In what seems like a blip in time, French top laner Adam "Adam" Maanane found himself amid the elite of Europe. Starting humbly in local French leagues, Adam went from being LFL champion to EU Masters Spring champion to starting top laner of Fnatic in the span of a single split.
Suddenly no longer "smurfing" lanes and free-dunking on his opponents, Adam had to adjust his goals. If earlier this year the top laner's ambition was to make it to LEC in 2022, now it's the highest podium in League of Legends — the World Championship.
Inven Global sat down with LEC's hottest young start to talk his arrival in the league and what's it like working with Bwipo in the jungle.
You’re one of the most hyped-up players coming into this split, what are some specific goals that you have for the regular season?
First of all, me joining LEC during mid-split wasn't expected at all, to be honest. I debuted in ERL this year, so I began in LFL, then EU Masters. So, that's fortunate I would say. But my goal initially was to get as much experience as I can in ERL this year, including both splits, and then to enter the LEC in 2022.
Since I joined LEC mid-split, my goals have to be changed, because I joined a team such as Fnatic, who can hopefully go to Worlds this year. So of course, now my goal really is to go Worlds and face the best top laners in this world.
"I feel there was no competition in the top lane in the ERL. When I wanted something, I’d usually get it."
So far, how much of a difference has playing in LEC been to when you played in ERL? What is your opinion of the top laners here?
I feel there was no competition in the top lane in the ERL. When I wanted something, I’d usually get it because there weren’t many really strong opponents that could face me. That's how I felt at least. And entering the LEC... well, it was a really, really big change. Now, if I want to get something done, I have to fight. And I really have to fight. And sometimes, I even have to concede, because my opponents are really, really good. Sometimes, I have let my opponent get what he wants. That's the big change.
What are your initial feelings on the synergy in Fnatic? How does it feel compared to Karmine Corp? At KCorp you were clearly the star, did you have to take a step back in Fnatic?
No, I wouldn't say that. Of course, when you enter a team mid-split, it's a bit hard because there's already a premade group. Тhere is like an adaptation time, you know?
In my case, I would say I adapted pretty to the team, also because they really allowed me to integrate myself pretty easily. And you know, in our first two matches, we were not really playing our game, we were still working on our synergy at the time. I'm sure that we're already starting to feel the difference in our games and it’s truly enjoyable to see that we can only improve as a team.
You were the best player on Karmine Corp, but even after you left the team is performing well. Do you think they can win the LFL? Do you expect to see any of your teammates in LEC soon?
I really hope so because I'm not missing a single match of theirs. And I do think KCorp is really strong. I'm actually amazed because when there's a change like this mid-split, you don't expect a split-winning team to perform as well as they’re doing now. I'm really glad to see that my team is smurfing so hard and I think they will just smurf the LFL. I don't see who can really face them at this point.
One benefit you have as a top laner is getting to learn from a veteran like Bwipo. How has learning from him been so far? Does anything he taught you stick out?
There’s such a big change in my gameplay because Bwipo and I actually have really similar ways of playing as a teammate. He just made slight improvements on my micro gameplay, which is really helpful, to be honest, because it's pixel-sized things, but which can really change my gameplay.
We talk a lot about it when we have a game that we want to discuss. He shows me his way: how he saw my lane and how I could improve it.
"I'm really amazed by Bwipo because he's actually really, really smart. His way of reading patterns of enemy junglers and how he adapts is insane."
What about Bwipo as a jungler? What are your initial impressions with that, how have you guys been synergizing?
I'm really amazed by Bwipo because he's actually really, really smart. His way of reading patterns of enemy junglers and how he adapts is insane. I'm amazed by his knowledge of the game.
And in terms of synergy, we haven't played single duo queue, but now I don't think we even need to because there’s already synergy between me and the rest of the team. Everyone in the team is working to really understand what Bwipo wants and what he really thinks of the game, and especially what type of gameplay he wants us to have. I think we are all doing it so far, and I think what we are doing so far is really good.
So far, what do you think are the biggest strengths that you individually as well as Fnatic as a team have, and what do you both need to work on?
What I need to work on is learning my timings — when I can and cannot make a play in-game. And there’s always room for improvement in my laning phase. I cannot play perfectly. Every game I play, I learn something. I learned what mistakes I did, and how I can avoid them in the future.
And as a team, I would say that we actually have a lot of potential and if we keep working the way we do now… I don't think that we can miss Worlds this split.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.