For LEC fans, the names of Rogue and Emil "Larssen" Larsson go hand in hand. The mid laner has been with the team since its very beginning, through thick and thin. One of the best mid laners in the LEC and the West, Larssen and his Rogue are now trying to do what they failed to in Spring: win their first-ever title.
Inven Global sat down with Larssen during week 3 of the LEC Summer Split to hear why the mid laner hates playing mages, why Rogue didn't seem as strong as last split, and his take on best-of-3 versus best-of-1 matches in the league.
The top 10 western mid laners
You guys had a slower start in Summer compared to your 5-0 start in Spring. Do you think the other teams got stronger or is that because of the schedule?
I don’t think it’s either of those. It's just that we played worse and we kind of went away from our normal style where we play very macro-wise and we play a lot for resources. As you've seen in the games, it's been kind of big chaos, which is not our normal style really but we tried to fight more in scrims and look for more fights.
We tried a bit of a different style but today we were back to the normal one at which we are very confident. Also at the start of the split, we weren’t as focused as we were before. We have been slacking a little bit but we are getting back at it now.
We saw a statistic that compared spring and summer split’s gold differences at 15, 20, and 25 minutes. In both splits, you guys snowballed pretty well, but in summer, your GD@25 is worse compared to spring, which means something happens after minute 20 where you lose your advantages. Can you tell me what do you think the problem is?
Before, we were really good at snowballing but then we started throwing games in the mid game. It comes from us not being that disciplined and looking for more fights, which I mentioned earlier. If we play disciplined and play for resources as we should play, we don’t throw. But we looked to fight more and play a more risky style which led us to throw huge gold leads against both Misfits and Vitality, where we had like 5k gold leads at 20 and then we threw them. It’s those games that the stat comes from. We obviously did stupid mistakes, like really stupid.
Do you believe Misfits will be up there at the end of the split? Are they strong enough to fight for top 4 after their amazing 5-1 start?
I am doubtful but anything can happen in best-of-1’s. I don’t expect them to be that strong at the end of the split but they can definitely be a playoff team and do well. I doubt they’ll reach Worlds but they’re definitely a decent playoffs team I think.
"Best-of-1 is just the optimal format for viewers. Obviously, it would be beneficial for the players to play more games, but esports is also a lot about the viewers."
I want to ask you something more personal. You have been with Rogue since the beginning. What has your work ethic been throughout those years? How did you keep improving to eventually become one of the best mid laners in Europe?
My work ethic has always been a part of why I am good. I am very disciplined and I play a lot and I especially watch a lot of replays of myself and replays of great mid laners like Rookie. But then, I also realized that I cared a bit too much about the game. If you do that, you might choke, and I stopped caring so much and just took it a bit more chill. But now, I’ve realized that I am probably being too chill so you just need to have a good balance. I am trying to find that balance.
You can also burn out a bit if you play too much.
Yeah exactly, that’s the big issue — you can burn out if you take it way too seriously. You need to have a good balance
I also wanted to ask you about the new items. Do you think the splitpushing playstyle will return with them and will they last?
I am not a top laner. This week, we aren’t playing on the new patch so I actually haven't seen it [in pro play], but I've seen it a bit in solo queue at it looks pretty annoying, a lot of people splitpushing for their lives. It might bring splitpushers back.
There has been some discussion on the best-of-3 format recently. What is your opinion on that? Do you think a best-of-3 format would be better for the LEC?
I don’t think so. We tried it before in the LEC and it was kind of a failure. I was a viewer back then and I didn’t like it and I understand why viewership went down a lot. Best-of-1 is just the optimal format for viewers. Obviously, it would be beneficial for the players to play more games, but esports is also a lot about the viewers.
"I don’t like mages too much right now, but since they are getting buffed, there is a big chance they find more spots in the meta. Sadly, I will be forced to play those champs again..."
What do you think of the mid lane meta in general? We’ve only seen Jayce and Lucian from you until now and also you are pretty known for playing mages. Are we going to see some assassins from you as well?
Sadly, I think assassins are usually pretty doomed in competitive because they are just broken in solo queue and after they are too broken they will get nerfed and won’t be useful in competitive. It’s really hard for assassins to find a way into pro play meta and unless something changes, it will never happen, besides a few of them. Sometimes, there is Akali, right? She is kind of an assassin and she is really strong in competitive. So sometimes accidents happen and assassins come into pro play but AP items got buffed so I will probably go back to boring AP champs.
Yeah, I was about to ask you if you think mages will make a return because we still haven't seen you playing a mage
I don’t like mages too much right now, but since they are getting buffed, there is a big chance they find more spots in the meta. Sadly, I will be forced to play those champs again...
[laughs] You don’t like it?
It’s more fun to play other stuff that I haven’t played too much in competitive, like Jayce and stuff, because I have played other champs too much and it’s a different style which is very fun, so...
One last question: we’ve seen the trend of roleswaps recently. Have you ever given it the thought of roleswapping to another lane during your career and if you had to choose, where would that be?
I’ve never thought of roleswaping and I don’t think about it now either. It would be pretty stupid, because my career has always been on the rise as a midlaner and it’s going very well. It’s a very fun role, but you never know… Maybe in five years I will be washed-up and will need to play support. But the LCK thing with DWG is very funny, I don’t know what's going on.