The European teams have kicked off the first day of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship with dominance. In classic NA versus EU fashion, Fnatic clashed against TSM, asserting the region's dominance. FNC's Top Laner Gabriël "Bwipo" Rau talked to Inven Global after their stage debut about today's match, scrim results, and his signature Volibear play style.
First things first, let’s talk about you being the king of solo queue in the first week, how did you make that happen?
I made sure I used Shen a lot. I was kind of running every game with him and I was like “I am going to play 20 games with Shen and make sure my MMR stays good, then I can play other champs”.
When I started to play other champions, I began to get suck around 1200 LP, and I am still around there. CoreJJ has overtaken me, in the Western players, so credit where credit is due. Mikyx is creeping up as well, support players are coming in full force, but other than that I am still pretty satisfied. I would like to hit the top 10 before Worlds ends, so I can say I was top 10 on the Chinese Super Server, I would love that!
Let’s talk about scrim results. How has it been since you guys arrived in Shanghai?
Fifty-fifty. It’s been good, you win some, you lose some, when you win you learn, when you lose you learn. We are learning what we need to learn. The only times I felt like it was a very poor day of scrims is when our drafts were not really panning out. So ultimately, pretty good.
About today’s match against TSM, what were your expectations going up against them?
I had none. I was just like “I’m just gonna walk on stage”, I wasn’t even sure what I was going to play exactly. I was like “I’m going to try my best and I am going to play my style”.
I’ll give you an example of that: Every Volibear that played against Camille played Volibear Grasp, which is the easier way of winning your lane. But I was like “I don’t want to win my lane, I want to kill this guy, I’m going all-in”, so I played with every little bit of intent to kill him.
"If you took the nameplate off, you would still be able to tell it was Bwipo’s Volibear"
And seeing NA’s performance so far, what are your thoughts?
Individually I think they played pretty poorly across both games. It’s too soon to say, I’m not saying those are bad players, I am just saying their performance was not what it needed to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that in the idea that we played like Gods and had an incredible game, far from that. I think both sides had a pretty rough game, especially in our team, but I expected a little bit more coming from their champion picks. Spica was very well known for his Nidalee and I didn’t see one bit, maybe the early game invade that we did threw him off, or whatever, but thanks to that I didn’t really get to see him show up in this game at all, really.
That’s fair. What about Hylissang’s recall stutter in the alcove?
We were calling that we could maybe use Teleport so Hylissang was hiding and waiting to ambush if we were able to flank, but TSM either had vision of us or were just too smart, so props to them for figuring out our sneaky path. Still, I know Hyli’s in his comfort zone when he’s willing to take risks for the team and drop a death for it. I respect Hyli a lot for this - it’s Worlds, and after he dies on that play, he says, “Guys, I have Flash/Ult, let’s go in again.” I respect that a ton *laughs* you just try to make a play, die, and it doesn’t even cross your mind to slow down? Hell no. That’s beautiful.
I spoke to Hylissang during the 2020 LEC Summer Playoffs, and he said he felt Fnatic had a mental edge from no longer playing from the office and had moved to a facility. How does it feel to play on stage again?
It’s amazing. I love the stage, it’s my comfort zone. There’s something special about playing on stage - the lighting, seeing the enemy team across from you - it feels like there is more on the line even when there isn’t. There wasn’t less on the line in the finals this spring and summer when we were playing online, but there’s something that just feels different about playing on stage. It has that extra bit of meaning behind it.
Why do you think that is?
I have no idea, to be honest, that’s just how my brain works. *Laughs* There’s a lot of things about how I think that I can’t explain, but ultimately, playing on stage gives me a boost. It gives me confidence and wanting to do better and really show off how I play the game. It’s not even about how good I am, it’s about playing the game my way. If you took the nameplate off, you would still be able to tell it was Bwipo’s Volibear. That’s what makes me love this game so much.
Have you gotten to see any of Shanghai?
Not much, actually. We were allowed to, but I was up until about 4 or 5am every morning practicing and climbing the solo queue ladder on China’s Super Server. The climbing hasn’t been going well, but at least it looks like my Volibear practice has paid off a bit.
You took your time off after quarantine to continue to grind. I respect that.
I was free at home for 21 years of my life, and 16-17 of them have been playing video games, so two weeks of quarantine doesn’t really phase me.
That’s pretty much how it’s been for a lot of gamers.
Lastly, who are the best top laners at Worlds right now?
Well, there’s Nuguri, 369...I’m going to name all the easy ones so no one hates on me, and I also don’t wanna leak scrim results. I will say there is one of the stronger top laners at Worlds that I continue to get the better of in scrims, so that gives me a lot of confidence. The point is that I don’t really care who is the best or the worst. When I go on stage and look across at the other team, I just need to be better than the guy across from me.
Looking for more Worlds 2020 coverage? We got it.