Last weekend, MAD Lions delivered one of the most insane series the League of Legends European Championship has experienced, dethroning G2 Esports 3-1. After the game, Inven Global talked to MAD’s assistant coach Christophe "Kaasbaas" van Oudheusden about what went into preparing the players to face the kings with such confidence.
"We have insane players with a very high ceiling, and none of them have reached their full potential yet."
Congratulations on making G2 Esports seem like they were the rookies on stage this weekend. MAD Lions was very quick to punish G2 for their mistakes. In your opinion, what were they lacking?
We were able to get the counter picks on the roles we wanted, so we were very comfortable. I think G2 tried to get the maximum out of their sidelanes, being late for objectives like the dragons. That allowed us to get a lot of dragons thorughout the games.
MAD played a lot better than G2 this series, which makes me think the team should swap back to its original position. Caps is really insane and needs low resources, he does not mind sacrificing himself for his teammates. I don’t think he is shining as an AD Carry. It’s hard to transition from Bot Lane pressure into Mid. It’s easier to pick an early Mid Lane matchup and then transition it to Bot Lane.
What went into your team’s conditioning to perform with such confidence on their first Playoffs match?
We got fourth place in the split, so we knew we had double elimination, which puts less pressure on us. Everyone expected G2 to win, so we went into the series thinking “okay, we can only learn from this, and we will take it as it comes and take it from there”. The whole team had so much fun playing against them because of their skill check playstyle, fighting you on objectives, which leaves it to either us outplaying them, or them outplaying us. The teamfights were very exciting and all the players had a lot of fun because all sorts of insane plays were happening.
Rookies are known to suffer more pressure from being on stage than veteran players who are used to it. Now that the LEC is online, do you think the online matches have played into how your team performed?
We can be better online. Rookies are more comfortable playing online, so it is probably beneficial for us. Players have less stress, they are in their comfort zone, at the office, with the staff and the external factors like the crowd, stage hype or interviews makes them feel less pressured to perform. The fact it’s all online based makes it feel more like a scrim game, playing on their own desks, with their own computers, their own gaming chairs puts them in their zone and they feel like they can control the environment better.
Earlier this split, I had the opportunity to speak to Mac. He mentioned that younger players tend to be more flexible and you can easily mold them into good habits. How has your work been with the rookies this split?
I am really grateful Mac brought me on this team. When I arrived, the roster had already been made. These younger players have not been fully formed yet, while veterans have been playing for longer and already hit their full form, making it hard to change their character if needed. We have started at the beginning of their careers, and this is the first time they have the opportunity to learn the game in a whole new way.
This is your first split coaching in the LEC, which technically... makes you a rookie coach! Tell me a little bit about your experience so far.
I am a rookie coach! *laughs* It’s been quite something. I was actually never a really good player. After I played in the LCS and in the Challenger series, I went back to normal life. I got a normal job, as a project manager for a building company, got my Engineering degree and was living my own life. That path did not make me too happy. Mac brought me on this team and asked me if I was interested and my response was “hell yeah, let’s get it!”
The transition from player to coach is very interesting, they are very different roles. Now I take in consideration a lot of things I was not aware of in the past, like how you talk to the players, how your relationship is and how to communicate, because players won’t understand you unless you speak their language and say it in a way that they can process information.
Do you think that the MAD Lions is the next generation of LEC superstars?
MAD Lions is definitely a team that will be feared in Europe and in the international stage. We have insane players with a very high ceiling, and none of them have reached their full potential yet. The more we get better, the more teams will fear us.
Who is your rookie of the split? You have only four to chose from in your team!
Oh, we have had so many discussions about that! Carzzy has been going around chanting “ I WANT TO BE ROOKIE OF THE SPLIT I WANT TO BE ROOKIE OF THE SPLIT I WANT TO BE ROOKIE OF THE SPLIT” nonstop. We also have other players with so much potential, like Kaiser, Orome and Shad0w. Seeing the inside and outside the game, witnessing scrims and communication, I would definitely say Carzzy.
What about your coach of the split?
Mac has taught me a whole new way to play the game, how to live life and how to interact with people. He is the person that has had the biggest impact on my life.