After the first day of the World Championship Play-In Stage, there were still three teams yet to play any games: Unicorns of Love, SuperMassive, and V3 Esports. And with their arrival came a big shakeup in each group as each team won their debut game. V3 came in to start off the day and claimed their first win. SuperMassive followed them up, defeating INTZ, and finally, UOL came and snagged a win in their debut as well.
SuperMassive went on to win their second game of the day against MAD Lions as well, putting them tied for first place with Team Liquid in Group A. Top laner, İrfan "Armut" Berk Tükek, was a huge part of SuperMassive's victories, finishing with 31 kills and assists and zero deaths, giving him the best KDA of the tournament so far. And unlike last year, where he played hard carry, splitpush champions like Fiora, his first game this Worlds he played Shen, yet still performed as a 1v9 monster.
In the last few years, NA has imported three players from Turkey: Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer, Sergen "Broken Blade" Çelik, and Armut's former jungler, Can "Closer" Çelik. Armut spoke with us about his development this year, his hopes to play in a major region, and his desire to meet Broken Blade and TSM in the Group Stage.
You didn't get to play in the first day of Play-Ins, but showed up big today taking two wins! How is the team doing right now?
We are really happy. We were kind of expecting this, but we were not expecting to win this hard. We knew we had a high chance to win, but also that our opponents, MAD Lions, were really good also. So we are a bit surprised and really happy.
I was just talking to Norman "Kaiser" Kaiser, and he said you beat them better than Team Liquid did and that he thinks you will beat Team Liquid. What do you think about that?
I don't know! Hahaha. I think our draft was pretty good. Our win condition was me and Lee "KaKAO" byung-kwon helped me a lot. So I was feeling really confident in that game. I also played well in team fights. So... Ehhh, we won kind of easily. Our draft kind of beat theirs. We need strong Wukong, they need a strong Twitch. But Wukong is stronger than Twitch, so I think we won there.
You have had an incredible day, you haven't died yet once. You have something like 20 kills and no deaths! And last year you were playing all these side lane solo carries, but this year you're playing mostly tanks! So what's going on?
My team is pretty strong this year. Last year we were a bit weak, I gotta accept that. But this year, I have a really strong jungle, mid lane, and bot lane. So I'm just depending on them, I don't need to carry all the time. When I need to carry, I will carry. I'll do my best, of course. But mostly I'll believe in them and try to give them my support.
Do you have a preferred style? Would you rather be on a Fiora or Camille type splitpusher?
Ehhh, I'd say 50/50. What matters is the winning feeling. If I'm winning I don't care what I'm playing. Maybe not Maokai, maybe not Maoka, hahaha. But Sion and Ornn are fine.
Well even you can play those like assassins, and Shen too. We've seen multiple Turkish players come over to NA. I feel like you could be a good next addition to NA, but is that something you're striving for?
Yeah of course. I want to go to big regions from the TCL like Broken Blade, Closer, and Nisqy. Of course I want to do that too but I don't want to feel so cocky after playing just one good day. So I'll just do whatever I can and if offers come, I'll just decide when they come. I'm just trying my best to stay calm.
What's your thought on the rest of the Play-In Stage? You still have Liquid. If you have to do a best of five, what are your thoughts on how that could change your team?
Our group has two really good opponents, TL and MAD Lions. Of course INTZ and Legacy are good too, but we're thinking MAD and TL are better than them, but in the other group, the other five teams, they seem kind of strong to me. So we should secure first place to feel more comfortable. They have really good teams. I do want to play against them, but I also don't want to play against them. Hahaha! It's complicated.
Just keep that to your scrims for now! If you make it to the Group Stage, is there any specific group or team you'd want to go play against?
It will be TSM, I want to play against Broken Blade of course.
Do you think you'd be able to beat them?
I would say it's 50/50. One day I'm thinking our team is so good, another day I think we're so bad we should just go to our homes. So I don't know, it's hard to say. Right now, for one week, we are pretty strong. I'm actually surprised. We were not that strong in our League, so I'm actually surprised right now. We can beat really strong teams. Not that strong of teams, but strong teams we can beat.
You proved that today with your victory over MAD. Anyone else you'd hope to play against?
Yeah Broken Blade of course, but it would be Jang "Nuguri" Ha-gwon I think. I also played against him before, and he was a monster. And at the same time, I'm excited and afraid.
Images by Riot Games
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