In the 2021 LEC Spring Season, Rogue were well on the way to win their first LEC trophy. Up 2-0 in the finals against MAD Lions, the blue squad was one match away from celebration. And then, the Lions came back. Winning the next three games in a row, MAD handed Rogue a bitter reverse-swept to secure the ticket to the MSI finals.
For top laner Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu, the loss hurt more than anything else in his career. After chasing trophies for the better part of the decade, Odoamne had made it to his first ever final and got within inches of the gold, only to be denied at the last minute. On Sunday, after the match against Fnatic, Inven Global sat down with Odoamne to talk about how he and the team are healing from the Spring Finals wound.
DK Canyon on learning from MSI: "The feeling of defeat isn’t something that I want to experience ever again."
What were your initial impressions of playing with Adam? Do you see him as a promising player?
It's actually hard to say. He did better than SLT [on Saturday]. I think he's okay, but it's really easy for people to get overexcited because he came from EU Masters and there's such a huge hype about him, especially because he's joining Fnatic. I feel it's really easy for people to just get ahead of themselves and find a diamond in him. I feel like he needs a lot more time. People need to be a lot more chill and just give him space and room to grow because it's really easy for someone so young to just get eaten up by the community.
LEC is a completely different ballpark than any ERL. Regardless of his performance, the talent is there, but he might just need time to grow. His performance today was okay. He played the match-up fine. There were things he could do better but there's also the lack of experience, so it's hard to compare him to someone like Bwipo that has been playing the role for such a long time.
Is there anything you think he excels at at the moment?
It's kind of weird because I wouldn't say he has anything that he's specifically really good at. Because today [Sunday], I don't really feel like his laning phase was super good. I entered and I died but at the same time, I was still really ahead even after the kill. I mean, it's a really hard question to answer. I can't really say that his laning phase was something else and he excels at it. He's just overall fine, I guess. When you transition from solo queue to ERL to LEC, then your laning phase must be pretty good.
The making of KCorp and the "blue wall"
Many people consider you the best top laner in Europe. Besides having stronger teammates, what do you think has caused this jump back?
Wow, it's a pretty good question. Let me think about it for a second. I feel like the teammate aspect is the biggest part even though, as you said, I should move on from it. But looking at my performances in the past, even on teams like Schalke of Splyce, I still felt that I have always been in the top 3 in my position: All-Pro or stats-wise, or whatever metric you would want to use. I feel like I've always been up there, in contention for being the best.
But now, with a better team and infrastructure, it's a lot easier for me, just because of the level of talent on the roster. Having someone like Ismind [Performance Coach — Ed.] to help me prep for games and create good habits for myself is really, really good. It's something that I've missed my whole career because even though I'm a veteran, there are still times where I get nervous. [...] So right now, I feel like I kind of have everything I need to perform to the best of my ability.
"After I lost the [LEC] finals, it hurt even more. This loss, it made me angry and it's my main motivation for this split. I don't want to lose like that again."
I've learned a lot of things through all these years with different teams and I fixed a lot of my mistakes. I felt like every single year, I had one big issue with my playstyle — depending on the team — that stopped the team from improving. I wouldn't say that I'm unchained now or whatever but I feel like I don't have as many issues as I had in the past. There are always things that I could do better the responsibility of the things I need to do in Rogue is a lot less than with my past teams. In my past teams, I was trying to compensate for others, and trying to do more than I needed to do while right now in Rogue, I can just play my own lane and my own game.,
While you weren't able to win in Spring, did the achievement of reaching the LEC finals mean something to you, or did it only feed your hunger to win a championship?
When I reached it, it felt great, but after I lost the finals, it hurt even more. This loss, it made me angry and it's my main motivation for this split. I don't want to lose like that again. I've never ever been reverse-swept in my life, I think. And getting reverse-swept in my first ever final was something that was absolutely horrible. I don't want to end up in a final just to lose it again; I want to win. And I don't want, after a long career — where a lot of people have said that I was top three, top two, or even the best top laner in Europe — I don't want to be that one guy that never won anything.
So looking at this season as a whole, what steps do you think individually do you think you need to improve? And what areas do you think that Rogue needs to improve in order to be able to win the Summer Playoffs?
Being a bit more diverse in my playstyle would always help to find new or more creative ways to help my team and play with vision. I feel like I'm maybe not utilizing vision too well, or I'm not finding new ways to utilize it. That's something that I always look to improve on. I feel like my laning has never been better. I feel like I'm on top of everything I need to win my lane. And something that I always need to work on is just the way I play with and without jungle pressure. Even though I'm doing well without it, I feel like there's room for me to get a lot better at playing with Inspired when I have pressure or I have leads and he's on my side of the map.
And for Rogue, [we] just cleaning up macro a bit — finding ways to still be creative. We like to be really creative in the way we play but at the same time have a good structure for communication. I feel that's something we improved on a lot and it showed in our game, even though we lost today [against Fnatic]. I feel like our games this week have been pretty clean when we had leads except when we were throwing. [laughs] I feel like right now, we're a lot cleaner.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.