas mean a bonus 10 points, Quadras 5, Triples 2
  • This is on top of the kill points. So technically, a Penta is worth 17.5 points, Quadras 16, Triples 6.5

If a player gets a pentakill, already get near the 20 point floor you’re aiming for. This is key, and how players like Niels or Doublelift can get 40-50 points in a single game. Of course, a player won’t be getting pentakills every game, but players who consistently mop up team fights are more likely to get these bonuses (mostly AD Carries and Mid Laners)

Quality 3

Think about a fantasy team player as a car. Having a fantasy player that are incarnations of qualities 1 and 2 is like having a pretty shiny lamborghini. However, that lambo is only going to go as far as it has fuel for. The fuel in this analogy is going to be their team, and how well it works together. Case in point: Froggen/Forgiven last split.

A top fantasy team is one with excellent teamfighting and macro play. These usually lead to wins, and the math is pretty self-explanatory.

With that being said, here’s my top picks for fantasy. The players were divided based off how well their prior performances (stats from previous Fantasy LCS splits) fit the aforementioned criteria:

 

Recommended-Picks

 

Two Notes:

  •  Be wary of slumps. A fantasy team that does well on week 1 will not necessarily do well all split.
  • Try to draft a fantasy team where you are able to substitute players out in order to avoid your team playing against each other (in the worst case, the game is a shut out, and one of your players gets like no points)

 

Disclaimer: I am not personally responsible for whatever happens if you follow this guide. 


 

Graphics by Ling Gu: @SixSonatas

Writing by Kevin ‘SoullessFire’ Lee: @SoullessFyr

 

Rift-Pulse-Fnatic

With the offseason nearly behind us, 2016 looms ahead, with a completely changed landscape and a slew of unrecognizable teams. We’re back with our final recap of the offseason to kick off the new year and keep you in the loop.

 

North America

 

  • Rick Fox, 3 Time NBA Champion and NBA Analyst, purchased Team Gravity’s LCS spot. The team will compete under newly formed organization Echo Fox.
  • Red Bull has made it’s foray into LCS team sponsorship, announcing official partnerships with with both TSM and Cloud 9.
  • Team Dignitas has parted ways with Brokenshard, and Raz will be stepping in as Head Coach.
  • Team Liquid announced Choi “Locodoco” Yoon-sub as their Head Coach, in addition to a 10 man roster that will be used interchangeably in the 2016 season.
  • Cloud 9 Mid Laner Nicolaj Jensen has changed his name from “Incarnati0n” to Jensen”.
  • TDK Owner Chris Shim, Geon-Woo “Ninja” Noh, & Jin-Yong “Fury” Lee were punished for poaching and breaching contract rules.

 

Europe

 

 

China

 

 

 

Korea

 

 

 

LMS

 

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

 

 

BR

 

 

 

Events

 

  • IEM Cologne saw Ever take home their second international event win. Infograph.
  • All-Star 2015 has concluded, with Team Fire coming out ahead of Team Ice.

 

 

Season 6 regional start dates

 

DDD

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With a roster built on the experience of veteran players and upcoming Challenger talent, startup organization HUMA has their eyes set on the LCS. At the teams core, Jungler Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen, formerly of Team SoloMid, and former Giants Gaming Top Laner Jorge “Werylb” Casanovas spoke with NoL on competing under a new banner, qualifying for the LCS, and more.

 

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Santorin

After leaving TSM, did you immediately decide to return to Europe, or did you consider staying in NA? What led to you joining HUMA?

After TSM, I wasn´t sure what I was going to do. I spent a lot of time considering all my options. Despite many teams making offers, I decided to go with HUMA. One of the main reasons being I saw a lineup that could make it into the LCS.

 

How confident are you in your chances of qualifying for the EU CS and eventually the LCS?

Right now I think our chances of getting into the EUCS are high, and if we make it into the EUCS I think our chances of getting into the LCS are even higher. After working with this team for a little while now I see us improving steadily and everyone truly trying their hardest. A huge upside to this team is the fact that we receive criticism really well together and individually. No one feels hurt or threatened if they are being approached with a problem, which really helps us grow a lot.

 

You’ve played in the Challenger series before. Do you have a different mindset going in this time now that you’ve gone as far as the world stage?

I definitely have a different mindset going into Challenger series once again. I have so far failed twice getting into the LCS with challenger teams, but this time I feel like I not only have more knowledge and experience behind me, but the right team to finally make it to LCS with.

 

You’re taking on more of a shot caller role in the team. What makes you suited for this role and have you already started to transition?

I have decided to take a leadership role in the team because I think my worlds experience, and playing with TSM, gave me a lot of helpful experiences to make the transition into being the shot caller easier. I am still getting used to the shot calling aspect of our games, but I believe that with time I can become more comfortable with it.

 

You have been criticized in the past for being passive. Do you believe you have played too safe of a style and do you think we can expect a more aggressive Santorin, or is this more of a product of the function of the team?

I think my style on TSM was too passive, it was a mix of a lot of different things. I do not really know why it all started where I became super passive, but back on Coast I was a really aggressive jungler and I always went for skirmishes and tried to outplay my opponent. The style I had on coast was the style where I was able to carry games and lead my team to victory and that´s the style I will be using with my new team, HUMA.

 

How have you been spending the offseason?

In the offseason I decided to visit my girlfriend, Kelsie, in Canada for a month and outside of that I, I have been playing solo queue, streamed and visted my family and obviously going to the gym too.

 

Are you enjoying the state of the jungle right now? What do you love/hate most about the preseason?

I really enjoy the state of the jungle right now, it allows me to play all the aggressive junglers which is what I love playing and it also puts me in a position where I can carry games. The thing I love the most about the preseason is the rift herald, I really like that they added that to the game, it makes the game more interesting. A thing I hate about the preseason is the fact that thunder lords is stronger than every other keystone which makes the choices of masteries very one sided.

 

CABECERA-5-750x315

 

Werlyb

 

What led to your decision to leave Giants and how did you end up on HUMA?

Well about leaving giants, it was more about how I was not comfortable in general and that I wanted to try finding better options. At the same time they were not comfortable playing with me so I think it was better for everyone if I left. Huma came to me with a great offer and a roster that was really good, so I decided it was the best possible option and took it.

 

You’ve already qualified for the LCS through promotion in the past. What makes it different this time, and are your goals different after having played in the LCS before?

The difference is that now I have a lot of experience, I know more about how everything works, and I know how much we have to train as a team to really make it to the top. Also individually I’m a much better player than when I qualified before. My goals are different since I got into LCS. Before just staying in was good enough, but now I want to be one of the top teams

 

You’ve been playing a lot of duo queue with Santorin. How has that been and has the rest of the team been practicing together?

I get along very well with Santorin, I like his attitude and I think he’s really skilled. About the team, we haven’t played that much, but at the moment I think we are a really strong team and we are going to get better and better.

 

With the preseason in full swing, what type of role do you see yourself filling in the team for 2016? What is your favorite way to play top?

I don’t think I’m going to have a specific role in the team. I prefer the carry-role, but I’m also playing more non-carry champs so my team can just carry me.

 

What are your impressions of Illaoi? Have you had time to play her and do you think she has a place in competitive play?

I still haven’t played Illaoi because I don’t think she’s a good champ overall, so right now I don’t think we are going to see her in competitive play.

 

Shoutouts?

I would like to say thanks to HUMA, my fans, and my team mates for trusting in me, you won’t regret it.

 

image credit: Ciqret, lolesports, HUMA


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.

600px-NaVi

 

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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IEM Cologne saw the first time an amateur team took home an IEM title, as well as a ticket to the IEM World Championship. ESC Ever, notorious for taking down 2015 World Champions SK Telecom on their path through the KeSPA cup, edged out one of the LPL’s elite in a 3-2 victory over the Qiao Gu Reapers. We dove into the games and picked out some stats, like KDA and Game time, and how much – or even if – a team benefits from taking Rift Herald, and threw them together to get a better look at what went down in Cologne.

 

IEM Cologne 2015 Infograph

 

Visuals by: Ling Gu

Stats and other information by: Caymus

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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.

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Stats compiled by: Caymus

Graphics by Ling Gu

All statistics were gathered independently or pulled from oracleselixir.com