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Clutch

Apollo on facing Huni: "You see 6 people going to top side of the map... when you have a Shen."

By Sharon Coone
Apr 06, 2018
Apollo talks about Clutch Gaming's Semifinals loss, and what they're looking out for as they prep for Echo Fox in Miami.

Q: Why are we seeing more Olaf?

Well it's kind of like—really it came down to Skarner. So first it was like Sejuani, Zac, and I think there was one other jungler that I might be missing.

J4?

Oh yeah, J4. So those were the three, and then Skarner came in, and then that was good into the Sejuani, Zac, J4, and then Olaf came in against the Skarner, so as the counter to Skarner. And then Olaf was kind of picked into a lot of things, because people start to realize like, "Oh, Olaf is actually pretty strong." And then now that's why we're kind of starting to see Trundle, because Trundle is matching into both of those champions, Skarner as well as--well pretty much all the tanks, but specifically Olaf.

Q: Who was the MVP player from your own team?

I'd probably say Colin, because I think he did a really good job of just improving. I think he had a lot to work on, and he was the main question mark for a lot of people, including--well I'm not gonna say us--but including me, I didn't really know how he was going to perform, because he was in Challenger, so it's expected. But he just did a really good job, and I think he's improved drastically, and I think he's a really solid player now.

Q: In Miami, you're going to face Echo Fox. What's a big strength of theirs that you're looking out for?

Well, everyone talks about their top lane, which is fair. I don't think you can really avoid that. Huni is just a really solid player and they play around him a lot.

I think they're one of the few teams where the top lane is the win condition.

Yeah, that's pretty much the only team, at least in the playoffs, I think. You saw the series vs T.L., and they had a Shen versus Sion matchup, which is tank wars, and then you see six people going to top side of the map when you have a Shen, which is really confusing. So yeah, it's definitely one of those different teams where they have different strategies, but we've played against them multiple times, we've played them in scrims, and we know how they play. We just have to play around it, you kind of have to get used to it. It's a really readable playstyle, and I think we'll be fine.

Q: What has the transition from best of 1 during the split to best of 5 in the playoffs been like?

I thought in the beginning that it would be little bit difficult, like it would just be hard to deal with, as a team. For myself, I've been in multiple best of 3s, best of 5s, and it's not that big of a deal, and so have a lot of our other players, but just because we haven't done it in a while, maybe it would affect players or affect me. But going into it, I don't know, in the set against TSM I didn't feel like any different. I've been here before, and our coaches a really good job of adapting, we did a really good job of adapting, in both the TSM series and 100 Thieves series. So I didn't feel any different. I was kind pleasantly surprised I guess.

Q: What was the talk within the team like going into game 5 of the series?

I don't know, we just focused on our draft, focused on our game, and the better team is going to win. Whoever plays better is going to win, there's nothing else you can say. You just have to keep focused and make sure that you're playing your own game. And we just played for fun really. I think we're all pretty--I don't want to say "happy"--but I think we were all OK going into the series, and I think coming out of it as a loss but showing up a really good fight, I think we're all fine. So just the way we played game 5, obviously we could have done things better, but I think we just played--we just did what we wanted to do, and that's just what happened, so I think in a setting like that, you just kind of have to play and keep focused.

Q: What are some of the silver linings that are keeping you guys happy?

Well first off, we made it further than I think a lot of us expected, going through pretty difficult teams. 100 Thieves and TSM are really strong, or were really strong coming into it. I guess TL and Echo Fox were as well, but I think we just improved a lot. We constantly get destroyed in scrims, just nonstop. Like it's really bad. But when we get onstage, we play so much better. We play as a team. We talk a lot more, and I'm really happy that we do that, and I feel like we're just improving a lot. Even going into the next split or going into the third and fourth match, we have a lot that we can work on and have a lot that we can learn from the series. And I know that, as a team, we'll actually take it and use.

Q: Why do you guys "get destroyed" in scrims?

I don't really know. Obviously, if we did know, it would help us. But I think it's just sometimes we get lack of focus. Maybe our players specifically, we need more pressure on us to perform better. I don't really have a good explanation, because if I did, then we probably would do better in scrims.

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Disclosure: Riot Games, the publisher of League of Legends, is an investor in Blitz Esports.

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Sharon Coone profile
Sharon Coone
Sharon spent three years as a video game encyclopedia (Editor in Chief) at Twinfinite. Now she just brags about the time she got to Gold in League of Legends using a trackpad.
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