Q: You guys had a bit of a losing streak for a while during this split. What were you struggling with, and what did you take away from it?
Losing streak. I think when we were losing a lot of games, we just weren't really playing together that well. We kind of all had different ideas on how we wanted to play the game, and I think everyone's pretty respectful as far as not being super, overly aggressive with feedback. So what can happen sometimes with that dynamic is that it's the case where, if someone doesn't agree with someone else's idea, they're not going to be like, "Dude, you fucking suck. Why are you doing that?" It'll be more like, "Okay," but then not really like going along with it. It's just trying to keep the peace more than trying to resolve issues. So I think that was kind of something we had to work through, and I think after our fourth loss in a row, maybe fifth loss in a row or something--I think we only lost four in a row--we kind of had a talk. We had an 0-2 week and were just like, "Okay guys, what's up? Obviously we're not playing well, we just need to have a better dialogue for what's going on. Talk to each other, what things are you unhappy with? Who do you have issues with? Just get it all out there." And then after that, I think it was easier for us to move forward, because you never really want to hold onto things that's bothering you. It's way better to just say you have a huge issue with how someone is playing. It's better to just be like, "Dude, I don't like that you're doing this," and then you can talk about it and work through it, rather than being like, "Okay, I'm not going to be toxic, I'm not going to say anything mean about my teammates," because that's just not a realistic thing to do.
Q: People were worried that the best of one change wouldn't represent the teams' talent accurately. Do you think the competitive side is still where it needs to be? Or is it too volatile?
I haven't noticed best of one being too big of an influence on how the games go. There hasn't been a lot of games that's swung really hard by some cheesy thing happening. Last week—or yesterday—C9 vs. Liquid, C9 started like 4-0 on their Olaf of something, just the most nightmare early game for Liquid, but they still managed to win. So I think in any given game, there's going to be a lot of opportunities for the better team to make the right decision and a worse team to make more mistakes, so I think that in any given game, the better teams are usually going to come out ahead. Obviously there's going to be some variance. Someone might get a bad read on the meta, someone might just have a really bad week, but overall I don't think best of one is going to hurt the standings too much. I think in best of three it would be pretty similar.
Q: When was the last time you were in LCS playoffs, and what are you going to do now that you're back in them?
Last time I was in playoffs must have been summer 2016, I think. That was the one where we lost in the finals. So it's been a while, it's been about a year and a half maybe. I don't know. I've usually not gotten too nervous around playoffs for some reason. To me, it just kind of feels like more games, so I think we're just going to keep doing what we're doing. I'm hoping that the first place finish doesn't make us get too comfortable, because obviously we still have a lot to work on. We're still need to keep getting better for playoffs, so I hope we don't slow down, like take our foot off the accelerator or anything, and I'm just going to keep doing my best to improve as a team, try to do my best to keep everyone focused as much as I can, and hopefully have a good showing.
Q: Who is the dark horse in the playoff competition?
I think that TSM has actually been looking really strong the past couple weeks, especially this week, and if they didn't have such a rough early split, I think that TSM could definitely be a contender for first or second. So I think they're looking really good, but honestly all the teams in playoff seem super strong. Cloud9 is kind of having a dip the second half of split, but from what I know about them, they always bounce back if they do badly, so I think they'll be really strong for playoffs, and I don't know. I can't really put my finger on any team that is underperforming. I think Echo Fox has been having a bit of turbulence lately. They brought in two new players this week for reasons unknown to the public. Not sure if they just wanted more practice knowing that they're locked in for playoffs or what it was, but I think all the teams look really strong, and we're just going to have to get as good as we can.
Q: What do you think Cloud9 is struggling with?
I'm not really sure what Cloud9 struggling with. It seems like some games they just have pretty poor drafts. I think they've lost a few games just because they didn't have a great read on the meta, and they just gave up a ton of OP champions to the other team, and then they just lose off that. But maybe the Tracker change hurt them, because I know Svenskeren's a very good control-oriented jungler, and they're a team that plays with information really well. I think they've got good macro, so maybe the loss of extra information hurts them. I'm not sure, I can't say for sure but definitely something they've been struggling a bit.
Q: One last thing: how does this picture make you feel?
Surprised, but not really.
Do you commend his cosplay talent?
You know, Sneaky's my friend and I'm gonna respect him. I'm going to support him with whatever he decides to do, and I'm gonna try to not judge him too much.
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Disclosure: Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, is an investor in Blitz Esports