” How do you anticipate the play offs and his longer matches? You finished second in the regular season, giving you a second chance if you lose in the first round.
I think it’s a very good thing that we finished in the top 4because it will be our first best-of-five (a best-of-five match) together, or at least my first with the team. I don’t know how they’re going to react and each player is different vis-à-vis that: some stress, others less… I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I trust my team.
What did you think of the development over the summer of rookie William “UNF0RGIVEN” Nieminen, who was the only unknown when you joined MAD Lions ?
He has improved a lot. At the start of the segment, he was limited to a certain style of play, but now he is adapting more and more. He’s playing better than before on the map so I think he’s improving…and he’ll have a good performance in the play-offs. He knows that we trust him and that we can help him if he is stressed.
And you, how will you adapt your game play offs ?
It’s an experience we need as a team, we’ll see where it takes us! And for me, I generally play better than in the regular season. I’m more focused because there’s a lot more pressure and that’s something I love, so I can’t wait.
In the meantime, what is your assessment of this summer segment?
It’s one of my best seasons in the LEC. And even as a team, I think we played very well in the first half of the segment. The second half was a little tougher, but I think in general we were able to adapt quickly and play different styles, so I’m confident for the play-offs. Individually, I think I learned a lot; my lane phase sucked a lot last year, I have better movement on the map in the mid game… and also in the beginning. In short, I have evolved at all levels!
What makes strength of your collective ?
It’s just that we like to play the game the same way, even if there are points where we don’t agree 100%. But on others, we are totally on the same wavelength. We can adapt and that’s what will give us an advantage. We’re good at every position, there’s not just one identity we can be stuck on.
Do you also spend time together outside of training?
What usually happens is that we play sports twice a week, soccer, volleyball or badminton… Always something different. I think that helps us. But otherwise, everyone lives their life after training. Some do a lot of online games, I mostly do streaming. For me, it’s important to play a lot, but also to do that to keep my community and stay close to it.
Are the fans a source of motivation for you?
Yes ! I felt less supported in previous years. Since I stream in French now, the French-speaking community follows me a lot, thanks in particular to Kamel “Kameto” KebirZouhair “Kotei” Darji (streamers and manager of the Karmine Corp esports club). The Karmine community supports me a lot, it warms my heart and I want to make them proud. And for me, it was also important to come back strong in this segment given what some were saying about me during the transfer window.
What opponents do you fear in play offs ?
The only team that scares me a bit because of their style of play is G2 Esports. Apart from them, I’m not afraid of anyone. It’s the only one that can shake us up. You need to have a good game plan so as not to be surprised by strange champions, because they like original strategies. But if it’s a fairly balanced game, it will be played with mechanics, so not much.
Going to the World this year, would that represent a revenge?
Yes that’s it. When I was at the World Cup last year (with Fnatic)I wanted to prove that I was strong because when I had gone there before with Cloud9 (in 2019), I was totally useless. But it was not possible due to the circumstances (one of his teammates had to go home for personal reasons on the morning of the first game). This year, I don’t want excuses! Getting out of the groups will be the first objective… But first, we already have to qualify. If so, I will give everything to prove myself and make Europe proud. »