MAD Lions sits at first place in Group B with a record of 3-0, exactly where the cubs were aiming for. The group is still not decided, but MAD are in a comfortable position, one step closer to the Rumble stage of the tournament. The Lions had a clean start against PSG Talon where they dominated the game from start to finish, but the games against paiN Gaming and Istanbul Wildcats looked shaky and were closer than what the fans would expect.
After MAD Lions' day 3 game versus paiN Gaming, jungler Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla joined Inven Global to discuss the performance of MAD Lions so far in the tournament and his career path that led him to the MSI stage.
We just had a crazy game [versus Pain Gaming — Ed.] Congrats on starting 3:0. I was actually really excited until the last moment of the game.
[Laughs] For sure it was for you, for us it was a bit stressful...
Yeah, I saw you on the camera.
Yeah I mean, I think we are playing really bad. We should not be showing this kind of gameplay but yeah. It's fine we still have more days to prove! In the end, we are 3:0 so everything is fine.
Kaiser said that you didn't plan the draft for this game, what was the draft supposed to be?
We were expecting the draft to go in a different way, we were not expecting to pick this kind of bot lane with this jungler, and the Kog'maw also was a bit off, so we kind of adapted on the fly, but I think the draft was really off and this was not the plan we had.
How do you feel about the current jungle meta? We saw you playing Volibear, Udyr, and Morgana so far. Do you feel better in this meta compared to the previous one?
I feel better because I think that when there are a lot of champions in the jungle I feel most comfortable! I like to play a lot of champions so if there is a lot I feel more comfortable and I also think the champions that are right now in the meta kind of suit me so yeah, I am feeling good in this meta!
"I think people right now are getting really hyped with rookies. Getting rookies is really good and giving them a chance is really good, but I don't like what some teams are doing by just giving one split to a rookie and expecting him to pop off."
When we talked to Kaiser a month ago, he said that you had big shoes to fill but you were one of those rookies that came in and immediately shined, shotcalling from day one. What do you have to say about that? Where did all this confidence come from?
It kind of came from the support of the fans and the people I have around. I feel like I am really well supported so no matter what I do, I am gonna get praised. Not praised but I am gonna have support so It just feels great [to have] people trusting in me. It also makes my confidence rise a bit so it's just a mix of everything I would say.
Are you also shotcalling for MSI? Is it more difficult to read the international teams that you haven't played against?
Yes, I am also shotcalling and it is harder to read the stronger teams. It is still fairly easy to know what they are gonna do and what we should do in order to adapt.
We have reports of even more young stars set to come to the LEC. Do you feel like LEC’s new era of players is going to be a part of a stronger generation compared to the FNC and G2 era?
It can for sure be, but I still think that G2 is gonna be really, really strong. I think people right now are getting really hyped with rookies. Getting rookies is really good and giving them a chance is really good, but I don't like what some teams are doing by just giving one split to a rookie and expecting him to pop off. I don't think that’s the way to treat a rookie right now, but I think it can for sure be the new era — the rookies have so much potential!
Why do you think Europe is so good at breeding young talent, what makes the region that special?
I actually don't think it’s that great. I think, for example, Korea is better at bringing new talent or like very young talent. For example, the new T1 roster that they brought, it was pretty insane and their average age was super low. [Even though] Europe is pretty good, I would say we can still improve.
It mostly comes down to the European mindset and I think the European mindset is really confident, I think we get really confident with very little, our aim is not too high. I think that's the biggest problem.
We know you are a really good team player, you love playing for your lanes and you really show up in team fights, but would you feel better in a carry jungle where you could 1v9 games just how you used to do in the ERL’s before you joined the LEC.
I feel better when I am playing a carry jungler and I have more responsibility on me, but I don’t think this is the meta right now, so I am adapting to what the meta is right now but yeah if I can have the control and like have the potential to carry a game, I feel more comfortable.
I know you have come a long way in the span of two years. Your first time on stage was a small tournament in Madrid, and after that, due to the unfortunate circumstances of Covid, you didn't get much stage time. How do you feel jumping from the amateur stage, directly to the LEC stage and then to the MSI stage in such a short time?
I thought it would be harder, but it’s actually not hard, you get used to it really easy and you end up enjoying it a lot. I would say the first games in LEC were a bit shaky for me but after you get used to the LEC stage, I think the MSI stage is kind of similar, just a little bit bigger. So yeah, I think it's not so hard to get used to the stage and you end up loving it!
Do you feel more confident on the stage compared to the online gameplay?
Yeah, I feel way more confident on the stage, I think it's just natural.
In our MSI jungler power rankings, we put you in third place right behind Canyon and Wei and above Blaber. Do you agree with your rankings and where would you put yourself?
Yeah, I agree with the power rankings for sure. I think that at the moment, with the level I am showing, I think I am 3rd or maybe even worse. I think that those two games [versus PNG and IW — Ed.] were really bad for me and I need to step up a lot. I just had two bad days and this has to improve, but even with having that into consideration, I still think I am 3rd now and I still have a lot to show and improve.