At long last, Mads "Broxah" Brock-Pedersen has arrived. The Team Liquid Jungler was unable to join his team for the first three weeks of the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split due to visa issues. With Team Liquid Academy Jungler Shern "Shernfire" Cherng Tai in his place, the team has struggled to the tune of a 2-4 record.
Broxah, who only arrived in Los Angeles a few days before his first game, was unable to provide an immediate impact in his LCS debut as Immortals took down Team Liquid. After the game, Broxah joined Inven Global for his very first LCS post-game interview, in which he discussed his first impressions of North America, playing with his team on stage for the first time, and what his expectations of Team Liquid are now that he has arrived in the US.
Hey everybody, it's Parkes Ousley here with Broxah. It's good to see you finally here in NA, congratulations on making it. Other than feeling a little jet lag, how are you feeling right now?
Right now, my feelings have been mixed. I've been really, really excited to finally come here and it's really awesome being here with the team. These past few days, I've had so many cool experiences and I'm starting to finally settle here now. At the same time, we just lost our first game, and I didn't play so well, so right now, my disappointment outshines my happiness a bit. Generally speaking, though, I'm just happy to be here.
The LCS has done five different segments on your arrival this weekend. Do you think TL's slow start to the season has even further hyped your LCS debut?
I feel like the scenario would definitely be different if TL was, say, 6-0 before I arrived, but so far, we haven't been doing too hot. We have a bit of catching up to do, so there is a lot of pressure. I had a lot of pressure on me coming into today's game, no doubt about that, but I put a lot of pressure on myself as well.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding my arrival and it's a bit of a shame that we couldn't perform better. But at the same time, I'm confident that with time, we are going to be back to what people have come to expect from Team Liquid.
I have only two days of scrims with the team; this is my third day in Los Angeles, so for me, things have just begun. I have a lot of catching up to do. Teams have been scrimming for a long time, and as you just saw on stage, I'm not playing at my best. I need to return to form as well, but once practice has begun for real, I think we are going to be fine.
Everyone's excited for what TL can become as long as you make playoffs. Before TL won the 2018 NA LCS Spring Playoffs, the team finished in fourth place that split.
Yeah, and to be fair, I'm pretty used to having a rough start. In five out of my six splits with Fnatic, we had a very poor start and always had to climb back up through the ranks. I think the 2019 LEC Spring Split was probably the worst of all, but we managed to go all the way up to third place, so I'm not too worried.
It's a big shame that we couldn't start the comeback today, but for me, it's only a matter of time before we return to the expected Team Liquid level. We have a really good coaching staff, really good players, and a really good organization. We have all of the tools we need to win this split, and we just need to get the team back on track.
Have you spoken to Shernfire much since he has been starting in your place due to the visa issues to help you familiarize yourself with the team, or has it been more about self-focus for you thus far?
I think it's been a bit of a mix. I haven't been in touch much with Shernfire directly, but at the start of things, I was pretty involved in what was happening with the team. Then, for a bit of time, I was a bit disconnected, but before coming to NA I was more involved again. I've been in touch with the coaches and some of my teammates to try and share my thoughts with them and give my point of view on things while doing everything possible to ensure I could perform individually.
Mostly, I've been trying to make sure I'm prepared for what's to come. Practice for me in Europe was pretty poor compared to how it would have been if I had arrived in NA over a month ago (as was originally intended). Solo queue can help to an extent, but it's nothing compared to playing scrims and playing on stage. I tried to make sure that though I'm a little bit behind in terms of team practice, I can catch up quickly.
Have you had any time to play solo queue in NA?
I've played 10 games; I'm 7-3 right now. I haven't played a lot of games yet, but yeah, not too bad so far.
Do you already miss EU solo queue?
I don't know. To be fair, I don't think solo queue in Europe is that great. Obviously, I can't speak too much to North American solo queue... *laughs* I know a lot of people don't think very highly of it, but I can imagine that the biggest issue for me in the long run is going to be the ping differential.
The ping is going to be a bit annoying here, and while I did notice it in my first few games of solo queue here over the past few days, I've been so exhausted that it hasn't been my biggest worry yet. *laughs* Once I'm completely over the jetlag and I lock in Lee Sin for solo queue, I'm probably going to be a bit sad, that's for sure. At least for now, though, so far so good.
Are you expecting yourself and Team Liquid to qualify for the 2020 Mid-Season Invitational?
I came to NA with one goal, and that is to win and perform well at international events. Team Liquid showed last year that they can perform really well domestically, but with this current set up, we can also perform really well internationally. I'm here to win. Anything from second to tenth is a no-go. We have to win. We have to turn it around.
Is it more motivating to have to fix things since the team has not done well so far?
It would have been much easier if the team was 6-0 and everything was running smoothly before my arrival because we could have just slotted me in to keep the streak going. We have a lot of work to do as a team to figure out our identity, figure out how we want to play, and how we can actually succeed in starting to beat some teams.
I think it will be a matter of time for us, but we will soon have to start picking up some more wins as the end of the split draws nearer. If we start turning things around soon, like in the next 1-2 weeks, then it's fine. If we start becoming really good then, then that's great because we don't want to battle against the clock... *laughs* It's got to happen in the near future. I'm not too worried, I think it's going to be okay.
How are the spirits of the team now that you've arrived? Is there a sense of relief within Team Liquid now that you're with the squad?
I think the team spirit is actually pretty good. Everyone is a bit disappointed and frustrated with the situation, right? None of us expected to be in this situation before the start of the season, especially since the roster was locked in last November. *laughs* We expected a solid start and we expected to be at the top of the rankings, but at the same time, no one is mad about it or anything.
I've been getting a very warm welcome, so I think given the circumstances, the team atmosphere is pretty good. If we keep sticking together as a team, which I'm sure we will, it's going to be good.
Is there anything you'd like to say to your new TL fans now that you get to speak to them "in person"?
First of all, I want to drop a little apology for my game today. I didn't play too well today; I came in with a lot of pressure and I was supposed to play better than I actually did. I don't want to use jet lag as an excuse, it was just poor play. However, I'm really happy to be here. I hope I can make all of you proud these next couple of weeks and help turn our ship around.
As I already mentioned, to me, it's a matter of time before we start winning again. This team has everything it needs to succeed and become the best team in North America, and I'm going to do my best to make sure that we get there, so thanks for your support.