David "Insanity" Challe is the sole returning player for the 2021 Immortals roster, with the other four from 2020 not finding themselves on a starting LCS roster. Though Immortals had a rocky 2020, Insanity is excited and confident for the new year. There are six NA mids, three of them rookies, joining the powerhouses from Europe who sit at the top. Insanity will have to work hard to prove himself among the rest.
Insanity spoke with Parkes from Inven Global about reflections from 2020, his time off this pre-season, the new Immortals roster, and what fans can expect moving forward.
You can watch the interview on our YouTube here, or read the transcript below.
Hey there, I’m joined by Insanity, the returning mid laner for Immortals in 2021. How are you doing?
I’m doing well, I’ve just been sort of chilling, enjoying my off-season. I just started playing League again, I took a little break because my wrist was getting sore a little bit, so making sure that’s taken care of.
Of course! So you recently got announced to the 2021 Immortals roster as the sole remaining member of the 2020 squad. I hope that feels good and gives you some confidence, but how do you feel about the new team heading into next year?
Obviously, being the sole returner of last season’s roster does give me some confidence but it was sort of expected. I think that this whole roster is going to do great things in the long run. And that’s my sole expectation so far. I think they’re all great people, very fun to work with, and I’m just excited to get into the new season and really start practicing with them honestly.
Have you gotten much time with them, or are you just kinda chatting?
We’re just kind of chatting, talking to each other in a group chat. That’s pretty much it. They all seem like standup guys. I know Revenge from a very long time ago. We’ve been friends since the beginning of time - in League at least. We’ve known each other in high elo for four or fives years. I even played with him in 2016 or 2017 for open qualifiers for the Challenger League. We came in second place, so we didn’t make it, but it was a good run, it was fun. I think he’s a great teammate and I’m excited to see him on the LCS squad as well.
I think it’s a fun mix of people! And to clarify for those who may not know, the Immortals roster is Mohamed "Revenge" Kaddoura in top, Andrei "Xerxe" Dragomir in the jungle, Insanity mid, and Quin "Raes" Korebrits and Mitchell "Destiny" Shaw bot and support. As far as your bot duo, they’re both from the OPL, have you gotten to see much of them play?
I’ve seen much more of Destiny’s gameplay than I have of Raes’. But from what I saw at Worlds with Raes, I think he was a pretty strong player overall, like pretty consistent. And I think his champion pool is pretty intriguing. But Destiny - I actually played with him a decent amount for Worlds boot camp in 2019 in EU because he was there with Mammoth Gaming. I always ran into their players there and I thought they were pretty good. And he’s a funny guy too, he’s very talkative. They both seem like great players and great people, I’m excited to work with them.
What are your goals and expectations? For yourself, but also for the whole squad?
For goals, I’m just trying to improve in every aspect that I can. There’s nothing I want to leave out. I just want to be a consistent player and show the world how good I can be. And for the team, it’s a long run sort of goal. I want to focus on working with these guys to get better and better every day.
Even if we start out slow - or even if we start out strong - it doesn’t matter. I just want to get better and better. And honestly, I’ve even worked with André "Guilhoto" Guilhoto a little bit this off-season and just by talking to him, it seems like his head is in the right place. He seems like a very very good coach. The substance that he brings to the table I take in very easily. It’s something I can accept much easier than I’ve had in the past. It has more meaning to it, it makes sense more than what I had in the past.
That’s great to hear! What is your takeaway from 2020? To recap, there were some big roster changes, you came on partway through the summer and played the rest of the split, so reflect a bit on that.
Honestly, the whole thing was a mess. Coming into it, there were a whole lot of problems going on, but I think for me, I learned so much from playing with all these veteran players, Apollo "Apollo" Price, Nick "Hakuho" Surgent, and Jake "Xmithie" Puchero. Honestly, it would’ve been cool to work with Paul "sOAZ" Boyer as well, but I think working with Kieran "Allorim" Logue was great as well. He’s a funny guy, I love him so much.
But overall, I just took away being a better team player I guess. I don’t think it was the best chance I’ve been given yet, just because of the mess involved and I only got one split with these guys, and if it had been more, it would’ve been better. Like if we played together from the start, I think it would’ve been great. But I think I’m just excited to work with a new group of people and learn some new perspectives than what I have.
The other big thing for me heading into 2021 is that we’re getting six NA mid laners, most of them are somewhat new. I look at them as this “class” that have been in Academy for a few years. So there’s Max "Soligo" Soong, Cristian "Palafox" Palafox, Nicholas "Ablazeolive" Abbott, and you. But Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg's gone, Luka "Perkz" Perković is here, etc. So what do you think about the mid lane in 2021?
I think it could either be really bad for the league or really good for the league. It kinda depends on how players like me myself learn from the higher tier mid laners, or the ones people would consider to be higher tier. Like Tristan "PowerOfEvil" Schrage, Perkz, and even Eugene "Pobelter" Park and Tanner "Damonte" Damonte. Playing against these players, if we can improve to their level and even surpass them, I think it could be really good for the league.
I think all these mid laners that are joining from Academy - Ablazeolive, Palafox, and Soligo - they have really high skill ceilings, they’ve been playing well in Academy for a really long time. It’s kind of crazy none of us got a shot until just now to me. I think they’re all very, very talented and if they all work hard, they can be very good players as well.
Yeah for sure. Do you feel like that’s going to be one of the big narratives around the LCS this year? Do you feel like people will be like “oh the NA mids” again, or because there are six of you people might calm down on the memes?
I think honestly most of the hype is just going to be around the rookies this year. There are a few good teams at the top but I think people are going to be excited about who’s the best performing rookies. They’re going to be looking for stars among us.
You mentioned the ones people see as elite - Perkz, Nicolaj "Jensen" Jensen, and PowerOfEvil [confirmed so far] - so with all of them plus the rookies, etc, what’s going on in mid?
I think honestly among the “elite” European mid laners, I think the most underrated one is POE. I think he’s a really, really good overall player. Playing vs him versus playing against the other players… I learn more playing vs him than the others. I think Jensen is a really good player, and I think he’s really mechanically gifted which makes him shine. But I think POE is really, really smart in his gameplay, and it feels hard to punish him. And it always feels like he’s finding ways to get leads and then carry those leads to his teammates or just carry the game by himself because of his high damage numbers.
And I should probably ask about the items, even though you said you just started playing again. So what is your thought on the item update and new meta?
I mean the meta is going to be so different from now till when the season starts because there are a lot of broken item combinations right now, like Imperial Mandate and Rylai's on champs like Aurelion Sol and Ahri. It procs the same damage instance over and over again on one ability which is really broken. But also you can go Luden’s + Muramana on mages which is really random but really OP at the same time. It adds 100 damage per spell which is completely nuts.
Other than that it seems like it’s going to be back to a similar meta. It always creeps back every year in competitive. The same things keep showing up all the time because they’re consistent, like Azir, Orianna, Syndra. These champs are just mainstays, I don’t think it’ll change much this next year, but hopefully some new things come in at least.
Lastly, what are you really hoping for yourself and what can we expect of you?
Just consistent, fun gameplay. I want to be the player that does eye-popping things whether it’s bad or good. I want people to see me and think, wow that player sucks, or wow that player is really, really good. Nowhere in between. I don’t want to be afraid to make mistakes on stage but just be myself. And hopefully a bit more consistent than last year because I think I made a lot of easy to make mistakes that can be fixed really simply.
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